Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, June 08, 2003, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
THE DESIRE FOR UNJUST GAIN THE TENTH COMMANDMENT
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:12-17
Text: Exodus 20:17
Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Introduction: The first four commandments gave man’s duties to God. The last six commandments gave man’s duties to man. Men can watch a person keep the first five of those six commandments. They are obvious, outward acts. This last commandment of the 10, and the last commandment of the six giving man’s duties to man, is one that cannot be seen. It is a commandment concerning the affections, thoughts, and desires of the individual. It is another negative commandment: THOU SHALT NOT COVET.
To covet is to lust or to have a strong desire. There are a few cases in the Bible in which the word is used positively, such as coveting earnestly the best gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:31 and coveting to prophesy in 1 Corinthians 14:39. In nearly all other cases, coveting is sinful.
I. COVETOUSNESS IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Coveting is basically to desire something that God does not want you to have.
A. Society (the world) tempts you with this evil
B. Self (the flesh) tempts you with this evil
C. Satan (the devil) tempts you with this evil
II. COVETOUSNESS WAS THE RUIN OF ADAM AND EVE
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
A. She disregarded God’s precepts and provisions
B. She desired what God disallowed
C. She defiled herself and her husband
III. COVETOUSNESS IS A REJECTION OF ALMIGHTY’S EVERLASTING PROVISIONS AND PRESENCE
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
A. Jesus’ promises are sure
B. Jesus’ provisions are steady
C. Jesus’ presence is sufficient
IV. COVETOUSNESS IS A REVERENCE FOR AN ARTIFICIAL ENTITY
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
These idols could be
C. Or even people
V. COVETOUSNESS IS A RESOURCE FOR OUR ADVERSARY’S ENDS
Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
A. The couple in the garden
B. Christ as He began His earthly ministry
C. Christians today
VI. COVETOUSNESS IS A REASON FOR AMERICAN EXISTENCE
Jeremiah 6:13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
A. Our leaders are motivated by it
B. Our laws are motivated by it
C. Our lives are motivated by it
VII. COVETOUSNESS IS A RESIDENT IN THE ACTUAL ESSENCE OF MAN
Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
How to overcome covetousness and be cleansed of it:
A. Major on God’s precepts
- Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
- Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
B. Major on prayer
- 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.