Sin, Rationalization, and Lies About Lust

bgfbfhhThe battle against sin is one of belief. The battle is to recognize who God is and trust that what he says is actually right and true. Sin is always bound up with lies, empty promises, and dissatisfaction. It begins with a lie, a rationalization that the One who sits on the throne is unworthy and cannot ultimately offer true joy. Pastor-scholar Sam Storms remarks, “What are [most] rationalizations based on? One lie. The most pernicious, heinous, Satanic lie of all. They are based on the lie that God really isn’t good after all; that God is neither able nor willing to do for our souls or bodies what they so desperately need done; that therefore God can’t be trusted with our fears and doubts and hopes and hurts. Since God doesn’t care and can’t be trusted, we’ll find satisfaction somewhere else. And so often, we do.” Therefore, the fight against sin is a fight to see God as true and trustworthy in his offers. We must yield the sword not just against behaviors and actions but thought patterns and beliefs which lead to those actions. As John Piper says, “When something drops into your life that seems to threaten your future, remember this: the first shockwaves of the bomb are not sin. The real danger is yielding to them. Giving in. Putting up no spiritual fight. And the root of that surrender is unbelief — a failure to fight for faith in future grace. A failure to cherish all that God promises to be for us in Jesus.” When I was younger, someone sent me the following list to encourage me in my efforts to ward off the gangrenous effects of lust on the soul of a saint. I hope they encourage you to battle sin and see it for what it is, true and carnal irrationality. War against the lies of sin with the truth of God’s Word.

Lie

Lust is no big deal

  • Truth: “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own” (Job 31:11-12)

Lie

A little sinful fantasizing won’t hurt

  • Truth: “To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6)
  • “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
  • “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:14)

Lie

Taking radical action against sin isn’t necessary

  • Truth: “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your entire body to go into hell” (Matthew 5: 29-30)
  • “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22)

Lie

God won’t mind a little compromise…

  • Truth: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6)
  • “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3)

Lie

It’s my body. I can do what I want with it

  • Truth: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

Lie

I can’t control my sex drive

  • Truth: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified that you should avoid sexual immorality that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6)

Lie

Looking at a few pornographic pictures won’t affect me

  • Truth: “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? (Proverbs 6:25-27)
  • “I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:3)

Lie

I won’t experience any consequences for indulging in my lust

  • Truth: “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
  • “The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son” (Hebrews 12:6)
  • “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15)

Lie

People get away with adultery

  • Truth: “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death her steps lead straight to the grave” (Proverbs 5:3-5)
  • “Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent” (Proverbs 5:8-11)

Lie

God is keeping something good from me

  • Truth: “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you (Psalm 84:10-12)

Lie

The pleasure lust promises is better and more real than God’s pleasure.

  • Truth: “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11)

Lie

Fulfilling my lust will satisfy me

  • Truth: “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (lamentations 3:24-26)
  • “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied” (Proverbs 19:23)

Lie

Too much purity will keep me from seeing and enjoying beauty

  • Truth: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8)
  • “For the Lord is righteous; He loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold His face” (Psalm 11:&)
  • “Your eyes will behold the King in His beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar” (Isaiah 33:17)
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One response to “Sin, Rationalization, and Lies About Lust

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter to a Homosexual Individual | Austin's Blog·

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