Monday, August 25, 2014

The Most Generally Prevailing and Ensnaring Sin

Covetousness is a sin from which few people are entirely free. It is eminently a deceitful sin! It is decried and condemned in others—by multitudes who live in the habit of it themselves! It is very difficult to fix a conviction of this sin upon those who are guilty of it!

Whether drunkards or profligates regard the warnings of the preacher or not, when he declares that those who persist in those evil practices, shall not inherit the kingdom of God, they at least know their own characters, and are sensible that they are the people intended.

But if the preacher adds, "nor the covetousness person, such a man is an idolater" the covetous man usually sits unmoved, and is more ready to apply the threatening to his neighbor than to himself! If he now and then gives a few dollars to some charity he does not suspect that he is liable to the charge of covetousness!

I consider covetousness as the most generally prevailing and ensnaring sin, by which professors of the gospel, in our materialistic society, are hindered in their spiritual progress. A disposition deeply rooted in our fallen nature, strengthened by the custom of all around us, the power of habit, and the fascinating charm of wealth is not easily counteracted.

If we are, indeed, genuine believers in Christ, we are bound by obligation, and required by our Scriptural rule to set our affections on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. Christ has called us out of the world, and cautioned us against conformity to its spirit. While we are in the world—it is our duty, privilege, and honor to manifest that grace which has delivered us from the love of the world. Christians must indeed eat and drink, and may buy and sell, as other people do. But the principles, motives, and ends of their conduct, are entirely different, they are to adorn the doctrine of God their Savior, and to do all for His glory!
[John Newton]
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.
Psalm 119:36 ... Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
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.