Cheating depends on the rules you set for yourself (since Minecraft has no rules). If, as you seem to be, you are playing in a hardcore setting, then anything to make the game easier for yourself is considered cheating. If you are playing in a completely creative mode, then pretty much nothing is cheating.
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May the best man win. Sphere. May the best sphere win. Swap that in. Much more clever. Books.
Say 3 ways in which you can cheat, WITHOUT MODS OR EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS.
Can't think of any?
Sorry but mods are examples of cheating. They are not part of the original game. Using confirmed glitches can also be cheating. It's not bad but it IS cheating your way through.
So that's 2 right? Invisible texture packs. 3. There you go.