“Full of envy” is Paul’s next epithet against the degenerate generation of Gentile sinners.  Of course, this can hardly be restrained to the Gentiles only, even if that is the class the apostle has particularly in mind in this context.  The scriptures tell us that it was through envy that the chief priests delivered Christ unto Pilate.  Men’s envying of one another’s possessions, places, or authority, lead to all sorts of crimes, and even to violent revolutions.  It is the absolute opposite of that contentment which God enjoins upon His creatures.  It is utterly antithetical to that practical Christian doctrine which Paul preached, which led him to the state where he could honestly say, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content.”

Maliciousness and envy lead up to murder.  As James tells us, “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  These particular types of sins just enumerated often lead to the very most shocking and senseless of crimes, the taking of the life of one made, like ourselves, in the image of God.  But men who do not think of themselves and their fellow men as being made in God’s image soon grow to have little compunction about taking human life.  Murder was no uncommon practice in the days of Paul.  Throughout Gentile history, it had even become part of the religious practices of many heathens to sacrifice their own children in the fire to their idols; an astounding crime which soon even corrupted the children of Israel.  Men who give their hearts to thoughts of malice and envy against their neighbors soon will not stick at murdering them.  Thus it is incumbent upon every person to have the mastery of his own spirit, that his ungoverned emotions lead him not to crimes of the worst nature.

I cannot help but add here that the epidemic of abortion is one of the very strongest indicators that God has given us over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.  It is the direct consequence of our culture of fornication, covetousness, and envy.  This ingrained selfishness has taught women that if a child happens to be the product of their sexual promiscuity, and that child happens to interfere with their selfish plans, they can scald or dismember that helpless baby in their womb.  One does not know which is worse; that government and courts would approve such unspeakable barbarity, that women could be so cruel and unfeeling towards the fruit of their womb, or that so many doctors would be found willing to perform such hideous operations.