<<physical pleasure>>

This is a loss of control over one’s passions and evil desires; the largely unrestrained catering to the fleshly appetite includes, not just the actual activities, be it over eating or excessive devotion to a pastime or sport, but also the attitudes and thought life such as mental adultery (Mt 5:27,28). The sensual desires resident within humanity drive so much of modern society to behaviours which are contrary to God’s standards. These shortsighted, selfish cravings have little regard for others or eternity, show a lack of discipline and self-control, with no serious thought being given to the reality of the life to come, rather people just live for ‘me’ and the present. In the last days, Timothy said, people would be lovers of themselves and pleasure, more than lovers of God (2 Tim 3:1-4). The Bible outlines the digression of those enslaved by sensuality, which leads to sexual perversions and eventually a reprobate mind (Rom 1:21-32).

The Bible’s message is “Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature…those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Rom 13:14; Gal 5:24). We are to put off the old way of life and replace it with the new (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10). So “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of

What areas of my life must I be disciplined in?

the sinful nature…consider yourselves dead to sin” for these two natures are contrary to each other and those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God and those practice this lifestyle will not inherit eternal life (Rom 6:2,11, 8:4,8; Gal 5:16-21). Sensual desires are not to control a Christian, rather we are to live for the will of God. We are answerable to God for all we do so we need to be disciplined – like Job – he ‘made a covenant with his eyes’ to avoid lust (Job 31:1; Rom 14:12; 1 Pet 4:3).

Sensuality is a gift of God but it must be rightly managed to be enjoyed (Prov 5:18; SOS 2:7). When sensitivity is lost people give themselves over to sensuality, indulging in all kinds of impurity with a continual lust for more (Eph 4:18,19). Their hearts are hardened and they transgress the boundaries God has given us.

See also: desires, entry points, flesh, immorality, lust, put off/put on, self-control, self-pleasure, senses, temptation, thinking/thoughts.