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Read Introduction to 1 Peter


Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.”


all deceit

The second category of sins has three sins: deceit, hypocrisy, envy.

“Deceit” means a bait primarily carrying the idea of a snare; hence, craft, deceit, guile. It is used for deceptive actions: deceit, cunning, treachery. It means deceiving by using trickery and falsehood — to deceive, trick into, treachery, any cunning contrivance for deceiving or catching.

The Greek uses this word for bait for fish. This individual will lure others into a trap. He damages others with maliciousness. He is two-faced and conscious of his deception to achieve his own goals. He adulterates his motives, and they are rarely pure. He misleads others to his own advantage. He does not tell the whole truth. This is cunning. He is like a spiritual Trojan horse.

Genesis uses this word for Jacob’s deceit who engaged in trickery to get his brother’s birthright, “But he said, ‘Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing’” (Gen. 27:35). This drove a wedge between Jacob and his brother for twenty years.

The new reality of life in Christ means that we must be guileless about what is evil (Rom. 16:19). In love, we may now overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21), for love, neither thinks evil (1 Cor. 13:5) nor does it (Rom. 13:10). If evil is a force that disrupts fellowship, the love that derives from Christ makes true fellowship possible again.

Guile has to do with what you say as well as what you do. This person uses deceit in words, so he uses flattery, falsehood, and delusion. He craftily preys upon the ignorance or weakness of other people to their damage. He intends to deceive and mislead others to their hurt and his own advantage. The speech of Christians should be guileless. See Matt. 26:4; Mark 7:22; 14:1.

John 1:47 uses “guile” negatively of Nathaniel. This means that Nathaniel was not two-faced. What you saw was what you got. He was honest.

This is not the dishonesty of stealing something from work. This is honesty in our estimation of ourselves and others. We do not acknowledge that we do not like her. Why do we not face this problem? Why do we pretend? If we get right with her, we will get right with God, and then personal revival will come. We love to use guile. We use it on ourselves. We use it on others. There are times when we even try using it on God!

1 Thess. 2:3 uses this word negatively of the teaching of Paul and his fellow–missionaries, “For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.”

Significantly, this word is used in this chapter in another way of the guileless speech of Christ,

“Who committed no sin,

Nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Pe 2:22).

Jesus Christ would have no part of guile.

This word is the opposite of sincerity. People claim that the church is filled with hypocrites. The biggest hypocrites in the world are politicians. They claim to care about everyone, but they do not truly care; they need votes. The church has its share of hypocrites; we will grant that. However, the church is not the mutually exclusive domain of hypocrisy!


God wants us to be true blue.


A person who operates in deceit is like the used car salesman who plays up many features of the car. He tries to give the impression that the car has everything a person needs. He points out the fact that the car has a radio, power-breaks, power-brakes, and power-seats. However, he does not say a thing about the car not having a heater. He steers the customer away from what might jeopardize the sale.

Are you two-faced? Do you consciously try to deceive others into attaining your own ends? Do you adulterate your motives in your relationship with others?