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 67”
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 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 1 Peter 2:9-12. (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 Peter 2:9-12
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Last week, I shared some of the prominent names that you might recognize from the sexual harassment scandals that erupted over this past year. We found out that, although many would not openly admit it, even in this “progressive” age, men and women still struggle with the sin of lust. God’s people, however, have an advantage over the world when it comes to dealing with this temptation. We have the power of the Holy Spirit because God has made us a part of His family by Salvation through Jesus Christ. We are made “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, and a peculiar people.” We are different from the world, and one of the ways we demonstrate our differentness is through abstaining from fleshly lusts.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “Peter closed this portion of his letter of encouragement with a moving exhortation for his readers to practice holiness. He reminded them that, in contrast with the disobedient who are destined for destruction, they were a chosen people. Peter again echoed the Old Testament, specifically Isaiah 43:20. ‘Chosen people,’ which used to apply only to Israel, was now used of both Jewish and Gentile believers. The responsibility once solely trusted to the nation of Israel has now, during this Age of Grace, been given to the church. At Sinai, God told Moses to tell the people, ‘You will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ Now believers in the Church Age are called a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. Christians are a special people because God has preserved them for Himself. As Israel was ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God,’ so too believers today are chosen, are priests, are holy, and belong to God. Similarity does not mean identity.”
This differentness is further emphasized when Peter writes in verse 11, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims…” The word translated as “strangers” refers to “a person living in a foreign land alongside of people who are not of his kind.” That is how we are supposed to view ourselves in this world. Because we are only strangers, we ought not to act like the citizens of the world. The ongoing revelations regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and lust-driven behavior in politics, in media, in entertainment, and in business are all marks of worldly citizens. Up until now, that type of behavior was seen as the norm, people looked the other way when it happened, some — both men and women — helped to cover it up. Because we are not of this world, it is a double shame when this type of activity is engaged in the church. We know better and we ought to do better.
That is essentially what Peter is saying in this passage. We ought to “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” The word “abstain” means to “continually choose to refrain.” Abstaining from fleshly lusts is not a one-time thing, but something we have to choose to do over and over again. As John MacArthur explains, “Our souls are saved, we’ve received a new heart, we’ve been washed and regenerated, and there is a newness in us. But that newness is incarcerated in our unredeemed human flesh. And we have a spiritual battle because the new man in us is battling the flesh. And the flesh is where lust comes from.”
Abstaining from fleshly lusts is a hard battle — one that many have lost. But we can win it if we rely on the Holy Spirit and gear up to fight every day all day as temptation arises.
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.