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KEYS TO POWERFUL LIVING

Overcoming Sexual Sins

By CBN.com

CBN.com Human sexuality can be one of the most beautiful aspects of God's plan for His children here on earth. But since Adam and Eve's fall from grace, human sexual practices have drifted from God's purposes.

In fact, if we are not careful to look to our Heavenly Father and follow His teaching in this area, we live a life which makes us slaves to sin and fails to bring glory to our Lord.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

If you are struggling with sexual sin, you are not alone. Even King David -- a man after God's own heart -- wrestled with sexual sin. When he saw a beautiful woman named Bathsheba, he was overcome by his own lust. He then went to great lengths to hide his sin. But thanks to a faithful friend and a forgiving God, David found his way home (2 Samuel 11:12). And so can you.

FREEDOM IN THE TRUTH

Too often, we step onto the wrong path in our sexuality because we fail to act upon God's truth. Jesus, in one passage of the Bible, examines the freedom found in truth, and the enslaving power of lies. In that passage, the Lord puts it plainly: the truth sets us free. We either respond to the truth or to Satan's lies (John 8:31-47).

Recognizing the truth about sex can be an important first step to achieving victory over sexual sins. First, God wants His children to enjoy the beauty of appropriate sexual relationships. The King of the universe has much to say in His Word about the joys to be found in a marriage where both husband and wife know and love Christ (Gen. 2:24-25; Prov. 5:19; Song of Solomon).

However, the devil, the accuser of our souls, constantly tries to wreck God's plans. He lies to us, tempting us to believe that we can grab hold of sexual pleasures apart from a marriage commitment. He uses day-to-day pressures and our own sinful nature to accomplish his purposes.

And what begins as merely a "wandering thought" can quickly tempt us to act sinfully (James 1:14-15). These sins can involve pornography, fornication, adultery, prostitution, homosexuality, and other ungodly sexual practices.

No matter what sins overcome us, we must recognize that lust is at the root of our sin (1 John 2:16; Gal. 5:16-20). Lust blinds us and leads us deeper into sexual sin (1 Tim. 4:1-2; Rom. 1:21-27; Eph. 4:17-19). Each sin results in the same end (Rom. 6:23) and can carry deadly consequences of disease, and worse:spiritual death.

BREAKING THE CHAINS

To break the bonds of sexual sins, you must repent. That means a total change of direction, away from the sins and temptations, and toward the forgiving grace of a loving God. If you have allowed lust to control your life, yield to God as the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin. God will forgive and cleanse you physically, emotionally and spiritually, if you humbly come to Him (1 John 1:8,9; Psalm 103:12; Romans 6:23).

If you do not know that Jesus is your Savior, turn your life over to Him. Simply pray this prayer: "Jesus, I know You died for me. Thank You for saving me from my sins. I ask You to be Lord and Savior of my life."

Once you know Jesus as Savior take comfort in knowing that He identifies with your struggles and He desires to set you free (Heb. 4:14-16). He will enable you to gain the victory.

FIGHTING THE DAILY BATTLE

To overcome the temptations you will continually face, follow God's simple plan:

  • Stand firm against temptation (James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:6-9; 2 Tim. 2:22).
  • Confess your sins to a brother or sister in Christ and pray to be healed (James 5:16).
  • Hide God's Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11), trusting in its strength (Heb. 4:12).
  • Minister to God with sacrifices of praise (Heb. 13:15) until you are filled with the peace and joy of the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).
Most of all, the change must come from within (see Prov. 23:7). Fill your mind with God's thoughts, not worldly thoughts. And remember, the Bible says that God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and He will show you how to escape from your temptations (1 Cor. 10:13).

Finally, become part of an active Spirit-filled church. Study the Bible daily. Pray constantly and befriend other like-minded Christians. If you continue to give into temptations, you may need the help of a minister, counselor and/or other prayer partners.

AS YOU PRAY

Are you currently struggling with sexual sins? Despite the power these sins can have over us, you can have victory through the cleansing blood of Jesus and His grace to live each day.

Pray right now: "Father, forgive me and heal me from the sexual sins which have kept me separated from Your love. Help me to recognize and accept the power Jesus offers to restore me to wholeness. Help me to flee from all influences which cause me to sin, and allow me the meekness and humbleness I need to confide in a brother or sister in Christ and be healed. Encourage me and strengthen me with your holy and powerful Word. Amen."

GOD'S WORD ON SEXUAL SIN

"Don't you know that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? Is it right for me to join part of the body of Christ to an immoral woman? No, it isn't! ... Surely you know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God." (1 Cor. 6:15, 19-20).

SCRIPTURES FOR STUDY

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 -- God's will concerning sex

Proverbs 2:12-22; 6:20-35 -- The need for God's Word and wisdom

Psalm 51:7 -- Assurance of cleansing

James 1:12 -- Rewards for resisting sexual sin

WE'RE HERE FOR YOU

Through our daily inspirational television program, The 700 Club, and other outreach efforts, CBN ministers to millions every day in more than 70 nations. Each outreach of CBN is supported by friends like you who participate in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. For information on how you can take part in this exciting ministry outreach, call or write today.

Scripture references are from the Contemporary English Version.

CBN.com -- A troubling addiction. A betraying thought. A compromising situation. Temptation comes in many forms, sparking a fierce "winner-takes-all" battle for our souls that has one goal: to cause us to stray off the path that leads to godly living.

IS TEMPTATION SIN?

Temptation is not sin. If temptation were indeed sin, then Jesus would not have led a sinless life. But as the Bible says, Jesus was "tempted in all things," yet without sin ( Heb. 4:15).

Still temptation should not be taken lightly. That's because it is the gateway to sin. Temptation is often strongest when we are at our weakest. In fact, the longer we allow it to brew in our thoughts the more dangerous temptation becomes. Therefore, we must learn to recognize temptation and keep it in check.

WHAT'S SO TEMPTING?

Temptation is one of the enemy's most powerful "schemes" for misleading God's people ( Eph. 6:11, 16). It causes us to focus on the "passing pleasures" ( Heb. 11:25) of sin instead of the rich rewards of serving God with a pure heart.

The Bible says, "Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death" ( James 1:14,15). Thus, our own lusts give temptation its power over us.

Temptation says, "It's okay to sin just a little bit." But nothing could be further from the truth ( Num. 32:23; Prov. 15:3). In God's eyes, there are no "small" or "big" sins ( James 2:10). The wages of sin is always death ( Rom. 6:23).

When we are tempted, we often convince ourselves that we can hide our sin. But as men and women since the beginning of time have discovered, there is no hiding from God. "Thou hast searched me and know me." David said. "Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, thou dost know it all" ( Psalm 139:1,4).

Our tempting thoughts also try to undermine or twist the meaning of the Scriptures. When Jesus was "led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted" ( Matt. 4:1), the tempter twisted God's Word in an attempt to lead Jesus astray.

Ultimately, temptation tries to silence the voice of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised to send to "guide you into all truth" ( John 16:13). By tuning out the Holy Spirit's voice, we fool ourselves into thinking that we can make it on our own.

THE WAY OUT

Temptation can be difficult to resist. But God has not left us as helpless victims of temptation. He has promised a "way of escape" ( 1 Cor. 10:13) to all who trust in Him.

The "way" is not a program, but a person: Jesus Christ. Jesus not only cleanses us from sin, He also understands our temptations ( Heb. 4:15-16). That's why we can come to Him for help.

If you have not yet placed your trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, no matter how "good" your life is, you will never be able to overcome temptation and sin ( Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:23). First, you need to find new life in Christ ( John 3:16-17). Simply believe in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and confess with your mouth that "Jesus is Lord" and the Bible says you will be saved ( Rom. 10:9-10).

STANDING FIRM

Battling temptation is a daily walk. Even the most loyal followers of Christ can be tempted ( Heb. 12:1). That'' why the Lord's prayer instructs us to ask God to "lead us not into temptation" ( Matt. 6:13).

The following principles can help you fight-and win-against temptation.

1.Be honest with God. At the time of temptation, don't debate the issue. The longer we wrestle with tempting thoughts, the closer we get to committing the sin. Flee from the temptation as soon as you recognize it ( 2 Tim. 2:22).

2.Recognize your enemy. Understand that this is serious business! You are engaged in a battle for your very soul. There is an enemy, the devil, who "prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" ( 1 Peter 5:8). This enemy will use any temptation to draw you away from God.

3.Resist through Jesus! Go to the Lord and receive mercy and grace in your time of need (Heb. 4:15-16). Remember, you are not alone in your struggle. Satan tries to discourage us through isolation, telling us our temptation is unique. This simply isn't true ( 1 Cor. 10:13).

4.Give Thanks. In the midst of the struggle, thank God for the opportunity to experience the victory through Him ( Rom. 5:1-5). Thank Him for providing a way of escape.

AS YOU PRAY

If you are facing a difficult temptation right now, or if you have already fallen into temptation and its resulting sin, you can find freedom and victory. Turn to the Lord right now and pray.

"Dear Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross, which paid the penalty for my sin. Please keep me from this present temptation that wars against my soul. In Your perfect love, provide the way of escape Your Word promises. And thank You for the grace to walk with You every day. In Jesus' name. Amen."

GOD'S WORD ON TEMPTATION

"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it" ( 1 Cor. 10:13).

SCRIPTURES FOR STUDY

James 1:2-3, 13 -- We grow as we overcome temptation

Ephesians 5:15-21 -- Keys to walking uprightly

Hebrews 12:1-13 -- Encouragement in Christ

WE'RE HERE FOR YOU

Through our daily inspirational television program, The 700 Club, and other outreaches, CBN ministers to millions every day in more than 70 nations. Each outreach of CBN is supported by friends like you who participate in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. For information on how you can take part in this exciting ministry outreach, call or write today.

Scripture references are from the Contemporary English Version.

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