Overcoming Sin through Christ: Filthiness

Overcoming Sin through Christ

A Comprehensive List of Sins

(Alphabetically Arranged)

Richard Hollerman

The plan of this study is simple.  We will look at a large number of sins, one by one, alphabetically.  We will define the sin, describe it, and comment on it, along with noticing Scripture references on the particular entry.  Some illustrations will be offered along with the description.



Have you ever seen a man and thought to yourself, “That man is surely a filthy person!” Have you ever met a person, conversed with him, and later remarked, “He has such a filthy mouth!” Maybe you had parents who would wash your mouth with soap when you were young—because they accused you of having filthy language. Let’s see what Scripture says about this matter of filth!

It was John Wesley who said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” but is this true?  Is physical “filthiness” condemned in Scripture?  When this term is found in God’s Word it is speaking of a moral and spiritual “filthiness” rather than a physical one (although physical cleanliness is also desirable).  James writes, “Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (1:21). Here, “filthiness” is from rhuparia, meaning “dirt, filth,” and moral defilement.[1][1]  Rupoo means “to make dirty” or “to defile.”[2][2]

Several other Greek words are employed.  Aischrontes means “baseness” or “obscenity” and Paul says that there must be no “filthiness and silly talk, or course jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4).  The adjective is aischros.  Paul uses it in 1 Corinthians 11:6: “If it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.”  Again, the apostle says, “It is shameful for a woman to speak in church [in the assembly]” (1 Corinthians 14:35b, ESV).  He also says that it is “disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them [the unbelievers] in secret” (Ephesians 5:12).

Paul urges us to renounce all moral compromises when he wrote, “Having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).  Aischrokerdes is often translated as “sordid.”  Paul says that servants of the assembly are not to be “fond of sordid gain” (1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:7).[3][3]  All moral filthiness must be renounced and we must live in absolute moral and spiritual purity!


[1][1] W. E. Vine, Expository Dictionary. See also Revelation 22:11.

[2][2] The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, s.v. “Filth, filtiness.”

[3][3] The advert aischrokerdos is also used in 1 Peter 5:2 with the same meaning.


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