Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Inner Loving of God and Our Neighbor

Date: AM
Text: Romans 7; Lord's Day 44
Psalters: 416, 391, 215, 60
Series: Heidelberg Catechism (2015-16)
  1. The concept.
    1. To "covet" is to judge something to be desirable; then it is to long for it in order to possess it.
    2. To covet is not per se sinful, for it is a natural activity of man as a dependent creature.
    3. After the fall into sin, coveting, like everything else, could be sinful, which it now usually is.
      1. It is wrong when my coveting is immoderate (whenever we lose contentment) - called a "lust."
      2. And coveting is wrong when the good thing I desire belongs to my neighbor.
  2. God justly condemns such desires as sins (while the state cannot punish one for them).
    1. The seriousness of this sin is seen in the warnings Scripture gives concerning covetousness.
    2. Further, Scripture shows this sin to be deeply offensive to God.
      1. God hates covetousness because it is worshiping earthly things rather than Him. Therefore “idolatry” (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5).
      2. Covetousness can take over the heart of a believer for a while.
      3. Covetousness destroys relationships with jealousy, so we cannot love our neighbor.
    3. Thus God condemns sin as it begins deep within us: a spark of desire within us begins a huge fire.
  3. God calls us to fight against this sin and to put on the positive virtues of godly contentment with God’s way.
    1. Confess our sins of coveting, and admit constantly the covetousness of our natures.
    2. God forgives us in Jesus of all of our coveting and He gives us the freedom from having to covet.
    3. Consider Israel in the wilderness as a warning against covetousness (I Cor. 10:6).
    4. Rejoice at your neighbor’s prosperity and good, seeing God as the Giver (instead of selfishly bitterness).
    5. Some antidotes against this sin.