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.
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Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 133 (Envy)”
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 looking at today is the sin of envy. This is the fifth 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 are looking at Proverbs 24:1-2. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website Gospellighthouseofprayer.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
Proverbs 24:1-2: “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.”
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Hierotheos said, “The sickness of envy is one of the soul’s worst illnesses. It does great damage to the envious person’s soul, as well as causing serious distress to others. Someone in the grip of envy does not consider friends, relatives or benefactors. Unhappiness is the distinguishing characteristic of the envious person. The difficulty with this illness is that, as Saint Basil the Great says, someone who is envious “cannot even acknowledge it, hands his head, is downcast and troubled, laments and is utterly ruined by evil.” Usually the envious man does not want to admit his sickness or reveal the wound in his soul, so he is continuously miserable.”
St. Cyprian of Carthage said, “For this reason (envy) the devil at the very beginnings of the world was both the first to perish and to ruin others. He supported by his angelic majesty, acceptable and dear to God, after he had seen man made to the image of God, with malevolent envy plunged into jealousy, not casting down another by the instinct of jealousy before he himself was cast down by jealousy, a captive before capturing, ruined before ruining; when at the instigation of envy he deprived man of the grace of immortality which had been given him, he himself lost that which he had been before. Of such a nature is the evil, most beloved brethren, by which an angel fell, by which that high and glorious sublimity could have been circumvented, and overturned, by which he who deceived was deceived. Therefore, envy rages on earth, when he who is about to perish from jealousy obeys the master of perdition, when he who becomes jealous imitates the devil, just as it is written: ‘But by the envy of the devil, death came into world.’ So they who are on his side imitate him.”
By way of introduction, the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Three times in these 30 sayings a warning is given against being envious of the wicked. Elsewhere the reason for not envying sinners is that their future is bleak. Here the reason is that they plan violence and talk about the trouble they will bring on others. What is in their hearts comes out in their talk.”
Here are three things we can learn from this passage about not being envious.
First, we should not desire to be with the wicked. Being envious of people often leads us to try to spend time with them in an attempt to be seen as more like them. In medieval and early modern times, kings and queens were often accompanied in their public appearances by a “train” – a group of people including servants, nobles, diplomats, and courtiers who tried to win the favour of these rulers. Many modern rich and powerful people will tell you that they have people trying to win their favour as well. But God wants us to follow Jesus only instead of being preoccupied with worldly power.
If you struggle with envy, take this passage to heart and take heed to 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.