Fighting the battle against lust: A series

SERIES. The posts in this series are offered as ammunition for winning a war, the war against the indwelling sin of lust in the heart of the believer. Every disciple is obligated to wage war against all persistent indwelling sins, but the sin of sexual immorality (lust) is especially threatening to our walk with Christ. Paul says sexual sin is unique: “Flee immorality. Every other sin is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18). Unconquered lust is a cancer that eats away our hunger for holiness and dulls our desire to live for Christ. If this lust is not vanquished, it will hinder your sanctification and make you less useful, or even useless, for the kingdom of heaven.

But lust poses a greater danger for the disciple of Jesus. While lust will drain the joy from your spiritual life, it also has the potential to suddenly explode onto the big screen, bringing shame and ruin and permanent damage to your whole life. How many stories do we need to read of pastors who fell into disgrace and ruin through sexual sin before the alarm goes off in our own head and heart? These men who made a shipwreck of their lives read the same Bible you read and have a conscience as well as you do. Like you, they knew that allowing their lust to continue to live was playing a game of Russian roulette, and that the consequences could be disastrous, but they thought that there was no harm in one more visit to a porn site or one more flirtatious conversation or one more taste of eye candy or one more fantasy about that particular woman. They thought there was no harm, but they were wrong. They thought they could ignore the Bible’s urgent warnings, but they were wrong. They thought that shipwreck would never happen to them, but they were wrong. The secret cancer of their lust suddenly escaped from its cage and devastated their ministries, their marriages, and their legacies. And it can do the same thing for any of us. We, therefore, read these passages of Scripture with great sobriety and holy fear. John Owen wrote, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you,” and the sin of lust and sexual immorality in all its manifestations is especially lethal.

This appeal to sexual purity is especially urgent to men in America’s sexually charged atmosphere. We, as a culture, are obsessed with sex, and this presents a minefield of sin for the man who desires to follow Jesus. Pornography is available to everyone through our mobile phones, and overt and subtle sexual content permeates our media. Our culture encourages sexual immorality and assumes sexual immorality to be the normal behavior for everyone. In the midst of this, the man of God must fight against these temptations with unrelenting vigor so that we will not be just another shipwreck but will glorify the Lord by living holy lives.

So, as a man who himself is fighting for holiness, I offer this series of posts on sexual purity so that we can all fight the good fight and obtain the crown of righteousness.

SDG                 rmb                 4/1/2022                     #511

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