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   True Christian Love
   Does Not "Envy"
   

Travis Case, Pastor/Teacher          Northgate Baptist Church          F.E.A.S.T Ministries
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:"   (Prov. 17:22)
"... the joy of the LORD is your strength."   (Neh. 8:10)

1 Cor. 13:4. "... charity envieth not;"

Introduction:

A. We have already noticed the Nature and Tendency of True Christian Love in respect to:

1. The Evil received From others --- It Suffers Long.

2. The Good done To others --- It is Kind.

B. In the English language there are Two Words which are sometimes use Interchangeably --- Envy and Jealousy.

1. Envy --- Desires to deprive someone else of what he has --- Otherwise you would rejoice with him.

This word is almost always Negative in its connotation.

Gal. 5:19-21, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ... 21 Envyings, ..." --- V. 26, "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."

James 4:2, "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have , and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." --- V. 5, "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?"

2. Jealousy --- Desires some things for himself.

a. This word is used in both "Negative" and "Positive" ways.

b. It is frequently translated "Zeal".

3. The Primary Difference is whether this Jealousy / Zeal is an expression of Love For God and Neighbor, or Love For Self.

C. The N.T. Greek words for "Jealousy" are related to two words, which are translated "Hot", or "Fervent."

1. Acts 18:25, "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, ..."

2. Rom. 12:11, "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

3. Paul --- 2 Cor. 11:2, "For I am jealous (fervent) over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."

D. In the latter days, this Jealousy or Fervency for God and His work will Grow Cold.

Matt. 24:12, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

1. "Cold Love" or a "Hot Spirit" --- You can’t have Both at the Same Time.

2. Your Attitude toward serving the Lord and your Love For Him Are Related.

I. True Christian Love Is The Very Opposite of An Envious Spirit.

A. Envy is the Dissatisfaction with and the Opposition to the Prosperity and Happiness of Others as compared with Our Own --- we feel that they may be Superior, in some respect, to us.

1. We are Opposed to the Greatness, the Honor, Prosperity or Happiness that someone else may experience Over That Which We Have.

a. We love to be Uppermost, the Champion, the Victor, the Winner.

b. We Dislike anyone who think he is Equal much less Superior to us.

2. Example ---  How do you feel about a Fellow Employer who has not been with the company as long as you have but still receives As Much or More Salary As You Do?

B. How does Your Thinking compare with the Thinking of Christ?

Matt. 20:1-16, "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?"

C. What about Joshua’s Envy of Eldad and Medad?

Num. 11:26-29, "But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him,? Enviest thou for my sake would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"

D. What about Joseph’s Brothers?

Gen. 37:11, "And his brethren envied him;"

E. What if Your Friend drives a Newer Car, lives in a Bigger House, or has a Larger Screen TV than you do? --- What if he has a Newer Computer than you?

1. Is you Attitude, "Well, He May Have Those Things, But I Don’t Have His Payments Either."

2. Watch out, not only is you Attitude showing, but you are Making Judgment about something you Know Nothing About.

F. What about the Church? --- I don’t know Why I Should Give To The Church:

1. Many Christians are even Envious of God and His work.

a. God hasn’t blessed me with His Best so why should I give My Best to Him.

b. The church has Better Carpet in it than I have in my house.

c. Audio / Video Equipment --- Bus / Van --- Building / Remodeling --- etc.

2. God forbid that God’s Man, the Pastor, should ever, be Equal With The Average Church Member In Salary.

"God You Keep Him Humble And We Will Keep Him Poor."

Personal Note --- I have been greatly blessed. I have never pastored a church that had such an ungodly attitude as mentioned above. Every church I have every pastored has supported me and my family well.

II. How Will This Spirit of Envy Be Manifested?

A. There will be an Uneasiness and Dissatisfaction with the Prosperity of Others.

1. Instead of rejoicing in the prosperity of others, the envious man will be troubled by it --- it will Grieve his spirit.

Haman --- Esther 5:13, "Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate."

2. The Envious person stands ready to Rejoice At Anything That Happens To Diminish The Honor And Comfort of Others.

a. He is Glad To See Them Brought Down --- see what it is like to be common folks.

b. The envious talk against and speak evil even of people they do not know.

c. They hope that by speaking evil of them to Diminish Their Honor and lower them in the esteem of others.

Politics --- Sports --- Church --- Talk Shows --- etc.

B. The Envious will not only be in Opposition to the Prosperity of others but will begin to Dislike Them Personally.

1. They will Dislike, become Embittered, and cherish an Evil Spirit toward them for no other reason than their honor and prosperity.

2. Again, Haman

Esther 5:9, "Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai."

3. Again, Joseph’s Brothers

Gen. 37:4-5, "And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more."

III. How Will A Christian React When He Experiences A Spirit of Envy In His Own Life?

A. True Christian Love does Not Allow such a sprit to be Expressed --- We Control Our Emotions rather than Our Emotions Controlling Us.

1. Though he may have envy and other corrupt feelings in his heart --- He Hates It and knows it is Unbecoming A Christian.

Like Paul, We --- 2 Cor. 10:5, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

2. He is Alarmed at it and will Fight to keep it from manifesting itself to others.

3. Instead of being uneasy with the prosperity of others --- we should be Uneasy With Our Attitude.

3. True Christian Love will be Grieved whenever he discovers such a spirit in his heart.

B. True Christian Love will be Content with what ever Condition God has placed him in.

1. There will be Quietness, Satisfaction and Peace of Spirit within him.

2. 1 Tim. 6:6, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

3. Phil. 4:11, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

C. Envy is the Cause of Many of Our Problems:

1. Envy will destroy your Physical Health.

Prov 14:30, "A sound heart <is> the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones."

2. Envy will destroy Friendships.

Prov 27:4, "Wrath <is> cruel, and anger <is> outrageous; but who <is> able to stand before envy?"

3. Envy caused the Jews to Crucify Christ.

Mat 27:18, "For he knew that for envy they had delivered him." --- Mark 15:10, "For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy."

4. Envy caused Joseph’s brothers to sell him into Slavery.

Acts 7:9, "And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him,"

5. Envy caused the Jews to Persecute Paul.

Acts 13:45, "But when the Jews saw the multitudes , they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming."

6. Envy caused the Jews to stand against Jason.

Acts 17:5, "But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason , and sought to bring them out to the people."

7. Envy has its root in the Adamic Nature.

James 4:5, "Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?"

D. True Christian Love will cause us to Rejoice in the Prosperity of Others --- because it is Christ Like to do so.

The Evils of Envy Is Evident By The Edifications of Christ:

1. Rom. 12:15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."

2. Rom. 13:13, "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."

3. 1 Cor. 3:3, "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"

4. Gal. 5:21, "Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

5. 1 Timothy 6:4, "He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,"

6. Titus 3:3, "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another."

7. James 3:14-16, "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."

E. True Christian Love will cause us to Listen and Act upon these precepts which Forbid Envy.

Love for God will cause us to Follow His Example.

F True Christian Love inclines us to Humility --- Pride is the Root and Source of Envy.

1. It is Pride that causes such a Burning Desire for us to be Distinguished and Superior to others in Honor and Prosperity.

2. It is pride that gives us that Uneasy Feeling when seeing Others Honored, instead of ourselves.

3. Love does not Grudge, but Rejoices when others are honored.

4. Remember --- Phil. 2:3, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

a. This does Not Mean that we should think of one person as being Better Than Another.

b. He is saying that we should Hold Others In Higher Esteem Than We Hold Ourselves.

c. It is Deferring To or giving Deference to the other person --- This is the Opposite of Pride.

5. The Spirit of True Christian Love Is Violated if there is Any Uneasiness in our spirit when Others Are Recognized or Praised for work they have done --- especially if it is work that we would have done if we had known it needed to be done.

Conclusion:

A. True Christian Love will lead us to Examine Ourselves, whether we are under the Influence of an Envious Spirit.

1. We have all seen others:

a. Prospering in their affairs more than we ourselves are,

b. Have Greater Riches, and living in Greater Ease than we are,

c. Have received Recognition and Honor that we ourselves could have received if .....

d. People, who we used to look upon as Our Equals, or even as Inferiors, but now hey are growing in wealth and advancing in honor and Prosperity While We Are Left Behind.

2. Do we have a Secret Desire to see those who are prospering Brought Down?

3. We are Glad when we hear of anything Negative concerning them.

4. We are Ready to do whatever might Lessen their prosperity, honor, or influence.

5. Our Hearts truly Burn with a Bitter, Unkind, Envious spirit toward others.

B. The prosperity of others makes Our Life Uncomfortable that they should be higher than we are.

1. We feel a Comfort when they are Brought Down --- we may even be Willing To Help Bring Them Down.

2. Their Losses and Depression are a Source of Inward Joy and Gladness to our heart.

3. We find it easy to Think Evil or speak with Contempt, or Unkindness, or Severity of them.

4. Besides, they would never have gotten where they are if they had not Compromised their Convictions.

C. Do you think of others, that they Are Not Worthy of the Honor and Prosperity they have?

1. Examples:

a. Did Joseph’s brethren esteem him worthy of the peculiar love of his father?

b. Did Haman think Mordecai worthy of the honor the king conferred on him?

c. Did the Jews think the Gentiles worthy of the privileges extended to them under the Gospel?

2. When others are promoted to honor Are You Ready And Willing To:

a. Tell of their Faults and set forth their Unworthiness,

b. It is Not that you are trying to Help them for if they were still in Obscurity --- their faults would be Unnoticed and you yourself would Not be interested in them.

c. Could it be that you are envious of them and therefore Speak of Their Faults --- To Bring Them Down.

d. Which is it that troubles you the most --- Their Faults --- or Their Prosperity?

e. If it were their faults, you would be Grieved on account of them.

(1) If truly grieved, you would Only Speak To Them about themselves, and

(2) Only in a spirit of Christian Compassion and Friendship with the purpose of Helping, Not Judging.

D. Notice What Strong Language God’s Word Uses On This Subject:

Jude 1:8-10, "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves."

2 Peter 2:10, "But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities."

This Is What Paul Had Reference After He had Told Ananias: "God shall smite thee, thou whited wall:"

Acts 23:5, "Then said Paul, I wist (knew) not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people."

D. Psalm 105:15, "Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."

E. Some are even Envious of others Spiritual Prosperity --- they have the spirit of:

1. Cain toward Able.

2. The Seed of the Serpent toward the Seed of the Woman,

3. Ishimael toward Isaac,

4. Jews toward Christ,

5. The Elder Brother toward the Prodigal.

F. The spirit of Envy is the very Spirit of Hell that Feeds upon the Hurts and Failures of others.

James 3:13-16, "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."

Prov. 14:30, "A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones."

Envy Is Like A Powerful Eating Cancer.

It Is The Most Foolish Kind of Self-Injury!

Only God Can Deliver You From Envy!




If You Are Not Saved, Nothing Else Matters
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
Hebrews 9:27

                                                          

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