What is Lust in the Bible? Let’s Find Out!

By Charalampos •  Updated: 04/04/23 •  6 min read

Christianity teaches that it is impossible to please God without a pure heart. But, when it comes to the Bible, do you know what it means when it talks about lust? 

Sure, we can all define “lust” in terms of physical desire for someone – but does the Bible look at lust any differently? We are going to dig deep into this topic today and explore what exactly the bible has to say about lust. 

The Danger of Lust

Danger of Lust

The Bible has many warnings about the dangers of lust. For example, James 1:14-15, says, «But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.»

This verse shows us that lust can lead to sin and ultimately, spiritual death. Any desire for worldly pleasures that contradicts God kills a soul step by step.

Church Fathers also warned against lust. Saint John Chrysostom wrote about the dangers of lust in his sermons. He said, «For the soul that is enslaved to pleasures and lusts is not only abominable to God but is also a slave to sin and corruption»

Imprisonment of The Soul

That is, a soul becomes imprisoned, and a person partly loses his free will and becomes a slave of sin.

Saint Augustine wrote about the danger of lust. He believed that the pursuit of earthly pleasures can never satisfy the soul and ultimately leads to spiritual emptiness and despair.

The idea that lust brings death to a soul can be also found in the Old Testament. King Solomon tried to find pleasure in being led by lust, but in the end, he changed his opinion and wrote that every person will be judged for such actions:

«Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.» (Ecclesiastes 11:9)

Read Also: What is Idolatry in The Bible?

What Does The Bible Say About Lust?

Bible About Lust

Lust is often associated with sexual desire, and the Bible has many warnings about sexual sin. For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:18, we can find these words, «Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.»

This verse shows the idea that lust is especially harmful because it often involves the body, which is meant to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Lust can be related not only to the body but also to the soul. Jesus Christ spoke about it: «But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.» Matthew 5:28

The Orthodox Church has strong teachings about lust. 

According to the teachings of the Church, lust not only harms the individual but also damages the spiritual life of the entire society. This is why the Church has always been strongly against lust, including adultery, fornication, and homosexuality.

Read Also: Is Kissing A Sin?

The Problem of Society

In the modern world, lust can be seen almost everywhere. This also includes desires for power, wealth, and other worldly pleasures.

Despite the warnings, lust continues to be a temptation for many people. The Bible and the Church Fathers offer guidance on how to resist these temptations.

Spiritual Discipline

One of the key ways to resist lust is through prayer and spiritual discipline. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught his followers to pray, «Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil» (Matthew 6:13). This prayer lets us recognize our weakness and asks God to help us resist the temptation to sin.

The Orthodox Church teaches that spiritual discipline is essential for resisting temptation. This includes practices like fasting, confession, and regular participation in the sacraments. These practices help to strengthen the soul and make it less vulnerable to the temptations of the flesh.

Another way to resist lust is to get a deeper love for God. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote:

«Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body» (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

The apostle tells us that the body isn’t our own but belongs to God. He asks us to glorify God to get rid of lust, so we can get a deep love for God and not use our bodies in ways that are contrary to his will.

But How Can We Get A Deep Love For God? 

Jesus Christ The Son of God

Apart from participating in worship services the Orthodox Church also teaches people to study the scriptures and develop a personal relationship with God through prayer.

By scripture we can listen to God, reading his words and trying to understand them, and by prayer we speak to God on our own, asking Him to help us get rid of lust. By focusing on God and his will for our lives, we won’t fall into the sin of our desires and lusts.

Also, the Bible and the Church Fathers offer practical advice for resisting lust. For example, in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, Paul wrote, «For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you knows how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.»

These words of Paul tell us that self-control is essential for resisting lust. Every Christian should be wise and be able to control his body, and not be like the pagans.

Self-control includes developing the ability to control our thoughts and desires and to resist the temptations of the flesh. After each lustful thought a Christian should read a prayer, and with time God will help him to get rid of this.

Final Thoughts

It can be concluded that lust is a strong temptation that can lead to spiritual death.

According to the Bible, lust is some action or desire that contradicts God’s will. It can be not only about the body but also about thoughts in our minds.

The Bible and the Church Fathers offer many warnings about the dangers of lust and guide how to resist this temptation.

This includes prayer, spiritual discipline, self-control, and getting a deep love for God. By following these teachings, we can resist the temptations of lust and live a life that is pleasing to God.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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