What Does the Bible Tell Us about the Lust of the Flesh?
In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul defines the lust of the flesh, or desires of the flesh as “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Essentially, Paul is saying that all sin can be summed up as the lust of the flesh. Therefore, if we want to inherit the kingdom of God, we have to put the lust of the flesh to death through faith in the gospel.
When we believe in Jesus, and put our faith and trust in His life, death, and resurrection, we are given new desires and new life in Him (Galatians 2:20). The Bible tells us that our heart of stone is removed, and we are given a new heart. This means we are no longer calloused to the ways of sin and our fallen world. Despite our sinful nature, in Christ we are given a new identity and the Holy Spirit to help us live that identity out (Romans 3:23, Ezekiel 36:26-27). Paul in Galatians 5:16-17 tells us to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Walking by the Spirit can only happen when we are empowered by faith in the gospel. Faith in the gospel is not something we move beyond or outgrow but instead move more deeply into. As we continue to uncover the grace and mercy God has had on us in Jesus, we will be empowered to silence the sin that Christ has already put to death on the cross.