Concupiscence Defined (Part I)

February 24, 2009 by: KJVOnly

There are 3 instances of this word, all in Paul’s Epistles. Let’s look at the references.

5. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

8. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:5-8 KJV

1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6.For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7.In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Colossians 3:1-7 KJV

3. For this is the will of God, even your sanctificationm that ye should abstain from fornication:

4.That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

5.Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

6.That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

7.For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 KJV

So, let’s look at each of these passages separately then combine them and see what the King James Bible’s built-in dictionary shows us about this word.


5. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

8. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:5-8 KJV

Look at verse 8. How sin able to wrought “all manner of concupiscence”? By the commandment. What commandment? The answer is in verse 7: “except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

What was the result of the law commanding “Thou shalt not covet?” The world was taught the meaning of lust, as Paul readily acknowledges. So if the world was taught the meaning of lust, that must be what sin wrought in Paul.

Therefore, concupiscence is synonymous with or is a form of lust.

Let’s make a note of that and move to the next passage.


1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6. For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7. In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Colossians 3:1-7 KJV

Here I think the answer lies solely in verse 4. Notice how there are word pairs of the different descriptions? I’ll pair them by color to make it easier to see.

5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

There is a 1-word pair (fornication and uncleanness), a 2-word pair (inordinate affection and evil concupiscence) and then a 1-word pair again (covetousness and idolatry).

Since the Bible pairs up evil concupiscence and inordinate affection, that is what we must do as well.

Concupiscence, in this case described as evil, is defined as inordinate affection.

It denotes an unhealthy affection; the kind that wants to possess something simply so no one else can have it.


8. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication:

9. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

10. Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

11. That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

12. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 KJV

Verse 9 would seem to be the defining verse here, because it shows the opposite of “the lust of concupiscence”. Since the opposite is someone knows “how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour”, concupiscence is the opposite where one’s vessel is kept in uncleanness and dishonour.

But what is meant by one’s “vessel”? Is it solely limited to our genitalia? Definitely not, because verse 11 says “no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter”, ‘any’ being the key word. Impossible to imagine God condoning brothers to make deals involving sex when so many items in the law were about not unconvering the nakedness of close relatives. Mainly a brother was commanded to carry on his brother’s line IF the brother died.

Look at Onan in Genesis 38. God punished him right away for defrauding his brother.

6. And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar.

7. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.

8. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

9. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

10. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

Genesis 38:6-10 KJV

Onan was willing enough to have sex with his wife but didn’t want his brother to have the results. Classic example of defrauding. You promise one thing then deliver another.

Jesus used a parable to illustrate the attitude of someone like Onan and what the result would be.

28. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

29. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented and went.

30. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

31. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:28-31 KJV

The word brother in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 doesn’t just mean physical brother. The Bible, especially the Gospels and the New Testament, is full of examples, from Jesus saying “For whosover shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (in Matthew 12:50) to Paul in 1 Corinthians 6. It is clear that we Christians are not to defraud anyone.

5. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

6. But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

7. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

8. Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1 Corinthians 6:5-8 KJV

Let’s see what the Bible says about “vessel”. In keeping with the simplicity mentioned in 2 Corinthians 11:3 (a personal favorite), we really only need one section to define vessel.

6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 KJV

Our ENTIRE body is the vessel, carrying “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Note how it’s the KNOWLEDGE that shines, not some mystical force today’s New Agers want to believe. Where is the only place to get that knowledge? The King James Bible rightly divided!

Why would you want to subject such precious cargo to such degradation described as “concupiscence”?!?


So, in conclusion, we see that concupiscence is wanting something in a way that goes beyond lust and covetousness, where you radiate “inordinate affection” and are almost consumed with desire for the given object! To get it you’re willing to defraud someone close to you! And we got that solely from the pages of the King James Bible rightly divided. How wonderful!