How to Overcome Temptation, Part 26 (Onward Christian Soldiers #149)
Welcome to the Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and pastor of Gospel Light House of Prayer International. The purpose of this time together is to teach young believers everything they need to know about their faith in Jesus Christ and provide them with the knowledge they need to live victorious Christian lives.
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 26”
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”. This is the second sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
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:
1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
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.
Brent Top said, “Whatever worldly thing we may covet — zealously striving to obtain it and retain it — never seems to bring an end to our desires. Covetousness, envy, jealousy, and greed always escalate into a vicious spiral, as we seek greater and greater gratification but find less and less contentment. Striving to acquire the things of the world not only does not bring lasting happiness and peace, but it drives us to seek more. When ‘all we’ve ever wanted’ is grounded in the temporal trappings of this world, it is never enough.”
During our last lesson, we looked at two more of the negative results of those who are covetous or greedy. They bring upon themselves destruction and perdition — the perishing of the body and the perishing of the soul.
As we move toward the close of this particular passage, we come to the oft-quoted words, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Scholars agree that this verse is better translated as “the love of money is a root of evil.” But it is certainly one of the main reasons why people do bad things. People have lied, cheated, stolen, prostituted others, engaged in illicit sexual activity, and murdered for money. The grip of money on a man’s heart can be strong, and that is why believers are warned not to be covetous, not to have a sinful desire for that which they do not have.
In the Greek, the phrase “love of money” is one word that is defined as “avarice.” Avarice is “extreme greed for wealth or material gain.” This extreme greed is what the Bible calls covetousness. The word translated as “coveted after” means “to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something, to give one’s self up to the love of money.” Does the love of money have possession over you? Have you given yourself up to greed and avarice? Is getting more money all that you really care about?
If so, you are on a dangerous path. Paul warns that such an inordinate desire for riches has caused many to “err” or stray “from the faith.” If you love anything more than God, that thing will eventually lead you away from God. God will not rule in a divided heart. You must either love Him completely or He will allow you to love money completely. As Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Those who stray from the faith because of a love of money will be “pierced through with many sorrows.” This phrase has also been translated as “to torture one’s soul with sorrows.” This is pain that you bring upon yourself — pain that you cannot blame on someone else. Many who have lived all their lives for money and material things will tell you that, in the end, none of it matters. People who have a lot also have a lot to keep them awake at night worrying about keeping what they have. They can’t take any of it with them when they die. They have to leave it all behind. In the end, the trouble that comes as a result of covetousness and greed is simply not worth it.
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!