The survey conducted at Radi-Call’s conception revealed that 3 out of every 4 guys have indulged in pornography on some level. As we explored in our foundations article, any sexual perversion mocks God and is deeply sinful. And holiness is a Christian necessity. Since it’s probable that the pornographic trend hasn’t changed in the last 3 years, we find ourselves with a serious problem.
My Personal Journey
I find myself within the 74% who have sinned sexually. To my shame, most of my teenage years were marred by a subterranean bondage to sexual sin. I frequently found myself face to face with the guilt of my own compromise, feeling as though I had no way out.
Or I tried using what little I knew to counter my sin. Accountability, though helpful, didn’t give me the silver bullet I wanted. It quickly receded into a regular rehearsal of my sins rather than facilitating growth in overcoming them. Not until the gospel latched onto me did I realize the true weight of my sin and the infinitely greater power of grace.
But the struggle didn’t stop there. Even as my spiritual roots thickened, I still failed. It took the faithful discipleship of several brothers before I finally enjoyed persistent freedom.
Sexual sin is often overwhelming. We flounder, clueless where to begin. But the root of every sin is our rejection of God. We are comfortable rejecting God when we don’t truly know or love Him. We must stir our hearts to greater love for God, a love which flourishes under a growing knowledge of Him.
Theology is always practical. Though we often think of stodgy scholars, dusty books, and empty intellectualism, true theology – the study of God – transforms us. Our love for God can be no bigger than our knowledge of Him. The only way to truly honor Him is to truly know Him. Our spiritual maturity and sexual victory is indivisibly linked to our understanding of the gospel.
How, then, does what we know and believe transform how we live, especially when it comes to sexual purity? The gospel changes how we view sin – it changes the weight of sin and our response to sin.
Sin becomes increasingly weighty as we understand God’s abhorrence to it. God hates sin. It is exactly contrary to His purity and holiness. So how can we, who say we love Him, revel in it? Our comfort in our own sin often reveals our distance from the Sinless One.
Our response to sin is also changed by a personal realization of the gospel. The gospel doesn’t make us comfortable in our sin, but it does make us comfortable revealing our sin. When we fail, we find restoration through God’s grace. As John reminds us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)1. We are freed to confess our failures because God has promised forgiveness when we do. But He not only forgives, He cleanses. Our confession yields sanctification.
I’m guessing the majority of you who are reading this aren’t currently in blatant sexual sin. Perhaps you haven’t committed adultery or fornication, yet I would be surprised to find even one who hasn’t acted out his lust in some way. Anyone currently reading this could find pornography within a few clicks. Self-sex is rarely called sin, yet at the core it defies God’s design for the sexual union. And the man who hasn’t experimented with this sin is a modern anomaly.
Sexual sin is not a background issue, nor is it something we can afford to avoid. Any sin we persistently commit has the potential to eternally destroy us. Not only that, it rejects the God we claim to love. True Christianity must be about the business of holiness, which means true Christians must be about God-glorifying sexual victory.
If you are currently struggling with sexual sin, get help. Not just someone who will listen but not instruct, nor someone who will feed you man’s wisdom void of God’s truth. Find a mentor who can help you grow as a faithful Christian. This kind of discipleship should happen within your local church, but if you can’t find anyone there, we are available to help. Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to connect with someone.
|Julian Stoltzfus currently resides in Elnora, IN with his lovely wife, Ruthie. He has had the privilege of attending several semesters at Elnora Bible Institute since 2014, has a Christian Ministries certificate from the same, and is currently part of a pastoral apprenticeship program under Truth and Grace Mennonite Church. When not working, he enjoys tinkering around his house, diving into a good read, or fortifying relationships with family and friends. The 5th of 6, he has greatly benefited from the wisdom and influence of his parents and siblings. He longs to see authentic Christianity thrive as God transforms hearts through the gospel.|
- The Holy Bible: NKJV, New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016. Print.