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Read Introduction to Colossians


“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”


The fourth sin cataloged in this list of five is “evil desire.”

“evil desire”

The word “desire” occurs 35 times in the New Testament and is sometimes translated as “lust” (Jn 8:44; Gal 5:24; Eph 2:1-3; I Jn 2:16,17). “Evil desire” is illicit craving. It means to experience strong physical desires, particularly of a sexual nature — passion, lust, lustful desire.

“God gave them over to shameful passions” (Ro 1.26).

“Not with lustful desires, like the heathen” (1 Th 4.5).

“The sinful passions aroused by the Law were at work in our bodies” (Ro 7.5).

“They have crucified their sinful nature with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5.24).

“Lust” is the greed to have more. It is to crave for something, have what belongs to someone else, or engage in a morally wrong activity – to covet or evil desires.

“I have not coveted anyone’s silver, gold, or clothing” (Ac 20.33).

Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully” (Mt 5.28).

“Many foolish desires” (1 Tim 6.9).

“Flee also youthful desires (2 Tim 2.22).

“The former desires when you were ignorant” (1 Pet. 1.14).

“Do not gratify the desires of the body” (Gal. 5.16).

“Lust” is an intense desire of any kind. The New Testament used it for good desire in Luke 22:15; Php. 1:23, and 1 Thes. 2:17 only. Everywhere else, it conveys a bad sense. In Romans 6:12, the injunction against letting sin reign in our mortal body to obey the lust thereof refers to those evil desires that are ready to express themselves in bodily activity.

“Evil desire” describes the emotions of the soul, the natural tendency towards things evil. Such lusts are not necessarily base or immoral. They may be refined in character but are evil if inconsistent with the will of God.

In Romans 7:7,8, the “commandment” convicted Paul of sinfulness in his desires for unlawful objects.


The believer lusts when he goes beyond the limits of desire that the Bible authorizes.


The Spirit of God makes the will of God clear through the Word of God. If we insist on going beyond the Bible in our desire, we enter the sphere of sinful lust.

We may know it is wrong to marry a non-Christian, but if we marry them, we go out of bounds from the biblical standard. God will chasten us. The non-Christian crowd can get away with murder, but the Christians cannot. The Word of God is the supreme court beyond which there is no appeal. The Holy Spirit does not like a dirty home in which to dwell.