The costs of concealment are far greater than the costs of confession and repentance.
For the past two weeks at NewSpring Church, we dove into the subject of sexual sin IN the church (based on the fact that Jesus rebukes two churches in Revelation chapter two for sexual sin IN the church.) Here are several thoughts/reminders in regards to what we covered.
(The sermons are available on iTunes and on the NewSpring Church Web site if you want to see/hear them in their entirety.)
1. Who or what you pursue will ultimately determine what you do and who you become. It is a spiritual impossibility to pursue Jesus AND sexual sin at the same time. (Psalm 25:15)
2. As a friend of mine has often said, “God is not after our begrudging submission but rather our joy!” And long-term joy, peace, and fulfillment are never the result of pursuing sexual sin. (Please read Proverbs 5, Proverbs 6, & Proverbs 7 for further confirmation in regards to this point.)
3. Sexual sin is not something that can be “prayed away,” nor can we simply read Bible verses about grace after committing it in order to feel better. NOR can we simply promise God over and over that we won’t do it again (how’s that working for you?). We CAN be set free from it…but it will not be pretty. It must be confessed (James 5:16) and repented of (Revelation 2:21-23!). (I did not overcome my nearly 20-year battle with pornography until I confessed it and asked for help!)
YES, it may “cost you” when it comes to your reputation…but remember, the costs of concealment are far greater than the costs of confession…and repentance is WAY more important than our reputation.
4. Sexual sin costs us our spiritual esteem…people who are involved in sexual sin feel disconnected from God, guilty, and spiritually dead.
5. For those who want to STOP sinning sexually…a decision MUST be made to renew your mind (Romans 12:1-12), to FIGHT the battles in your mind (II Corinthians 10:5), and to ask GODLY men and women to come alongside you and both encourage and spur you when necessary (Hebrews 10:24-25).
(PS…this means you have to stop saying, “I messed up sexually.” OR “I made a mistake!” Call it what it is…sin. AND stop meeting with people who are doing the same things that you are doing and so when you get together to “hold one another accountable,” you are actually hoping that the other person “messed up” so that you don’t feel bad about doing so!)
6. Understand that IN CHRIST, you CAN have victory over sexual sin! (See Romans 8:37, I Corinthians 15:57, Philippians 4:13!) IN CHRIST, you are NOT a victim but rather a receiver of VICTORY! If Jesus overcame DEATH, then Christ in you can help you breakthrough the stronghold of sexual sin! (Luke 1:37!)
7. For those who belong to Christ and are trying their best to pursue Him on a daily basis but are still haunted by a sexual past…remember that is who you WERE; it is not WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST! (II Corinthians 5:17!) Do not allow what used to defeat you to define you! You are no longer defined by what you did but rather by what CHRIST did for you on the cross!