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The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life

When we hear of the word lust already everyone’s mind thinks of sexual sin and perversion, sexual sin is only one aspect of lust. We see the bible describes different types of lust which we will treat in this short article. Lust as a definition is “Having a strong powerful desire” and not only classified as sex The etymology of the word in Greek is “to be hot after something.” In this context, lust is any sinful desire that is contrary to the will of God. 1 John2:16 says “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

The lust of the flesh

From the aforementioned scripture, we see that there is a lust of the flesh, this sort of lust is rooted in the flesh. Before I continue we need to tread carefully in this explanation and outline that the body is not inherently evil it is the fall of man that rendered it so, we need to understand that the body requires food to survive in its immediate environment, as humans we were also created to procreate and sex is a mean to achieve this mandate.

Corruption and a perversion of being dominated by our senses is “The lust of the flesh” examples are when we become glutinous in food engage in immoral fetish sexual desires, slavish in pleasure, and driven by extravagant gratification of material desires. When these things control us we are treading in lust and “the love of the world” described in the Pauline passages.

The devil tried to tempt Jesus with the lust of the flesh in Matthew 4:3 when he urged Jesus to turn the stone into bread. Matthew 4:2-4 ‘After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 3 The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Satan uses internal licit desires to produce illicit carnal passions.

The lust of the eyes

This is a perverse insatiable appetite for the things that we see, Jesus says in Matthew 6:22 “If your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. “The eye is the primary organ of perception and often the principal avenue to temptation. Satan tempted Jesus and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory in Matthew 4: 8-10 ‘the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me. 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount mentions in Matthew 5:27-28 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Your eye is closely related to your heart and Jesus asserts that the eye is the lamp of the body.

The pride of life

This relates to everything that makes us walk in haughtiness and pride due to personal achievements, the arrogance of self-sufficiency, boasting due to acquired qualifications the houses we live in, the money we have, intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, and attributing all of that to self. This pride is also having a fetish of power, authority, and obsession with having control.

Please note all of the aforementioned have nothing wrong with them however when they are perverted and control us we are in the clutches of the devil. Jesus says in Luke 10:18 “I was watching and saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning!” which was the result of satan’s perverted desire for power.

In conclusion let us remember that “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).

Shalom: Kay King