Biblical Concept: Good and Evil


Good and Evil Summary: By Divine design, humans must constantly choose between good and evil.  The ultimate good a human can choose is to believe in the Jesus Christ of the Triune God of the Bible for eternal salvation. By Divine design, after the point of salvation, the Christian human lives a life of constantly making choices between good and evil.  Throughout human history, there will be millions of Christian humans making billions of good versus evil choices—this is the Christian human’s earthly mission.  Spiritual education (Bible Doctrine in soul) aids in more good and less evil volitional choices.  Neglected education (little Bible Doctrine in soul) does not aid more good and less evil volitional choices. 


Good and evil Bible verses for your consideration: (Explanatory parentheses are mine.)


Genesis 2:9  9 And out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (From the beginning, God makes an issue of good and evil.)


Genesis 2:17  17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (God makes a volitional issue regarding good and evil.  3:3 notes a center of garden location for the tree.)


Genesis 3:5   5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."


Genesis 3:22  22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever "— (Volitional rebellion toward God is the mental attitude sin behind the overt act.)


1 Kings 3:9  9 "So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?" (Solomon’s request.)


Deuteronomy 1:39  39 'Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them, and they shall possess it. (Age of Account Concept)


Psalm 34:14-17  14 Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.  15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.  16 The face of the LORD is against evildoers, To cut off the memory of them from the earth.  17 The righteous cry and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.


Psalm 36:4  4 He plans wickedness upon his bed; He sets himself on a path that is not good; He does not despise evil. [Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, forward: "From all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer."]


Psalm 37:27-28  27 Depart from evil, and do good, So you will abide forever.  28 For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever; But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.


Psalm 52:1-9  1 For the choir director. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said to him, "David has come to the house of Ahimelech." Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.  2 Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.  3 You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah.  4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.  5 But God will break you down forever; He will snatch you up, and tear you away from your tent, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah.  6 And the righteous will see and fear, And will laugh at him, saying,  7 "Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And was strong in his evil desire."  8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.  9 I will give Thee thanks forever, because Thou hast done it, And I will wait on Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy godly ones.


Proverbs 11:27-31   27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who searches after evil, it will come to him.  28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.  29 He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.  30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.  31 If the righteous will be rewarded in the earth, How much more the wicked and the sinner!


Proverbs 12:2   2 A good man will obtain favor from the LORD, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.


Proverbs 14:19  19 The evil will bow down before the good, And the wicked at the gates of the righteous.


Proverbs 14:22   22 Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.


Proverbs 15:3  3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. (Freewill or Torturer.)


Proverbs 17:13   13 He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.


Proverbs 17:20   20 He who has a crooked mind finds no good, And he who is perverted in his language falls into evil. (SOT: A path to evil.)


Proverbs 28:10  10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.


Proverbs 31:12  12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.


Ecclesiastes 12:13-14  13 The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.


Isaiah 5:20   20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  (Recall: Right and Wrong in a Nation.)


Isaiah 7:15-16   15 "He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good.  16 "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.


Jeremiah 4:22  22 "For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children, And they have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know."


Jeremiah 13:23  23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.  (‘Those accustomed to evil’ do not frequently change to doing good.)


Amos 5:12-15  12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes, And turn aside the poor in the gate.  13 Therefore, at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.  14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!  15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.  (Recall: Attacking the Right.)


Micah 3:1-5 1 And I said, "Hear now, heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice?  2 "You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones,  3 And who eat the flesh of my people, Strip off their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them up as for the pot And as meat in a kettle."  4 Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time, Because they have practiced evil deeds.  5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets Who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, "Peace," But against him who puts nothing in their mouths, They declare holy war. (Read the chapter!)


Zephaniah 1:12  12 "And it will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, 'The LORD will not do good or evil!'  (Recall: Lowering God.)


Malachi 2:17  17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, "How have we wearied Him?" In that you say, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them," or, "Where is the God of justice?"


Matthew 12:34  34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. (Jesus to Pharisees.)


Matthew 12:35  35 "The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil.


Matthew 13:38   38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 


Luke 6:35   35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (Sermon on the level, Luke 6:17-49.  Spiritual life with a Messiah and Kingdom.)


Luke 6:45  45 "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.


John 5:28-29   28 "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,  29 and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (Compare Believe in JC for salvation.)


Romans 7:19-21  19 For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.  20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.  21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.


Romans 12:21   21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13:1-4 1 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.  3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;  4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. (Good government discerns good from evil.)


Romans 16:19  19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.  (Education.)


Hebrews 5:14 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Education.)


1 Peter 3:10-13  10 For, "Let him who means to love life and see good days Refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile.  11 "And let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.  12 "For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."  13 And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? (Good life = control of mental attitude sins and sins of the tongue.)  


3 John 1:11  11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.