How to Overcome Temptation, Part 36 (Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class #159)
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.
— PRAYER —
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 36”
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 9 passages on this topic. Today, we are looking at another one. (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 John 2:15-17:
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Tony Evans said, “Kingdom People understand that God never said a Godly life would be easy; He just said it would be worth it.”
These three powerful verses give us three important reasons not to be covetous or to be greedy for the things of this world. The first part of verse 15 is a command: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” In the second part of this verse, we find the reason: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” When this verse talks about not loving the world, it is referring to the world system or the world’s way of operating which includes the things that the world posits as important.
For an example of the world system, we can go back almost to the beginning of recorded history and look at the Tower of Babel. Genesis 10-11 tell us about the beginnings of the kingdom of Babylon. We see two things that are hallmarks of the world system. First, we see in Nimrod, the founder and first ruler of Babylon, a desire for personal glory. The world system, founded by Satan who sought his own glory, is filled with people seeking their own glory. Second, we see in the population at that time a desire for personal preservation. They said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves.” Even though God had told these descendants of Noah to spread throughout the world, they wanted to do things their way. They had settled down and wanted to preserve life as they knew it. They liked their way of doing things.
These two hallmarks of the world system are at odds with the kingdom of heaven. In the world, man values personal glory, but in the kingdom of heaven, man gives all glory to God. In the world, man seeks his own preservation, but in the kingdom of heaven, man lives by Jesus’ words, “Whosoever seeks to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” This is why it is impossible to love the world and love the Father at the same time. As Christians, we must make a choice. The world will always try to get us to live according to its rules. The temptation of the world is strong. Because of our sinful nature, man wants glory and praise for himself. Because of our sinful nature, people seek to preserve their own lives instead of living their lives for the glory of God. Christians struggle with this all the time. But, we must realize, that we cannot have it both ways. If we abide by the world’s rules, we miss out on the kingdom of God.
Witness Lee wrote:
God’s Kingdom on the earth is now
His sovereign government within;
‘Tis Christ Himself in us to live
As Lord and King His reign to begin.
His life with His authority
Enthrones Him now within our hearts
To govern all our words and deeds
And regulate our inward parts.
And by His heavenly rule within
As heavenly citizens we live;
And by submission to His rule
Expression of His reign we give.
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!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.