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Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Put Lust to Death
1. As we think, so we are, Prov. 23:7.
2. The gospel has the power to bring every thought into submission in order to obey Christ, 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
3. This is vital, because at times we must battle intense desires that entice us to sin against God, cf. Jas. 1:14; Rom. 6:12.
I. STRONG DESIRE: TO LONG AFTER / SET THE HEART UPON.
-epithumia: Morally neutral word, of any strong desire, longing, craving. Context of usage explains the nature of the desire, Lk. 16:21; 1 Cor. 10:6.
A. Intensely Pure Desire.
1. Christís desire to eat the Passover with apostles, Lk. 22:15.
(With a longing I have set my heart on eating this Passover...)
2. Paulís desire to be with Christ, Phil. 1:23.
3. Paulís longing to see the brethren, 1 Ths. 2:17.
B. Sinful Desires of the Flesh and of the Mind, Eph. 2:3; Matt. 5:28.
-Sensual and sexual, but not always limited to these; power, money, prestige...
1. Deceitful lusts, Eph. 4:22 (19).
2. Worldly, Tit. 2:12; 1 Jno. 2:16-17.
3. Corrupting, 2 Pet. 1:4.
4. Fleshly lusts attack the soul, 1 Pet. 2:11.
C. Lust must be Put to Death, Col. 3:5.
1. Heart that was once set on (longing after) the flesh must be put to death. cf. Rom. 1:24
2. Heart is now given to preserving the body pure, 1 Ths. 4:3-5.
II. HOW TO PUT LUST TO DEATH (Col. 3:5; Gal. 5:24).
A. Walk in the Spirit, Gal. 5:16-26.
-Deliberate decision of reason and will to follow the Spiritís teaching. Walk (16), led (18), bear fruit (22-23), live in (25).
B. Set Your Mind on the Things of the Spirit), Rom. 8:5-9.
-Subject yourself to the law of God (7); cf. Col. 3:1-2
C. Put Godís Word in Your Heart as Your Absolute Standard, Psa. 119:9-11.
1. Seek God with your whole heart Ė Let His word define you.
2. Your desire for God must be stronger than the desires of the flesh and mind.
3. Purify your heart, Jas. 4:8.
D. Flee / Abstain from Lusts, 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Pet. 2:11.
1. Take concrete steps to avoid and resist sinful desires.
2. Avoid (youthful) arrogance toward lust: Temptation not to assess the full danger of a situation from inexperience, a lack of knowledge and a lack of wisdom.
3. Take the way of escape, 1 Cor. 10:12-13.
E. Replace Lust for Sin with Pure Thinking and Godly Conduct, Phil. 4:8-9; 1 Pet. 2:11-12.
1. While removing lust from our hearts we must replace it with devotion to God and a life of good works and godly influence.
2. Bring every thought into captivity to obey Christ, 2 Cor. 10:5.
1. The battle against lust can be won through faith, 1 Jno. 5:4.
2. Desire the good things of God and flee every enticement of sinful lusts.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: February 6, 2014