© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. Some Biblical references to greed.

    Ps. 10:3 - "the greedy man curses and spurns God"
    Prov. 11:6 - "the treacherous are caught by their own greed"
    Jere. 6:13; 8:10 - "everyone is greedy for gain"
    Lk. 12:15 - "be on guard against every form of greed; life is not in possessions"
    Eph. 4:9 - "Gentiles...practice every kind of impurity with greediness"
    I Thess. 2:5 - "we did not come with pretext for greed"
    I Tim. 3:8 - (deacons) "not fond of sordid gain" (cf. Titus 1:7)
    II Peter 2:3 - (false prophets) "in their greed they will exploit you with false words"
    II Peter 2:14 - (false prophets) "have hearts trained in greed"

II. Defining and describing greed.

    A. Greed is inordinate desire to acquire and possess
        1. lust and envy - James 4:2
        2. covetousness - Exod. 20:17; Rom. 7:7,8; I Cor. 5:11
        3. selfish immoderation of desires - "Me-ism"
        4. patterning of the "flesh"
    B. Greed is sin - contrary to character of God
        1. Listed in the Bible with the gravest of sins - Mark 7:22; Rom. 1:29; I Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:3
        2. Roman Catholicism identified as one of seven "deadly sins"
    C. Greed involves the "personal aspiration" of the "lust of the eyes" (I Jn. 2:16)
    D. Greed is related to materialism
        1. living for possessions - Lk. 12:15
        2. get rich quick - I Tim. 6:9
        3. love of money - I Tim. 6:10
        4. Rockefeller - "How much is enough? More than I presently have."
    E. Greed is idolatry - Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5

III. Practical expressions of greed.

    There may be greed if you:

    ...keep "wish lists" of desired objects to purchase.
    ...can't say "no" when offered money to do a job.
    ...are always seeking ways to make more money.
    ...feel resentment when someone acquires what you would like to have
    ...have fallen for several "get rich quick" schemes. ...joined a multi-level marketing?
...are disturbed after losing a relatively small amount of money.
...become perturbed when you purchase an item and find it cheaper elsewhere.
...feel good and find relief in going shopping.
...would rather have a high paying job than one which is interesting and rewarding
...despise paying taxes and have sympathy for those who find ways to avoid such.
...feel uneasy around people who are wealthier than you.
...make disparaging remarks about people who are rich.
...engage in the "one-up-man-ship" of topping another's accounts of acquisitions.
...go to an "all you can eat" buffet and feel obliged to eat as much as possible to get
your money's worth.
...give something wanting to be properly credited or reciprocated.
...drive through neighborhoods with exclusive homes yearning to live in such.
...ponder how much it is going to cost when a family member gets sick.
...feel imposed upon when one of your children asks for money to buy something.
...insist on controlling the family finances and the checkbook.
...argue with your mate about how much they are spending on personal items.
...brag about the "bargains" you got, how "thrifty" you are, or how little you paid for
...boast of how clever you were in getting the best of another in a business deal.

IV. Solution to greed.

A. Deriving the character of God by faith.
B. God's character involves contentment. God lacks nothing, wants nothing.
Lk. 3:14 - "be content with your wages"
Phil. 4:11 - "content in whatever circumstances I am"
I Tim. 6:6 - "godliness is means of gain, accompanied by contentment"
I Tim. 6:8 - "food and covering, with these we shall be content"
Heb. 13:5 - "content with what you have"
C. We are to be fulfilled and satisfied in the abundance of Christ's life -
John 10:10 - "life more abundantly"



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