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Doctrine of Covetousness The 10 th Commandment 11 March 2012 Adult Sunday School.

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Presentation on theme: "Doctrine of Covetousness The 10 th Commandment 11 March 2012 Adult Sunday School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Doctrine of Covetousness The 10 th Commandment 11 March 2012 Adult Sunday School

2 Introduction What is your definition of “covet”? What is the Bible definition of coveting? Doe we have any Biblical examples of coveting? Is coveting ever acceptable? What are the results of coveting? What things do YOU covet? Can one ever eliminate coveting in his life?

3 Introduction (2) “covet” & similar found 41x in 39 verses in KJV 2 of these instances are radically different Many related words … jealousy, envy, lust, crave, desire, “long for”, pant … … and there are words that indicate the absence of coveting … The Tenth Commandment does NOT say to not covet

4 Outline Distinctive Nature of Covetousness Definition of Coveting Description of Coveting Demonstrations of Coveting Destination of Coveting Destruction of Covetousness

5 Distinctive Nature See Colossians 3:5 Equates Covetousness to Idolatry So Commandment #1 is same topic as #10 Like bookends for the 10 Commandments BUT … Commandment #1 is about physical idolatry Commandment #10 is about the HEART Commandments 1-9 are OUTWARD and RELIGIOUS Commandment 10 is INWARD and SPIRITUAL Reminds me of Kingdom of Heaven vs. Kingdom of God Commandment 10 guarantees failure of nation of Israel (predicted at end of Deuteronomy)

6 Definition of Coveting What is a Biblical definition of coveting? Exodus 18:21 tells us leaders are to hate covetousness Compare Exodus 20:17 with Deuteronomy 5:21 – covet changed to desire in Deuteronomy 5 Joshua 7:21 records Achan coveting and then taking things which he was expressly forbidden to have Psalm 10:3 defines covetousness as a heart’s desire Proverbs 21:26 makes a contrast between covetous and the righteous who gives Proverbs 28:16 promises long life to one who hates covetousness 1 Corinthians 5:10 puts covetous in company with fornicators, extortioners, and idolaters

7 Definition of Coveting (2) Mark 7:20-23 tells us that covetousness proceeds out of the heart of man Romans 1:29 puts covetousness in the traits of mankind who has rejected the revelation of God 2 Timothy 3:2 describes covetousness as a sign of the last days Romans 7:7 describes Paul’s perspective on coveting – it removed all of his ILLUSIONS of righteousness But … 1 Corinthians 12:31 tells us to COVET the best gifts 1 Corinthians 14:39 tells us to COVET to prophesy

8 Definition of Coveting (3) So, then, coveting is merely an intense, passionate, desire for something. Sometimes it becomes an all-consuming desire. Evil coveting is an intense passionate desire for things you’ve been denied the opportunity to have, that you are forbidden to have, or by circumstances you can never have. In the perfect plan of God, many things we DO NOT NEED or that will be very bad for us As the two verses show us, it is quite possible to covet in a good way … things that we are told to want

9 Definition of Coveting (4) Webster’s To desire or wish for, with eagerness; to desire earnestly to obtain or possess; in a good sense (1 Corinthians 12) 2.To desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; in a bad sense (Exodus 20)

10 Description of Coveting WE probably have a bigger problem with BAD coveting than we have with GOOD coveting Covet the best gifts, covet to prophesy, covet spirituality Covet the welfare of your brethren Evil coveting shows itself when you want something so bad that …. You do DAMAGE to yourself or others You go against what is OBVIOUSLY the will of God You violate TRUST and good-will You have to erect a monument of lies to cover your deeds …

11 Description of Coveting (2) You reorder OBVIOUS priorities (e.g. I buy a new computer instead of FOOD) You NEGLECT or ABANDON responsibility to chase after what you covet What we covet follows the order of life Lust of the flesh - EXPERIENCES, SENSATIONS when young Lust of the eyes – POSSESSIONS in mid-life Pride of Life – POSITION, PROMINENCE, RENOWN in later-life So, if you’re 50 years old and still coveting things that a teenager does, that says something about MATURITY

12 Description of Coveting (3) The evil step-children of coveting Jealousy – inordinate affection for your OWN possessions Envy – inordinate affection for the things of OTHERS (the 1%) VICTIMHOOD Selfishness is Covetousness Murmuring and Complaining is coveting what you think are better circumstances

13 Demonstrations of Coveting Stories in Genesis Eve in Genesis 3:6 coveted SENSATION, EXPERIENCE and POSITION (being like God) – just say No! Genesis 5:8 Cain coveted the ACCEPTANCE Abel received for his sacrifice – Cain could have sacrificed an animal The People in Shinar (Genesis 11:4 ) coveted prominence and fame, perhaps worship Pharaoh (Genesis 12:15-20) coveted Abram’s wife Lot (Genesis 13:10-12) coveted the land, immediate results without considering long-term damage Abraham (Genesis 16:4) coveted a son so badly, worked God’s promise his own way

14 Demonstrations of Coveting (2) Sodomites in Genesis 19:4,5 coveted relations with the angels Genesis 19:26 Lot’s wife coveted what she knew God hated and would destroy Genesis 19:31-38 Lot’s daughters coveted having a child so much they enticed father into incest AND COUCHED THEIR ACTIONS IN MORAL TERMS In Genesis 25:27-34 Esau coveted food (immediate gratification) so much, he sold his BIRTHRIGHT What is a Christian’s birthright?

15 Destination of Coveting Every example of coveting in scripture leads to SIN Sometimes multiple rounds on sin See the David and Bathsheba story Led to 4x death in David’s children Led to destruction of the family Contributed to the collapse of the Kingdom

16 Destruction of Coveting How then does one eliminate coveting from one’s life? Opposite of Coveting is CONTENTMENT See Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:8 Some VERY CLEAR BIBLE ANSWERS OT perspective: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NT perspective: Philippians 4:5-19 Consider where Paul was and what he had been through Phil 4 is the “University of Contentment” Contentment was LEARNED – hardship, time, experience, response to God-given opportunities (NO SHORTCUTS) It was also EARNED – When does God provide contentment? Can it be YEARNED?

17 Destruction of Coveting (2) Getting rid of Covetousness – A difficult thing in a wealthy, consumer-oriented, and humanistic culture … Become Secure in God’s Sovereignty Be Satisfied with Little Become Separate from Circumstances Be Sustained by God’s Power Become Selfless in Focus Good Examples are Paul in Philippians and 1 Corinthians 12 and Elijah in 1 Kings 17


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