13 thoughts on “Is Sexual arousal lust?

  1. I Cor 7.9 tells us that people should marry if they cannot control themselves, that this is better than to burn. the NIV adds “burn with passion,” but i believe the original intent is similar to Jesus telling us to gouge out an eye or cut off a hand rather than have our whole bodies burn in hell.
    while rushing into marriage is culturally seen as a bad thing, especially when done for misunderstood reasons, Scripture says there is no better reason than to safeguard oneself. for, if we are not pure, neither are our actions.
    God granted us the abilities of sexual arousal so that we could use them in the marriage bed. the fact that we encounter such thoughts outside the marriage bed is not evidence for God’s approval, but rather evidence for man’s–that is, the sinful nature. God ordained marriage. the flesh does not want marriage, so the flesh seeks the things meant for those who marry without having any desire to enact the covenant.

  2. Daniel,

    If you believe that “to burn” means to “burn in hell” then what you are saying is that Paul was saying that it is “better to marry than to fornicate and burn in hell”. All sin sends unbelieving men to hell, not just fornication. But there is no sin that can send a believer to hell every sin he has ever committed or will ever commit is covered by the blood of Christ.

    “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    “Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.

    Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” – Romans 4:5-8 (NIV)

    Now sin can break our fellowship with God and make bring discipline on us for sin in our lives, but we can never as believers loose our salvation and be sent to hell – even for the sin of fornication.

    Again this not to condone fornication, but I believe if we interpret that believers can “burn in hell” for committing fornication we have gutted the blood of Christ which covers all our sins from the Gospel. We have now made our salvation dependent on our works in stead of the blood of Christ.

  3. i only mean that Paul’s words follow suit with Christ’s in Mt 5.29-30 and again in Mt 18.8-9. here, Christ is addressing sin, showing the ultimate effect of it: condemnation to hell. he is not saying anything of the sort that a believer will go to hell if he sins thus. indeed, I Jn 3.5-10 speaks of sin in a different light. Mt 12.31 also hints at this alternate sense of sin, and Eph 4.30 supports that. a believer, one with whom the Spirit dwells, cannot sin in such a way that would send him to hell. it is impossible. rather, sin is what condemns man to hell, and so in that lone passage, Jesus is simply telling us that we should avoid sin, and avoid those things which cause us to sin, and avoid those people who lead us to sin. such sin is the reason he came to die. he is not, in that passage, calling us to believe on him. he does that enough elsewhere. but i believe the greatest point of his sermon on the mount was to show people just how far they were from saving themselves. the Pharisees prided themselves on keeping the whole law, but Jesus showed there was more to the law than the letter of it. he showed man the impossibility of wholly avoiding sin and condemnation, before revealing to him the only true way to attain eternal life.

    Paul is calling out sin to rebuke the Corinthians, not to condemn them. but many among them were not Christians; they only acted as such and their deceit would be shown for what it was, yet they would also lead others away from God–not believers, but disciples. they would be as blind guides if they themselves were not corrected.
    in broader context, the preface to that passage in I Cor 7.9 speaks in I Cor 6 that some Corinthians were thinking themselves to have rights, while Paul answered that the exercise of those “rights” was not necessarily good. they were acting out of self rather than wisdom. it is true that what goes into a man is not what makes him clean (Mt 15.11); rather, a clean man will ingest clean things. we were made clean so that we could remain clean (Rom 6.2). Paul uses one instance of sexual immorality as an example (union with a prostitute), and says rather that we should be united with the LORD.
    but separately, in the start of I Cor 7, Paul writes specifically regarding abstaining from marriage (and hence sex). but since lust exists, only those who have been called to abstain should do so, while others should marry because, as i understand it, they lack the ability to control their sexual desires. indeed, I Cor 7.5 explains why abstaining from sex, even within a marriage covenant, is not good. (and though he does not explicitly lay it out, we know the reason is to avoid committing adultery.) so, those who cannot control themselves ought to marry. that is God’s gift to those people, different entirely from His gift to those who are called to unite themselves wholly to God.

  4. http://www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-teaching-on-masturbation.html

    I’m a catholic, and this is a link to one catholic teacher who explains why masturbation is wrong. However your article/s have really spoken to me; and I feel really conflicted as I don’t want to go against the teachings of my own church, but you have provided a so much more scriptual ground for all your arguments, while our church has developed a worst-case-scenario that tries to prevent even the slightly lust or self-indulgence in fear of a mortal sin.
    If you have any time, would you be able to read through that article, and argue your points our point out where you ‘believe’ this teacher has gone astray?
    I’m honestly really curious and trying to find the truth God has for the sexuality in my life. I’m feeling more than just what our church teaches, but don’t want to go against my church’s beliefs.


  5. Matt,

    I would be happy to do a review on it. But before I do you have said you don’t want to go against your church’s beliefs. I can tell you that Catholic teaching is clearly against masturbation. So if I make arguments it will be from a Biblical perspective showing why your church’s belief’s are wrong in this area? Are you willing to consider the Catholic church can be wrong in some of its doctrines? If not there is no point if you feeling Catholic dogma is equal to the Bible.

  6. I really appreciate that you respected that, instead of lashing out at me. I’m not necessarily asking you to change my mind, but I do feel conflicted in this area, and having being fed so many different ideologies – I’ve never found something as rooted in scripture as your posts.
    Again, I’m not asking you to chance my belief, but I’m seeking to broaden my overall understanding of the whole issue as it appears in the bible, and would appreciate just seeing your personal comparison of the article.

    Thankyou again for your consideration

  7. As much as I believe that my church is being guided by God to be one of truth and divine purpose, I also have to acknowledge that NO-ONE, except God, is infallible. That’s my main motivation. And I continue to pray that I will be led to the truth.

  8. Isn’t there something in scripture about either God or Christ teaching that our bodies were not for our own pleasure? Only a wife could bring pleasure to her husband and vice verse? Not sure where in scripture this is. Any response will be appreciated. Thanks. Mike.

  9. Michael,

    No there are not any passages of Scripture that say we cannot experience our sexuality(and the pleasure that comes from it) – whether it be in pleasure from viewing beautiful people of the opposite sex, sexual fantasies or masturbation apart from our spouse. God reserves sexual RELATIONS to be between a man and a woman in marriage, he does not place this same restriction on sexual PLEASURE that we can experience on our own. Sexual relations require at least two living beings(whether they be a man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, or man and beast). You cannot have sexual relations by yourself, but you can experience sexual pleasure by yourself.

    Now we should not live for pleasure for to do so is the very definition of sensuality or what the KJV calls lasciviousness. But if we experience the pleasures of this world whether it be eating food we like to eat, going to a baseball game or yes enjoying the thought of a beautiful woman or even masturbating there is no sin in this. It is only when our entire life’s focus is on pleasure to the neglect of other areas of our life.


  10. Hi again. Michael here. I found the verse I was referring to. It is 1 Corinthians 7-4. I was wondering if you had a comment on this in relationship to masterbation as I have seen definitions by others saying this verse in particular says it is not acceptable for married couples. I’m not sure how it would relate to a single individual. The language and interpreted text seem to be rather vague. Thanks for your help. Mike.

  11. I love your articles on lust I read them a lot. I was afraid for a while that I was doing something wrong, but I realize now that it’s something that comes naturally. Those articles are a blessing

  12. Thank you for this teaching. I have long been annoyed that it’s taken for granted by almost all Christians that sexual attraction=lust (found nowhere in the BIble), rather than covetousness=lust (as is expressly equated in Romans). My wife and I masturbate from time to time (but never instead of having sex together, unless mutually agreed upon), and we are happily married. I was hindered by false guilt for a long time when I was single. I made it to marriage at age 30 without having had sex with anyone, and I think masturbation (sometimes, but not usually, accompanied by videos of bikini contests, burlesques, etc.) helped get me through. Incidentally, if my wife had practiced INTERNAL masturbation before we had gotten married, she wouldn’t have been physically closed up on our honeymoon. It’s probably a good idea for women to do that starting a couple weeks before their wedding. Furthermore (while I never had any inclination toward homosexuality), I’ve often wondered if teenage boys who think they’re inclined to be gay should actually look frequently at images/videos of the female body, as therapy. I wonder if some people turn homosexual when they squelch their God-given feelings of healthy sexuality.

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