January 16, 2023

James 1:14

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy


James 1:14

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.


So often we point at the devil, the world, unbelieving friends, disobedient Christians, etc. as the source of our temptations. Though these are common sources of evil temptations, the above Scripture points out that there is a more subtle and dangerous fountainhead. It lies within every one; it is identified as “his own lust”.

The word “lust” (epithumía) indicates “strong desire” or “longing” in a bad sense. It depicts man’s inordinate and impure desire or appetite. The King James Bible has translated it also as “concupiscence.” It is often used with words that connote materialism and sensuality. The New Testament speaks of “lust” as “evil concupiscence” (Colossians 3:5), “deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22), “foolish and hurtful lusts” (1 Timothy 6:9), “youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22), “worldly lusts” (Titus 2:12), “fleshly lusts” (1 Peter 2:11), “ungodly lusts” (Jude 1:18), etc. Hence, “lust” represents the corrupt inclinations of the human heart.

Lust” is not a dormant, harmless curiosity or idea of the heart. Quite the reverse – it is a very powerful feeling that can numb one’s moral and spiritual senses, drawing one to corrupt and damaging activities. James reveals to us lust’s powerful ploy with the two verbs he used in the above verse. The first verb translated “drawn away” (exélkō) conveys the idea of being “dragged out” or “forcibly hauled or compelled”. The second verb translated “enticed” (deleázō) comes from a root word (délear) that means “bait”; it signifies being beguiled and lured into a trap or snare. Powerful enticements and deceptions are at play when lust is at work in our hearts. Our thinking and feelings will be so desensitised that we can be wheedled into destructive conduct. Like the bait on the fisherman’s hook that entices the fish, lust also would entice a man into sin’s temptations. And once hooked, like the fish, he would be dragged away!

There is a great need for us to realise that our own lust is a great danger to us. We must recognise and act against our own lust, lest it drags us into shameful and hurtful mischief of sin. Our temptations are often self-inflicted perils. So, let us be vigilant against ourselves. Peter gravely cautions: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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