How to Overcome Temptation, Part 22 (Onward Christian Soldiers #145)
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 22”
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.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul addresses the young preacher regarding the way he should carry himself as a minister of the Gospel. He warns against some of the negative traits of other ministers. Concerning our topic for today — covetousness — he tells Timothy to ‘withdraw himself’ from those who ‘suppose that gain is godliness.’
The word translated as ‘gain’ means to bring about or to acquire for one’s self. A minister whose focus is on gain is only in the ministry to get things for himself — be it money, material possessions, or prestige. Dr. Warren Wiersbe says that the literal translation of this verse is that “godliness is a way of financial gain.” “‘Godliness’ here means ‘the profession of Christian faith’ and not true holy living in the power of the Spirit. They used their religious profession as a means to make money. What they did was not a true ministry; it was just a religious business.”
“Paul was always careful not to use his calling and ministry as a means of making money. In fact, he even refused support from the Corinthian church so that no one could accuse him of greed. He never used his preaching as ‘a cloak of covetousness.’ What a tragedy it is today to see the religious racketeers who prey on gullible people, promising them help while taking away their money.”
Instead of greed, covetousness, and seeking gain from the ministry, the spirit that should characterize the minister — and all children of God — is that which is described in the next verse. Paul says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” Paul is saying that we should not pursue gain; rather we should pursue godliness and be content with whatever God has given to us and in whatever situation He has placed us in. In another letter, Paul wrote, “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
It is a grave crime to seek to use the ministry to satisfy desires that stem from greed and covetousness. It is also a grave crime for any Christian to view the faith as a means to personal gain. This type of spirit results in futility and frustration because anything that we gain in this manner will eventually fade away. Only those spiritual blessings that we gain as we grow in our relationship with God will last forever. That is why we should choose to chase after godliness and to be content.
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!