Summary: LUST! More people are enslaved to lust than we’ll ever know. This sermon discusses 2 of 3 strategies to conquer lust, with part 2 dealing with the third strategy.
No Longer a Slave to LUST! (Part 1)
Series: No Longer Slaves
March 11, 2019
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEXT: 1 John 2:16 – “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
JOKE: A girl talking to her grandma asked, “How old are you?” to which grandma replied, “Dear, you shouldn’t ask that question. Grownups don’t like to tell their age.”
The next day, the girl asked, “Grandma, how much do you weigh?”
“Honey, you shouldn’t ask grownups how much they weigh. It isn’t polite.”
The next day the girl was back with a smile and said, “Grandma, I know how old you are—62, and you weigh 160 pounds.”
Grandma was surprised and said, “My goodness, how did you know?”
The girl said, “You left your driver’s license on the table, and I read it. And I also saw on it that you got an ‘F’ in sex!” (PAUSE FOR POWERPOINT PICTURE.)
Now I should warn you that today’s sermon will be PG-rated, so if you have kids pretty young and in the service this morning, you might want to take them upstairs to K.I.D.S. church, or be ready to answer some questions you might not be prepared to deal with quite yet.
We’re in a series titled “No Longer Slaves.” Today I want to talk to you about lust, something that has more people in bondage to sin than anything I know of in this day and age. Some of you may be a little squeamish at this point, but if the CHURCH doesn’t deal with this issue honestly in our oversexed society, where will the Christian teaching on it come from?
This issue is an elephant in the room that some in the church would rather ignore, but everybody knows is there. How big an elephant is the lust problem today?
• Today sex in advertising is unquestionably THE most effective means of attracting attention to your product—because lust sells!
• It’s also one of the leading ways to attract a greater TV or movie audience; and a female pop artist who isn’t overtly sexy (think Lady GaGa or Katy Perry or Madonna), is considered an anachronism—someone only grandma goes to hear.
• And pornography has been big business for years now, estimated now at about $15 billion per year, compared to $10 billion a year Hollywood movies bring in.
• The porn industry makes more money than Major League Baseball, The NFL and The NBA combined.
That’s society; what about the church?
• Covenant Eyes claims that “50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women report being ‘addicted’ to pornography.” – Of course, those using Covenant Eyes would have a higher percentage overall since that’s why they’re using Covenant Eyes to begin with; but obviously, many believers struggle with lust.
• And even if the majority of you here this morning have not viewed pornography recently, I’d venture to guess that a high percentage of men and many women here today lusted this week.
So, we’re talking about something that’s a HUGE issue that we as God’s people MUST tackle. So, let’s tackle it; but it is so huge, it will take two sermons, so let’s get started right now:
I. LET’S BEGIN BY CONSIDERING WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT LUST.
First though, let’s define it. There are several Greek words in the New Testament translated “lust” in our Bibles. The main ones are the noun epithumía, which means “a strong desire of any kind” and the verb epithuméo¯ meaning, “to have a strong desire of any kind.” So, it’s not always bad.
The verb form is used in a good way as often as in a bad sense, such as in Luke 22:15 when Jesus said He “desired” (epithuméo¯) to eat the Passover with the disciples and He used it in Matthew 13:17 when He said that “…many prophets and righteous men have desired (epithuméo¯) to see those things which you see….”
And sexual desire within marriage—never referred to as lust—is itself not only NOT EVIL, but is, in fact, commended and even commanded. But when used to refer to sexual desires outside of marriage or between a man and a woman, the various Bible words are ALWAYS bad—no exceptions. When you look at the Bible as a whole, basically a good working definition for lust, or ungodly desire, is “Sexual desire you voluntarily allow to continue with anyone you are not married to.”
Lust is triggered primarily by the eyes in men and through the emotions in women, though both genders can also be prompted to lust by either trigger. When you see or feel that TEMPTATION to lust, that in itself is not a sin.