Summary: What Christians and the church is doing to solve the problem of lust is not enough. This sermon (Pt. 1) deals with the problem holistically through individual responsibility and a proper view of sex in marriage. Next week: the church's role.

Untying the Knot of Lust (Part 1)

Problems: Untying What’s Tying You Up

Chuck Sligh

June 2, 2013

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.”

NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation of this sermon is available upon request by emailing me at


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 tell you that today’s sermon will be PG-rated, so if you have kids under 12 in the service, you should 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 “Untying What’s Tying You Up.” Today I want to talk to you about the knot of lust, something that has more people—especially men—tied up in the cords of sin than anything I know of.

Some of you may be a little nervous at this point, but folks, 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 it’s 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 musical artist who doesn’t try to be sexy, and preferably slutty sexy (think Lady GaGa or Britney Spears or Madonna), is almost considered an anachronism—somebody only grandma goes to hear.

• And pornography is now big business, estimated by U.S. News and World Report to have grossed an estimated $10 billion per year. Over 10,000 porn movies are released and over 300 million videos sold yearly.

In fact, there are more porn outlets than McDonald’s.

That’s society; what about the church?

• Covenant Eyes claims that “Fifty percent of Christian men and twenty percent of Christian women report being “addicted” to pornography.” If those statistics were taken from their online visitors, it may not be accurate since those with sex problems are more likely to visit the sight, and also, it probably includes anyone claiming to be a Christian, which mean include some who actually are not truly saved. But regardless of how scientific or accurate their statistic is, one thing I’m sure of from my own counseling experience is that it is a big problem.

• And even if you have not viewed pornography this week, I would venture to guess that a very high percentage of the men in this room today lusted this week—perhaps 100%—and a good percentage of women probably did as well.

So we’re talking about something that’s a HUGE issue that we as God’s people MUST tackle. So let’s tackle it—starting right now:


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 epithuméo̅ 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” (epithuméo̅) 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 (epithuméo̅) to see those things which ye see….” And sexual desire within the context of marriage, never referred to as lust, is itself not only NOT EVIL, but is 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 is “sexual desire that you voluntarily allow for anyone you are not married to or to a person of the same sex.”

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