Amen to these encouraging words (by Paul). This porn plague has caught and snared many precious brethren, and the Lord's heart is broken and pained for them over it all. Anticipate great and severe judgments for all this!
Meanwhile we must rise up and fight! Ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin.
There are two aspects of Truth we need to war a good warfare and come out victorious in this battle.
We see these two in Acts 9.31... where we are told the churches were edified "walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit."
First the fear of the Lord: we must know what is at stake if we treat this sin lightly or half heartedly. We are admonished to look diligently "lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know that afterward when he would have inherited the blessing he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance though he sought it carefully with tears."
And so, as someone has already made clear, this is one of the sins that can cost a person his inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
Now, these scriptures and others like them can be a torment to a sincere conscience genuinely broken over this sin and seeking repentance and deliverance. But they are there, and we must face them squarely. This truly is a matter of life and death, and we must treat it so.
We must walk in the fear of God.
And with that, then also, "the comfort of the Holy Spirit."
We have great hope that if we truly desire to fear His Name and see Him glorified in the earth, and in our own lives, He will lead us in the paths of righteousness for His own Name's sake.
If we are honest and come to the Light, there is cleansing. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin."
So there is hope for the brother who has become entangled in this web. Rise up, and fight, beloved brother! Put on the armour of Light! "...the breatplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the HOPE of salvation" (1 Thes. 5.8).
There is such an onslaught of Satan against the Church in this hour... DON'T QUIT THE BATTLE NOW! A great victory is at hand! You will be part of it! God has provision for this hour, and He has it for YOU! He is preparing to release from the Throne of Grace in this bitter hour a Righteousness--HIS VERY OWN-- which will clothe YOU and cause His Name to shine again, shine in YOU who have fallen and been so beaten by this! He has such a Sacrifice that is able to so purge and cleanse you as leave you with "NO MORE CONCSCIENCE OF SIN."
So rise up again, fallen one! "Cleanse your hands ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded!" Seek Him for the grace to do this!
The battle is not over yet! Let not him that putteth on his armour boast as him that putteth it off! Put on your armour... and strip Satan of his!
Rise up again! For this is the factor that determines whether or not you are disqualified or not, whether you are among the just, or among the wicked: can you rise up again? "For a JUST MAN falleth seven times, AND RISETH UP AGAIN: but the wicked shall fall into mischief (that is, utter ruin). Pr. 24.16 (What he's saying here is that it's possible for a just man, yes, a JUST man, to fall... but because He is just-- RIGHTEOUS-- He rises up again, and again, and again... till he comes to walk totally in the Way of LIFE, in Resurrection Life, in Newness of Life, in which there is no more falling.
But the wicked, it's the wicked who when he falls he stays down.)
Oh, on behalf of His Name that is so tarnished and scorned these days... be among those who love His Name... and RISE UP AGAIN, AND FIGHT.
| 2007/4/5 16:17||Profile|
Even though I think one year is a rather artificial number, however, it is not necessarily unwise. It's a decent test of your character to see just how matured you are in your faith, and how consistent you are in your walk. Though we are not to put any confidence in the flesh, it is a good chance that if you are a male and have gone a year without looking at pornography, you probably are of consistent character and not likely to stumble into such anytime soon.
| 2007/4/5 16:25||Profile|
Though we are not to put any confidence in the flesh, it is a good chance that if you are a male and have gone a year without looking at pornography, you probably are of consistent character and not likely to stumble into such anytime soon.
I hope you're right...
| 2007/4/5 17:14|
I had to learn grace the hard way, brother. I fell miserably after having continuous victory for years and years, and suddenly thought there was no hope. After all, I had preached so ardently against sin, so strongly, so passionately, so conclusively - as though I could never fall or yield to temptation again. I thought all my strongholds were vanguished
Brother Paul, what you wrote is so cloesly my own experience it could have been me who wrote it. I thank you brother for the encouragment you wrote in that post.
I think i had reached a stage where (by God's grace) i was walking in a victory over lust that i once thought not possible, and yet as a result of this i know i looked down on other 'believers' who confessed they fell in this area. In my heart i would judge them, and think myself the standard. I didnt have any real compassion and sympathy for them. But oh, when i fell big time into the area i was convinced i would never fall into again i was so humbled, so broken. And this time when i fell, i stumbled many times in the process of 'getting up' before i had to take radical action to cut off all sources of temptation and be ruthless in a way that was so humbling for a guy who thought this was mastered long ago.
Now i have such a better understanding of God's mercy, and unfailing love, and of is Faithfulness. To me He has proven to be the God who will not let go.
I have even doubted my salvation again recently because of this last fall. Yet i think of the times when i would walk through the fields near my house looking up into the sky praising God with such love for Him that i was quite caught up in another world. And when i think of the desires i have had for His glory and all other manner of what Jonathan Edwards would call 'Religious Affections', i have to conclude that i am truly His child, and time and God's grace shall prove that at the last i am found as one of the 'just' who despite having fallen into great sin against His Saviour, got back up and was led into paths of righteousness by that same Saviour who would simply not give him up.
| 2007/4/5 20:05||Profile|
Though the Lord restores repentant sinners, ministerial restortation isn't always assured.
The latter part of that quote can only be said of man, not the LORD!
| 2007/4/5 20:20|
The thing that I am learning about overcoming any besetting sin is to trust in the LORD exclusively. That means that any good that I try to do in overcoming this is futile. I can't pray enough, read the bible enough, and I can't fast enough to be rid of it, they are very helpful in my learning in the matter of spiritual things, but to overcome sin, is to trust that the LORD my high priest will cleanse me of the very roots of this, by trusting in what He accomplished on the cross.
Everyone of us has had a run in of Romans chapter 7. Everytime I try to good, evil was standing at the door. Anything that I "try" to do that I think is righteous in overcoming sin is thrown down, for righteousness does not come by way of the law, but by faith. As soon as I make anything a law, sin is right there. Even when I begin to think that everything is smooth, and doing well, BAM I am right back doing the same things that I loathed for for years.
I look at my cat sometimes and say, "Your more blessed than I am, you have no worries, you have no conscience of sin, you eat sleep and lay around all day and get old and die and thats it for you."
Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
| 2007/4/5 20:34|
We live in an age of cheap grace where millions upon millions of professed believers are heading to an eternal hell because they did not depart from their iniquity. I agree with a great part of what you have said in this thread, however you continually misunderstand me.
Without holiness no man will see the Lord. This holiness comes from being washed by the blood of Christ and manifests itself in fruit. I think it was Leonard Ravenhill that said that more professed believers are put off by holiness then by sin...
You make it sound as though holiness and purity are wicked and all those who are walking in victory by the blood of the lamb are pharisees? You must not be a fan of Wesley?
I have not written anything but truth, hard truth, much of which God spoke to me through friends in my time of deliverance. Either these truths pain you or you have just decided to attribute false motives as to why I have written them. I have not written anything to take a warrior stance or to condemn anyone, if you feel condemned I am sorry brother, that was not my intention as stated elsewhere.
I want to add this though for everyone. Nobody will spend eternity in hell, seperated from God because they possessed the inner heart holiness that was purchased by Christ on calvary. Do not be decieved though, the unrightous shall not enter into the kingdom of God. The road is very narrow friends, this is no time to treat sin lightly. Take heed all who read this and continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. There is true victory and power in the blood of Christ.
In Him - Jim
| 2007/4/5 22:39|
You make it sound as though holiness and purity are wicked and all those who are walking in victory by the blood of the lamb are pharisees?
I'm sorry you feel this way, and I must say it seems [i]you[/i] are the one taking offense to this discussion and misreading my intentions. Why is this? I too happen to walk in victory, brother. I am not advocating sin, nor am I living in sin. I believe as you do - there is absolute victory over all sin, and anyone who knows me on SI knows that I endorse [i]total[/i] holiness and purity in Jesus Christ. So, you see, I am on your side!
You seem to imply that I have advocated [i]cheap grace[/i]. Would you care to elaborate on this inference? Where and how have I advocated this? I, like you, can put as my moniker "Pauldied2sin" but I dare not boast. For I know that I am only where I presently stand but by the grace of God alone, and should I tomorrow learn that a certain dear brother or sister stumbled by this particular sin, I should choose to show grace rather than contently boast how I am freed from sin and so likewise they should be. I guarantee you that I preach sin and holiness and judgment just as strong as anyone on these forums, but the Lord has also taught me to expound 1 Corinthians 6:9 with grace and fear and trembling.
I can only pray, dear brother, that you never stumble after this discussion. Not everyone who stumbles with lust is addicted and deserves to have instant condemnation heaped on him or her. God does not do this to the repentant, so why should we? And those that remind believers who are already walking in victory that God's grace is sufficient for weaker brothers and sisters to overcome shouldn't automatically be accused of propogating a gospel of cheap grace. I can't tell you of the people I've met that have been beaten over the head by "victorious" brethren without compassion or hope. Dear brother, I am not saying that you do this, but I do sense you taking certain offense when fire-breathing condemnation is countered with a measure of compassion for the sin-stricken and those held in bondage. Do you prostrate yourself and weep for their souls before you tell them how you have died to sin? If a person doesn't weep for sinners, I believe he has no right to unctionlessly brand them with 1 Corinthians 6:9.
To stomp one's feet against sin is easy, but to preach transforming grace with unction is a totally different story, and, in my opinion, a greater sign of Christian maturity. The ultimate goal is to preach holiness with grace, with tears, with compassion. Dealing with religious hypocrites is one thing; ministering to sin-sick, hurting, downcast brethren is another. There is a way to preach sin, righeousness and judgment [i]without[/i] bringing attention to self and assessing how others should behave from our own victories by grace.
[i]"Confess your faults to one another, and pray one for another....if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know , that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."[/i]
It's about [i]converting[/i] and not condemning, for when I should have been condemned, the Lord graciously converted. Should I not go and do likewise? Is it possible to demonstrate the grace of God [i]without[/i] excusing sin? Is there not a better way in the mind of Christ, who Himself was full of grace and truth?
Paul Frederick West
| 2007/4/5 23:32||Profile|
i know i looked down on other 'believers' who confessed they fell in this area. In my heart i would judge them, and think myself the standard. I didnt have any real compassion and sympathy for them. But oh, when i fell big time into the area i was convinced i would never fall into again i was so humbled, so broken.
Yes, this is the pattern I've seen again and again and again. "Take heed lest you fall." I hate to say it, but for many believers they will have to find this out on their own. Sadly, some of them never really recover. They plateau off and remain lukewarm, devasted and despondant, never reaching the heights they attained before their fall. They never seem to get the burden and fight back, and this is all the enemy was after. Satan smells blood and quickly moves in to brainwash them that God is now finished, they are "shelved", grace is now expended, and they will have to finish their lives in a substandard mode of Christianity. Part of the reason why these falls are so devastating is because while they walked in victory they showed little or no grace and compassion to those that were downcast and burdened with sin. I was so guilty of this as a youth pastor. I brought a lot of confusion down on kids and strapped weighty holiness burdens to their backs that I wasn't willing to drop a tear for (i.e. lift a spiritual finger to help carry). I just couldn't understand how someone could sin against God after beholding the kind of victory I was experiencing! Ah, I got proud and started telling people I had complete victory and was dead to sin and all they needed to do was get what I got!
Well, I eventually crashed and burned and as a result God taught me grace when my joy and fellowship with him was at last restored. I learnt a tremendously valuable lesson in the school of God: to show grace to my downcast, weaker brethren and never [i]ever[/i] suppose that I understand a person's situation by looking at their surface-struggles. I already understood [i]truth[/i]; what I needed now was the revelation of [i]grace[/i] to balance my growth. And this revelation came through pain, pain, pain. I don't think I ever hated sin more than when God began teaching me the unsearchable wonders of His grace.
Brother, and I'll bet your little "experience" changed your entire outlook on sin and grace as well: it made you tolerate sin all the less, and understand and cherish God's grace all the more.
Paul Frederick West
| 2007/4/6 1:03||Profile|
I can only pray, dear brother, that you never stumble after this discussion.
I hope that you will sincerely pray for me brother.
Not everyone who stumbles with lust is addicted and deserves to have instant condemnation heaped on him or her. God does not do this to the repentant, so why should we?
Paul, I agree with you 100%. I had a good brother slip recently... I did not condemn him but was very firm in grace. I was speaking of willful, continued, sin as I have clearly explained numerous times now.
My statement is this. Nobody who is continuing in sexual sin should be a missionary, in fact they should fear for the truth of their salvation. I am sorry for not spelling this out more clearly. This is my statement and I stand by it with the full authority of scripture to back it up.
Do you prostrate yourself and weep for their souls before you tell them how you have died to sin? If a person doesn't weep for sinners, I believe he has no right to unctionlessly brand them with 1 Corinthians 6:9.
To stomp one's feet against sin is easy, but to preach transforming grace with unction is a totally different story, and, in my opinion, a greater sign of Christian maturity. The ultimate goal is to preach holiness with grace, with tears, with compassion. Dealing with religious hypocrites is one thing; ministering to sin-sick, hurting, downcast brethren is another. There is a way to preach sin, righeousness and judgment without bringing attention to self and assessing how others should behave from our own victories by grace
I do not wish to puff myself up speaking of my prayer life nor by talking up my victory, or my ministry. By the grace of God I have been personally revived from lukewarmness and compromise.
jimdied2sin... that is a testimony to the Lords amazing grace in saving me from the false gospel of cheap grace that is so prevalent today. I assure you I have said nothing to brag or boast but only to soberly warn and encourage those who are fighting a losing battle in the flesh that their is true hope and victory in the Lord.
We are obviously having a major miscommunication on both sides brother so if you would like to continue this dialog please PM me. I do pray the very best for you in Christ and am deeply sorry if I have offended you by miscommunicating or by appearing boastful.
Glory to Him brother.
| 2007/4/6 10:48|