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Desire and Lust

1. Carefully read these two biblical passages about desire. How does Satan determine if a desire is good? How does the apostle Paul determine if a desire is good? Discuss your observations.

And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, so she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Gen 3:4-5, LSB)

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! Rather, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law. For I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet." (Rom 7:7, LSB)




2. Use a Bible dictionary and search for "lust." What does that word mean?

Search: studylight Baker Evangelical Dictionary

From search results, select: StudyLight.org Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Choose letter: L

Select: lust




3. Carefully observe what the apostles Paul and Peter point out in their comparison of two groups of people. What are they highlighting as influencing one’s desires?

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; (1 Thes 4:3-5, LSB)



Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose — because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin— so as to no longer live the rest of the time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have worked out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. (1 Pet 4:1-3, LSB)




4. What figures of speech do you see? How does the apostle Paul compare the conflict of desires? What is he saying?

But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you do not do the things that you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:16-24, LSB)




5. What do you observe of the apostle Paul’s comparisons here? What do you learn about sin?

And you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all also formerly conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Eph 2:1-3, LSB)



Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17, LSB)




References:

1. Desire and Lust


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