Ten Helps for Fighting Sexual Temptation part four

8 May

It seems impossible to overemphasize how much pressure we as believers face daily to give in to sexual temptation and greed. There’s a war going on and it’s intense. When a battle is raging in a certain place, it makes sense for the soldiers to have as many weapons at their disposal as possible. In the last several posts we have been looking at a number of helps for this battle that we find in Ephesians 5.

1. Pursue a self-sacrificial lifestyle
2. Commit to taking a radical approach
3. Develop a deeper appreciation for your new identity in Christ
4. Practice thanksgiving
5. Speak the truth into your own life and have friends who will do the same on a regular basis
6. Be an idol smasher

7. Remember and delight in the inheritance that God has for you in Christ.

If I am travelling on a bus to Cape Town to receive my inheritance which is a beautiful mansion by the beach, I am not going to be all that tempted to ask the bus driver to let me off to live at a tin shack in a squatters camp. Especially if I know that choosing that tin shack means I am not going to be able to enjoy the mansion.

Paul gives a stern warning in Ephesians 5 when he says, “For you may be sure that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or covetous…has no inheritance in the kingdom of God and of Christ.”

Sometimes people talk as if stern warnings to those who are engaging in sexual sin and greed are legalistic and ungracious. I suppose we can give stern warnings in the wrong way. But certainly stern warnings are not legalistic or ungracious in and of themselves. It is gracious to offer someone something better in the place of something worse. It is gracious to tell someone that they will not enjoy that something better unless they let go of the something worse.

For the bus driver to open the door when I ask to get off and go to the tin shack and not give me an urgent warning would not be kind, it would be cruel and for the church not to offer the same kind of warnings that Paul does here to those who are engaging in sexual immorality and greed is not gracious at all.

One of the best ways to fight against sexual temptation and the lust for more is by pursuing a better understanding and deeper appreciation of what the Bible teaches about our eternal reward as believers. I had a friend who once ran ten ultra marathons and at the end all he received was a little laminated green card. He was excited but I will tell you what, I wasn’t. That little green card wasn’t worth all that pain. Heaven, our future with God is no little laminated green card, I can tell you that and you need to know it. The reward God has for those who persevere is more than worth it and you need to daily fix it in your mind if you are going to endure and win over sexual temptation and greed.

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One Response to “Ten Helps for Fighting Sexual Temptation part four”

  1. John May 8, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    true brother!

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