The Nature of Sin, Temptation, and Lust

I.         The pathway to death - James 1:13-16 (handout)

            A.        Desire

                        1.         Each of us is born with a normal, natural set of desires.

                        2.         Those desires are the consequences of the operation of our bodies.

                                    a.         What is the purpose of thirst? Hunger?

                                    b.         Does sexual desire have a purpose?

            B.        Temptation

                        1.         Satan tries to place us in situations where it appears that the satisfaction of a desire will require the breaking of a law of God.

            C.        Lust

                        1.         When a person strongly desires to do what is unlawful, we call that lust.

                        2.         It is more than temptation because we are actively entertaining the thought of carrying out the improper action.

            D.        Sin

                        1.         If we give into our lust and commit the act Satan has tempted us to do, we call that sin.

                        2.         I John 3:4 - Sin is breaking God’s law

            E.        Lasciviousness or Licentiousness

                        1.         When a person continues to sin, they no longer feel guilty about it. After time they no longer care what God or man thinks of their deeds.

                        2.         Think of licentiousness as believing you have a license to sin.

                        3.         While not restricted to it, licentiousness is often associated with sexual sins. The desire is so strong and it so quickly snares a person.

            F.        Death

                        1.         When sin has fully taken over our lives we die.

            G.        At what point in the pathway can we do something? When can we affect the outcome?

                        1.         Desire is the wrong answer because to stop our desires we would have to be dead.

                        2.         Temptation is the wrong answer because we cannot stop the work of Satan.

II.        Where lusts come from

            A.        I Peter 2:11 - Fleshly

                        1.         From our own bodies

            B.        II Timothy 2:22 - Youth

                        1.         Youth is the time we feel desires the strongest, but have the least experience in keeping them under control.

III.       The three types of lust - I John 2:15-16 (chart)

            A.        Lust of the flesh - Normal bodily desires.

            B.        Lust of the eyes - Things that look good

            C.        Pride of life - The desire to be admired and respected by others

            D.        (Examples from magazine ads)

            E.        Genesis 3:6 - The temptation of Eve

            F.        Matthew 4 - The temptations of Jesus

IV.      Why lust is wrong

            A.        Matthew 5:27-28 - The desire for sin is equivalent to committing the sin

            B.        Proverbs 23:7 - It is what is in the heart that defines who you truly are.

            C.        Mark 7:18-23 - The thoughts of the heart bring about sinful actions.

            D.        Matthew 6:22-23 - Where we focus our minds is the direction we will go.

V.        There is always a way out of temptation - I Corinthians 10:13

            A.        The promises

                        1.         Satan is limited in what he can use for temptation. No one can say that a particular temptation is unique to him or that no one has ever faced a temptation like theirs.

                        2.         Since others have faced similar temptations, we know that some overcame and some have given in. Because some overcame that means no one is forced to sin.

                        3.         God limits Satan to never give you a temptation that God knows you can’t handle. Every temptation is one that you could resist.

                        4.         God limits Satan so that there is always a way out. It probably will not be a desirable path, but a path will always exist. You will never face a situation where you could honestly say you had no choice but to sin.

            B.        The example of Joseph - Genesis 39:7-12

                        1.         Joseph was sold into slavery by his own family.

                        2.         He was in a foreign country were no one would know what he did.

                        3.         He was alone with a woman who was asking for sex.

                        4.         She won’t take “no” for an answer and being his master’s wife, she could make his life miserable if he disobeyed.

                        5.         She was in the process of removing his clothes.

                        6.         What would you do?

                        7.         Joseph ran off in his underwear. Would that be a desirable thing to do? Yet it was better than sinning.

VI.      Resist sin

            A.        Proverbs 1:10 - Do not consent to sin

            B.        Realize that as Christians, God dwells in us - I Corinthians 3:16-17

            C.        Keep from sin - Colossians 3:1-5

            D.        You cannot hold hot coals and not be burnt - Proverbs 6:25-28

                        1.         Pornography

                                    a.         Arouses a desire for sex with someone you cannot have.

                                    b.         Repeated exposure wears down your resistance to sin

                                    c.         What happens if you are placed in a sexual situation?

                        2.         Songs, television shows, and movies that show unmarried couples jumping into bed.

                                    a.         How long before you start thinking that this is normal behavior?

                                    b.         How long before fondling is thought of as expected behavior?

                                    c.         These repeated exposures wear down our resistence to sin.

VII.     Dating

            A.        Most people eventually date, but we must acknowledge the dangers present in dating.

                        1.         Not everyone has the same standards towards sin that we try to uphold.

                        2.         The number of Christians is generally few. Many find dates among non-Christians.

                        3.         Psalms 1:1 - Don’t associate with sinners. Pick people who will encourage you to be a better person, not worse.

                        4.         I Corinthians 15:33 - Bad companions will corrupt good morals.

            B.        Temptation for girls to date older men

                        1.         Boys develop in a different order and a different rate than girls.

                                    a.         Their growth starts two years after the typical girl.

                                    b.         Their growth takes longer than the typical girl (generally four years longer).

                        2.         Hence, there is a period of time where girls look and act more mature than boys of their own age.

                        3.         It is flattering to have a handsome, older man take notice of you

                                    a.         Easy to mistake the notice for a complement on your maturity.

                                    b.         Too often the attention is because the man believes a young, inexperienced girl is easier to manipulate.

            C.        Minimizing temptation on a date

                        1.         Especially in younger years, date in groups.

                                    a.         Less pressure to be the entertainment

                                    b.         Able to become acquainted with several people at a time

                                    c.         Less likely to be pressured into doing something wrong (if the group is good in general).

                        2.         Pick activities in public, well-lighted places

                                    a.         Picnic, volleyball, canoe, bowl

                                    b.         Go for pizza or ice cream

                        3.         Inform your parents in advance where you plan to go and when you plan to return.

                                    a.         If you are uncomfortable telling you folks, then there may be a problem with your plans.

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