“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
I’ve realised that Churches don’t really like to talk about sex and sexual sin is one of the most prevalent sins in this generation, yet we still won’t talk about it. We live in a sex crazed world where everything must be sensual, and so because of that, it has become increasingly difficult for people to keep themselves in a state of moral purity. So today, I want to address how we can fight sexual sin. Sexual sin as Paul described in the Bible passage above, is sexual immorality against your body. For the purposes of understanding, some examples are: lustful thoughts, fornication, adultery, beastiality, pornography, masturbation, homosexuality etc. Please understand that if you are struggling with sexual sin, you are not alone. I struggled too, even King David in the Bible did. David saw a beautiful married woman bathing and he lusted after her and got her pregnant. In order to cover his tracks, David sent the husband of this woman (Bathsheba) to the forefront of a battle so he could be killed. If you know the story of David, you’d know that David was referred to as a man after God’s heart. God was able to forgive and redeem David and He can do the same for you.
For a long time, I thought that the key to overcoming sin was behavioural adjustment or moral uprightness. I thought that if I stopped going to certain kinds of parties and avoided certain kinds of people, that I wouldn’t fall. But God does not want behavioural adjustment or moral uprightness, He wants affectionate obedience. Total obedience to the Word of God will keep us away from sin. The major key to overcoming sexual sin is to address the “why”. Try and figure out the root cause of that particular sin. For me, I wanted to know things ahead of time but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Listen, the enemy will feed you several lies and promises. He will feed you promises of approval, beauty, acceptance etc. if you engage in sexual sin. You need to look beneath that sin and dig out those false promises, then replace them with the truth of the Word. For example, if the enemy is telling you that people will rate you and approve of you if you sin against your body, fight that lie with Romans 14:18 which says that whoever serves Christ is pleasing to God and approved by men. And truly, whose approval really matters in the end?
Sex, as God’s creation is a significant part of the human experience because without sex, we wouldn’t exist. Sex lost its meaning and drifted from God’s purpose when Adam and Eve fell from grace. The root cause of sin is pride because we think we can be happy and satisfied without God. Sin promises us happiness and we buy the lie. We eat it up and see other people and all of creation as things to use in the service to the desires of our flesh. What a lot of people don’t understand is that the more you feed that pride, the more its appetite grows and urges you to consume more and more. Thankfully, God has given us victory over sin and we can break the power of sin by banking on the promises of Jesus. Your mind will always believe everything you tell it so feed it faith, feed it truth and feed it with love.
Here are seven steps to overcoming sexual sin:
- Understand that sex is a good gift from God and He understands the appeal. After all, we were created as sexual beings. But remember that just like everything else in life, there is a time and purpose for it (Proverbs 5:18-20).
- Know and believe that God is for you and never against you (Psalm 84:11).
- Realise that sin weakens your spirit man (1 Peter 2:11).
- Minister to yourself – recognise that there is more joy in God’s presence than in sin (Psalm 16:11).
- Be vigilant, watch and avoid anything that will cause you to sin against your body (2 Timothy 2:22).
- Remember that Jesus was tortured for your freedom and purity (1 Corinthians 5:15). This is very relatable for me. I constantly have to fight lustful thoughts with the image of Jesus suffering for me because my imagination and mind are so powerful.
- Do not be excessively alone (Hebrews 3:12-13). Sin flourishes when Christians are isolated. But it withers in the closeness of community (John Piper). In this post (http://www.livelystones.co.uk/you-need-the-church/), I talked about how isolating yourself from a community of Godly friends, mentors and companions makes it difficult to realise when you’ve stepped out of the will of God because you have no one to keep you accountable.
God’s grace is sufficient for us and He is able to forgive us of our sins. But please, do not make the mistake of taking that grace for granted. Grace is not a license to continue living in sin. It is not too late to get out and live a new life.
Johnstone KPILAAKAA, writes from Gboko, Benue State