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 71”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are looking at 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 begin looking at today is the sin of “sloth.” This is the fourth 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.
Today, we will start by looking at Genesis 2:15. (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.)
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain, the lazy one never.”
In our last lesson, we introduced the topic of God’s intention that man be engaged in useful, productive work. Although the Garden of Eden was a perfect environment for man, God commanded Adam to “dress and keep” his new home. We looked at the meaning of the word “dress” — “to labour, to do work, or to serve.”
The term “keep” comes from the Hebrew word “shamar,” and it means: “to guard, to preserve, to protect.” This word introduces the stewardship of man over the earth. Adam was not only to work in the Garden, but it was his job to preserve the Garden as God had given it to him. He was to “keep” it in the condition in which he had received it — and that, of course, required diligent work.
Contrary to the perspective of most people today, work was not originally negative or hard. Work was, for lack of a better term, easy. Work was fun. Work was not stressful for Adam. But work was still work. The nature of work changed only when Adam and Eve sinned. God judged Adam for his sin, stating, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”
This curse does not give us an excuse to loathe work. Instead, as saved people, we recognize that Jesus has removed the curse for us. We no longer walk under the curse of sin, so we do not have to maintain a negative perspective about work. The devil, of course, will always be on hand to try to get us to shun hard work. But that is the work of our old sinful man and our flesh. Our new man in Christ knows that when we are engaged in productive work, we are doing God’s will — an original intention of His perfect creation.
If you struggle with sloth, laziness, or any sin, take this passage to heart and begin to use it the next time you face that temptation.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
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!