Overcoming sinful desire

Galatians 5: 19-25 states that sinful desire manifests itself in sinful conduct, in "works of the flesh", which are then described in dramatic fashion. Christians, however, should keep away from such sins: "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Apostle Paul assigns the following task: "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." To "walk in the Spirit" means to bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit, namely "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Here the term self-control refers to self-restraint which manifests itself in moderation and abstinence. This virtue prevents budding desire from escalating into covetousness.


Christians are admonished to conduct themselves in accordance with their calling and to resist sinful desire "as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct" (1 Peter 1: 14-15).


The last two commandments are very closely linked to one another in terms of content, and are often counted together as the Tenth Commandment. The core message common to both is the sinful desire for the wife or possessions of another human being. (→→)


The Ninth and Tenth Commandments assign human beings the task of safeguarding the purity of their hearts. (→)