Bible Verses

24 best bible verses about lust

Explore our compilation of 24 important Bible verses addressing lust, providing spiritual insights and wisdom. This blog post dives into scripture, offering a path towards understanding and overcoming temptation. Great for personal reflection or sermon inspiration.

Last Updated:
April 29, 2024
8 Minutes

Table of Contents

The Nature of Lust

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 life—is not from the Father but is from the world."

Reflection: Lust is a worldly desire that stems from the flesh and is not from God. It is a temptation that seeks to draw us away from the Father and into sin.

James 1:14-15

"But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."

Reflection: Lust is a powerful desire that can lead us into sin if we allow it to take root in our hearts. It is a process that begins with temptation and, if not resisted, can lead to spiritual death.

Romans 13:14

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires."

Reflection: As believers, we are called to clothe ourselves with Christ and not make any provision for the desires of the flesh, including lust. We must actively resist and reject lustful thoughts and actions.

Lust and Adultery

Matthew 5:27-28

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Reflection: Jesus equates lust with adultery, teaching that even the inward desire is a sin. Lust violates the sanctity of marriage and is a form of unfaithfulness in the heart.

Proverbs 6:25-26

"Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life."

Reflection: This passage warns against lusting after another person's beauty, as it can lead to adultery and destroy precious lives. Lust is a trap that can ensnare and bring ruin.

Exodus 20:14

"You shall not commit adultery."

Reflection: Adultery, which is often driven by lust, is explicitly forbidden in the Ten Commandments. It is a violation of the marriage covenant and goes against God's design for sexual purity.

Lust and Idolatry

Colossians 3:5

"Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry."

Reflection: Lust is connected to idolatry because it elevates desire above God. When we allow lust to control us, we are worshipping our own desires rather than submitting to God's will.

Ezekiel 23:49

"And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord God."

Reflection: In this passage, God condemns the idolatry and lust of His people, warning that they will bear the consequences of their sin. Lust and idolatry lead to judgment and separation from God.

1 Corinthians 10:7

"Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.'"

Reflection: Paul warns against idolatry, which can manifest in various forms, including the pursuit of lustful pleasures. Lust can become an idol that consumes our attention and distracts us from worshipping God.

Lust and Self-Control

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God."

Reflection: God's will for believers is to pursue holiness and self-control, abstaining from sexual immorality and controlling our bodies with honor, rather than being controlled by lust.

Galatians 5:16

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."

Reflection: When we walk by the Holy Spirit's guidance and power, we can overcome the desires of the flesh, including lust. The Spirit enables us to live in purity and self-control.

2 Timothy 2:22

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."

Reflection: We are called to flee from lustful passions and instead pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. This involves actively running from temptation and seeking God with a pure heart.

Lust and Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."

Reflection: God promises to provide a way of escape when we face temptations, including lust. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and will give us the strength to endure and overcome.

James 4:7

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Reflection: When faced with the temptation of lust, we are called to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil. As we draw near to God and stand firm against temptation, the devil will flee from us.

Hebrews 2:18

"For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."

Reflection: Jesus understands the struggles of temptation, including lust, because He faced temptation Himself. He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses and provide help and strength when we are tempted.

Lust and the Mind

Philippians 4:8

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

Reflection: To combat lust, we must fill our minds with pure and praiseworthy thoughts. By focusing on what is true, honorable, just, and lovely, we can guard our minds against lustful desires.

Romans 12:2

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

Reflection: Lust is a product of conforming to the world's patterns. To overcome lust, we need to have our minds renewed and transformed by God's truth, enabling us to discern and pursue His will.

2 Corinthians 10:5

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."

Reflection: Lust often begins with thoughts that are contrary to God's truth. We must take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ, rejecting lustful thoughts and replacing them with obedience to God.

Lust and Repentance

1 John 1:9

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Reflection: When we fall into lust, we can find forgiveness and cleansing through repentance and confession. God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we turn to Him in repentance.

Psalm 51:10

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

Reflection: After acknowledging his sin of lust and adultery, David prays for God to create a clean heart within him. Repentance involves asking God to purify our hearts and renew our spirits.

2 Corinthians 7:1

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God."

Reflection: In light of God's promises, we are called to cleanse ourselves from every defilement, including lust. Repentance involves pursuing holiness and purity in both body and spirit.

Lust and Victory

1 John 5:4

"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."

Reflection: Through faith in Christ, we have the power to overcome the world and its lustful desires. Our victory over lust comes from our identity as children of God and our faith in Him.

Romans 6:12-13

"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness."

Reflection: We are called to not let sin, including lust, reign in our bodies. Instead, we are to present ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness, choosing to live in the new life we have in Christ.

1 Peter 2:11

"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul."

Reflection: As believers, we are called to abstain from the passions of the flesh, including lust, recognizing that they wage war against our souls. We are to live as sojourners and exiles, pursuing purity and holiness.

These 24 verses provide a comprehensive understanding of the biblical perspective on lust. They highlight the nature of lust, its connection to adultery and idolatry, the importance of self-control and resisting temptation, the role of the mind in combating lust, the necessity of repentance, and the victory we can have over lust through faith in Christ. As Christian theologians reflect on these verses, they recognize the destructive power of lust and the call to pursue purity and holiness in all aspects of life, relying on God's grace and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit to overcome the desires of the flesh.

Frequently asked questions

1: What is lust according to the Bible? 

Lust, according to the Bible, is described as an intense or unrestrained sexual craving, or an overwhelming desire or craving for something. It is considered a sin when it takes control of our actions and thoughts, leading us away from God's will (Matthew 5:28).

2: Is feeling tempted the same as lusting?

No, being tempted is not the same as lusting. Temptation is a common human experience and even Jesus was tempted. However, lust occurs when we allow those temptations to influence our actions or when we dwell on them in our minds.

3: How does the Bible guide us in overcoming lust?

The Bible offers us several strategies to overcome lust; including relying on God's strength (1 Corinthians 10:13), focusing our minds on what is pure (Philippians 4:8), fleeing from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), and seeking accountability within the body of Christ (James 5:16).

4: Can the power of prayer help in overcoming lust?

Absolutely! Prayer is our direct line of communication with God. By confessing our struggles to Him and asking for His guidance and strength, we can receive the grace we need to resist and overcome these feelings (Hebrews 4:15-16).

5: How can understanding God's view on sex help me combat lust?

God designed sex to be a beautiful expression of love between a married couple. Understanding this design helps us to align our desires with His intent, instead of allowing them to be perverted by lust (Hebrews 13:4).

6: What are some effective Bible verses to meditate on when struggling with lust? 

Answer: There are many. A few powerful ones include:

  1. James 1:14-15, which explains the process of temptation and sin. 
  2. Psalm 101:3, a commitment to set no wicked thing before our eyes. 
  3. 1 Peter 2:11, a call to abstain from fleshly lusts. 
  4. Matthew 5:28, a reminder that lustful thoughts are akin to the act itself.
  5. Job 31:1, a covenant made to not look lustfully at a woman. 
  6. 1 Corinthians 10:13, a reassurance that God won't let us be tempted beyond what we can handle and will provide a way out.

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