Lust, a strong sexual desire, is considered by many people to be a sin, while some people argue that it is not. Some people believe lust is just a feeling like any other; hence it is unavoidable. Many Christians believe it is a sin and that one should pray for self-control from God and keep away from it. So, is lust a sin?
The Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 implies that anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already broken the commandment that says, “You shall not commit adultery.” This is what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mountain, and from this Gospel, we learn that lust is a sin before God.
What does the Bible teach about lust? How does the Catholic Church define lust? How does God punish lust? What does the church say about lust? What are the different types of lust? When do lustful thoughts become a sin? Is it a sin if you lust over your spouse? How can a Christian differentiate between lust and love? How do you recognize the sin of lust? How do you avoid falling into the sin of lust?. Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and others.
What does the Bible teach about lust?
The Bible teaches that lust is a sin that Christians should not commit before man and God. Job 31:11-12 “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a fire that burns to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.” These are the words of Job during his Temptations. Job being a faithful man of God, he talks of lust as a sin that one should burn in hell after coming.
Also, according to Matthew 5:28, Jesus taught that one should not look at another lustfully, for they will have broken one of the Ten Commandments God gave his people. “Do not Lust” is also believed to be one of Jesus’ Commandments, and Jesus says that those who love him will follow his commandments. Therefore, the Bible talks of lust as a sinful act that even Jesus condemned.
How does the Catholic Church define lust?
The Catholic Encyclopaedia defines lust as a venereal contentment that is wanted either outside marriage or in a way that opposes the laws that govern marital intercourse. In Catholicism, lust is considered to be a chaotic strong sexual desire that is not Godly since it is not to procreate and unify two people that are married.
The Catholic Church believes that having a sexual desire is not a sin since it is said to be part of God’s plan for human beings so that they can procreate. However, if the sexual desire is not between two married people, it becomes a sin and is considered lust.
How does God punish lust?
According to James 1:14-15, the Bible speculates that lust brings the desire to commit a sin, which is sexual immorality punishable by death. Therefore, when one lust and commits this sin, God will punish them with death.
Also, according to Job 31:11-12, the Bible implies lust is a shameful sin and a crime before God. It also suggests that anyone who commits lust should burn in the Fire of hell. This shows that God will punish those who commit lust by throwing them to hell so that they can burn for eternity.
In the Old Testament, anyone who committed adultery was to be stoned. In the New Testament, Jesus says that being Lustful is also considered to have committed adultery. Therefore, according to the Old Testament, saving lust should also receive the same punishment as adultery.
However, According to John 8:1-11, Jesus forgives a woman considered sinful for committing adultery. In John 8:7, Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” The Pharisees and the scribes leave the woman with Jesus, and Jesus tells her that he does not condemn her and that she should go and keep away from sin. Jesus died for humanity’s salvation, which makes Christians believe that God can forgive those who commit lust just like Jesus forgave this woman. Repenting after committing lust will enable God to forgive you, and you will not receive punishment from God.
What does the church say about lust?
The church talks of lust as the seventh deadly sin. “You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14. This is the seventh commandment of God. In the New Testament, Jesus gives his commandments, and when he talks about the Seventh commandment in the law of prophets, he classifies lust as adultery.
Therefore, the church believes that lust is a sin and that Christians should pray to God so they do not commit it. The Bible is a guidebook for the church, and they read the scriptures to know the will of God. Since God condemns lust, the church believes there will be a punishment for those who knowingly commit lust and those who don’t repent.
What are the different types of lust?
Lust is said to be a strong desire for something. People may have intense cravings for different things. Thus, are said to be different types of lust, and they include.
- Sexual lust: it is a strong desire to want to have sexual intercourse with a person that you find very attractive.
- Lust for addictive substances: this is an intense desire for drugs, alcohol, and other substances that stimulates your brain.
- Lust for money: it is also said to be greed. It is a strong desire to want more money and be extremely rich.
- Lust for pornography: a strong desire to want to watch people having sexual intercourse and sometimes even naked.
- Lust for food: it is also said to be gluttony. It is a strong desire to want to have excess food and drinks.
- Lust for power: a strong desire to have control of everything and everyone.
When do lustful thoughts become a sin?
Lustful thoughts become a sin when a person expresses inner emotions and dwells on those emotions. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:14-15. From this verse, we learn lustful thoughts are only a sin when one is enticed by them and starts sinning.
James teaches that having a thought or emotion toward something is not a sin. However, it becomes a sin if the thought or feeling is not restricted so as not to dwell in it. Lustful thoughts become a sin when one gives in to them and start acting according to them.
Is it a sin if you lust over your spouse?
It is not a sin when you lust for your wife or husband since it cannot result in adultery. The Bible says that one commits adultery when they lust or have sexual intercourse with a person they are not married. 1 Corinthians 7:3 reads, “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.” This bible verse is interpreted that when a man and woman marry, they get to share their body.
The wife’s body does not belong to her but to her husband, and the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but to his wife. Therefore, one has a right to find their spouse attractive and even want to spend the night with them.
How can a Christian differentiate between lust and love?
According to the Bible, lust and love are very different. Lust in the Bible is a sinful act that causes one to commit adultery which is punishable by death. Love is putting the other person’s interest above your own. According to John 3:16, the Bible suggests God loved the world and sacrificed his son for its well-being.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John that we should love one another just like he loves us and died for our sins. In the Gospel of Mathew, Jesus condemns lust and says it is a sin, for it breaks the commandment of God. Therefore, according to the Bible, Christians can differentiate lust and love by reading these verses and underrating the meaning of love and lust.
How do you recognize the sin of lust?
One can recognize the sin of lust as a sexual desire for someone one finds attractive. It is not a sin to find someone else beautiful. However, it becomes a sin when your thoughts become perverted. It becomes a sin of lust when someone starts having sexual thoughts about someone who is not their spouse.
When you find yourself having these thoughts that is how you recognize that you are committing a sin of lust which Jesus condemns. It is not wrong to admire someone, but it depends on how you admire that person. Sexually admiring a person is a sin of lust that every Christian should avoid.
How do you avoid falling into the sin of lust?
The Bible says that we should trust God so he can deliver us from worldly desires such as lust. “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” 2 Timothy 2:22. This verse teaches that one should call to God through prayers so that He can help them overcome the sinful act of lust. God will change your desires to those that are not sinful.
According to James 4:7, the Bible implies that one should submit to God, and He will flee them from evil deeds. Therefore, Christians can avoid falling into lust by humbling themselves unto the Lord their God and praying that He gives them self-control.
Bible verses about lust
Matthew 5:28 “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus commanded in the Sermon on the Mountain that one should not lust. He said that when one lusts over another person, they disobey the seventh commandment in the law of the prophets.
1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life3—is not from the Father but is from the world.” the Bible suggests that all desires that humans get including lust are obtained from the world. This means that the thoughts are not Godly and should be avoided.
2 Timothy 2:22 “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” The Bible implies that one should avoid lustful thoughts by praying to God. God can help one change their lustful thoughts to righteous thoughts according to his will.
Job 31:11-12 “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a fire that burns to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.” Job describes lust as an evil act punishable by burning in hell.
What does the Bible have to say about lust?
When do lustful thoughts become a sin?
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.