Galatians 5:16-21 (NKJV)
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.“
Notice what Paul by the Holy Spirit shared about these things. In particular, adultery, fornication (porn), uncleanness (extravagant immorality-escort), lewdness (unbridled shameless lust).
Sexual immorality always takes you further than you’re willing to go. To levels never imagined. If we give into to one level of sexual immorality, we find ourselves going further, and further.
But every lustful desire have a genesis. It starts out with perceived innocence and then leads you into places of no shame.
Sexual struggles is common in many believers. The urges and impulses within the flesh and the desire of the mind to be sexually satisfied. We call it a struggle but what is it. It’s only a struggle IF we’re found fighting against it for a season and when the mind is convinced that it will give us unspeakable pleasure, the struggle ends.
Look at what Paul said.
“The flesh lusts (wars/is hostile) against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.”
It’s a constant battle and either one must win. And yes, the man that willingly desires to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and mind will succeed against the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is battling with your mind and is bringing every one of His resources to get you to see that you’re heading to violate the covenant relationship with the Lord.
Sin violates the covenant relationship and it breaks your fellowship with God.
When you’re convinced that a moment of pleasure is worth it, the Holy Spirit didn’t accept defeat. Here’s why?
Unless God requires your soul, He will return and give you 1 John chapter 1 and chapter 2:1-6.
The Holy Spirit wants to teach you how to gain victory over sin so you struggle with sin no more.
The struggle happens even after you have learned how to escape when the Holy Spirit teaches you. but you’ve learned to quickly respond to the Holy Spirit, as opposed to ignoring Him.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 is very clear.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
In order to give in to sexual struggles, you have to convince yourself that the benefits outweigh the risks.
But what is the true risk?
Falling into sin. You see, Romans 6:23 is the payment.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
When we believe we could get away with it, we’re not thinking about the wages. That’s how the pleasures of sin blind our minds. We give in because we’ve convinced ourselves that our salvation sealed us in such a way, that we practice unrighteousness with impunity.
We guarantee that while a person sins, there’s a 100% certainty that everyone looks over their shoulder.
Can you say with 100% certainty, that you got away with it? That God will not bring a charge against you? That’s God will “wink” at it?
The 10 Commandments is the “knowledge of sin.”
The only way to get 100% certainty is trusting in the shed blood of Jesus and your repentance.
But there’s also the willingness to depart from iniquity. Not continue to participate in it after repentance from dead works and faith towards God. Then living a sanctified life for the rest of your days.
What makes a Christian a Christian?
A clear departure from sin. But you can’t do this on your own, according to Ephesians 2:8-10 and Titus 3:5.
The absolute truth that you’ve been born again is a clear departure from sin, and obedience to the commandments of Jesus according to Matthew 7:21-29 and James 1:22-27.
In 1 John 3, we see that believers need to walk in this.
1 John 3:4-9 (NKJV)
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.“
When we see difficult passages like this that require more of us, it’s because we allow our struggles to talk us out of obedience to difficult passages that require more of us.
We easily surrender to the impossibility of this passage. But how come we say regularly that “with God all things are possible,” but we put a disclaimer on 1 John 3?
Is it possible to be born of GOD, and not sin?
Look at Proverbs 4:23 and 1 John 5:18-19.
The problem is what we allow and meditate on. We never focus on what the Lord requires of us that would cost us.
The other side is that we focus too much on our ability to produce without the help of the Lord. We do it with our own strength and power and in moments of weakness, we give in to our struggles.
Jesus said in John 15:5, “….without Me you can do nothing.”
The Holy Spirit gives us the grace that we need to run to the Savior and to His Word to overcome and have victory over our minds and flesh.
Self discipline is the ability of the believer to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit to control the flesh and mind.
Galatians 5:22-26 (NKJV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
When we work together with the Holy Spirit, the Lord will show us what we need to look for, listen to the Holy Spirit’s warning, and obey the Holy Spirit every time. When we choose to listen to the Holy Spirit every time, it’s possible not to sin.
But you have to be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit EVERY TIME.