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26 thoughts on “How the Gospel Helps Us Overcome Pornography”

  1. EBG says:

    Isn’t it Jesus who thoroughly defeats (not helps overcome) the sin of pornography? Can we please mention HIS name. It seems that we don’t hear his name enough anymore.

  2. If anyone wants prayer in this area, just say so in a comment and I’ll intercede for you; no stronghold is too powerful to stop the risen Lord Jesus from conquering it.

    1. Greg says:

      Brother Garrett,

      Your prayers for me, heard by God, are mighty, and I am grateful for them.

      Greg

      1. Just prayed and will continue to do so. Your name is on my list Greg; you will overcome by the power of the Spirit.

    2. Marlon says:

      Brother,

      Please pray for me too.

      My struggle is long and hard. It has been going on for years. It is to the point where I sometimes interrupt my devotionals with time on the internet looking for nudey pics.

      I don’t know how it got this bad. I prayed, I read the Scriptures, I read articles, I got an accountability partner. It got worse somehow. It’s taking control of me.

      I hear John Piper has good resources on this. I can’t even be near the internet some days. I pray and I see nude women. It is horrible.

      Please pray for me. Intercede for me. I want to Desire God and not desire the lust of the flesh. I want to learn that the Lord has fountains of everlasting joy that outlast the LIE of pornography. I feel so ashamed afterwards. I look at these disgusting videos and then wonder if Jesus can really save me from them. They are horrible. I think about them at work. I really want to read my Bible and be a godly man to my girlfriend of 4 years.

      This is heinous. I need The Lord’s help. Any suggestions, Garret?

      1. reformedSteve says:

        I will pray for you. Keep fighting the good fight. God’s grace is greater than your sin. He is able to deliver you from this body of death.

      2. Marlon, I am making you a prayer project of mine. I will mention you in my prayers everyday until you are delivered. I don’t care if I never hear back from you, I’ll say “Deliver Marlon” until Jesus comes. I’m not kidding.

        Here is my suggestion: make your ultimate pursuit God himself, not freedom from pornography. Tozer said this:

        “The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do.”

        Seek His face first. Seek HIM above all, NOT freedom from porn. God is your God, not freedom from porn, which can only come from seeking Him. Make Him your driving passion, your most desperate need, because He is. Be violent. Be drastic. Wrestle with God until you are delivered. Don’t let go, don’t give up. Take courage and overcome by His Spirit, not merely by fearful, fleshly measures or by cleaning the outside of the cup. Yes accountability, internet filters, etc. Yes, cut off your hand and gouge out your eye. BUT, those have NO power to deliver, only God’s spirit does. By themselves, they won’t stop you from getting your fix, only the power that raised Christ from the dead will do that.

        The resources on purity and freedom from porn from this website have helped me greatly: http://illbehonest.com/

        Email them and ask for prayer: God has delivered many of them from this very bondage.

        Start by watching this. DON’T LOSE HEART BROTHER!!!!! DON’T GIVE UP!!!!!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw-O5DIhWpA&feature=player_embedded

        Then watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXWeioNGkbE&feature=player_embedded

        What has helped me? Make no provision for sin, to fulfill the lust of it. For me, that meant taking myself out of situations in which I was more likely to stumble. No more tv. No more visiting certain sites with provocative ads. No more isolation at certain times and in certain places. Be wiser than Satan and your flesh. If you’re going to fall, make it as difficult as possible. Get multiple, trusted, godly men to pray for you, men that you can be accountable to. Radically remove all sources of stumbling.

        Above all, SEEK HIS FACE.

        Here is what struck me: “I look at these disgusting videos and then wonder if Jesus can really save me from them.”

        That’s because you’re looking at your track record, not His. Marlon! Be shameless in your prayers for deliverance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKnWuAPGX6I)! I don’t care if you’ve just fallen, if you grieve afterwards, plea for forgiveness and deliverance! Don’t wait until you’ve been “free” for X amount of days. In fact, don’t even keep track. Don’t find comfort in “I haven’t done X in X days!” Find comfort in God! Find joy in the God who WILL overcome, not in overcoming as an end in itself.

        In sum: ASK, ASK, ASK x 10,000. NEVER give up. If you continue to seek His face, to seek to know Him, you have already won. It’s OVER. Just a matter of time. NEVER justify it, always confess it, don’t become hardened, and when the tears run dry, KEEP seeking! God will NOT fail even if you do 10,000 times a day, so take heart!

        1. Marlon says:

          Thank you, Garrett. Thank you to all the others for their help.

          Garrett, you are right. I will make God my pursuit, not freedom from porn. Thank you.

  3. MIke M says:

    The TGC folks really ought to consider a book about this. There’s something really valuable about hearing a clearly-articulated Gospel view of how to fight this sin (and others). Many books in this genre do a good job of showing what the Bible says about lust, porn, etc., but aren’t so great at offering the implications for how we fight in a way that’s grace-driven and not legalistic. How does a person know when they’re fighting sin in their own strength vs. that of the Spirit of God? That’s something not a lot of people talk about. I’m very thankful to the TGC dudes for speaking truth and grace on this important issue.
    And good on you, JT, for directing our attention to this.

    1. Mike,

      Please consider picking up a copy of Daryl Wingerd’s new book called Delivered by Desire. Here is a recommendation I recently wrote for it:

      http://thoughtsonthewayblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/delivered-by-desire-book-recommendation.html

      Highly recommended!

      1. tompen says:

        I don’t know if it’s out in the US but recently I’ve been through “You Can Change” by Tim Chester which was really helpful.
        It isn’t specifically about porn but it is very good at showing why you sin and how that changes by turning to Christ.

  4. Geoff says:

    @Mike – this is a book that comes highly recommended by some people I regard highly, although I have not read it myself.

    http://www.challies.com/node/4640

  5. Gary Horn says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Justin. I believe these men have struck the right balance, which is not without some tension between the extremes.

  6. Mike W says:

    Garrett,

    I would be so grateful if you would pray for me.

    Mike W

    1. Mike, I’m doing for you what I’m doing for Greg and Marlon (see above). I look forward to hearing the testimony of your victory here or in heaven: YOU MUST AND WILL OVERCOME! So foolishly, even pathetically and shamelessly take hold of his promises and He will have mercy and deliver you. Why don’t you focus on this promise from Romans 6:14 and stand on it until you are delivered or until God becomes a liar (i.e., never!): “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Think on that from every angle, pray it from ever angle and don’t stop until it becomes a reality for your life in this area.

      Friends, we are simultaneously just and sinful, but that does NOT mean that our lives should not be characterized by greater and greater victories and deliverances from sin and self until the moment we die and are glorified. It’s only natural for us to shed besetting sins JUST like this one. It WILL happen if you don’t give up! And not giving up = never stop asking, confessing, seeking His face and deliverance directly from Him.

  7. Matthew Burt says:

    Where is the rest of this?

    There are two things that need to happen as soon as possible for any one caught in the deceit of pornography–First tell someone you trust that you are sinning in this area. (Your wife probably already knows.)

    There are support groups run by “For Men Only”
    Second install Covenant Eyes on every computer that you have access to (unless of course it is at work…)

    The regular –weekly or more often conversations with the accountability partner are key and helpful.

    Kris Lundgren’s Book, The Enemy within and John Owen on Indwelling Sin are incredible looks into the power of the thing being fought. Highly recommended

    Another book is “Pure Desire” by Ted Roberts. Not so much Gospel BAsed, but it has key insights into the growth and power and victory over pornography

  8. William Johnson says:

    Did they film this inside a tent?

  9. LB says:

    I found this to be very good. I hope I am not violating any rules for this board by posting it here. I think it is an interesting perspective.

    OVERCOMING SEXUAL PASSIONS

    Zac Poonen

    In Ezekiel 16:49-50, God describes the real sins of Sodom that led to the destruction of that city (in Genesis 19). Most of us have always associated Sodom with sodomy (homosexuality) and other sexual sins. But sexual sin was the ultimate result of a way of life.

    What was it that led them into such depths of evil? Here we are told that Sodom’s sins were actually :

    - Pride
    - Laziness
    - Gluttony (love of good food) and
    - Neglecting the poor and needy

    These were the reason why God wiped out that city. It is interesting to note that God does not even mention their sexual sin.

    Sexual sin in Sodom was the result of their lazy, comfortable life-style. What can we learn from this? That there is a close connection between

    * pride and sexual sin,
    * laziness and sexual sin
    * gluttony and sexual sin and
    * a lack of concern for other people and sexual sin.

    Consider just these four areas. Many of you who are young have to admit that you are finding it very difficult to overcome your sexual passions. That is an extremely difficult area. But why not begin by overcoming in these four easier areas? You may, then, find it easier to overcome in the sexual area.

    Begin first of all, by humbling yourself in all situations. Avoid all arrogance.

    Then begin to be hard-working and diligent in whatever you do.

    Then try fasting – avoiding food – once in a while.

    And fourthly, begin to think a little more about the needs of people around you and see how you can help them.

    Try this prescription for one year and you may discover that overcoming your sexual passions becomes easier. We cannot overcome any sin without grace from God – but He gives His grace only to the humble; and He helps only those who are kind and helpful to others

  10. ***Everyone who reads this***: PRAY FOR BROTHERS GREG, MARLON, and MIKE W (see above)!!! Write their names down and intercede for them, the more the better!!! Let’s see God come through together!

  11. Luke Breuer says:

    I have some deep problems with this video. Let’s take a very careful look at how Jesus treated those who had sexual issues, versus those who had inside/outside issues — that is, hypocrisy issues & lovelessness issues. A concise summary of this is found in James 4:8b “Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Look at the difference between cleansing hands and _purifying hearts_. It wasn’t the prostitutes of Jesus’ time who were making disciples who were twice the sons of hell as they were, it was the Pharisees, the religious leaders. The obvious sinners, the ones whose sins are conspicuous (1 Tim. 5:24), were the easy cases!

    I am much more of a fan of C.S. Lewis’ approach: “We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” Alternatively, you can look at Francis Schaeffer’s comment in the beginning of _True Spirituality_, where he says that he thought of the Christian faith in terms of purity at first, and then found that he had to tear his ideas down to their agnostic foundations and rebuild, because making everything about purity (especially sexual purity) resulted in an anemic view of reality.

    Why is there little to no focus on what one is _giving up_ by settling for mud pies, for a pitiful, skewed 2-D presentation of God’s world? Why is there little to no focus on the _precursors_ of sexual immorality? Do we really believe that sexual immorality arises out of nowhere? Do we acknowledge Ezekiel 16:50, but not v49? All this focus on surface issues seems like weeding via chopping off the visible part of the plant instead of understanding the root structure.

    Why not try John 10:10? “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Pornography is a mirage, an idol which turns our eyes from God to a lie (Rom. 1:21-23). We become like what we worship; Is. 44:9-20 is fantastic irony which makes this crystal clear. However, are we going to try to remove lies and sin and not replace them with their unpolluted counterparts? Or will we let seven more demons dwell in the newly whitewashed house? (Matt. 12:43-45)

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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