THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 6-12-11
LESSON TITLE: “HE WHO OVERCOMES THE WORLD: WORLDLY LUST”
Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour the Lord is coming,” Matthew 24:42. Are you ready for the coming of your God?
Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God’s Living Word on this His special day! We are glad you have put God first today and that you have decided to give this time to Him. It will be our privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me please!
Let’s begin immediately with our songs of praise. The first song of the morning challenges us to be fully committed to our God. So won’t you do your part in worship to God at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, “To Christ Be Loyal and Be True!”
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever worried about your salvation and wondered if you would make it to heaven or not? I think we all have struggled with the realities of life from time to time and when things get tough we often begin to question many things.
Well, the good news is, we are not alone. We find this same pattern existing in those followers of God throughout the Bible. For example, King David. David was a man of God who knew that he had made mistakes and sinned before his Creator. However, David also had the willingness to humble himself and repent of those sins in his life. He understood that he needed God and that if he asked for forgiveness and help, God would be there! In Psalm 51:12, the Psalmist made this request, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.” David here was pleading with His God to again help him find joy in the confidence of salvation. No doubt we have often longed for the confidence ourselves, that we can again be joyful and sure of the promises which our God has made to those who He loves.
I also think of the confident Peter, who said he would never forsake his Lord. In fact, he said he would even go his death for the sake of Jesus. We all know this story well, for it was not long before the rooster crowd, Matthew 26. Don’t you know that Peter’s confidence was shaken, and we certainly understand that his faith was in question! However, what did he do? Peter returned, repented and again followed. God helped him to restore the joy of salvation to his life and to once again get things on track!
So how about you, have you lost the joy of your salvation? Do you again need God’s help that you might be held up by His strong and mighty hand? Why not turn to God today to assure yourself before His wondrous throne. We all need to rely more on the generous Spirit of God!
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson topic today, we will be continuing our series entitled, “He Who Overcomes the Word!” The specific lesson of the day is, “Worldly Lust!” So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “O To Be Like Thee.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Among the Proverbs of Solomon we read, “The righteousness of the righteous will deliver them, but the unfaithful will be caught up by their lust.” This is found in Proverbs chapter 11 and verse 6. Certainly this introduces us to our discussion of the day because we know that the Bible tells us that those who are righteous will overcome the world, the very theme of our series taken from 1 John chapter 5. Here it speaks of the righteous and how the fact that those who are righteous will be uplifted by their works through the grace and mercy of God Almighty. On the other hand though we have mentioned here those who are unfaithful. And I wish you would notice with me specifically what is said that really makes one to be seen as faithful or unfaithful. What is that attribute? What is that thing that causes them to be found unfaithful? And in this verse it says, “Lust, worldly lust.”
In the Bible there in Titus chapter 2 and verse 12 we read about how it is worldly lust that actually keeps us from God.
In James chapter 1 it speaks there of sin and it talks about the fact that we often allow our desires to conceive and once they conceive and we’ve acted on them they bring about what? Sin. And at the heart of desire is often this element of lust. And when we talk about the element or the concept of lust there are many things that it can involve and certainly often we think of what is spoken of in Matthew, the one that had lusted in his heart in a sexual sense. But really lust can be over anything and all sorts of earthly things. We might lust after all sorts of things and have addictions over many things in this life that are contrary to the Will of God. Therefore it’s important that we understand not only what lust is, this desire that we allow to conceive, and really to come to fruition but that we also learn how to control ourselves that we might not be partakers of worldly lust.
Well the first question we might ask is: Do we find lust throughout the world? And the fact is that we do!
Over in the Thessalonian letter, Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica and I want you to notice what he said there in chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians. He actually makes this statement as he is talking about those who had been sexually immoral in verse 3. There in verse 5 he says this, “Not in passion of lust.” He says here, “Honor your vessel, the vessel that you’ve been given by God.” “The temple of God,” Paul calls it in the book of Corinthians. “Honor your vessel…” and he goes further to say, “Sanctify it rather than,” verse 5, “giving in to the passion of lust.” Then he gives an example. He says, “As the Gentiles do.” You see those of this world, certainly the element of those who are Gentiles, and from a spiritual sense and when we speak of those who are spiritual Israel or those who are outside of spiritual Israel thus being Gentile. We understand clearly what is being said here. Those who flippantly and openly and willfully transgress the Will of God by giving in to lust, the passion of lust, by seeing those things around us and saying, “I’ll do anything to get it.” Have you ever thought about maybe the mindset of a thief or sometimes maybe the mindset of a murderer and you say, “What is it that drives someone to do such things?” And if you were maybe to talk to that thief or that murderer sometimes at the very heart of it is a lust for something that someone else has that is not rightfully yours and therefore when you go about to receive it no matter what, no matter what the law, no matter whether you have a right or not certainly you again have condemned yourself.
No wonder that’s why amongst the discussion Paul has in Galatians chapter 5 of the Fruit of the Spirit or the Works of the Flesh. Do you remember what he spoke of there of all the good things but yet then all those things that were not good? Do you remember how he starts it out though? There in verse 16 he makes this statement. “Walk in the spirit,” verse 16, “and you shall not fulfill (guess what) the lust of the flesh.” And then in the next verse he goes on to say, “And the flesh lusts,” it says, “against the spirit.” In other words those fleshly desires that we have acted on or given in to are contrary to the spirit that we walk in. And then a third time in the same text you can drop down there and actually find the same concept down in verse 14 where it now says, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh and its passions and (guess what) desires.” Passions and desires out of control that one might have receive or get whatever they desire no matter what. Again the lust of the world.
Is it not this concept then that drives a lot in our world to things that they would have never done before? Is it not that then that drives a man to do things that are contrary to the Will of God? The fact is yes, to acquire, to have, to get those things that we want, not those things necessarily that we need but that even we want, that we lust after that again are not rightfully ours.
The next thing we would like to look at in relationship to the reality of lust on this earth that we must abstain from is not only this element of worldly lust but the serious aspect of this lust. You might remember one of our discussions came from 1 John chapter 2 verses 15-17. It actually speaks there about how we are not to love the world and then he mentions three areas that we are not to get caught up in that are of sin and he says guess what, “The lust of the eye, the pride of life,” but he also mentions there “the lust of the flesh.” So all three of these things again are about desires, uncontrolled desires to get things that we want even though we have not rightfully acquired those.
Now the next thing he says is this in verse 17. “The world is passing away and (guess what) the lust of it.” All the things we see in this world that we might give up everything to acquire, that we might give up our lives and we might work ourselves to death and that we might maybe even neglect our families or husbands or wives in order that we can just have more and more and more that we lust to get. All of these things are what? Passing away! Do you mean that when I die I can’t take any of this with me? Certainly not! I am actually sometimes amazed at what people put into coffins with people when they die as if they are going to take that candy or that jewelry or those pictures or those stuffed animals with them to the afterlife. The things of this world, the things of flesh and the lust of this world (guess what) are not going anywhere after this life because Heaven is not made up of flesh and blood (1 Corinthians 15). And aren’t you thankful about that? Aren’t you thankful that Heaven is a better place, a greater place than our bodies are going to be, the bodies that no longer sorrow or even have pain? Aren’t you thankful that you’re going to be even more an image of God even physically than even now and that you’re not dealing with all of these trials of life? Certainly you are if you love God because you know what He has promised and you know what He has offered to those who love Him.
Well when you think about the seriousness of lust we certainly then understand that we cannot walk in lust. If you’ll look with me briefly over to Romans chapter 13 and verse 13 a people in Rome, a church in Rome that certainly were living among perhaps the most vile city of the day in the capital city of Rome. They were told in the first chapter and throughout the book to stay away from sickness and passions and desires and lusts and there in chapter 13 and verse 13 guess what it is that he challenges them with as he says, “Know the time and realize it’s the moment to awake from your sleep and get busy in the things of God.” Notice what he says in verse 13. He says, “Let us walk properly as in the day,” not those things that happened at night and those sinful things that people do in the dark and they go in the closet or they might hide to do, he says, “in the day not in revelry and not in drunkenness and not in lewdness and not in lust.” Lust is a sin. And lust has been condemned by God. And lust has no part by those who have put on Christ. That’s what this verse is saying. That’s what this context is dealing with as those who have put on the Lord Jesus have no place in this lust. Just like he told the Galatians. Those who walk in the spirit have no part in those things they have died to through the blood of Jesus Christ. And so therefore as Christians how thankful we should be that God has given us His Word and has given us the guidance as well as the help to stay away from lust and to find that way of escape when we need that way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). And to be able to overcome the world with Jesus by our side.
I mentioned at the first of our lesson our main text which we have really not looked at yet but I would now like to look just for a moment at Titus chapter 2. This is actually where he uses this wording of worldly lust. But I want you to notice within the context that he mentions this. First of all in verse 11 of chapter 2 in Titus. He speaks of the grace of God that has appeared unto all man has offered what? Salvation! So right off the bat we know what God has done and how He has blessed us and how much He loves us because He has given His own Son to die on the cross that we might be what? Saved! That’s what He is dealing with. The grace of God has brought you, has brought me salvation.
So what should that motivate me to do? Well it should motivate me and teach us (verse 12) that denying ungodliness and worldly lust. What do we learn from God? “That sin has no part in the life of a Christian, that we should deny worldly things, worldly lusts, that we should deny anything that is ungodly, that we have to strive to be righteous as He is righteous for the one who is righteous as He is righteous is a child of God,” (1 John chapter 3).
But it doesn’t stop there. After he says that salvation is offered and therefore worldly lust and all these ungodly things are that which you want no part of he then says this, that we “might live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age.” Do you not see where the very idea of being sober and righteous and godly is just the opposite of the world or worldly lust? Just the opposite direction, the opposite mindset, the opposite really desire that is involved because everything about the world and the flesh is really different from God. The things of God are eternal. The things of the flesh are temporal. They are passing. When we put our trust in God, it is eternal. When we put our trust in the world and the lust thereof, it is passing. And so what does he say? He says when we focus on God, soberly, righteously, and doing those things that are godly, then we have salvation because we have left and turned away from all those ungodly and worldly lust things that would keep us from our God. That we might do what? Verse 13, “Be found at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ to be justified.” Not because of who we are or our own righteousness or our own abilities, although we must give our best, but because this verse says that “we might be redeemed through the very blood of Jesus Christ and be His own special and zealous people.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? That you and I because of God, because of what He has done, because of the gift He has given, because of the sacrifice that He has made has blessed us and then some, has blessed us beyond measure, beyond what we can even fathom not only today but eternally if and only if we can do our part.
Now what does God ask of us? That we love Him enough to keep His commandments. And certainly one of His commandments is to avoid worldly lust. To stay away from that which is ungodly, to keep ourselves clean and holy, to be as God said, “Holy for I am Holy,” to be sanctified and clear conscience before Him that He might in all things know that we are really His children.
And so the question today for you is: Are you denying yourself of those things of this world, the worldly lusts that would keep you from God because if you are praise be to God for in the end you will have the reward of eternal life.
(SONG # 3 - “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less!”)
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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Now that we have given ourselves to God as faithful children, will we abstain from worldly lust? May we never allow the passing things of this life to take us from our God and His wondrous promises! Heaven will surely be worth it all!