Lasciviousness, Mark 7:22


Referenced – the word appears six times in the Bible: Mk 7:22; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 1 Pet 4:3; 2 Cor 12:21; and Jude 4.

Defined – “Lascivious” = preoccupied with or exhibiting lustful desires; wanton, lewd; tending to produce voluptuous emotions.  Wanton = undisciplined, unrestrained, hence, loose, free; deviating from the rules of chastity, wandering from moral rectitude [rectitude = straightness, rightness of principle or practice, exact conformity to truth, or to the rules prescribed for moral conduct, either by divine or human laws].  Lewd = suggestive of or tending to moral looseness, given to promiscuous indulgence of lust.  Promiscuous = consisting of individuals united in a body or mass without order; indiscriminate.  Voluptuous = full of delight or pleasure, especially that of the senses; ministering to sensuous or sensual gratification; exciting sensual desires.

You can see what lasciviousness has done in our society; we are now like Sodom and Gomorrah.

It’s located in the heart – Mk 7:21-23.  Lasciviousness is in the heart of man.  So, it is already within him, it’s not something that he has to go out and seek.  It’s something that he has to get under control and keep under control or else it will control him [Gen 4:7; 2 Pet 2:19].

Without restraint it will be manifested in the flesh – Gal 5:19-2.  Lasciviousness is manifest just like other works of the flesh.  Though it is already in the heart of man, if he doesn’t act on lasciviousness it will never be manifest to others.  When a man becomes lasciviousness, he will not be able to hide it.  A Christian will suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ like he would for the other works of the flesh that are manifest and he will lose all or some of his inheritance in the Kingdom of God.  See Col 3:23-25.

It will ruin a saved man’s walk with the Lord – Eph 4:17-19.  They give themselves over to lasciviousness.  They begin by walking as other Gentiles walk.  Notice that you cannot distinguish a lascivious Christian from a lost man.  When Christians walk as other Gentiles walk, they:

  • Walk in the vanity of their mind, which will lead them contrary to God because:
    • Their understanding is darkened.  Understanding involves light, Ps 119:13.
    • They are alienated from the life of God; following the life of the flesh [Rom 8:7].
    • Ignorance is in them; like driving down a dark road toward a bridge that is out.
    • And their heart is blind.  So, they cannot see, they are like a buck in rut.
  • Are past feeling [Acts 17:27].  So, they cannot sense the leading and filling of the Spirit
  • Give themselves over to lasciviousness.  This is what they go for.
  • Work all uncleanness with greediness.  Notice the uncleanness and greediness of preachers and their congregations in lasciviousness.  Consider the greed of perverts who can never have enough.

When a man gets saved he must discontinue this – 1 Pet 4:1-5.  A man that knows the evils of lasciviousness from experience and has “suffered in the flesh” will cease from sin, [v.1].  When he has suffered, he doesn’t want to live the rest of his time in the flesh.  Thus, v.2, he lives the rest of his time to the will of God, v.3. His lasciviousness stays in the past; it was the will of the Gentiles.  In v.4, when he quits his lasciviousness, his buddies will think he is strange, they will speak evil of him.  But since he knows that all men are accountable to God, v.5, he will not let the world or his old buddies persuade him to get back into this lasciviousness that he left when he left the world.

If he brings it into the church he’s going to hurt the church – 2 Cor 12:20-21.  These can really get an individual or a church stirred up.  Paul, humbled by God, said that he would bewail [to express deep sorrow for, to wail, to lament] those who were lascivious and have not repented.  Paul recognized the terrible condition of lasciviousness in a man’s life and in his church [unclean and fornicating].  When you correct someone who is lascivious, he will debate with you and strive with you and all these other things in v. 20 [envying, wraths, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults].

Lasciviousness has already infiltrated many churches and we must keep it in out of ours – Jude 3-4.  To keep lasciviousness out of your congregation, you have to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.  This is old fashioned preaching.  Otherwise, ungodly men will creep in unawares and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness and eventually deny Jesus.  It creeps in through doctrinal error, sensual music, and sensual emphases (feel the Spirit, entertain the church goers).  People need to be very aware of the ways ungodly men creep in so that he can keep them out.  Very few sheep are going to be aware of those creeping in UNAWARES.

Conclusion: So when a person realizes that his heart is deceitful and desperately wicked and that he lives in an unrestrained society, if he desires not to be given over to his heart’s desire, he will willingly submit to restraint in order to protect himself from wantonness and lasciviousness.  He will set up restraint in his personal life and in his family and he will look for restraint in his church.  Since the modern church mistakes lasciviousness for the liberty of the Spirit and will not generally preach moral rectitude, you are hopeless to find restraint there.