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 138 (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 Romans 13:13. (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.)
Romans 13:13: “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.”
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William Kennedy said, “Envy divides people, destroys relationships, sows discord, and creates a spirit of bitterness and evil.”
The Scottish preacher Andrew Bonar wrote in a diary entry, “This day 20 years ago I preached for the first time as an ordained minister. It is amazing that the Lord has spared me and used me at all. I have no reason to wonder that He used others far more than He does me. Yet envy is my hurt, and today I have been seeking grace to rejoice exceedingly over the usefulness of others, even where it cast me into the shade. Lord, take away this envy from me!”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says about this passage, “Paul charged, Let us behave decently, as in the daytime. Crime, violence, and wickedness are associated with darkness and the night. Perhaps this contrast was suggested to Paul by his phrase “deeds of darkness”. At any rate the activities and attitudes he listed—orgies and drunkenness, sexual immorality and debauchery, dissension and jealousy—are certainly “deeds of darkness.” It is interesting that Paul linked jealousy with immorality. Such actions and attitudes have no place in a Christian’s life. He belongs to “the light”; these deeds and thoughts belong to the darkness.”
In today’s passage, the apostle Paul warns the Christians of ancient Rome against several common sins, such as drunkenness and wantonness. We will be looking specifically at the last set of sins in this verse, which is strife and envy. Paul put the sins in this verse in couplets for a reason. First, rioting and drunkenness are put together. We all know the effect that drunkenness has on people. Drunk people are often violent, rowdy, and riotous. Second, there is chambering and wantonness. Chambering refers to immoral sexual acts, while wantonness refers to behavior that expresses sexual desire. Wanton acts in public often lead to sexual immorality inside someone’s chambers. Third, strife and envy are put together. These two sins are connected as well. The spirit of envy breeds discord in relationships, leading to strife, which may even become physical violence. Joyce Meyer said, “If you truly trust God, there’s no need for you to ever be envious of anybody. If you believe God loves you and has a plan for your life, and if you believe that His timing is always right, there is no need to envy a single person. People who are greedy—who are never satisfied with what they have and always want more—stir up strife. Your wants can cause strife, whether it’s for a promotion, a material thing, or even a ministry. When people are dissatisfied, they tend to cause trouble. Think about how easy it is to be resentful and stir up strife when you don’t get what you want. You can get critical of others real quick, but it’s not other people or circumstances that make you unsatisfied. It is a lack of trust that God will provide what is best for you.” Don’t succumb to the temptation to be envious of others, therefore leading to strife and conflict in your relationships with them. Instead, trust God. Reject the discontented spirit that arises when you see someone who is better off than you or has something you want. Instead, be content with what you do have and adopt a spirit that is happy for the good fortune of others.
If you struggle with envy, take this passage to heart and take heed to it the next time you face that temptation.
Isaac Watts wrote:
Now by the bowels of my God,
His sharp distress, his sore complaints,
By his last groans, his dying blood,
I charge my soul to love the saints.
Clamor, and wrath, and war, begone,
Envy and spite, for ever cease;
Let bitter words no more be known
Amongst the saints, the sons of peace.
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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.