Christians and sexual sins like masturbation, pornography, licentiousness and lasciviousness

sexual sins

 

 

By  Isaac Love Pappoe

 

 

You need to understand this:

 

When you read the epistles carefully, you’ll realise there is the:

 

  1. Finished work of Christ,

  2. The current work of Christ and

  3. The future work of Christ.

 

Unfortunately many in the grace circle mostly dwell on just one aspect (finished work) of these three divisions of the epistles to the extreme of almost ignoring the others (i.e. the current and future work of Christ)… Note this:

 

Finished Work of Christ

The finished work of Christ is all that Christ did for us from the cross to the throne. This includes eternal salvation, redemption, eternal forgiveness, sonship, sealing of the Spirit, justification, circumcision, spiritual baptism etc. They’re called the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. We don’t work for them, we received them through faith in Christ.

The finished work of Christ is the basis for which we are saved and live. Without it, all other things will fall out of place. But you see, the Bible doesn’t only contain the finished work of Christ.

 

Current Work of Christ

There is also the current work of Christ which is an aspect of Christ’s work in moulding and shaping us to practically give expression to who we are in our daily lives in our relationship with God, ourselves and others.

This includes allowing the fruit of the Spirit to flow through us, walking in love, forgiving others, disciplining and taking the voice of our lists and appetites, avoiding sin, walking in purity and holiness, living a life worthy of Christ, walking righteously etc.

God will not force this on us. We have a responsibility of yielding to His word by the power of His Spirit. There is a need to grow spiritually in the current work of Christ because no believer was born spiritually matured (with the complete knowledge of Christ).

 

Future Work of Christ

Then also we have the future work of Christ which is Christ bringing us the full package of redemption by the changing of our mortal bodies to conform to His glorious body, thus reigning with Him.

Being saved does not free you from lust

The finished work of Christ doesn’t deal with lustful desires in the believer. To be saved doesn’t mean you’re automatically free from lust or excessive lustful desire. This is hard to take but it’s the truth.

LUST is a longing for that which is forbidden or a craving or strong desire for something especially sexual, impure, inappropriate or filthy.

Lustful pleasure or desires when yielded breeds pornography, oral sex, phone sex, masturbation, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism and other unclean practices.

If the finished work of Christ dealt with lust in the believer’s body or flesh, Paul and the rest of the Apostles wouldn’t have warned believers to shun, mortify, kill, avoid and abstain from it.

1 Peter 2:11 KJVS

[11] Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, ABSTAIN FROM FLESHY LUST, which war against the soul;

 

LUST wars against the soul. This tells you, lust must be fought. Resisting lust is a war. It takes deliberate discipline to fight lust.

 

Ephesians 5:3 MSG

Don’t allow love to turn into lust, setting off a downhill slide into SEXUAL PROMISCUITY, FILTHY PRACTICES

 

Lustful desires birthing into pornography and masturbation are filthy practices and this must heavily dawn on you.

 

Colossians 3:5-6 MSG

[5-8] And that means KILLING off everything connected with that way of death: SEXUAL PROMISCUITY, IMPURITY, LUST, DOING WHATEVER YOU FEEL LIKE WHENEVER YOU FEEL LIKE IT and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God.

 

LUST must be killed through the power of the Spirit in the sense that it must be tamed and rendered ineffective and powerless.

 

2 Timothy 2:22 NASBS

[22] Now FLEE FROM YOUTHFUL LUST and pursue righteousness…

 

Titus 2:11-12 KJVS

[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] TEACHING us that, DENYING ungodliness and WORLDLY LUST, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

To “deny” in the Greek means to disallow, reject, refuse or abnegate. You can disallow, reject and refuse lust, pornography and masturbation. Yes, God’s word says you can. God’s word is stronger than your emotions.

 

In the works of the flesh, Paul lists the sin of lasciviousness which is rooted in lust:

 

Galatians 5:19 KJVS

[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, LASCIVIOUSNESS,

 

The word “lasciviousness” has the Greek word “aselgia” which means unbridled or uncontrolled lust, licentiousness, shamelessness, giving your flesh over for lustful desires, promoting or partaking of that which tends to produce lewd emotions or anything tending to foster sex sin.

 

Do you see that one of the meanings of lasciviousness is shamelessness? Lust can make you do very shameful filthy practices in secret. Sinful behaviours you are ashamed of don’t shame you anymore when you fall into the grip of uncontrolled lust and unclean filthy practices produced by lasciviousness.

 

Soon when this habit grows stronger, they overcome you and soon, you no longer care to masturbate, sleeping with your church members and cell group members. You sleep with choristers, backers of your music group, people who come to you for help through counselling, souls you recently won for Christ, workers, married men or women etc.

 

To come out of lasciviousness, you need to first recognize that it is a sin against God. If you don’t, you complicate it. You must hate uncontrolled lust because it’s a sin and anything sinful is always in the way of God’s plan and purpose. When you yield your members for lascivious practices (pornography and masturbation), you sin against God.

 

2 Corinthians 12:21 KJVS

[21] And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have SINNED already, and have not REPENTED of the uncleanness and fornication and LASCIVIOUSNESS which they have committed.

 

Lasciviousness is a sin and it’s completely worldly and ungodly:

 

1 Peter 4:2-3 KJVS

[2] That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the LUST OF MEN, but the will of God. [3] For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in LASCIVIOUSNESS, LUST, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

 

It’s a Gentile evil practice:

 

1 Thessalonians 4:5 KJVS

[5] Not in the LUST OF CONCUPISCENCE, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

 

A believer who sins this sin acts as gentiles who do not know God. This means if you know God (which you do), this act of ungodliness must not come from you.

 

Ephesians 2:3 NASBS

[3] Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

 

Uncontrolled lust is sinful. It has twin brothers called concupiscence and debauchery:

 

Ephesians 5:18 RSV

[18] And do not get drunk with wine, for that is DEBAUCHERY; but be filled with the Spirit,

 

Colossians 3:5 KJVS

[5] Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, EVIL CONCUPISCENCE, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

 

Debauchery is excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol and drugs, while concupiscence is an ardent sexual longing or involuntary sexual arousal. These are all fleshy cravings that destroy or defile us as believers. A Christian though cleansed by the blood of Christ, sanctified and made holy can still be defiled in his flesh and mind through his conduct:

 

2 Corinthians 7:1 NASBS

[1] Therefore, having these promises, beloved, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES FROM ALL DEFILEMENT of flesh and spirit (translated pneuma which also means soul or mind), perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

 

The finished work of Christ does not kill or destroy lust. The knowledge of the finished work rather must be used as armour or armoury to fight against lust.

If you don’t see anything wrong with lust, you’ll not see the need to fight it and destroy its power over your life.

I was told a young man was battling with lust, pornography and masturbation and he informed one grace-based minister. To my surprise, he was told it doesn’t matter, God understands and he should just keep resting on the finished work of Christ. This is so wrong. The message of grace must be taught accurately. There is a difference between resting in the finished work of Christ and resting in lust, pornography and fornication. The former relies solely or completely on what Christ has done and the latter remains in what the believer is doing secretly.

The believer is eternally forgiven, that’s true, He’s saved forever, that’s true too but he’s called to live in holiness and a life pleasing to God, that’s true too. Living righteously is God’s desire:

 

Colossians 1:10 TPT

[10] We pray that you would walk in the ways of true righteousness, pleasing God in every good thing you do. Then you’ll become fruit-bearing branches, yielding to his life, and maturing in the rich experience of knowing God in his fullness!

 

Titus 2:11-12 KJVS

[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

If the grace message you’re hearing doesn’t teach you to deny ungodliness and live righteously, it’s not complete.

When we say sin is no longer an issue with God, we don’t mean God is saying it’s okay to sin or that He understands us even when we sin, no-no. That’s a false assumption. Rather we mean, the penalty and the punishment you deserve has already been paid through the atoning work of Christ.

But sin is still sin. Sin hasn’t changed but how God deals with us with regards to sin has changed. Sin remains destructive and has serious earthly consequences. Giving in to lustful feelings or indulging in lustful behaviours can be extremely catastrophic. Lust is no respecter of persons. It doesn’t mind whether you’re a pastor, prayer warrior, Gospel artist, prophet, Bishop or church worker, a sound Bible teacher or a highly respected person.

In the Bible, we have bad examples of men who allowed their uncontrolled lusts to bring them big trouble.

David lustfully slept with someone’s wife just by seeing her nakedness while she was having her bath as he took a walk on his rooftop. He got this lady (Bethsheeba) pregnant and killed her husband (Uriah) to cover up her pregnancy (2 Sam 11:2-27). Oh yes, lust can make you do terrible things and of course, David paid a dear price for this evil deed (2 Sam 12:1-23). Lust can make you keep up more sin for yourself.

Amnon the son of David lustfully slept with his half-sister Tamar (sister of Absalom).  Let me just read a portion of this event:

 

2 Samuel 13:1-2 KJVS

[1] And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David LOVED HER. [2] And Amnon was so vexed, that he FELL SICK for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her.

 

This did not love, it was lust and you can imagine, his lust grew to make him sick for his sister. He asks his sister to bring him food into his chambers and look what happens:

 

2 Samuel 13:9-15 MSG

[10-11] ” She took the nourishing dumplings she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she got ready to feed him, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, sister!” [12-13] “No, brother!” she said, “Don’t hurt me! This kind of thing isn’t done in Israel! Don’t do this terrible thing! Where could I ever show my face? And you-you’ll be out on the street in disgrace. Oh, please! Speak to the king-he’ll let you marry me.” [14] But he wouldn’t listen. Being much stronger than she, he raped her. [15] No sooner had Amnon raped her than he hated her-an immense hatred. The hatred that he felt for her was greater than the love he’d had for her. “Get up,” he said, “and get out!”

 

Anytime you’re done fulfilling your lustful desires, something changes. You come to yourself or your senses, then you realise your flesh overpowered you. You even wonder if you were the one who did this.

 

Sin has been paid for, sin’s power has been broken over the believer but trusts me, sin is not dead or inexistent. Sin can still negotiate with the members of your body though it has no power over your recreated spirit. Sin can still reign in your mortal body and make you do terrible things. If you yield your flesh to lust, you will be surprised what you can do.

 

This is where a lot of people miss it. You hear Christians who fall into pornography or masturbation saying “I can’t stop”, “I don’t know why am doing this”, “Satan is at work in my life”, “and it’s the work of the devil”. Sir, these are all lies. They’re fanciful excuses your flesh uses as a cover-up. Read this verse:

 

James 1:13-15 MSG

[13-15] Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil and puts evil in no one’s way. THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE IN TO EVIL COMES FROM US AND ONLY US. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE leering, seducing flare-up OF OUR LUST. LUST GETS PREGNANT, AND HAS A BABY: SIN! Sin grows up to adulthood and becomes a real killer.

 

Satan didn’t bundle that data for pornography videos online. Satan didn’t download it. Satan didn’t copy it on your pen drive. Satan didn’t save it on your laptop. Satan didn’t bring the lady to your room. Satan didn’t lock that door. Satan didn’t set your eyes on that woman or video. Your desires, cravings and lust did all that.

 

Are you realizing it’s all you all this while?

 

LUST, PORNOGRAPHY AND MASTURBATION IS NOT A WORK OF THE DEVIL, IT’S THE WORK OF THE FLESH.

 

Your lust gets pregnant and gives birth to sin and when sin grows into adulthood, it destroys you:

 

Anytime you sin by watching pornographic videos and masturbate, it’s you deliberately yielding the members of your body for unrighteousness:

 

Romans 6:12-13 KJVS

[12] Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. [13] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

 

Stop yielding, presenting or handing over your body as an instrument of uncontrolled, lasciviousness, lust, pornography and masturbation. Dealing with lust is war. Fighting sin is a war. The flesh always constantly fights the Spirit in you so that you do what you please and not what pleases God.

 

Galatians 5:17 Voice

[17] For everything the flesh desires goes against the Spirit, and everything the Spirit desires goes against the flesh. There is a CONSTANT BATTLE RAGING between them that prevents you from doing the good you want to do.

 

The reason many believers lose to pornography and masturbation and other lustful sinful behaviours is that they don’t see it as a war. They don’t see the need to fight. Rest is for salvation, the fight is for our walk and rewards. We fight and resist sin because it can affect or defile our walk and can make us lose our rewards. Apostle Paul knew this:

 

1 Corinthians 9:26 KJVS

[26] I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

[27] but I DISCIPLINE MY BODY and MAKE IT MY SLAVE, so that, after I have preached to others, I will not be disqualified (lose my reward).

 

Like it takes discipline to develop a habit, it also takes discipline to stop one. Paul the Apostle of grace didn’t just say “I am the righteousness of God”, rather by that knowledge, he disciplined his body and made it his slave. It is said that the body (flesh) is a good servant but a terrible master. If you don’t tame it, it would completely embarrass you and destroy a lot in your life. Fighting sin is New Testamental:

 

Hebrews 12:4 NASBS

[4] You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving (fighting) against sin;

 

The victory of Christ through his finished work is your armour. We don’t win by ourselves or in ourselves. We fight from Christ’s victory. We win on Christ victory:

 

1 Corinthians 15:57 KJVS

[57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 2:14 KJVS

[14] Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

 

The finished work is our Armour.

 

The helmet of salvation (knowing you’re fully and completely saved), the breastplate of righteousness (knowing you’re the righteousness of God), the belt of truth (knowing the redemptive work of Christ), the shield of faith (believing and holding on to the finished work), shod your feet (standing grounded in the finished work of Christ), the sword of the Spirit (using the word of God by obeying it).

 

Truths on forgiveness, salvation, righteousness, holiness, justification, seated with Christ, dead to sin, alive to God, accepted in the beloved, unblameable, without reproach etc. are not just for decorative purposes. They are for walking in the Spirit, they are for fighting sin, they’re are for conquering sinful behaviours and practices.

 

“I am the righteousness of God, therefore I can’t stoop low to sin”, “I am seated with Christ, therefore, sin is not in my class or realm”, “I am holy and sanctified in Christ, therefore, I don’t mingle with unholy things”. That’s how we begin to fight sin with the armoury of the finished work of Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 TPT

[14] For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and motivates us because we are convinced that he has given his life for all of us. This means all died with him, [15] so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for him-the one who died for us and now lives again.

 

Amazing what the Bible says in Romans 6:6

 

Romans 6:6 TPT

[6] Could it be any clearer that our former identity is now and forever deprived of its power? For we were co-crucified with him to dismantle the stronghold of sin within us, so that we would not continue to live one moment longer submitted to sin’s power.

 

Romans 6:6 MSG

Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life— no longer at sin’s every beck and call!

 

I am no longer at sin’s (lust, pornography and masturbation’s) beck and call………..

 

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