SEXUAL LUST—What does the Bible say?
the naked truth about lust

Beware of the siren’s song

Lust is an inward sin which leads to a falling away from God (Romans 1:21). Did you know that we’re commanded to avoid sexual impurity in nearly every book of the New Testament and of the Old? Listed below is a selection of relevant Scripture (from the New Living Translation).

“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

“Don’t let me lust for evil things; don’t let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don’t let me share in the delicacies of those who do evil.” —Psalm 141:4

“Don’t lust for her beauty. Don’t let her coyness seduce you. Can a man take fire into his lap and not get burned?” —Proverbs 6:25 NLT; Prov. 6:27 NLT

“You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain your lust? Those who desire you do not even need to search, for you come running to them!” —Jeremiah 2:24 NLT

“They are all adulterers, always aflame with lust. They are like an oven that is kept hot even while the baker is still kneading the dough.” —Hosea 7:4 NLT

“And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.” —Romans 1:27 NLT

“But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.” —1 Corinthians 7:9 NLT

“Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.” —Ephesians 4:22 NLT

“So put to death the sinful, Earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual impurity, lust, and shameful desires.” —Colossians 3:5 NLT

“They commit adultery with their eyes, and their lust is never satisfied. They make a game of luring unstable people into sin.” —II Peter 2:14 NLT

“For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world.” —I John 2:16 NLT

Break free to victory

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even if it is your good eye—causes you to lust, 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 hand—even if it is your stronger 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 be thrown into hell.” —Matthew 5:27-30 NLT

Choosing victory with your eyes

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.” —Job 31:1

Choosing victory with your hands and feet.

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” —2 Timothy 2:22 NLT

“You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.” —I Peter 4:3 NLT

Lust for God

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the Living God.” —Psalm 42:1 NLT

Pornography: The freedom that enslaves

Sin enslaves—especially sexual sin

Do not let sin control the way you live. —Rom. 6:12 NLT

You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything.” I must not become a slave to anything. You say, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.” This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them. But our bodies were not made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. And God will raise our bodies from the dead by his marvelous power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead. —1 Cor. 6:12-14 NLT

Jesus replied, “I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin.” —John 8:34 NLT

…you are a slave to whatever controls you. —2 Pet. 2:19 NLT excerpt

The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. —Rom. 7:14 NLT

There is another law at work within me…This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. —Rom. 7:23 NLT

If you are a real Christian,

“Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin.” Instead, you are free by God’s grace. —Rom. 6:14 NLT

Before, you let yourselves be slaves of impurity and lawlessness. Now you must choose to be slaves of righteousness so that you will become holy. —Rom. 6:19 NLT

What is spiritual regeneration (being born-again)? Answer

The proliferation of pornography

“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskins till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!” —Habakkuk 2:15 NIV

  1. Nearly ⅓ of children have seen online porn by the time they are 10.
    Daily Mail (2013)

  2. More than 8 in 10 children aged 14 to 16 say they regularly access hardcore photographs and footage.
    Daily Mail (2013)

  3. When this article was first written (2000), there were more than 200,000 pornographic Web sites in the Internet today. As of 2013, according to some experts, there are 4.2 million. Some say the number is much higher.
    —Internet Pornography Statistics (2013)

  4. 72 million adults per month (worldwide) visit adults sites
    —Internet Pornography Statistics (2013)

  5. When this article was first written (2000), Playboy’s Web site, which offers free glimpses of its playmates, was averaging about 5 million hits a day. In 2013, there there are heavy porn sites with billions of hits per day. The monthly pageviews for the largest video porn site “is three times the size of CNN or ESPN.” “It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the Internet.”
    ExtremeTech (2013)

  6. There are more outlets for hardcore pornography in the United States than there are McDonald’s restaurants.

  7. The porn industry takes in more… in one year …than all revenues generated by rock and country music, more than America spent on Broadway productions, theater, ballet, jazz and classical music combined.
    U.S. News and World Report (2000)

  8. At least 20% of American adults (Christian and non-Christian) have looked at a sex site online. The ratio is the same for Christians: 1 in 5 people in the pews has looked at Web porn. The same study shows one in every three men have looked at a sex site; close to half for men under the age of 35.
    Focus on the Family (2000)

  9. Sadly, Sunday is apparently the most popular day of the week for viewing porn.
    Online MBA News (2010)

The pattern and power of pornography

Prof. Victor Cline of the University of Utah’s psychology department traces a common pattern he identified in his study of the psychological effects of pornography:

  1. addiction

  2. escalation

  3. desensitization

  4. acting out

“As a person thinks within himself so he is. …” —Proverbs 23:7 NLT excerpt

One of the foremost authorities on sex addiction, Dr. Patrick Carnes estimates that 8% of men and 3% of women in the U.S. are sexually addicted. A study reported in U.S. News and World Report (March 27, 2000) conducted by Stanford University revealed that at least 200,000 Americans are hopelessly addicted to e-porn.

Some words of advice to wives of sex addicts

Penny Freeman and Nancy Groom identify six signposts along a wife’s path toward wholeness and healing when her husband’s sex addiction has been exposed.

  1. anger, shock, and numbness

  2. good grief—mourning the loss

  3. accepting the risk of loving the unlovely

  4. prayer warfare

  5. facing an uncertain outcome

  6. productive fighting—hard consequences for hard hearts

Help is a decision away.

  1. STOP denying you have a problem

  2. START with accountability

  3. SEEK the Lord

  4. SEE a counselor —note our Counseling and Support Groups List

More information

Author: Paul S. Taylor of Christian Answers. Copyright © 2001, 2013, 2021, Films for Christ. All Rights Reserved—except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page that grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches and schools.

Article Version: September 26, 2022