Lust Lies vs. God’s Truth

Lust’s Lies and the Truth of God’s Word

Consider the times you’ve been tempted by these lies, and let
the truth of the Bible transform your perspective

Lie: Lust is no big deal.

“For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own” (Job 31:11–12, NLT).

Lie: A little sinful fantasizing won’t hurt.

“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6, ESV).

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7–8, ESV).

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14, ESV).

Lie: Taking radical action against sin isn’t  necessary.

“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:29–30).

“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart”(2 Timothy 2:22).

Lie: God won’t mind a little compromise…

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6).

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).

Lie: It’s my body. I can do what I want with it.

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”
(1 Corinthians 6:18–20).

Lie: I can’t control my sex drive.

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you”
(1Thessalonians 4:3–6).

Lie: Looking at a few pornographic pictures won’t affect me.

“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? (Proverbs 6:25–27)

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:3).

Lie: I won’t experience any consequences for indulging in my lust.

“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12)

“…the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son”
(Hebrews 12:6).

“…after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15).

Lie: People get away with adultery.

“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave” (Proverbs 5:3–5).

“Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent” (Proverbs 5:8–11).

Lie: God is keeping something good from me.

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you” (Psalm 84:10–12).

Lie: The pleasure lust promises is better and more real than God’s pleasure.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).

Lie: Fulfilling my lust will satisfy me.

“Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:27).

“I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD” (Lamentations 3:25–26).

“The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied…” (Proverbs 19:23, ESV).

Lie: Too much purity will keep me from seeing and enjoying beauty.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).

“For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face” (Psalm 11:7).

“Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar” (Isaiah 33:17).

Excerpted from Sex is not The Problem (Lust is) by Joshua
Harris. Copyright Multnomah Publishers, 2003. Used with permission

NOTE:  there have been some verses added but the majority are from the source cited.

2 Responses to Lust Lies vs. God’s Truth

  1. Anonymous says:

    suppose there is a boy..he believes in god…and love him too..but the only thing which he can not leave is to masturbate and seeing porn (nothing else) is it against god ????? will he not get the love from god in return of his love to god ???

    • First, thank you for asking the hard questions. Many people struggle with masturbation and porn but are unwilling to honestly address the issues in light of God’s Word. Our source for answers needs to be the Word of God. That is the only consistent Truth. Society’s view of right and wrong changes with time. It is relative. This is also true in many churches that have certain “standards” of Christian testimony that change with society’s changing views. But not so with God. His standards have been the same for eternity. So let’s consider your questions in light of God’s Word.

      I’m going to address your questions in reverse. Let’s look at your question about love. First, God IS love. This is true. But God is not a one-dimensional Being. Scripture actually speaks more about God’s holiness than it does about His love. Does this mean that holiness is more important? No, God is perfect in all His attributes and is 100% love and 100% holy. But people often twist God into a one-dimensional Being and do what they want, suggesting that, because God is love, they will be forgiven. This offends the holiness of God. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21). Genuine love is proven by what love DOES. So when you speak of “his love to god,” what exactly do you mean? Are we talking about his feelings or his actions? True love is confirmed by the action.

      You ask “he cannot leave masturbation and seeing porn (nothing else) is it against god????” We typically minimize our wrong behavior – that’s the “nothing else” in your question – and exaggerate our good behavior. This is a really a roundabout way of asking, “In light of all the good things I do, is God going to disapprove of me for this one thing I do wrong?” The Apostle Peter said, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY” (1 Peter 1:14-16). Peter is addressing behavior, just like Jesus did in John 14:21, and he is specifically speaking about lust. Many people, even Christians, question whether or not masturbation is a sin. Again, we need to look at God’s standard. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Jesus countered the standards in His day with, “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” (Matthew 5:27-28). “Lustful intent” is a sinful attitude of the heart. Jesus was saying, ‘it’s not just what you do; it’s what you think that is sinful.’ That’s God’s standard. I have yet to speak to anyone who can say that masturbation is not accompanied by sexual fantasies. And there’s also the problem of what we will become, according to Proverbs 23:7, based on what we think. It’s wrong and misguided to try and justify masturbation as being “normal behavior.” Sadly, we are by nature sinful, so “yes,” sinful behavior is “normal,” so in that sense, masturbation is “normal.” But it is still sinful; it does not please God.

      There are several other aspects we could address on this but I think you get my point. As for porn, there are few people who would genuinely argue that it is not sinful, especially based on what Jesus said in Matthew 5. But should that be a question in your mind, simply try to support the idea that you are viewing pictures of sinful behaviors (adultery and fornication) but it is sinful only for the person posing for the pictures…not for the viewer. It’s not logical is it? And if porn is okay, then why not live strip shows? What’s really the difference? Honesty requires that we be consistent.

      I don’t perceive a question about the sinfulness of masturbation and pornography, but for others who read this posting, I felt obligated to address it a little more completely.

      So what’s the answer? The Psalmist asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9&11). People who struggle with purity also struggle with spending consistent time in the Word of God. Joshua was told in Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” What a fantastic promise! It’s the Word of God that transforms our mind. Paul said in Romans 12:1&2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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.” To live in purity, we need to transform our minds to be pure. The Word of God is pure. Peter, who spoke of our being holy, also said in 2 Peter 1: 3-4 “… His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” Apart from the Word of God, we cannot escape lust. Paul says it very clearly in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

      Finally, believing in God is not the answer. There are different kinds of belief. There is the belief of “knowledge” such as the demons. James says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19). They don’t have saving faith. There is also the belief of conformity, or cultural belief. That’s the one that follows what I have been taught by my family, friends and society or culture. But when any of that changes, so does the belief. It’s transitional or situational, not transformational. God has no grandchildren. True belief must be a transformational, a trusting faith that exemplifies, 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” The true follower of Christ will rejoice in Paul’s statement: “But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesian 4:20-24).

      But you can’t fight this battle alone. That’s why we encourage men to get into purity groups and keep each other accountable. This boy needs a strong, Christian man who will encourage him and help keep him be accountable so that he can grow in Christ and put away the things of the sinful flesh.

      Thanks again for your question.

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