“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
The third area the Christian is to put to death is “passion.”
The Greek word for “passion” is pathos from which we get the English “passion.” This is an uncontrollable desire, a compulsive desire. It means to suffer and primarily denotes whatever one suffers or experiences in any way; hence, an affection of the mind, a passionate desire. The New Testament uses this word primarily of evil desire (Rom. 1:26). This word denotes a strong desire of any kind, the various kinds being frequently specified by some adjective. The word is used of a good desire in Luke 22:15; Phil. 1:23, and 1 Thes. 2:17 only. Everywhere else the New Testament uses it in a bad sense.
In Rom. 6:12 it refers to those evil desires that are ready to express themselves in bodily activity. These lusts are the natural tendencies towards things evil. They are not necessarily base but they are always inconsistent with the will of God (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 5:16, 24; Eph. 2:3; 2 Pet. 2:18; 1 John 2:16).
Romans 1:26 uses this word of sexual deviation, sexual perversion; I Th 4:5 of immorality.
Some people are ruled by their desires and make no attempt to rule them.
When sexual perversion seeps into the church it becomes a scandal. The flesh is just as foul in the Christian as in the non-Christian. If a Christian is not aware of this deadly tendency to sin, he may get caught off guard. Someone in whom he places his confidence might snare him.
People who commit sin often say, “Well, I could not help myself.” J. Vernon McGee tells the story of a little boy who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. When his mother asked him what he was doing he said, “I am fighting temptation.” That is not the place to fight temptation.
God assumes that we can conquer compulsive sins. He expects us to execute them.