September 20, 2020
Tech Savvy – Part 5
Series: Tech Savvy
Pastor Philip De Courcy
Romans 12:1-2

Purchase the CD of this sermon.


This sermon series promotes using digital technologies in a way that honors God, based on Romans 12:1-2. It challenges believers to use discernment and recognize the negative effects of technology when used unwisely.

More From This Series


Want to return to this sermon that became a series called Tech Savvy. And we’ve been looking at some of the temptations associated with the worldwide web. In fact, as I was thinking about that, to reintroduce that thought, I was reminded of a story about a young professional woman who had to go downtown to an important meeting. And as with all downtowns, parking was limited. She was in a bit of a rush, and after going around the block several times and not finding a spot, she decided to park her car in a no parking spot. She realized she was running a risk, and so she left a bit of a note on her windscreen explaining her choice and why she had to make it and the predicament she was in. And she closed with these words, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others theirs.” After the meeting, she come back out, and sure enough, she found a ticket on her windscreen explaining why the ticket was appropriate and the ticket had these words attached to it too.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Well, none of us want to be led into temptation, nor do we want to go seeking it. But as we’ve been doing this sermon turned into a series, Tech Savvy, we need to remind ourselves that the worldwide web and social media platforms and modern entertainment are all means of being led into temptation. Social media platforms, the web, present to us particular temptations. And if you can remember this far back, we have identified several. We looked at the temptation to self-promotion. We looked at the temptation to seek human approval. We looked at the temptation to envy covetousness, and then two weeks ago we started to look at the temptation to lust and sexual sin through pornography. And that’s the one I want to return to because as a pastor, as a man alongside you, I think we have got to determine and conclude, with honesty, that pornography is the defining sin of our day.
I don’t think we have begun to measure the damage that pornography is doing to young men, young women, marriages, society, and the harm that it’s bringing to the Body of Christ. Of all the sexual temptations that assault the soul of the saint, that war against the Spirit, none hold a candle to the ubiquity and devastation of pornography. I’m not going to bore you with the statistics that prove that, because I think you already know that. And I think some of you know that because you’re struggling with it. We just took a call this week from a pastoral friend of our pastoral staff telling us that just in the last few weeks he’s had to let go three of his pastoral staff because they have admitted to years and years of pornography and sexual sin and lust. One in eight searches on the internet are for erotic content.
35% of internet downloads are estimated to be porn related, just to give you a little insight. Let me warn you, let’s just remind ourselves why I’ve paused a little within this series to address pornography in terms of its temptation more than the others, because as Al Mohler says, president of Southern Baptist Seminary, the internet has brought an interstate highway of pornography into every community, with entrance ramps at every home computer. We would add to that every smartphone, every interaction with social media, from popups to advertisements. Let’s get real. We need to watch and pray lest we enter in to this temptation. The relationship between the Christian home and the Christian Church and the internet is a fraught one. We’re thankful for what it brings in terms of faster communication, medical, advance, transport, all the ways in which technology makes our life more comfortable and enjoyable. We salute that.
But as with everything in a fallen world, there’s not only an upside, there’s a downside. When fallen man gets his hands on something, it falls short of God’s glory. And the internet is proving to be that in so many arenas, and certainly in this arena. Pornography is not only a growing public health crisis, it’s a growing church holiness crisis. In fact, this is such a major problem that in a sermon on sexual purity, Kevin DeYoung, one of my favorite writers and bloggers, likens it to the high places that you’ll find in the Old Testament. Remember how in the Old Testament when a good king took over Judah, the two tribes to the south, that they reformed the culture, and they removed from the culture those things that fell below God’s glory, contravene God’s law, but often sadly, even in the reign of a good king, in First Kings 15:14, Second Kings 12:3, as an example, some of the high places remained. And you’d almost call them pockets of resistance, places of corruption and sin that that were entrenched in the life of the people of God.
They were often the leftovers from the sin and the compromise that the good king had tried to eradicate. And those high places were shrines where foreign gods were worshiped and sometimes immoral behavior took place. And Kevin DeYoung would say, and I think he speaks from experience a pastor, because every pastor’s seeing it, I think he would say that in many ways the sexual sin associated with pornography is becoming a high place in the body life of the church and in the kingdom of God. It’s a stubborn sin. And it’s an abiding compromise in the life of so many who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. This is not a new problem, as we said. Pornographic images and enticements were part of the life of the believer in the New Testament. And something I didn’t say the last time, it’s interesting when you look at Paul’s lists of behaviors that are not fitting for a Christian, sexual immorality is one of them, and it often heads the lists of those sins.
Romans 1:24, First Corinthians 6:9, Galatians 5:19. So let’s pick up where we left off last time. Given that reality, given this temptation to lust and sexual sin across the internet, the worldwide web, social media platforms, think about even an app like Tinder that’s been set up so people can set up casual sex with complete strangers with no strings attached. That’s what we’re dealing with. Those are the traps, the temptations, the minefield we’re all working our way through. How do we protect ourselves? How do we guard the purity of the church? How do we enhance the holiness of God’s saints? Well, we took that word protect and we used it as an acrostic. I covered three things. I’m not going to rehearse those. If you missed them, you can get the CD or go onto the website. Number one P, pursue your spouse sexually. The intimacy between a husband and a wife, that’s to be pursued on a regular basis and in a joyful manner. First Corinthians seven, one through five is one of God’s protections against pornography.
Number two, rehearse the consequences of failure. Rehearse the consequences of failure. Noah was moved by fear to the saving of his household. And every man and woman of God needs to be moved by fear of God and fear of the consequences of their sin. Always remember this, sin has a price tag attached to it. You don’t sin for free. There are the wages of sin, and this is a sin that carries wages and destroys testimonies and homes, and I’ll say no more. Number three, O, own the fact that your body belongs to Christ. Own the fact that your body belongs to Christ. We took that out of one Corinthians six, 12 to 20, where Paul says to a church living in a sexually saturated city, Corinth. In fact, a phrase was used of people who became loose in their living.
It was to be Corinthianized. To a church who lived in that kind of immoral melee, he says, “Now you need to know your body is not for sexual immorality, it’s for the Lord, and you need to know that your body now is the temple of the Holy Spirit, that the third person of the Godhead indwells you. And wherever you stand is holy ground and whatever you do, you ought to do for the glory of God.” Therefore, you cannot, cannot imagine attaching your body to a prostitute because that would be like attaching Christ to that act since he indwells you. Anything you do with your body that’s outside the will of God implicates Christ in it. Kind of scary stuff. Maybe the way to kind of picture that would be imagine having sex in the youth room of Kindred Community Church. The thought of that just gives you the creeps.
In fact, pastor friend of mine had to deal with that just recently in a church where he find out that sex was taking place in the premises of the church with leaders and part of the congregation. And you and I rise up in holy indignation and say, “Never. How can it be?” But that’s the point of Paul’s analogy. You are a temple. You are, in that sense, the place where God’s presence is known in the world, wherever you are. And when we sin, we sin as part of the church who are always the church. Number four, T, this is where we’re picking up where we left off. This is new. Trust yourself to an accountability partner. Remember, we’re protecting ourselves against the sin and temptation of pornography. Pursue your spouse sexually. Rehearse the consequences of failure. Own the fact that your body belongs to Christ.
Trust yourself to an accountability partner. The Christian life is a duet, not a solo. You’re to live in harmony with other believers. Isn’t that true? What about the one anothers of the New Testament, expressed in some form 59 times in the New Testament? Our relationship with God is certainly personal, and individual, but it’s private and corporate. It’s not private and it is corporate alongside that. Listen to John Stott with some very helpful words. “The very purpose of Christ’s self-giving on the cross was not just to save isolated individuals, and so perpetuate their loneliness, but to create a new community whose members would belong to him, love one another and serve the world.” Jesus died to create a new community of people called the church. And we’re to live in dependence upon one another. Our Christian walk and our discipleship must be a shared experience.
We grow together in small groups, in church gatherings, in one-on-one discipleship. Christianity is a community affair. We are mutually dependent upon one another. In fact, to quote John Stott again, he talks about shared burdensomeness, shared burdensomeness. Have you ever found if you’re in need, or if someone’s in need, you’re a little embarrassed to share that need or seek others help. And so people often express it this way. You know what? After telling the issue they’re dealing with, they might say something like this, “But I don’t want to be a burden to anybody.” But that’s antithetical to the gospel. That’s antithetical to a biblical understanding of church.
I’m to be a burden to you and you are to be a burden to me. I give you permission to be a burden. Now, not an irritant but a burden, not a pain in the neck, a burden. [inaudible] means. I’ve got needs that you are called by God to fulfill and meet, and you’ve got needs this pastoral staff and the elders are called by God to meet, and you as a body need to be working together to meet each other’s needs. Isn’t that Galatians six brethren? “If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you be tempted, bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” There is a shared burdensomeness, and my friend there is the burden of seeking to maintain one’s sexual purity.
That’s a fight. That won’t happen easily. You can’t do it by yourself. That’s why God gave you a wife or a husband. That’s why God gave you friends in Christ. That’s why God created the church. That’s why Jesus, by the way, sent his disciples out, Luke 10 verse one, two by two. You ever realize that Jesus never sent the disciple out by themselves because he knows it doesn’t work. It can’t work. Ecclesiastes four, nine to 12, “Two is better than one.” And so when you and I are fighting pornography, we need to tag team when we’re wrestling the world and this temptation. We need to fight with both hands. And you’re fighting with one hand if you’re not accountable to someone, if you’re not in deep and abiding and real and authentic Christian fellowship, where you with others are pursuing sanctification and holiness after Christ.
Think about this and why it’s so important that we tag team, because pornography, by its very nature, is the sin, more than often, done in secret, done by an individual. And this sin feeds on isolation. And the sin itself, sexually, in terms of lust is a selfish sin because it turns sex into a singular pleasure, divorced from marriage, divorced from God’s will, rather than a mutual joy between a man and a woman within the covenant of marriage as God has intended. Yes, God intends sex to be a unifying aspect of marriage. Right? One Corinthians seven, verses one to seven says to the wife, “Your body’s not yours, it’s your husband’s, and says to the husband, your body’s not yours, it’s your wife’s. Now serve each other and bless each other in mutual intimacy.” One another. It’s not an isolated act. It’s not to be a selfish act.
That’s why Genesis 2:24 says, “For this reason, shall a man leave mother and father and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.” Sex is unifying, but pornography, it separates, isolates, and is totally selfish. And given the nature of this sin, it feeds on isolation and it produces isolation. How much more do you and I need the company and accountability of God’s people calling us to a biblical understanding of sex. I think biblical accountability, in fellowship with the church and the body of Christ, will help break that cycle. We all need people in our lives who know about our lives and our struggles, calling us to repentance, calling us to resolve, someone who can point us to the means of grace, and remind us there is power to overcome in dwelling sin through the indwelling Spirit, someone to remind us that the seductions of the world can be overcome by treasuring Christ.
There’s strength in numbers, friends. Isolated Christians are easy pickings for the enemy. You know, it’s interesting, Satan is described as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And if you’ve ever watched National Geographic or some wildlife channel on your TV, you’ll know that lions and predatory animals, look for the animal in the herd that gets separated, gets left behind, acts foolishly and breaks from the herd. They’re the ones that are picked off first. And it’s the same spiritually. Don’t make yourself a sitting duck. Don’t make yourself an easy target for the enemy by being isolated. The sin you’re struggling with and pornography isolates you enough. You need to break that isolation and seek the comfort of others, and the counsel of others, and seek the grace of God. A couple of years ago when we had Ray Pritchard here at our men’s retreat, we were dealing with spiritual warfare and temptation. And I remember Ray speaking on this issue of the need, as men, to be accountable and be in each other’s lives.
He reminded us of a young man that had shared with him, that for a time he had served as a marine in Iraq, he had actually been the Fallujah where some of the heaviest fighting had taken place and some of the worst war had unfolded. And he says this, “Our drill sergeant used to drill this into us. Two is one, one is none, and if you’re by yourself, you’re done.” He was reminding them to stay together, to fight as a unit, to lean on each other. Two is one, one is none, and if you’re by yourself, you’re done. And that’s true spiritually. Don’t fight alone. Have a tightly-knit group of brothers or sisters, depending on your circumstance, that can speak into your life, where you can be vulnerable and honest, and seek their counsel and comfort, and hopefully they will push you to Christ.
Look, accountability groups are not a silver bullet, but they are one weapon in the fight. They should be led by a mature believer. And if it’s an accountability group, then people need to be held accountable. Should be real, and the word of God should be the authority. It needs to be more than once a week or a month thing. That can be too late. They need to avoid explicit details, should sin be confessed. And it should be said to the group that the duty to confess is placed squarely on the one that’s sinning. I remember dealing with the sin like this in a former church. And after I discovered that someone in the ministry was dealing with this issue, I asked them, “Why didn’t you tell us this was a problem?” I’ll never forget the answer. “You didn’t ask.” Huh? So it’s on me to find out that you’re sinning, but it’s not on you to confess your sin for the purity of the church and the glory of Christ.
Let’s move on. E, eliminate opportunities to lust. Eliminate opportunities to lust. When you read the word of God in terms of its language and the tone it sets for sexual temptation or on holy lust, you’ll read words like flee, avoid, fight. It’s aggressive. It requires commitment. It requires deliberate action on your part and my part. You can sit passively and receive this message today. You must react aggressively and actively, because First Corinthians 6:18 tells you to flee sexual immorality. First Thessalonians 4:3 tells you, “Avoid sexual immorality for this is the will of God for you.” One Peter two, 11 to 12 tells us that our fleshly lusts war against the Spirit. This is a fight. You and I are not to reason with sexual sin, we’re not to dabble in it, we’re not to hang around it, we’re not to experiment with it.
We’re to learn the lessons from the foolish man, the numb skull of Proverbs seven who lingered too near sexual immorality, was captured by a siren song and went to his destruction like an ox to a slaughter. He lived in sin’s zip code. It says he went by her house, speaking of the seductress woman, who allured him and baited him and drew him. First question is, what are you doing on that side of town? Flee sexual immorality. Avoid contact. Avoid things that trigger lust in your life, and do that aggressively. Be radical in this fight, is not Jesus’ words in the sermon on the Mount. Matthew five verse 27, let me remind you of them again, because the point here is eliminate opportunities for lust. That’s your responsibility. “You’ve heard it said of old you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that whoever lusts or looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” Those are striking words. Jesus establishes a serious standard. It’s not enough that you don’t physically commit adultery with another person in a sexual act. No. You can actually commit adultery by undressing someone mentally in your mind or toying with illicit images and ideas. Jesus said that’s a violation of the seventh commandment. It’s a breaking of God’s law. Jesus not only establishes a serious standard, Jesus establishes a serious strategy.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. You mean literally? No. Although some did take it literally by mistake. One of the church fathers [inaudible] actually castrated himself because of this verse. But Jesus can’t be meaning this literally because you know what? Sin is an affair of the heart before it’s an action of the hand or the eye. And also you know you don’t need to take it literally because if you pluck out one eye, you’ve got another eye to sin with. If you cut off one hand, you have another hand to sin with. Jesus is simply using hyperbole to say, whatever it takes, do something radical about your sexual sin. It’s a serious strategy. Get rid of the internet, unplug your TV. Stay away from certain places. Avoid certain people. Watch at certain times of the day when you’re most vulnerable. Whatever it is, have your head screwed on.
Realize that indeed you are in the enemy’s crosshairs, you’re living in enemy territory. The world wants to press you into its mold. Now, I’m not advocating this, but I’m just, it’s an interesting example of just, hey, what one person was willing to do. Francis of Assisi, when he was dealing with sexual temptation, if it was in the middle of the winter, he would often hurl himself into a ditch full of ice water and stay there until every vestige of sinful temptation disappeared from his mind. He was so concerned about looking at a woman with lust that when he talked to someone of the opposite sex, he either looked at his feet or he starred at the stars. Now, I’m not saying that’s the way to go. In fact, I wouldn’t say that’s the way to go. It would be impolite not to look at a woman to her face.
And certainly, you know what? Finding ice buckets and baths to jump into when temptation lays hold isn’t that convenient. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll give him some points for trying. Come on. You got to give the guy some points for trying. He’s trying to, at least, work out maybe in an exaggerated and practical way how he deals with sexual sin. The rest of us, many of us, maybe you, you’re playing with it, you’re toying, you’re reasoning, you’re dabbling, you’re exposing yourself. And Jesus said, no, this is a serious standard, with a serious strategy, and he expresses a serious sequence. The man or the woman who pursues that lifestyle unrepented of, goes to hell. That’s the implication of Jesus’ words. Hey, if you don’t fight this, if you don’t beat this, if you don’t live in purity, then hell is the result.
This is a damning sin. Unrepented of, practiced as a pattern. It’s a damning sin. In fact, that’s Jesus’ point. Hey, do whatever you need to do, better, theoretically again, lose one hand and go to heaven with one hand missing, then your whole body just roll over into hell. [inaudible] Ferguson says, “It’s better to enter heaven having decided to never use the internet again rather than go to hell clicking on everything you desire.” That’s the point, folks. This is a real challenge. God calls us to this, and you need to think out, maybe in the company of others, how you implement a radical regime of purity. For the sake of the gospel, for the sake of your marriage, for the sake of your children, for the sake of this country. It will take a fight. You’ve heard me tell this story before, but some years ago, you can look this up for yourself.
A young man by the name of Aaron Ralston, he was a 27-year-old mountain climber. He went hiking in an area of Colorado that fewer than a hundred people hike on any given year. He was isolated, he was by himself. He didn’t tell anybody he was going, I don’t think the cell phone signals were good in that area. And he had an accident. He fell in an unusual set of circumstances. His arm got pinned beneath an 800 pound boulder. And after five days, realizing that no one’s coming, because no one knows where he is, less than a hundred people walk this way on a given year, he was facing death. He was out of water and he was out of snacks. And so what he did was he took a dirty pen knife out of his pocket, and it took him 60 minutes to do it, and he cut his arm off. Bandaged it up, walked for several miles, and in God’s kindness, someone saw him.
And today he’s a inspirational speaker. His life was on the line. Just think that out sometime today, man, the bravery of it, but the instinct to survive, the love of life brought him to do that. And that’s what Jesus is driving at, that instinct to live for God’s glory, that desire to finish pure, that desire to hear that well done means you’re willing to do whatever necessary. What’s painful, what’s awkward, what’s antisocial, what brings the mockery of the world upon you, you don’t worry about it, you don’t think about it. Okay, got to keep moving. Confess your sins to God and others. I’ll not spend a lot of time on this other than to remind you the person who has fallen prey and is captive to pornography needs to recognize the sin that pornography is and the sin that lust is, and then confess it and repent of it.
Do you know in the New Testament, [inaudible] the word confess literally means to agree with. So let me read it that way. You and I need to recognize, should this be a temptation to us, that this is a sin. Should we give into it? We need to agree with God and his word and how it describes it and its consequences, and the problem that it is for the body of Christ, and repent of any thought of it and any actions that have come from unholy thoughts. It is a breaking of the seventh commandment, and Jesus says, unrepented of and pursued and persisted in, it’s damning. And so we need to confess our sins to God and others who are directly and consciously affected by this. We need to own it as a sin. It’s not an addiction. I’m a little frightened of that word, addiction, when it comes to sexual behavior, because in our psychologist world, you get the impression once an addict always an addict, and it’s just a matter of managing it and mitigating it.
But there’s really never any major change. It’s not something that can be broken or overcome, but that’s not true. Paul tells us in Romans six that we can overcome sin, and our bodies that we once gave as instruments of righteousness, we can now, by the power of the cross and the help of the Holy Spirit, give us instruments of righteousness. What about First Corinthians six, 10 to 11? “Such were some of you,” speaking of sexual sin and Corinth, “but now you’re washed than justified and living in the power of the Holy Spirit.” We mustn’t allow this sin or this issue to be taken out of the realm of sanctification, and the delivering power of the gospel. And the path out of enslavement to this sin begins with owning the fact that it is a sin and confessing it without rationalization or excuse. One verse here and we’ll move on would be Proverbs 28, verse 13.
Wonderful verse, memorize this verse. It’s a blessing. Proverbs 28, verse 13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper.” Remember, this is a sin that isolates. This is a sin that’s cloaked in secrecy. This is a sin that you and I need to confess. It needs to be brought out into the open, if we’re ever going to prosper, if we’re ever going to know God’s blessing and the Spirit’s power. “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will find mercy.” Is that not a word of encouragement? “Will find mercy.” Or as one old preacher said, I heard once, “What man covers, God uncovers, be sure your sins will find you out. But what man uncovers God and his mercy covers.” If we confess our sin, agree with God about it and seek his grace concerning it, and realize that the one who did not sin sexually in thought or indeed bore our sexual sin in his body on the tree, and offers us grace. When we understand that and confess our sin, we’ll receive forgiveness.
I like the story that comes out of Prussia, old Germany and Austria. King Frederick the Great was once visiting a Berlin prison, and the prisoners all started falling on their knees before his majesty proclaiming their innocence except for one man. In fact, when the king realized that this guy hadn’t said anything, he asked him, “Well, why are you here?” And he said, “Well, your majesty, I committed armed robbery. And are you guilty?” He said, “I am and I deserve my punishment.” And then King Frederick summoned the jailer and ordered him release this guilty ratchet once. I will not have him kept in the prison here to corrupt all these fine innocent people. And he was let loose. It’s a great story, and maybe the point of the story is confession brings freedom. Bring your guilt and your sin and your brokenness and your lawlessness before God, who’s ready to pardon, whose son valiantly and gloriously carried your sin and its penalty on the cross.
And he wants to deliver you from that by his grace and through the Spirit. Brings us to the last thought. T, treasure Christ above all, we’re working through that acrostic. T, treasure Christ above all. And the point of this is a point I’ve made on several occasions. Let’s be honest, this is a real temptation, and it’s attractively displayed. And it appeals to the eye gate. And it appeals to natural desires. And we can fight it with prohibition, you shall not. And we can fight it by putting a distance between us and the things that trigger it. And we can fight it by rehearsing its awful consequences physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But the best way to fight this pleasure of sin is with a greater pleasure in the Savior. Treasure Christ above all. Prohibition has its place, but the enjoyment of God, the central place. Remembering the cost of your sin has its place, but the worth of Jesus Christ, the central place.
We need to remind ourselves that Christ is everything and he ought to be our all in all, right? Is not how he’s described in Colossians one 16 to 17 in Colossians three, verse 11? We’ve come to understand who he is. He’s God of very God. We’ve come to understand the beauty of his character and his sinlessness, and his purity. We’ve come to understand the magnificence of his work upon a cross for you and me as he died, our substitute for sin. We have come to understand all of that and we treasure him in regards to that. We count that dear, we make that a thing of exceeding worth to us. Isn’t that the way Paul thinks in Philippians three, dealing with the radical changes that were going on in his life? How do you explain them? He basically says, here’s how you explain them. “Everything before Christ, I count now as rubbish.
Everything apart from Christ, I count now as rubbish. Everything associated with Christ, I count worthy. And I count all things but loss that I might know him and the excellency of knowing him.” And so here’s where I want to go with this for a brief moment, try and track this. It’s a thought that I should have given more thought to and more time to. But I’m thankful for sex. It’s a gift from God and it’s a good thing in it’s place and in its time. And there’s pleasure associated with it. Intimacy, unity and oneness between a man and a woman brought together, where sex is not just a physical act but the culmination of a shared life, gentleness, communication, intimacy. A desire to please the other person. And when you get to that culmination in the sexual act, there’s a joy there that’s profound, and it acts as glue. And it’s a gift from God.
But sex is not everything. Jesus Christ is everything. And the point is that that sexual union between a husband and wife and the joy associated with it, according to Paul in Ephesians five, says that that’s just a taste of the union between Christ and his church. Isn’t that what Paul argues? Right? Right at the end of chapter five, 30 and 31, “For this reason, shall a man leave mother and father cleave to his wife. The two shall become one flesh in sexual union. And I speak of the mystery of Christ and the church.” Christ has got a bride, and the relationship between Christ and his bride is beautiful and intimate and one. And the joy and the pleasure that comes from that. Sex at its best within marriage is but a taste of what will be enjoyed for all of eternity when there is no more marriage and no more sex, but joy and pleasure forevermore between the people of God and the son of God.
So the point is this, number one, to our singles and our young people, I hope that God blesses you with marriage and you get to enjoy one of God’s good gifts. But I want to remind you in your singleness, and should you stay single and never get to enjoy sex as the Bible describes it, sex is not everything. It’s a joy, it’s a gift, it’s a blessing, but it’s not as good, it’s only a test of the joy that can be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Keep yourself pure, and remind that in the life to come there will be no sex because sex is not everything. If anything, it’s a picture of something more profound. And again, as you and I are going to fight the temptation, the sexual sin, we can fight it by reminding ourselves that Christ is our treasure.
He ought to be our greatest pleasure, and we need to pursue him with deep desire. The joy of sex is a taste of gospel joy, and we need to embrace that and think about that. The surest way to fight and win the battle with pornography is to fight forcefully and joyfully for a close relationship with Christ. When Christ fills our gaze, when we turn our eyes upon Jesus, the allure of pornography fades. When we chase after Christ, we will begin to see pornography in the rearview mirror. A real abiding living, growing relationship with Christ is to build a wall between us and the fakery and illusion of pornography, and the passing pleasure that it is outside the will of God. The banqueting house of the gospel and fellowship with Christ will trump the sugar high of pornography. As the team comes up, I’ll finish with this story from a man who’s actually stood in this pulpit, and some of you have actually sat under his ministry, David Hague, and in his book Obedience Option, he talks about overwhelming faith, overwhelming faith.
And he says, there was a young man that walked into his pastoral office one day and confessed his sin of sexual immorality, but went on to say to the pastor, David, that he couldn’t stop this pattern of sleeping with different women. He claimed that, you know what? Sexual lust is a strong desire. It’s inevitable. In fact, has God not created him with these sexual desires that are impossible to run from? And David Hague interrupted the young man, he said this, suppose that I came into your room and caught you and your girlfriend as you were just starting this inevitable process. Suppose I took out ten one hundred dollars bills and told you that if it was yours, if you stopped, what would you do? Young man quickly replied, I’d take the cash. To which David Hague replied, so what happened to the irresistible force of lust.
Application, says David Hague, we both realize the very simple truth. One passion may seem irresistible until a greater passion comes along. If we take this principle into the arena of righteous living, it comes out like this. The only way to overcome a passion for sin is an overwhelming passion for Jesus Christ and his righteousness. We’ve got to fight the pleasure of sin with the greater pleasure of the savior. Sex is a gift from God, but sex is not ultimate or everything, because nothing in this world is ultimate or everything. Jesus Christ is everything because he created everything, upholds all things, and he’s the center of the universe. And sex, and the pleasure associated with it in a Christian marriage, is actually just a taste of a pleasure forevermore in the presence of Jesus Christ. Fight pornography by fighting for a close relationship with Christ. Father, we thank you for our time this morning together. We thank you for the beginning here at Kindred of the full assembly of God’s people on the Lord’s Day.
May it increase. And Lord, we thank you for reminding us this morning of the temptations associated with technology. We realize, in all honesty, this is the sin that defines our generation. It’s so anonymous, so accessible, so affordable. It’s ubiquitous. It comes hunting us and looking for us. Therefore, we need to watch and pray every day that we enter not into this temptation. We need to guard the intimacy between husbands and wives and make it real and regular and joyful. We need to rehearse the consequences of sin. We need to own the fact that you own us, and our body is to be dedicated to you. We need to take radical steps and remove the opportunities to lust that’s within our control. We need to hang together or we’ll hang separately. We need to confess our sin that we may prosper. And we certainly need to treasure Jesus Christ, who is our all in all. Lord, we ask and prayed these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.