The mortification of sin

Sex is defeating so many of the brethren (and sistren). Almost daily, there’s a news report about a prominent pastor who has fallen prey to sexual temptation. Many Christians deal with porn addictions. Many Christians ‘slip up’ with their significant other, having babies out of wedlock. Many Christians get into relationships that are hard to get out of due to physical (sexual) committments. Many Christians struggle with masturbation and lust. Why is this ? Why does it seem that the biggest thing taking down myriads of Christians daily is sex or sex related?

I know married men who have beautiful wives who have porn addictions. I know women who struggle with loneliness who turn to self pleasure or sleeping with multiple men. I know Christians who are ministering daily, on the front lines for Christ, who struggle with a dark secret. You’d never know it.

But why ? Why is this such a ‘killer’ ?

I think a huge part of it is that we don’t have a right view of God. We don’t value Him enough. We don’t trust Him enough. We go out and minister to others telling them that Christ is the cure for our pain; He is THE Salve, yet we don’t act on it ourselves. Hypocrites we are, cleaving unto the flesh daily.

I can speak from experience. Although this is something I am definitely not proud of, I can be transparent. I can be honest. Back in 2004, I was serious with the Lord, still considering myself a semi babe. God called me to His flock in 2001 and I submitted in 2002. 2 years later, I met a guy. Due to a loneliness in my life that I didn’t acknowledge with the presence of God, I fell prey to the temptations of the flesh. It wasn’t a one time thing. That relationship went on for over a year. It was hard to get out of because the sexual activity was like a drug. I was lacking something, but didn’t know how to take care of it, so I thought sex would fix it. And it did – for that very moment. Like an addict, I had to keep getting a fix to satisfy these urges, these needs… this loneliness that was crying out for the Son of Man, not just some man. Although I have repented and resubmitted my body to Christ, I still get angry. What made it so easy for me to get caught up in the temporal ? There would be times afterwards where I’d be crying because I KNEW that I was doing the Father dirty… but I couldn’t stop. I knew that Void Filler was Him, but I saw myself as far too gone to come back to Him, Prodigal Daughter that I was. I am grateful for His Mercy and Grace in the situation, but now that I am out of it, and have been for some time, I realize the problem. Hopefully, my being candid will help someone else realize THEIR problem and encourage them to leave the sinfulness behind and truly seek after the Seeker.

As I stated earlier, I fell prey to the physical because I didn’t know how to acknowledge God in all of my shortcomings, all of my lack. I was reading the Scriptures daily, praying for hours daily, but I hadn’t given Him ALL of me. I was lonely. I desired companionship. I’d come from a pre Salvation lifestyle where, like a bee searching for pollen, I’d gone from male to male to male… I was used to having someone around. Because I didn’t really take the time to get to know CHRIST, I didn’t know how to allow Him to ‘keep me company’. This is why it was so easy to lose focus. I did not have the right view of Him. I didn’t know everything that He was and is to me. I didn’t know how to give Him me.

That’s the first problem. The 2nd problem ? I think too many of us like to see how close we can get to the fire without getting burnt. What I mean by this is – We like to cuddle, kiss, do everything BUT penetration, and we think it’s okay because hey, we didn’t actually have SEX! When the Word of God directs us to flee youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:2), we instead seem to be attracted to them like a moth to a flame. Where the Scriptures say to abstain from EVERY form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), we like to play with it. The root of this behavior is… How much do we love our Father ? How much do we love and respect our Savior ? If we truly loved Him and respected Him and were truly grateful of what He’s done, we’d be obedient. We’d be faithful. We wouldn’t play with sin because the Word of God advises us to avoid it, abstain from it, and to control our bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). This is what we must do.

And we must stop blaming the devil for our sinful natures. The old adage “The devil made me do it” must die. We must take responsibility and set our minds on the Spirit. When we set our minds on flesh, when we set our minds on self, that is death. When we are in the flesh, we cannot please God (Romans 8:8) so to think that we can carry on that sinful lifestyle while attempting to serve and worship this Awesome and Holy God is an abomination. We are no better than those in Malachi who offered God whatever they felt like giving Him (Malachi 1:6-13). Just as they did, we give Him things that we wouldn’t even WANT to give a spouse – an unclean body, unclean thoughts, halfhearted obedience, and mindless words.

We must reverence Jesus as He is! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29)! The Sacrificial Lamb led to slaughter came to save us, to rescue us, to redeem us. His shed blood was the atonement for our sins. The ultimate price was paid when Christ died on that cross. When He had his hands and feet nailed to that cross, when He had that crown of thorns forced down on His head, when He was beaten and mocked and scorned, He did this to free the elect. Now, as the elect, why do we act as though we forget this ? Of course, many will say that they don’t, but when you knowingly and purposely fall prey to sin, what other reasons do you have ?

Remember the Cross, the Price, the Lamb, the Life, the ultimate Payment, the Love, the Devotion, the Sacrifice.

The next time you want to feed your flesh, the next time you want to rebel, consider the Cross on which Your Savior died for you.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
Romans 6:1-13 ESV

To be continued…

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13 thoughts on “The mortification of sin

  1. Debbie Wimmers says:

    I agree with you 100 %. Teh problem is that man lost his love for God at the fall and at the same time fell out of perfect love with Eve because he put the blame on her. David had an uncontrolled desire to have Bathsheba and give in killing her husband in the process and causing two of his children to become trapped in the same situation resulting in the son being killed. We treat love as a cheap thrill that is not really love at all. We must follow Jesus’ command to love God and one another. And follow Paul’s example in Romans 12 and 1 Cor 13.

  2. Q says:

    Great post….thanks for sharing…

    Q

  3. Q says:

    btw, i’ll also be doing a series on the mortification on sin soon myself…dealing with understanding the flesh/Spirit tension and the process of sanctification and the remedy of the person of Christ Himself…with primary application with the very same issue as it is very close to home for me also (as you may have read on my blog), too close than I’d like to admit (and not proud of) myself.

    Q

  4. Q says:

    one more thing…there is a great message my pastor preached recently on "Are there Spiritual and Carnal Christians" which is very helpful in understanding why Christians often act carnally but also that they can’t live carnally as a lifestyle and and still be true believers. It also dispells the myth of "the Carnal" Christian (a Christian who can have Christ as Savior and not as Lord).

    It’s an excellent message – the 12/3/06 one:
    http://www.hopebiblechurch.org/site/cpage.asp?sec_id=972&cpage_id=816&secure=&dlyear=2006&dlcat=0

  5. Doug a.k.a. Psalmsinga says:

    Wow Jen! That is a very important and well-written blog! Thanks for taking the time to address what is arguably the most pressing issue facing the church today. Our society is so fixated on sex and the gratification of lust and those who are in the body are equally susceptible to the temptations of the flesh. We’re deceiving ourselves if we don’t face these issues squarely and learn to find our fulfillment in Christ alone. Thanks for sharing your heart, your experience, and most importantly, the truth of the Word on this subject. God bless you sis!

  6. T.Diddy says:

    Strong point made, better yet a biblical point made. The issue of sin within the body of Christ makes it seemingly impossible for God to get glorified, ironically He still does. My hope and prayer is that we keep discussing the issue of sexual immorality amongst the brethren shedding the light of Scripture on the subject as such to render our very thoughts captive to the Glorious Lord. Great blog.

  7. ePHod says:

    wow! that was a very powerfull article that you wrote. Many people are facing this kind of issue in their lives yet they are afraid to be vocal about it. A lot of people are struglling with this sin yet don’t have the courage to overcome it, I for one am one if those. Your blog really helped me a lot. I pray that God will continue to give you more blessings as you have been blessing others by sharing your testimonial….c:

  8. Lil Sis says:

    Jen sis, this is beautifully and wonderfully said. Thank you truly for sharing. tis a beautiful reminder. I appreciate that the truth is very lovingly written and this is a message sure to set the captives who choose to read and heed-free…I love u tons sis and I pray that the Lord continue to annoint you and bless you with love and wisdom for Him and His people.
    May God pour out His love and blessings upon you & especially bring you to a higher height than ever before in this year 2007!!!
    Hugs n love from the Philly! (as in Philippines) I hope to see you when I get back 🙂

  9. LaRosa says:

    that’s real sis! thanks for sharing and being obedient & transparent… this has blessed me and i know without a doubt it’ll touch the lives of anyone else who reads this

    keep doing what you do and keep seeking Him first & foremost. God bless!

    lj.

  10. Few would admit to their past as you have done, and few would be as helpful. Bless you.

  11. Jenn - Little Rock, AR says:

    This song lyric reflects the sexual battle that so many have today. It’s dialect between a man and his “heart”.

    To My Heart – FLAME

    I thought I could trust you – but dawg I’m disgusted – I thought you were innocent – til I read the 5th verse in the 6th chapter of Genesis – since its been nothin’ but inconsistency in my life – I hate you I wish I can take you and break you tonight – because I’m tired of your suggestions – I’m tired of all your reflections – I’m tired of you sayin’ sex is the best way to ease pain – insinuating I should sin in a situation you similar to Satan ever since Eve came – and Adam sinned now within I enter a battlefield – injured filled up with sin and I’m bound to bust like a bladder will – why do you torture me – often caught up in forgery – signing my name on sins that I knew I shouldn’t have committed – feel like I’m losin’ I’m choosin’ all of the foolishness – disturbing my peace like you ludicrous – feel like forget it – but I’m a fight you because I really don’t really like you – invite you? I’ll never trust you again

    Hook: I’ll never trust you again/ and if I ever trust you again just know its just the lust that’s within/ its just the wrestle within/ but when He comes to rescue His men/ you’ll never ever sucker me in/ no never ever again/ My greatest enemy pretends to be friends/ but it’s the inner me that needs to be cleansed/ since we’ve seen the second person with in the Trinity win/ marked the day of my enemies end/ I’ll never trust you again

    Chill with the sob story – and give God glory – I’m feelin’ your conviction but what you spittin’ is really fiction – inaccurate depiction not based on holy inscription – so listen to my diction to get my proper description – imagine a cave and there your mind, emotion, and desire – after your saved is where you’ll find devotion to Messiah – conflicted desires collided inside its divided but God can unite it provided you desire to fight it – you actin’ all surprised you got a wretchedly mind – like you ain’t read Jeremiah 17:9 – we both know what Adam did to us in the garden B – you’re still suppose to love the Lord your God with all of me – I’m called a HEART but see I’m not a bodily artery – pardon me but honestly you were IMPROPERLY GUARDING ME – cause whether it’s the T.V. or CD – or DVD easily I’d speedily greedily eat what you feedin’ me – if you ain’t buildin’ me up you knockin’ me down – which makes your deeds come from a heart of darkness like apocalypse now – the best advice I can give you is learn about mortification – the Lord is so patient He’ll bring you to glorification – you ought to respect the grace the architect the plan – if water reflects the face the heart reflects the man – so to sum it up the point I’m comin’ to Flame – not trustin’ me is not trustin’ you because we’re one in the same –
    Yeah, yeah I know we one in the same – and I know that I’m wrong for shiftin’ the blame – but what I’m sayin’ is if you tell me to sin – never again will I trust you again

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