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 141 (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 Galatians 5:26. (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.)
Galatians 5:26: “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
– – – – –
Christina Fox said, “When we are envious of what others have, when we desire something that doesn’t belong to us, it’s because our hearts have turned from our one true love. We think that if we just had the success, opportunities, experiences, or fortune of another, we’d be happy. In our envy, we are chasing after the inferior pleasures of his world instead of looking to Jesus.”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “Again Paul reminded the Galatians that in addition to a divine judgment of the sinful nature there is a divine enablement in the person of the Holy Spirit. He made the believer alive by regeneration, so each believer is exhorted to keep in step with the Spirit. Step by step one’s Christian walk should conform to the Spirit’s direction and enablement, lest believers become conceited, provoking and envying each other. The latter traits would be true of a walk in the flesh.”
Today, we are looking at one of Paul’s instructions to the Christians at Galatia. Paul tells these Christians to not provoke and envy each other by being desirous of their own glory. Here we see the root cause of envy: a sinful human desire for vainglory. The King James Bible Dictionary defines vainglory as, “Exclusive vanity excited by one’s own performances; empty pride; undue elation of mind.” There are some things that people can rightfully find pride or glory. A medical student may see glory in healing people as a doctor. A soldier may see glory in serving his country. And Christians should find glory in serving God. But these vainglorious Christians do not find glory in serving God, but rather the attention they get from serving God. They do not care about the work of God so much as they care about the recognition they can get from doing the work of God. And when they do not get the glory they think they deserve, they grow envious of those Christians who are being applauded for the work they are doing. Charles Spurgeon said, “We call it glory, but if vain glory it is marred by vanity if it arises from anything done by us. Glory for you or for me because of anything that we can do is too absurd an idea to be entertained for a moment. For, whenever a man is proud, and blustering, and vain-glorious, he is sure to provoke somebody or other, and then they who are so provoked fall into another sin, the sin of envying one another. How often, if one Christian brother does a little more than his fellow-workers, they begin to find fault with him; and if one is blessed with greater success than others are, how frequently that success is disparaged and spoken of slightingly! This spirit of envy is, more or less, in us all; and though, perhaps we are not exhibiting it just now, it only needs a suitable opportunity for its display, and it would be manifested.” This pursuit of vainglory leads to provocations and envyings on the part of the vainglorious person. Because this person was never genuinely interested in truly selflessly serving God, they do not see the need for the work to go on smoothly when they do not get the attention they want. So they stir up strife by provoking others into confrontations. Their spirit is filled with envy against their fellow Christians. Let us follow Paul’s instructions here to guard ourselves against selfish ambitions in the pursuit of vainglory. Then we will be less susceptible to causing trouble among Christians and be less envious of others.
If you struggle with envy, take this passage to heart and take heed to it the next time you face that temptation.
E. M. Bangs said:
Gird on your steadfast armor,
O soldiers of the cross,
Go forward into battle,
Nor fear repulse nor loss;
Make ready for the conflict,
The Captain’s call obey;
Then rally and march onward,
The trumpet sounds today.
Giant of Temptation
Will meet us as we go;
We need our strongest armor
To greet this mighty foe;
But our good sword, Resistance,
Will hold and bind him fast,
And with our Captain leading,
We’ll conquer him at last.
The enemies approaching
Are Selfishness, and Greed,
Vainglory, and Impatience;
Our Leader’s help we need.
Yet ever marching onward,
Why have we fear of loss,
When over us is floating
The Banner of the Cross.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
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.