What is Lust in the Bible?
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What is Lust in the Bible?


Lust is a topic that has been discussed and debated throughout human history. It is a powerful force that can drive people to commit actions that they later regret. As Christians, it is essential for us to understand what the Bible says about lust and how it affects our lives. In this blog post, we will examine the biblical perspective on lust, its consequences, and the ways in which we can overcome this temptation.

The Bible speaks of lust in various ways, sometimes using it as a synonym for intense desire or craving. However, lust is often portrayed as a negative and sinful force that can lead individuals astray from the path of righteousness. By understanding the nature of lust and recognizing its presence in our lives, we can better navigate the challenges that it presents and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to resist temptation.

Lust is not a topic that should be ignored or brushed aside. As believers in Christ, it is vital for us to confront this issue head-on and equip ourselves with the knowledge and wisdom found in the Scriptures. By doing so, we can lead lives that are pleasing to God and become a light to those who are struggling with lust themselves.

lust in the Bible

The Definition of Lust

According to the Bible, lust is an intense, uncontrolled desire for something that is often sinful or immoral. In the New King James Version (NKJV), lust is often translated as “desire,” “craving,” or “longing.” One of the most well-known verses discussing lust is found in Matthew 5:28, where Jesus says, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” In this context, lust is clearly portrayed as a sinful desire that leads to the act of adultery, even if it only occurs within one’s thoughts.

Lust is not limited to sexual desire, though it is often associated with it. In the Bible, lust can also refer to a craving for power, wealth, or other worldly things. For instance, in 1 John 2:16, the apostle John writes, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” Here, lust is depicted as the driving force behind the pursuit of worldly desires and ambitions that ultimately lead us away from God.

Examples of Lust in the Bible

Throughout the Bible, there are several examples of lust that demonstrate the destructive power of this sin. Some notable examples include:

  1. David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11): King David, captivated by Bathsheba’s beauty, allowed his lust to lead him into adultery and ultimately, murder. This tragic story serves as a reminder of how lust can lead even the most godly individuals astray.
  2. Samson and Delilah (Judges 16): Samson’s lust for Delilah blinded him to her deception, ultimately resulting in his downfall. This story emphasizes the importance of discernment and the consequences of allowing lust to cloud our judgment.
  3. Achan’s Greed (Joshua 7): Achan’s lust for material possessions led him to steal from the spoils of Jericho, resulting in devastating consequences for both himself and the Israelites. This account illustrates the destructive power of lust when it comes to material wealth and the need to guard against such desires.
  4. Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13): Amnon’s lust for his half-sister Tamar led to rape and ultimately, his own death. This tragic story demonstrates the devastating impact that unchecked lust can have on individuals and families.

Overcoming Lust Through the Power of the Holy Spirit

As Christians, we are called to live a life free from the bondage of sin, including lust. Thankfully, we are not left to fight this battle on our own. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome lust and live a life that is pleasing to God. Here are some practical steps we can take to resist and conquer lust:

  1. Recognize your vulnerability: Acknowledge that you are susceptible to lust and be honest with yourself about the areas in which you struggle. This self-awareness is essential in overcoming temptation.
  2. Meditate on God’s Word: Fill your mind with the truths found in Scripture, as they will provide guidance and strength in moments of temptation. Regular Bible study and meditation can help you internalize God’s Word and apply it to your life.
  3. Flee from temptation: As the apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Be proactive in avoiding situations and environments that might lead to lustful thoughts or actions.
  4. Seek accountability: Surround yourself with fellow believers who can support and encourage you in your journey to overcome lust. Share your struggles with trusted friends or mentors who can offer wisdom, prayer, and accountability.
  5. Pray for strength: Continually seek God’s help in resisting temptation and ask for His guidance in overcoming lust. Prayer is a powerful weapon in our fight against sin.

What does the Bible say about lust? When we take the time to understand and apply biblical teachings on lust, we can find freedom from its grip and experience the abundant life that Christ offers.


Lust is a powerful and pervasive force that can lead individuals astray from the path of righteousness. The Bible provides us with a clear understanding of the nature of lust, its consequences, and the steps we can take to resist and overcome this temptation. By seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit and applying the wisdom found in Scripture, we can live lives that are pleasing to God and free from the bondage of lust.

As we journey through life, it is essential to remember that the battle against lust is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Our spiritual growth and maturity will be tested and refined as we face various temptations and challenges. By remaining steadfast in our faith and continually relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be victorious in our struggle against lust and other sinful desires.

In conclusion, understanding and confronting lust is an essential aspect of our walk with Christ. By examining the biblical teachings on lust, we can better equip ourselves to resist temptation and live a life that honors God. Let us be diligent in our pursuit of holiness, remembering the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Through our commitment to purity and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome lust and experience the abundant life that Christ has promised to those who follow Him.

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.