This Easter…Remember Jesus. His Light Still Shines…

This Easter… Remember Jesus. His Light Still Shines…

Weekly Web (W)roundup

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Each week, we roundup the best links, articles, and videos we find that are relevant to overcoming pornography addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything in the linked article. It just means we found it interesting enough to share.


Covenant Eyes: What I Should have Told Bob Coy 29 Years Ago

Relevant: 25% of Children Have Seen Internet Pornography By Age 12

DesiringGod: Fighting Porn Addiction with Grudem’s Systematic Theology

Smart Quote of the Week: Frank Viola

The goal of the gospel is not to get you out of hell and into heaven, but to get God out of heaven and into you. —Frank Viola

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Identity Series: Part 7—You Are a Child of God

Today we enter into the home stretch of this 8-part series on our Identity in Christ. First, we looked at a few of the false identities men tend to latch onto: Social GroupsHobbies, and Romantic Relationships. We then shifted gears to look at how God defines us: We are “in Christ” and we are “Saints.”

Be sure to subscribe to our blog using the links in the sidebar so you don’t miss out on the conclusion of this series.

You Are a Child of God

You know what’s absolutely amazing? The God of the universe, Creator of Earth, the One who holds everything together, has adopted you as His child. But don’t just take my word for it:

To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God
(John 1:12).

All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Romans 8:14).

You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26).

Think about that for a second and just try to comprehend what it means. If you’re a parent, consider how much you love your kids. As much as you love them, though, it’s with an imperfect, human love. God loves you even more than you love your kids, because He loves you with His holy, unconditional, and righteous God-love.

Jesus tells us an amazing story of God the Father’s love in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11–32). In the story, a rebellious son demands his inheritance from his father immediately. Culturally, this was the same as telling his father, “You’re dead to me now.” But rather than yelling at his son or punishing him, the father gives his son the money, lets him leave, and waits in anticipation for his return. Every day the father looks off into the distance, hoping to see his son returning. When the son finally does return, the father doesn’t even give his boy a chance to grovel. He runs to him with open arms and tackle-hugs him at full speed! No matter how much the boy rejected or disobeyed His dad, there was nothing he could have done to make his father stop loving him.

Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt

Do you realize this is actually a story about God’s love for you? No matter how much you’ve messed up, He will always be standing there with His arms wide open—just like the father in the story—waiting for you to come home to Him. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. None of it will make any difference in how much He loves you.

No matter how much you’ve messed up,
God will always be standing there
with His arms wide open
waiting for you to come home to Him.

I didn’t understand the depth of a love like this until my daughter was born. I can say without a doubt that there is nothing my girl could ever do to make me stop loving her. No matter how many times she hits me as a toddler, yells at me as a teenager, or disowns me as an adult, I will always be there waiting for her with open arms. I simply cannot fathom living my life apart from my favorite little girl no matter what she does. Honestly. I’m even getting a bit choked up now just typing these words and thinking about how much I love her. But as much as she means to me as my daughter, you mean even more to God as His adopted son.

You Have Full Access to God

As a child of God, you have full access to God whenever you want. You can come before God and ask Him to help you with our struggles, give you His strength to make it through a difficult circumstance, or give you His wisdom in a specific situation. You can come before Him and ask Him anything, because you have full access:

All of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us (Ephesians 2:18).

Not only that, the Father actually wants us to come before Him with our needs and desires. He honestly cares about whatever is on your mind:

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).

Think of it this way. How hard is it to be granted an audience with the president of the United States? Apparently, there isn’t even a clear path laid out for the average citizen to meet the president. The closest I could find was a page on the presidential website allowing you to enter your name into a drawing and hopefully win an invitation to a dinner with him—but it expired four years ago. That leaves me the option of performing some amazing act of heroism that will gain me national attention, or winning the Super Bowl (I think those guys usually get a White House invitation).

But what if the president was my dad? Do the president’s kids need to enter a contest to win dinner with their daddy? No way. They can walk into the Oval Office and hang out with him pretty much whenever they want. As a child of God, you’ve got that same level of access to Him.

Trusting that you have Christ living inside of you, that you are a saint, and that you have full access to God as His adopted son will free you from needing to strive to measure up or attain perfection in your own power. You can rest in the knowledge that you are accepted and loved exactly as you are, because you are family. Likewise, the things of this world—success, failure, riches, fame—suddenly seem insignificant compared to your position as a child of God. This becomes the biggest thing in your life.

It becomes your identity.

As one of my favorite authors, John Lynch, puts it:

He lives in you! You are in Him! How much closer do you want to be than that? Every moment of every day, fused with you, there He is. He never moves. Never covers His ears when you sin, never puts up a newspaper, never turns His back. He’s not over on the other side of your sin, waiting for you to get it together so you can finally be close. It’s incredible! Don’t you think? That’s why they call it “Good News!”

Come back next week for Part 8: How Does Understanding My Identity Help Me with Porn?


cover-mockupThis post has been adapted from my upcoming book,
10 Lies Men Believe About Porn, available in Spring of 2014.

For more information, or to sign up for updates, please visit the
Belt of Truth Bookstore.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, we roundup the best links, articles, and videos we find that are relevant to overcoming pornography addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything in the linked article. It just means we found it interesting enough to share.


Pete Wilson: The Incessant Whisper

Ransomed Heart: Experiencing the Fullness of God (Really)

StorylineWhy Jesus Invites the Wrong People to the Party

In Christ, You Have Been Washed Clean

“Come now, let’s settle this,”
     says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
     I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
     I will make them as white as wool.
          (Isaiah 1:18)

Who You are In Christ

Sin. You probably don’t need me to tell you it’s an issue. We all struggle with it. Everyone is guilty of it.

No matter how good we try to be, all of us have been soiled by the stains of our sin.

When Isaiah wrote this passage, he was looking forward to the day when our stains would finally be taken care of. When we could be cleansed—permanently.

But he also recognized we could never make our own selves clean. He knew that no amount of scrubbing, denying, or justifying could remove the shameful red marks from our souls.

Isaiah understood that only Jesus had the power to make us clean.

And, thanks to His finished work on the Cross, He has.

The moment you placed your trust in Christ, your sins were washed as white as snow.

Not by anything you did.

Not by your own goodness.

Solely by the power of Christ’s blood.

And nothing will ever change this. No sin—even the sin you have yet to commit—will ever leave a stain on you again.

As today’s verse says, it’s been settled.

Smart Quote of the Week: Gerald May

“Addiction exists wherever persons are internally compelled to give energy to things that are not their true desires.” —Gerald May

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Identity Series: Part 6—You Are No Longer a Sinner, You are a Saint

In the past few weeks we’ve looked at a few False Identities men are prone to latch onto such as Social GroupsHobbies, and Romantic Relationships. We then shifted gears to look at Who God Says You Are, which is the only place you can find your true identity. Please subscribe using the links in the sidebar to be sure you don’t miss out on the remainder of this series.

You Are No Longer a Sinner, You are a Saint

Would you believe me if I told you anyone who is in Christ is no longer a sinner? What if God told you it was true? The truth is, He has told you just that:

You also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:11).

When Christ took all of your sin upon Himself on the cross, He destroyed its power over you. Because of this, your previous identity of “sinner” died along with Christ:

My old self [sinner] has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

Saint Paul of the Cross

Now that the power of sin over me has been broken, I can trust that Christ living within me will empower me to live the life He has called me to. But not only that, I can also trust Him when He says that I am truly dead to sin. Which means I am no longer a sinner—I am a saint!

In the same way that you cannot be both “in Adam” and “in Christ,” you cannot be both a saint and a sinner. You are one or the other. In order to reconcile this with what feels like a very different reality—we all still sin—we need to look at it a bit deeper.

First, what is the definition of a sinner? One who sins, right? Nope. A sinner is one who can do nothing but sin. See the difference? If you are still separated from Christ, everything you do, no matter how noble or good it is, is done apart from Him. And anything done apart from Christ is sin. If you are in Him, though, you now have the ability to do good things “in Christ”—things that are not sin. Likewise, a saint is not someone who never sins, but someone who doesn’t have to sin. Sin has lost its power over you. You are not a sinner who has been saved, but a saint who sometimes gives in to sin.

We see this being played out with Paul as he shares his own continuing struggle with sin:

I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me (Romans 7:18–23).

Sounds familiar, right? This same battle played out in my mind every time I gave in to porn. Why do I keep doing this if I’m supposedly dead to sin? Paul can’t really be “dead to sin” if he’s writing this, can he? Well, let’s look closer. Paul clearly states in this passage that he loves God’s law with all his heart. We also know he is a follower of Christ at this point by reading the rest of the letter, so it’s clear that he is “in Christ.” Therefore, he must also be dead to sin. But why does he still struggle? The key to understanding this seeming contradiction is to notice a few easily overlooked phrases.

First: “I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.” Did you catch that? Sin is doing these actions within Paul. Not Paul. Paul is a saint—dead to sin and alive to Christ. This sin does not define him, but it still influences him. It has no ability to change his standing in Christ, but it can still wreak havoc in his life.

Saint Paul

This sin within us is commonly referred to as “the flesh” throughout the New Testament. The flesh is not us; it is a false self—a lie. At the end of our life here on Earth, it will die, but the real you will continue to exist. That is why Paul says it is not really he who is sinning but the flesh within him. His true identity—who he really is—is completely separate from this sin within him. It does not define him.

Second: “There is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” Something else is inside of Paul. Something that is not Paul. The power he is referring to here is the devil and all of his minions, who are constantly trying to convince you that your sin does define you. They are trying to get you to lose sight of the reality that you are dead to sin. These powers are waging a war within Paul’s mind (and our minds as well) by whispering lies and accusations in an attempt to lure him back into the bondage of sin.

As one who is “in Christ,” though, you are no longer a slave to sin. But if you believe Satan’s lie that you still are a slave, you will continue to live as if his accusation is true. As long as you still believe your identity is “sinner,” you will believe that you have no choice but to give in to sin whenever temptation comes. If, however, you believe that you are a saint, you will trust the Word of God when it says that sin is no longer your master. And once you chose to trust the Word, you can begin to live in the truth it declares.

Come back next week for Part 7: You Are a Child of God


cover-mockupThis post has been adapted from my upcoming book,
10 Lies Men Believe About Porn, available in Spring of 2014.

For more information, or to sign up for updates, please visit the
Belt of Truth Bookstore.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, we roundup the best links, articles, and videos we find that are relevant to overcoming pornography addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything in the linked article. It just means we found it interesting enough to share.


Christianity Today: A Thread Called Grace

Pete Wilson: Ruthless Trust

TrueFacedWill Power No Power (audio)

Desktop Wallpaper: Mountain Climber, quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Mountain Climber | Quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer