How Can People Overcome Sexual Sins?
Human sexuality can be one of the most beautiful aspects of God's plan for His children here on earth. But since Adam and Eve's fall from grace, human sexual practices have drifted from God's purposes.
In fact, if we are not careful to look to our Heavenly Father and follow His teaching in this area, we live a life which makes us slaves to sin and fails to bring glory to our Lord.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
If you are struggling with sexual sin, you are not alone. Even King David -- a man after God's own heart -- wrestled with sexual sin. When he saw a beautiful woman named Bathsheba, he was overcome by his own lust. He then went to great lengths to hide his sin. But thanks to a faithful friend and a forgiving God, David found his way home (2 Samuel 11:12). And so can you.
FREEDOM IN THE TRUTH
Too often, we step onto the wrong path in our sexuality because we fail to act upon God's truth. Jesus, in one passage of the Bible, examines the freedom found in truth, and the enslaving power of lies. In that passage, the Lord puts it plainly: the truth sets us free. We either respond to the truth or to Satan's lies (John 8:31-47).
Recognizing the truth about sex can be an important first step to achieving victory over sexual sins. First, God wants His children to enjoy the beauty of appropriate sexual relationships. The King of the universe has much to say in His Word about the joys to be found in a marriage where both husband and wife know and love Christ (Gen. 2:24-25; Prov. 5:19; Song of Solomon).
However, the devil, the accuser of our souls, constantly tries to wreck God's plans. He lies to us, tempting us to believe that we can grab hold of sexual pleasures apart from a marriage commitment. He uses day-to-day pressures and our own sinful nature to accomplish his purposes.
And what begins as merely a "wandering thought" can quickly tempt us to act sinfully (James 1:14-15). These sins can involve pornography, fornication, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, and other ungodly sexual practices.
No matter what sins overcome us, we must recognize that lust is at the root of our sin (1 John 2:16; Gal. 5:16-20). Lust blinds us and leads us deeper into sexual sin (1 Tim. 4:1-2; Rom. 1:21-27; Eph. 4:17-19). Each sin results in the same end (Rom. 6:23) and can carry deadly consequences of disease, and worse:spiritual death.
BREAKING THE CHAINS
To break the bonds of sexual sins, you must repent. That means a total change of direction, away from the sins and temptations, and toward the forgiving grace of a loving God. If you have allowed lust to control your life, yield to God as the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin. God will forgive and cleanse you physically, emotionally and spiritually, if you humbly come to Him (1 John 1:8,9; Psalm 103:12; Romans 6:23).
If you do not know that Jesus is your Savior, turn your life over to Him. Simply pray this prayer: "Jesus, I know You died for me. Thank You for saving me from my sins. I ask You to be Lord and Savior of my life."
Once you know Jesus as Savior take comfort in knowing that He identifies with your struggles and He desires to set you free (Heb. 4:14-16). He will enable you to gain the victory.
FIGHTING THE DAILY BATTLE
To overcome the temptations you will continually face, follow God's simple plan:
- Stand firm against temptation (James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:6-9; 2 Tim. 2:22).
- Confess your sins to a brother or sister in Christ and pray to be healed (James 5:16).
- Hide God's Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11), trusting in its strength (Heb. 4:12).
- Minister to God with sacrifices of praise (Heb. 13:15) until you are filled with the peace and joy of the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).
Most of all, the change must come from within (see Prov. 23:7). Fill your mind with God's thoughts, not worldly thoughts. And remember, the Bible says that God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and He will show you how to escape from your temptations (1 Cor. 10:13).
Finally, become part of an active Spirit-filled church. Study the Bible daily. Pray constantly and befriend other like-minded Christians. If you continue to give into temptations, you may need the help of a minister, counselor and/or other prayer partners.
AS YOU PRAY
Are you currently struggling with sexual sins? Despite the power these sins can have over us, you can have victory through the cleansing blood of Jesus and His grace to live each day.
Pray right now: "Father, forgive me and heal me from the sexual sins which have kept me separated from Your love. Help me to recognize and accept the power Jesus offers to restore me to wholeness. Help me to flee from all influences which cause me to sin, and allow me the meekness and humbleness I need to confide in a brother or sister in Christ and be healed. Encourage me and strengthen me with your holy and powerful Word. Amen."
GOD'S WORD ON SEXUAL SIN
"Don't you know that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? Is it right for me to join part of the body of Christ to an immoral woman? No, it isn't! ... Surely you know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God." (1 Cor. 6:15, 19-20).
SCRIPTURES FOR STUDY
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 -- God's will concerning sex
Proverbs 2:12-22; 6:20-35 -- The need for God's Word and wisdom
Psalm 51:7 -- Assurance of cleansing
James 1:12 -- Rewards for resisting sexual sin