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"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice ..."
Ephesians 4:31

© 1977 by Diane S. Dew

I.   Backbiting is forbidden by God.

              Leviticus 19:17
              Ephesians 4:31
              1 Timothy 3: 11
              James 4: 11

       A.   Those who spread slander cannot dwell with God, for He is holy.

                     Psalms 15:1-3

       B.   God calls them fools.

                     Proverbs 10:18

II.   We are exhorted to "lay aside" all slander, and scripture advises
       us not even to associate with gossips.

              1 Peter 2:1
              Proverbs 20:19

       A.   The tales of a gossip travel fast.

                     Ecclesiastes 10:20

       B.   The words of a slanderer spread strife and contention; they
              destroy friendships and stir up anger.

                     Proverbs 6:19; 15:1; 16:28; 17:9; 25:23; 26:20-22

       C.   The desire to backbite comes from a heart of bitterness and hatred.

                     Leviticus 19:16-18
                     Psalms 109:2-3
                     Luke 6:45
                     Ephesians 4:31

III.   Gossip was obviously a problem in the early church.

              Acts 17:21
              2 Corinthians 12:20
              2 Thessalonians 3:11
              1 Timothy 5:13
              2 John 10

       A.   The devil will try to bring false accusations against believers
              through those in the world, to spread much slander about those
              who love God.

                     1 Peter 2:12; 3:16
                     Revelation 12:10

       B.   But it is an especially serious matter when a brother in the Lord
              speaks evil of another brother (be it true or false). Such talk is nothing
              less than judgment on his part.

                     James 4: 11

Copyright © 1976, 1977, 1997 by Diane S. Dew

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