Sexual sin is one of the basest, and therefore most prolific of all sins. Because it appeals to the very essence of mankind, the results it produces can be some of the worst encountered by man. The following is meant to be good reminders of sexual sin and what it can do.
- Who or what you pursue will ultimately determine what you do and who you become. It’s a spiritual impossibility to pursue Jesus and sexual sin at the same time. Psalm 25:15 says, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.”
- As a friend of mine has often said, “God isn’t after our begrudging submission but rather our joy.” And long-term joy, peace, and fulfillment are never the result of pursuing sexual sin. Solomon wrote extensively about this subject in Proverbs 5-7, and you can read it for confirmation about this point.
- Sexual sin isn’t something that can be “prayed away”, nor can we simply read Bible verses about grace after committing it in order to feel better (cp. Romans 6:1). We also can’t simply promise God over and over that we won’t do it again (honestly, how’s that working for you?). We can be set free from it … but it won’t be pretty. It must be confessed (James 5:16) and repented of (Revelation 2:21-23). A lot of men (and women) can’t overcome their decades-long battle with pornography until they confess it and ask for help. Yes, it may “cost you” when it comes to your reputation, but the costs of concealment are far greater than the costs of confession. And repentance is way more important than our reputation.
- Sexual sin costs us our spiritual esteem. People who are involved in sexual sin feel disconnected from God, guilty, and spiritually dead.
- For those who want to stop sinning sexually a decision has to be made to renew your mind (Romans 12:1-12), to fight the battles in your mind (1 Peter 1:13), and to ask godly men and women to come alongside you to encourage and spur you when necessary (Hebrews 10:24-25). This means you have to stop saying, “I messed up sexually” or “I made a mistake”. Call it what it is — sin. And stop meeting with people who’re doing the same things that you’re doing so that when you get together to “hold one another accountable”, you’re actually hoping that the other person “messed up” so that you don’t feel bad about doing so.
- Understand that in Christ you can have victory over sexual sin (Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Philippians 4:13). In Christ, you aren’t a victim but a receiver of victory! The power of God is the power of His Word, and when that Word was preached, it caused men and women to leave their sexual sin and become sanctified in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). If Jesus overcame death, then He can help you break through the stronghold of sexual sin.
- For those who belong to Christ and are trying their best to pursue Him on a daily basis, but are still haunted by a sexual past, remember that’s who you were, it’s not who you are in Christ. Paul described all of us as “new creations” in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Don’t allow what used to defeat you to define you. You’re no longer defined by what you did but rather by what Christ did for you on the cross.
Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and as such He wants you to flee sexual immortality (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). Sexual sin began early (think Lamech and his multiple wives in Genesis 4:19), but you need to constantly think of who you are. You’re a king and priest reigning in life, seated with Christ in heavenly places. You’ve been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and have been born again into the kingdom of God. You’re a new creation, dead to sin, and are now a slave to righteousness, walking by the Spirit, not according to flesh. You’re now a partaker of God’s divine nature. You’re an alien to this world, in it and not of it.
Take captive every thought through the gospel in your heart (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). A single random thought doesn’t make sin, but dwelling on it, expanding upon it, pitching camp there — that’s where sin begins to germinate (Matthew 15:19-20). Take control of what can cause you to stumble such as boredom (Ephesians 5:14-17), stress (Ephesians 4:22-24), and situations that position you for weakness, like being online for long periods of time (Proverbs 4:23-27). Above all, don’t forget about Christ for He gives you the grace if you turn to Him in your weakness (Hebrews 4:16).
Adapted from Perry Noble