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Jarrod Jacobs: “Lasciviousness: Acting Inappropriately Toward Others”

Lasciviousness or licentiousness is a word found six times in the New Testament (Mk. 7:22; II Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:19; I Pet. 4:3; Jude 4). This is not a word used often in the 21st century, but the definition of this word is seen almost daily in the lives of ungodly men. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says lasciviousness has to do with “filthy words, unchaste movements of the body.” Mr. Thayer says it also includes the “unchaste handling of males and females” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 79-80). We are well aware of politicians, entertainers, newscasters, and others who are accused of propositioning women, exposing themselves, touching women in inappropriate ways, and more. Indeed, we abhor and condemn such behavior. Yet, this problem is not a “21st-century” problem. This has gone on for centuries. Biblically speaking, people who have been accused of such lewd behavior are guilty of what the Bible calls “lasciviousness.”

First of all, lasciviousness is something that must be fought and controlled in the mind (Mk. 7:21-22). When we allow our minds to wander and think about things of a sexual nature, then lasciviousness is sure to spring up! Therefore, we need to control our thoughts toward others. The Lord also condemned lustful looks (Matt. 5:28). Again, this is connected with the mind. When folks think about things they ought not and look upon others in a lustful way, no good will come from it! Invariably, some will progress from looking to acting on their lusts! This is the natural progression (Jas. 1:14-15).

In contrast to lasciviousness, the apostle Paul taught us to think about things that are “true, … honest (noble) … just … pure … lovely … of good report,” virtuous, and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8). Why should we obey Paul and “think on these things”? It is because if we think about something long enough, we will do it, or we will say it! Therefore, let us think about righteous things and then go about living that kind of life! Thinking about and then acting upon the wicked thoughts will result in hardship on this earth and in eternity!

Lasciviousness is a continual problem for those who refuse to control their lusts (I Jn. 2:15-17). Lasciviousness is an evil act that needs to be stopped, or it will continue to ruin lives. It will ultimately send us to Hell. This is because God considers lasciviousness a “work of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21). In simple terms, we need to learn to keep our eyes to ourselves and keep our hands to ourselves!

The truth is that the Bible teaches us how to treat others. We need to treat others as we want to be treated (Matt. 7:12). Paul told Timothy to treat folks righteously as well (I Tim. 5:1-2). Let’s obey what the Lord has said. Let us avoid lasciviousness and keep our eyes and hands reserved for our spouses (I Cor. 7:2-4)! Parents, let us teach our children to avoid lasciviousness at all costs (Eph. 6:4)! No good will ever come from lascivious actions.

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