How to Overcome Temptation, Part 21 (Onward Christian Soldiers #144)
Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 21”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are going to continue looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are reviewing what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are going to continue looking at today is the sin of “covetousness”. We have already looked at four verses on this topic. Today, we delve more deeply into one of the passages that we looked at previously and see what more it can tell us about fighting the temptation of covetousness or wickedly desiring what others have. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website GLHOPI.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
1 Timothy 6:3-11:
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “To warn Timothy — and us — about the dangers of covetous, Paul shared that wealth does not bring contentment. The word contentment means ‘an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of outward circumstances.’ Paul used this same word later. ‘For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ True contentment comes from godliness in the heart, not wealth in the hand. A person who depends on material things for peace and assurance will never be satisfied, for material things have a way of losing their appeal. It is the wealthy people, not the poor people, who go to psychiatrists and who are more apt to try to commit suicide.”
In this passage, Paul does not provide a warning against riches, but a warning against the desire to be rich. He is writing to the young pastor Timothy, letting him know that, although he may live of the Gospel, his purpose is not to get rich. A pastor’s desire ought to be wrapped up in the Gospel, not gaining personal wealth. But this command goes for everybody. Life is dangerous for all those who love money.
John MacArthur said the warning about loving money “applies directly in this context to those who are teachers, but also applies to every believer as a general rule. True preachers must avoid the money-love of false teachers, as must all Christians. Like a gun, there is nothing inherently wrong with money. But like a gun, money can be used for good and evil purposes. Thus, the issue is not money, but one’s attitude toward it. The sin in view is the sin of greed. One of the danger signs of loving money is that those who love money are more concerned with making it than with honesty, or giving a quality effort. Believers must first pursue truth and excellence, for which money may be the reward.”
While many saints in the Bible, such as Abraham, David, and Solomon, were extremely rich, their real desire was for God — honoring Him, serving Him, and obeying Him. For them, the riches were a byproduct. In fact, God may have allowed them to be rich because He knew that wealth would not cause them to go astray.
The desire for wealth, the “love of money,” causes people to do many sinful things that they would not otherwise do. Think of prostitution, bribery, embezzling, theft, sexual exploitation, deception, even murder. People do all of these things for money. So, there is no wonder that Paul says these people are “pierced through with many sorrows.” The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.” In this life, pain and suffering is a result of sin. When we allow the desire for riches to take over in our lives and it causes us to sin, we can expect the wages of sin as a result.
Not only does the desire for wealth lead people into all kinds of sin, but it causes them to stray from the faith. If your main goal is to make more money, whether you are rich or poor, you will be drawn away from Jesus Christ. Our main goal should be a closer relationship with Jesus and humble service to Him and to His church. We ought to allow nothing to get in the way of that.
If you struggle with covetousness, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!