27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28
The offense of lust Jesus is referring to begins in the mind. It’s not the act of adultery itself, as wrong as it is, but its initiation point that is the issue at hand. It’s the act of wanting something that isn’t yours and probably never will be. Ligonier Ministries defines it as such:
“Lust may be defined as the desire to engage in or enjoy illicit sexual activity. Given this definition, a whole host of things qualify as lust, including the viewing of pornography, adulterous fantasies, homosexual behavior, incest, sexual abuse, rape, bestiality, and other perversions. In prohibiting lust, our Creator prohibits all of these things.”
But all of it starts in the mind as it begins to fantasize about what could be.
Lately I’ve been encouraging this audience to continue memorizing Scripture. Just as memorizing Scripture restores the spirit when we think on pure and holy things, dwelling on lustful thoughts affects the mind and spirit in a destructive, harmful way.
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2