Archive for the ‘Temptations’ Category

Whenever we hear the word “lust,” most people think it’s always a bad thing. It may surprise you to know that “A lust (Greek = epithumia) is simply a strong desire that can be self induced or externally implanted into a Christian’s mind. A sense of guilt results when a believer does not realize a lust is a thought, not sin.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer. [1]


“Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires [lusts] and enticed. Then, when desire [lust] has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:13-15).

Good Lusts

Numerous passages in the New Testament contain the term lust with a good or commendable meaning. Consider these passages:

Righteous prophets didn’t sin when they desired (lusted) to see those things which the people of Christ’s day saw. (See Matthew 13:17).

Christ Himself lusted without sinning. He said, “With desire (lust) I have desired (lusted) to eat this Passover with you” (Luke 22:15).

The Holy Spirit lusts (has a strong desire) against the flesh/sin nature (Galatians 5:17).

The Apostle Paul lusted (desired) to depart to be with Christ (Philippians 1:23).

A bishop (Pastor) can lust (have a strong desire) to be an overseer of God’s people (1 Timothy 3:1).

Angels lust (have a strong desire) to look into the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 1:11, 12).

Bad Lusts

“Bad lusts are cravings or strong, uninvited desires that become part of a person’s thinking. These lusts are desires that are contrary to righteousness. They can enter into the Christian’s thoughts from any of the three [spiritual] enemies.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer.

It’s vital that we identify the source from which the sinful lusts are coming so that we can use the Scriptural means to overcome them. The Christian must counter each spiritual enemy God’s way or suffer defeat. Not all temptations come from the devil.

Hopefully, the following information will assist believers (not unsaved people) to live victoriously over the strong desires that come from the devil, our own sin nature, and the present world system.

To become a Christian one needs to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Unbelievers are children of the devil. He lulls most of them to sleep (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:19). But he also has some mature sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2).

Lusts From Our Spiritual Enemies

Here are 14 lusts (strong desires) that come from the devil:

Here are the lusts (strong desires) that come from our sin nature as listed in Galatians 5:19-21.

Here is some information about the present world system that was devised by the devil to control certain works of the flesh (sin nature) and a summary of how to overcome all three enemies:

We Don’t Have To Sin

God has made it possible for Christians not to sin. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4).

When We Sin – What?

God doesn’t want His children to sin (act lawlessly). But when we sin, as we will from time to time, what should we do to make things right with God and others?

Helpful Books

To help Christians live victoriously over their three spiritual enemies, and to prevent needless chastening and scourging from our Heavenly Father (Hebrews 12:5-11), we recommend that you secure the following books and study them for yourself:

[1] Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ”

Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, “He That Is Spiritual”


We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change and grow spiritually (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: Please SHARE this with others who desire to live a life that pleases God. Click on “Follow” to receive future articles as they come out.

Scripture verses taken from the New King James Version.

Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.