ἀπέχομαι apéchomai, ap-ekh'-om-ahee

middle voice (reflexively) of G568; to hold oneself off, i.e. refrain:—abstain.

ABSTA'IN, v.i. L. abstineo, to keep from; abs and teneo, to hold.

In a general sense, to forbear, or refrain from, voluntarily; but used chiefly to denote a restraint upon the passions or appetites; to refrain from indulgence.


WHAT IS THE PROBLEM:       ACTS 15                      KEY V20   “ABSTAIN”[ba1] 


1. “Pollution of idols”  Flesh of animals offered for sacrifice

2. “fornication”                       Improper physical fulfillment

3. “strangled”             It was not lawful to eat that which the blood had not been poured out

4. “blood”                    Genesis 9:4-6 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.


Acts 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

The only way to secure the wellness was to ABSTAIN….this is always the best policy.  Self-Pollution is our biggest enemy.  We do it to ourselves


The Gentiles had brought the evils of Idolatry into their world and the announced prohibition only becomes as a Tinkling Noise if not recognized and dealt with.






Abstain:          Affects our Sanctification[ba2] 

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:


1.         God is greatly involved and we need to respond according to His will        

2.         Sanctification :  ἁγιασμός hagiasmós, hag-ee-as-mos'

from G37; properly, purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier:—holiness, sanctification.

The lack of Holiness, lack of purification, simply means we are polluted and dirty.


Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.[ba3] 


Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.[ba4] 



1. It is a cleansing from sin, Eph 5:26[ba5] 

2. It is a separation unto God, Le 20:24-26; Ps 4:3[ba6] 


1. By God the Father, Jude 1[ba7] 

2. By God the Son, Heb 13:12[ba8] 

3. By God the Spirit, 1Pe 1:2[ba9] 

4. By the Word of Truth, Joh 17:17-19[ba10] 

5. By the will of the believer, Le 20:7[ba11] 



1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.



1.         It is Total Transformation:


1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Do not drive your morality so near the bounds of evil as to lead even weak persons to believe that ye actually touch, taste, or handle it. Let not the form of it,  ειδος , appear with or among you, much less the substance. Ye are called to holiness; be ye holy, for God is holy.





1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.


1.         We know that it is the truth that shields us from the false teaching and doctrine of Satan.


a.         Forbidding to marry – It is better to be single in nature than married some would teach – Like the Romanist


Abstain from marriage          Celibacy


to abstain from meats: not from some certain meats forbidden by the law of Moses, as did some judaizing Christians; but from all meats at some certain season of the year, as at what they call the Quadragesima or Lent, and at some days in the week, as Wednesdays and Fridays; and this all under an hypocritical pretence of holiness, and temperance, and keeping under the body, and of mortification; when they are the greatest pamperers of their bodies, and indulge themselves in all manner of sensuality: the evil of this is exposed by the apostle, as follows,


Abstain with thanksgiving


with thanksgiving; since they are the creatures of God, and useful to men, and men are unworthy of them, having forfeited them by sin; and since they are the bounties of Providence, and a free use of them is allowed; so far then should men be from abstaining from them, that they ought to take them, and use them with all thankfulness: and especially this should be done






1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;


abstain from fleshly lusts; which spring from the flesh, and are concerned about fleshly things, and are exercised in and by the members of the flesh, or body; hence, in the Syriac version, they are called, "the lusts of the body": these are to be abstained from; not that the apostle thought that they could be without them; for while the saints are in the body, flesh, or corrupt nature will be in them, and the lusts thereof; but then these are not to be indulged, or provision to be made for them, to fulfil them; they are not to be obeyed and served, or lived unto, but to be denied and crucified, being unsuitable to the character of strangers and pilgrims, and also because of their hurtful and pernicious nature:


  • A fleshly lust is either the desire for anything inherently sinful, or the inordinate and excessive appetite for anything inherently harmless or indifferent.
  •  The attribute ‘fleshly’ points to the origin and sphere and aim of such lusts. A list of them in Ga 5:19-21[ba15] . Being fleshly, they cannot but war against the soul. They war against the body in many instances, but their worst influence and most pernicious is on the spiritual nature of man.






 [ba5]Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

 [ba6]Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

 [ba7]Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

 [ba8]Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

 [ba9]1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

 [ba10]John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

 [ba11]Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.




 [ba15]Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.