Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is)

Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) – Helpful Quotes

  • Because the possibilities are endless, I have a simple definition for lust: Lust is craving sexually what God has forbidden. To lust is to want what you don’t have and weren’t meant to have. (p. 20)
  • In our losing battle against lust we’re often misguided in three key areas. We’ve had…
    • the wrong standard for holiness
    • the wrong source of power to change
    • and the wrong motive for fighting against our sin. (p. 23)
  • God’s Word shows us how to get on the path to freedom. It shows us that the key to escaping the cycle of defeat is to embrace God’s standard for holiness, His source of power for change, and His motive for fighting sin. (p. 24)
  • Sexual purity is clearly something only God can bring about in your life and mine. God’s standard of not even a hint quickly brings me to the end of my own ability and effort. It reminds me that God’s standard is so much higher than the standards I place for myself that only the victory of Christ’s death and resurrection can provide the right power and the right motive needed to change me.
    Willpower won’t work. Only the power of the cross can break the power of sin that keeps us on its treadmill. (p. 27)
  • One of the reasons God calls us to cleanse our lives of lust completely is because He knows that lust never stays at the level of “just a hint.
    Lust is always an unholy desire for the forbidden. But though lust longs for an object or a person, ultimately this object is not its prize; its goal is the very act of desiring. The result is that lust can never be quenched. As soon as the object of lust is attained, lust wants something more…
  • Law can never bring about deep, long-lasting change…[we] need to be rooted in the life-transforming truth that someone has already “taken the punishment” for [us]. Jesus Christ bore God’s wrath for every one of [our] sins when he hung on the cross. This is the good news of the gospel. (pp. 48-49)
  • An important part of standing firm in the gospel and avoiding legalism is understanding the difference between the work Christ accomplished to save us and the work of becoming holy that he enables us to participate in after we’ve been saved. Theologians assign the terms justification and sanctification to these two closely related but different concepts…
    …Justification refers to your status before God. When you placed your faith in Jesus, God the judge handed down the verdict that you are righteous. He transferred the perfect sinless record of Jesus to you. God completely and totally forgave you. He not only wiped away the record of your sin; He credited the righteousness of His Son to you.
    Sanctification is a process—the process of becoming more like Christ, of growing in holiness. This process began the instant you were converted and will not end until you meet Jesus face to face. Through the work of His spirit, through the power of His Word and through fellowship with other believers, God peels away our desire for sin, renews our minds, and changes our lives. This ongoing work is what we call being sanctified. (p. 51)
  • The person who has experienced God’s grace and has been genuinely converted can still choose to sin, but he can’t love sin like he used to. He can’t continue to sin indefinitely. (p. 54)
  • Place your faith completely in Christ’s substitution for you, and make your pursuit of holiness a response to His grace. (p.58)
  • Lust offers men the pleasure of sex devoid of the hard work of intimacy. Lust offers women the power to get what they want relationally if they use their sexuality to seduce. Dr. Al Mohler once made a shocking yet accurate statement: “Men are tempted to give themselves to pornography—women are tempted to commit pornography.” If you’re a woman, you don’t have to pose for a picture or star in a pornographic movie to commit pornography. When you dress and behave in a way that is designed primarily to arouse sexual desire in men, you’re committing pornography with your life. (p. 87)
  • So a godly Christian guy really does (or really should) want to view you as a sister and maintain eye contact—not “eye to something else” contact. But when you wear clothing that accentuates, draws attention to, or highlights the feminine parts of your body, it’s like wearing a flashing neon sign pointing to the very thing he’s trying not to be consumed with. (p. 92)
  • My wife, Shannon, puts it well when she says that there’s a difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract. (p. 92)
  • God’s solution for our guilt is not to change His definition of sin. God dealt with our guilt at the cross of Christ: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Even when we sin again and again, we can find grace again and again. And the power of God’s Spirit can help us to grow in obedience. (p. 100)
  • Even if it were possible to masturbate without lust, I think a lifestyle of masturbation is based on a wrong understanding of God’s plan for sex.
    • Masturbation is built on a self-centered view of sex. This wrong attitude says that sex is solely about you and your pleasure. Your body. Your genitals. Your orgasm. This is the natural tendency of sin. It isolates us from others and makes pleasure self-focused…
    • …If you want to break free from a pattern of masturbation, the first step is to renew your understanding of sex. You must embrace a God-centered and selfless attitude toward sex…
    • …Second, a God-centered view of sex strives to honor God’s purpose for sex. It’s not enough to know God’s rules for sex. We need to understand his purpose and plan for it.
    • Marriage and sex are inseparable in God’s design. You can’t have one without the other. In Hebrews 13:4 when God addresses our attitude toward sex, He starts by adjusting our view of marriage:
      Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (pp. 103-104)
  • Jeffrey Black writes: “The goal of pornography and masturbation is to create a substitute for intimacy. Masturbation is sex with yourself. If I’m having sex with myself, I don’t have to invest myself in another person…” (p. 105)
  • If we’re to honor God with our entertainment choices, we must be willing to carefully evaluate how what we watch affects our love for God. We must be willing to wrestle with our standards and often refuse to watch what others think is permissible. (p. 119)
  • In Psalm 101:2-4, David says to God:…I will set before my eyes no vile thing…That’s the banner I want hung over my TV or any movie screen. (p. 124)
  • An accountability relationship is one in which a Christian gives permission to another believer to look into his life for purposes of questioning, challenging, admonishing, advising, encouraging and otherwise providing input in ways that will help the individual live according to the Christian principles they both hold. (p. 136)
  • Scripture cuts through the confusion and hazy half-truths that our sin generates. It reveals our wrong desires. It rebukes our apathy. It corrects our selfish human thinking. It unmasks the deception of sin. It points us to God’s goodness and faithfulness when we’re tempted to forget. It trains us in righteousness. It counters the false promises of lust with God’s true promises.
    I’ve learned that I can’t reason with lust or argue against it with my own opinions. I can’t put my fingers in my ears hoping to drown out its lies. And I’m definitely not going to last long if all I can answer is, “I’m not allowed to do that.” I need an authority greater than my own. I need the very words of God. Hand-to-hand combat with lust doesn’t work—I need the sword of the Spirit [Ephesians 6:17]. (p. 151)
  • Part of sin is dissatisfaction with God. Lust’s power comes from the promise it gives that something besides God can make us happy. What this means is that the only way to overcome the power of lust in our lives is by finding better promises. The key to holiness is satisfaction in God—faith that he is more to be desired than anything this world has to offer. We’re not just turning away from lust; we’re turning toward true satisfaction and joy in God. (pp. 158-159)
  • I don’t think we should make overcoming lust our primary preoccupation—we need to make the gospel and God’s glory our focus. We need to give ourselves to knowing Him, worshiping Him, and meeting with Him every day. The result will be the weakening of lust and a growing passion for godliness. (pp. 169-170)
  • Remember that your hope for change is based in God’s grace. It’s because Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins that you can stand justified before God and know that He will sanctify you day [by day]. You can press toward God’s standard of not even a hint of sexual immorality in the unshakable confidence that through faith in Christ you stand before God with not even a hint of guilt.
    Because of Jesus Christ, we can have victory over lust. Sometimes we want a victory that means no more struggle. God calls us to trust Him in the struggle against lust, to persevere and so prove the reality of the victory accomplished by His Son. John Piper calls it the “persevering fight.” (pp. 171-172)