Eph 2: 1-5
And you hath he QUICKENED, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)
The first thing I would like to say is “Thanks be unto God who always leads us in triumph”. We all know according to II Corinthian 5:17 that “if any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away and behold all things have become new”. The man referred to in this verse is the REAL you: the inner man or your spirit man.
From scriptures we understand that Man has a three-fold nature as designed by God: Man is a spirit that lives in a body and he has a soul. God made man in his image and after his likeness and we understand that God is a spirit but for Man to live in the world he had to be put in a body which gives him the right to be on earth. The soul of Man is the seat of his will, emotions and intellect. Information is stored in the mind.
When we got born-again therefore, it was not the soul or the body that changed, it was us (our spirits) that changed. The old nature was removed and a new spirit was put within us. We lost every desire to sin. We became uncomfortable with sin.
At new birth, the soul and the body remained the same. We did not forget our names, neither did we change in complexion but a new light dawned in us. God however gave us a task as new creatures in Romans 12:1-2. He demands that we bring our minds in alignment with His word through a process called renewing of the mind. This is because the mind which is the seat of our will, emotions and intellect is filled with information that affects our decisions and character.
If you are born again, I am sure there was a point in our lives as individuals when we were not saved. We were not born again and so we were living our lives as we wanted and according to the dictates of the world. We were so void of God in our actions, words and thoughts and we yielded ourselves as instruments of different sins. Some of us through the association we had got introduced to pornography, reading sex-stimulating materials and discussions.
For me, most of my friends had boyfriends and so I did not see anything wrong in it. Infact, I looked forward to having one. Some were sexually abused and so lost their sense of restraint. Gradually, our minds in all these ways got polluted and so our emotions, decisions and subsequently character got affected such that the results we produced were marked with sex-related activities. They became comfortable to us. Things we would have morally frowned at became generally acceptable to us because we have eroded our defence through the associations and the information deposited in our mind.
I remember when I got into the higher institution, I was determined to go and have fun since I was going to be independent of my parents. Fun to me meant partying, hanging out with friends and generally fitting into an adult lifestyle I had always craved for moreso that there were no restrictions. I became my own god! Although I got into church, I did not allow God to get into me and I got into trouble! I got wrecked emotionally but just before I lost it all, God found me. He reached out to me. I could not have saved myself by myself; it required someone higher than me. His grace was. I remember a statement someone once made on how different I was from our first year on campus; it reflected how grace beautified my life. What happened to me?
The fellowship I joined on campus had a meeting with the founding pastor in Lagos and I was encouraged to come. I had already spoken to the pastor of the fellowship then of how despondent I was feeling in myself. I sought to have fun but FUN had me. The things I thought I had liberty to do held me prisoner to their wimps. The devil usually deceives us into thinking that living life according to the dictates of the flesh is a true expression of liberty where as it is not.
Infact, it is a trap because by the time you want to stop, you would realise how much hold such things have on you. I was sad, empty and lonely. I needed relationships to fill the void and I demanded it from people around me so much that they avoided me. I went for the meeting in Lagos and my life changed.
The man talked about purpose and I saw and discovered that there was a purpose for my existence. I cannot recall all that he said but what caught my attention was the fact that I actually risked my life on the road to go and listen to a man people said was anointed of God to raise lives in our generation! It dawned on me that if an ordinary man like me could be used of God, I would not be an exception. I went out that evening and responded to the call of God upon my life. I changed! I got back to school a different person. I realised how useless I lived my life and I told him I would live for him, my desire to have fun my way died and I wanted to find fun in Him.
One of the decisions I made back then was to reach out to people around me instead of waiting for people to come and keep me company whenever I felt lonely. A once melancholic me became a sanguine for God. I contacted God and guess what? He reached out to me in love. Praise God for salvation but how do we receive strength over subsequent temptations? How do we deal with guilt that comes when we fall into temptation?
Dear, after we are saved we still have work to do. It is not a hard work but a labour that would lead us into our rest. Condemnation usually comes within or without and by that I mean it could be self-condemnation or condemnation from people who are aware of this past and use it to taunt. God will never condemn you as a new creation in Christ Jesus, He has NEVER and you will not be the first. The devil is the one who condemns and the word of God is what you will use to cast down ANY and EVERY argument against you.
So how do you find your way out of sexual sin and become whole again?
- Stand on God’s Word: Now that you are a new creation, Rom 8:1 and 33 says “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth”. Thoughts will come and people will talk but God’s word is what we are to stand on.
3. Renewing of your mind: Another thing we need to do is to renew our minds according to Rom 12:2 which says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. Remember it was the information you once got from wrong and polluted sources and experiences we allowed to overwhelm us that got us to where we found ourselves so we need to flush out these things with the word of God. For people who were brain-washed by friends, media etc, we need to discover the beauty God has placed in us as believers and what God expects of us accordingly.
Knowing who we are in Christ helps us greatly in how we conduct ourselves as believers. Reading relevant materials on emotional healing would also help. (I read God’s Leading Lady, Lay Aside the Weight and Woman Thou Art Loosed by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Forgetting the Past by Bob Grass helped too).
4. The Power of Accountability: Getting accountable to trusted believer would help us bring light into the situation. Sin thrives in darkness but looses its power when exposed. We are to, according to Eph 5:21 submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God. So be authentic and honest to share your sexual struggles with a trusted spiritual friend, so you can stand together and gain strength that comes from purposeful partnership.
5. Committed Service: Another major help would be to get involved with God by becoming committed in a living church and in spreading the gospel. Living your life for God heals your mind of every sense of worthlessness that sin has brought to you and gives you a strong sense of purpose and relevance to God in this generation.
Pastor Dupe Lanre-Akinsiun is an ordained Pastor with the Kingsword International Church as well as a professional services consultant. She is married with twins and continually maximizes platforms to reach out to the youth, women and those in need of inspiration. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sex Series is an online bible class where God's perspective on the subject of sex is taught in a no holds barred style