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What is the lust of our flesh?

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts (G1939) of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Paul experienced this lust by being forced to fulfill the desire of his flesh against his will; being in a dark place without understanding.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin (Satan) that dwells in me.

Rom 7:23 I see another law in my body, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin/Satan which is in my body.

This other law Paul is experiencing is emotion. Emotion is the only thing in a man’s body that wars against his mind and forces a person to do something they truly do not desire to do.


1. Literally, a moving of the mind or soul; hence, any agitation of mind or excitement of sensibility.

2. In a philosophical sense, an internal motion or agitation of the mind which passes away without desire; when desire follows, the motion or agitation is called a passion.

Paul knew it was not his will to feel this way or do anything that is contrary to God’s will. He understood this emotional lust he felt was not of God, but it was something in his flesh tormenting him; causing Paul to seek Jesus three times that it might be removed.

2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me.

2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Because Paul was willing to stand in the trials, he learned and understood through God’s grace, that God would strengthen him in all his trials, and comfort him in all his tribulations; because he did not give up on faith. He learned that God’s strength is made perfect in his weakness.

2Co 12:10 Therefore I (Paul) take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

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