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.
— PRAYER —
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 60”
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 “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 continue looking at James 1:13-15. (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.)
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Dr. Walvoord & Dr. Zuck said, “James offered a sharp rebuke to those who find an easy excuse for their sinning. To free themselves from responsibility they say, “I am tempted by God,” or “from God”, denoting the origin, not merely the agency. James made it abundantly clear God cannot be tempted. There is nothing in God to which evil can make an appeal. Furthermore, He tempts no one. God often tests, but He never tempts. The biological imagery is vivid. The lust or desire conceives and from this conception sin is born. The unmentioned father is most certainly Satan. The grotesque child, sin, then matures and produces its own offspring, death. The steps are all too clear: unchecked lust yields sin, and unconfessed sin brings death.”
Also, Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “A temptation is an opportunity to accomplish a good thing in a bad way, out of the will of God. Is it wrong to want to pass an examination? Of course not; but if you cheat to pass it, then you have sinned. The temptation to cheat is an opportunity to accomplish a good thing (passing the examination) in a bad way. It is not wrong to eat; but if you consider stealing the food, you are tempting yourself. The word lust means any kind of desire, and not necessarily sexual passions. The normal desires of life were given to us by God and, of themselves, are not sinful. Without these desires, we could not function. Unless we felt hunger and thirst, we would never eat and drink, and we would die. Without fatigue, the body would never rest and would eventually wear out. Sex is a normal desire; without it the human race could not continue. It is when we want to satisfy these desires in ways outside God’s will that we get into trouble. Eating is normal; gluttony is sin. Sleep is normal; laziness is sin. “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
In this passage, James gives us a clear path from lust to sin and from sin to death, both spiritual death and physical death. Lust is a strong desire, impulse, or craving. Grant Richison writes, “There is enormous power in a lustful thought. The Christian must deal with sin at the point of temptation, not at the point where we choose to sin. Once we choose to open ourselves to sin, the overt action of sin is almost inevitable. None of us can avoid temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted but it is a sin to yield to temptation. Evil ideas will birth in our minds until we go to meet the Saviour. The internet, movies, and television today present great temptation to the believer. Lust comes charging into our minds through these vehicles. It comes unexpectedly and quickly.” Those influences combine with our natural, fleshly lusts, creating a potent cocktail of temptation. However, we must not yield to it.
If we yield to temptation and sin, the Bible tells us that “sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.” The Greek word translated as “finished” means “fully grown.” Sin is a living thing. It may begin as a small infant in our lives, but if we don’t stamp it out quickly, it will grow into a stubborn young adult, unwilling to change, and finally an adult, set in its ways. Sin that is allowed to fester and grow results in death. For the believer, this means the quenching of the Holy Spirit’s power in his life and the cutting off of his communion with God. Steven Cole said, “James shows that sin is never stationary. It moves steadily in its course toward its ultimate, hideous end — death. Sin is like a small crack in a dam. At first, it doesn’t seem threatening. But if it is not repaired quickly, it can lead to the collapse of the entire dam, causing terrible destruction.”
Don’t let your lust lead to temptation. Don’t let temptation lead to sin. Don’t let sin lead to death in your life
If you struggle with lust or any sin, 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.