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 37”
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 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 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 will continue looking at 1 John 2:15-17. (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.
Robert South said, “Of covetousness we may truly say that it makes both the Alpha and Omega in the devil’s alphabet, and that it is the first vice in corrupt nature which moves, and the last which dies.”
As we continue dealing with how the Christian ought to resist the temptation to be covetous, we are looking at the command to “love not the world.” We have seen that this refers to the “world system” or the world’s way of doing things which is heavily influenced by Satan. Now, for some of us, it is easy to not love the world system. Where we really struggle is at the next command: “neither the things in the world.”
The devil, knowing that we want no part of his world system, will come to us and say, “But don’t you want a nice house? Don’t you want a better car? Don’t you want the prestige and respect that so-and-so has?” Of course, our flesh wants these things. However, if God does not see fit to give them to us, sometimes, the only way to get them is to bow down to the devil. The devil tried to pull this trick with Jesus. He said, ‘Look at all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. I can give it all to you if you bow down and worship me.’
The devil tries to do the same thing to us today. He tries to get us to love the things of the world so much that we will do whatever it takes to get them. That is why John follows up this command with this definitive statement: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” It is impossible to have love for the world system and to have the love of the Father in us. If we have the love of the Father in us, we will look at the world system and see how it is harmful to the people that are in it. When we have the love of the Father, instead of desiring the things of the world, we will shake our heads in sadness over those who love the things of the world so much that they are missing out on a relationship with God. The love of the Father opens our eyes to the dangers of covetousness and allows us to have compassion and sympathy for those who have succumbed to this evil.
Deborah Ann Belka wrote:
Those who love the Lord,
are not a part of this world
they hate the evil in it
they don’t give sin a whirl.
They know they are safe,
from the hand of the wicked
for Jesus guards their life
to lust they’re not addicted.
The world is not a friend,
they know it’s their enemy
they want nothing to do
with its ungodly chemistry.
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 GospelLightSociety.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!