The primordial sin of the flesh according to apostle Paul in Galatians 5 is lust and the sexual sins associated with it.
It is the number one struggle of young men and women, and it is magnified in the information age when they are bombarded by all sort of immoral digital data.
After a long and admired pastoral career, John Piper offers relief for young believers who struggle with this problem in an interview transcribed by the Christian Post.
“Why does lust, I’m thinking mainly men but not just men, why does seeing have such a force to draw us to click on pornography or linger over some bathing suit issue of Sports Illustrated or to linger over some ad for a movie. What is it about us?” asked Piper.
“And my answer? It’s like drunkenness,” he said.
“In the same way drunks need designated drivers to help them out when they are too inebriated to function, Christians should have friends in their life whom they can count on to help them through lustful addictions.”
“My question is, is there something like that that we should do for each other? If ‘psycho-erotic euphoria’ is as powerful as drunkenness and I think it is, then we need people in our lives who will break our arm. Paul says I pummel my own body; you should pummel me,” said Piper.
“Look, if you’re drunk and you’re about to kill yourself, you better be glad there is somebody in your life to throw you in the backseat of the car,” says Piper.
“But this lust thing is much more like drunkenness than it is like anything else and so we may need this kind of personal accountability.”
Piper endorses accountability partners and relationships within a very close circle of friends (2-3 people) who can keep each other accountable by close monitoring from many aspects. This is a physical and emotional approach.
To this I would add that fighting lust and its derivatives (such as pornography) must be done “BY THE SPIRIT” as commanded in Romans 8:13
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
BY THE SPIRIT means by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life:
- The believer must allow the Holy Spirit to continually point him to Christ and to the cross when temptation comes. Looking at the precious sacrifice of Christ will help the believer realize the suffering that Christ endured for him and for his sin. Such an approach will make the believer realize the importance avoiding the trap of sin, and ask “will I crucify my Savior willingly again by indulging in sin?”
- The believer must allow the Holy Spirit to remind him of Scripture. Just like Jesus fought the devil using Scripture while tempted in the desert, so must the believer fight using “It is written” Luke 4:8
- The believer must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to receive power for witnessing to the world (Acts 1:8) which will inherently shift focus away from lust and unto the Kingdom of God.
image credit: TGC