1 John 2
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Lust of the Flesh
The lust of the flesh is that temptation to feel physical pleasure from some sinful activity—to do something to make the flesh feel satisfied. It can involve any type of sinful activity that will bring pleasure to the body.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Lust of the Eyes
The lust of the eyes is that temptation to look upon until we can live without them things we shouldn’t overly desire, or to have things that we shouldn’t have. In other words, it is to cast our eyes upon something with increasing desire or pleasure, that are outside the limits of what God has provided for us.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Pride of Life
The pride of life is that sinful temptation for excess greatness or power that we all feel the temptation to attain. Pride itself is one of the sins that God hates most. It is the sin that made Lucifer (the beautiful angel) turn into Satan.
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself. 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
What do these temptations look like? (Genesis 3:5-6)
In the Garden of Eden, where Eve was tempted by the serpent to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve perceived that the fruit was “good for food,” “pleasing to the eye,” and “desirable for gaining wisdom”. She coveted the fruit in three ways. First, it was appealing to her appetite. This John refers to as the “lust of the flesh,” the desire for that which satisfies any of the physical needs. The fruit was also pleasing or delightful to the eye, that which we see and desire to own or possess. Here is the “lust of the eyes” John refers to. Finally, Eve somehow perceived that the fruit would make her wise, giving her a wisdom beyond her own. Part of Satan’s lie was that eating the fruit would make her “like God, knowing good and evil”.
These are the areas where every assault on your life will occur.
1. The lust of the flesh, of the body: wrong desires of the heart, the appetite of indulging all things that excite and inflame sensual pleasures.
2. The lust of the eyes: the eyes are delighted with riches and rich possessions; this is the lust of covetousness.
3. The pride of life: a vain man craves the grandeur and pomp of a vain-glorious life; this includes thirst after honor and applause
Satan tried these same three temptations on Christ during His 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). He tempted Jesus with the lust of the flesh, bread for His hunger the lust of the eyes, “all the kingdoms of the world with their splendor” and the pride of life, daring Him to cast Himself from the roof of the Temple in order to prove that He was the Messiah by an ostentatious display of power that was not in the will of God or His plan for the redemption of mankind But Jesus, though He was “tempted in every way, just as we are” (Hebrews 4:15), resisted the devil and used the Word of God to ensure victory over him.