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 51”
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 begin looking at today is the sin of “lust.” This is the third 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 begin looking at 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5. (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 Thessalonians 4:1-5
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
This part of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Thessalonica expresses the calling of God for all believers as it pertains to sexual relations. Apparently Paul and his colleagues had taught this to the Thessalonians previously because he says they had already “received” these instructions on how they “ought to walk and please God” in order to “abound more and more.” Specifically regarding sexual immorality, Paul stresses that the commandment He is about to give comes from “the Lord Jesus” and “is the will of God.” The commandment is that we “should abstain from fornication.”
The word translated as fornication is a broad term covering all types of sexual sin. Christians are to take their instructions on sexual purity from God, not from the world. The world that the Thessalonians lived in was not so different from our own. De-mos-the-nes, a Greek orator and statesman of that time, described the spirit of the day when he wrote, “We keep prostitutes for pleasure; we keep mistresses for the day to day needs of the body; we keep wives for the faithful guardianship of our homes.” In that day, promiscuity was acceptable as long as the body was satisfied and one’s social standing was not harmed. Today, the world endorses its twisted view of “liberated” sexuality which includes pornography, open marriage, homosexuality, and polyamory. Polygamy, which long-illegal in the United States, is seeing new interest with shows like “Sister Wives” attempting to change the public perception of God’s view of marriage which is one man and one woman for life.
But, no matter how berserk the world goes with its ideas of what constitutes “sexual liberty,” Christians are commanded to abstain. This is not just a suggestion or a best practice; Paul uses the military term of an officer to his subordinate — “command.” Either we obey the command or we damage our standing in the Lord’s Army. When we abstain from sexual relations outside marriage, we move forward on the road of sanctification. Our sanctification is our being set apart from the world for service to God. In the matter of lust and sexual relations, we have to decide whether we want to serve ourselves and the devil or serve God and Christ.
If you struggle with lust, 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!