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Have you ever wondered what the word “lust” means? In the English language “lust” often has sexual connotation. In the Bible there is a sexual connotation to lust, but this is only a small part of what the Bible means.

As it is used in the scripture, “lust” occurs as both a noun (epithumetes) and a verb (epithumeo). In its noun form it occurs only once in the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:6). Here Paul said Israel “lusted” after “evil things.” Because of the word “evil” we know Israel’s desires were sinful. Had Paul not included the word “evil,” we would not know whether the “lust” (desire) was good or evil because this word simply means “strong desire.”

We see the basic meaning of this word in its verbal form. Throughout the New Testament the verbal form of “lust” is used to describe a strong desire of what is good and bad. Readers can see this by examining the following passages, all of which have the word “lust” (epithumeo) in the text.

Verses in the New Testament that use the word “lust”:  Mt. 5:28; Mt. 13:17; Lk. 15:16; Lk. 16:21; Lk. 17:22; Lk. 22:15; Acts 20:33; Rom 7:7; Rom. 13:9; 1 Cor. 10:6; Gal. 5:17; 1 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 6:11; Jas. 4:2; 1 Pet. 1:12; Rev. 9:6.