How to Overcome Sexual Sin (Part 3)
If you choose to deny your disease, you will also ignore the Cure, Christ Jesus. Without a deep and sincere disgust for sexual sin, you will never overcome the lusts that plague you.
It’s crucial to notice that the first word in Psalm 51:3 is “For.” This word is like “because.” This means that that what was said in Psalm 51:1-2 is being said “because” of the truth found in Psalm 51:3.
David pleaded for mercy and love because of God’s loving and merciful nature. But he would never have done this action if he was not first convicted of his sin. Psalm 51:2 says, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” Why? Psalm 51:3 explains, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” If you don’t come to grips with how evil your sexual sin really is, you will never truly cry out to God for deliverance.
God Does Not Condemn or Condone a Christian’s Sexual Sin, But He Does Convict
There is a very big biblical difference between conviction and condemnation for Christians. To be condemned is to be found guilty and sentenced to punishment. The condemned must pay the dept. Thankfully, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, for those of us who receive God’s grace and because Christ has paid the dept for us on the cross, we don’t ever have to be condemned again. Romans 8:1 assures us, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
God may not condemn Christians, but he certainly does not condone our sexual sin either. Rather than condemning or condoning our sexual sin, God desires to bring conviction. God knows no one will pray like David did in Psalm 51:1-2 if they are not convicted of their sin like David was in Psalm 51:3.
But if a deep conviction over sexual sin is needed to repent passionately like David finally did, how do we find this conviction?
The Holy Spirit Convicts Us Primarily Through God’s Word
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all one, they are all God, and yet all three are distinct persons with different roles. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction over sin. The Holy Spirit’s conviction saves us from God’s eternal condemnation. Jesus explained:
And when he [the Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. (John 16:8, 13)
The Holy Spirit certainly speaks to us personally, but whenever he speaks it always correspond and never contradicts God’s written word. The Holy Spirit does not speak “new” revelations to Christians, but he does apply the Bible to our lives in personal ways. The Bible is “inspired” by the Holy Spirit, which means that the Holy Spirit used the hands of men to write his own words.
So what does this mean for overcoming sexual sin? This means that the Holy Spirit will always convict us of sin and move us towards repentance through what he has spoken in the God’s word.
Notice that David was not convicted of his sin until Nathan the prophet came spoke with him. In the time of David, the Old Testament written record was still being formed. Today God reveals his final word through the Bible, applying it through the Holy Spirit in a personal way. In David’s day, God’s authoritative and final words were spoken through the prophets, of who Nathan was one. Therefore, when David was confronted by Nathan, it was like when we are confronted by the pages of Scripture.
2 Samuel 12 is where David finally comes to his senses and begins to turn back to God. The chapter begins with, “And the LORD sent Nathan to David” (1 Samuel 12:1). If we want the conviction of sin that will lead to the passionate repentance that we so desperately need if we hope to be free from our sexual sin, we must spend massive amounts of time in God’s word.
To Overcome Sexual Sin, We Must Be Filled With Truth
Perhaps the reason you are stuck in your sexual sin is because the word of God is not in you. You may be saved, the Holy Spirit may be dwelling in you, but you also need to actively hide the word of God in your heart. When you spend time in God’s word, the holiness of it rebels when unholy sins draw near. Conviction of sin is a reaction of the holiness and truth within you. Truth and lies cannot coexist.
You won’t stop masturbating if you don’t believe masturbation is sin. You won’t seek to control your thoughts if you don’t see the harm in sexual fantasies. If you don’t hate your sexual sin because you have not come to grips with how much God hates it, you won’t leave your sexual sin.
If you have God’s word hidden in your heart, you will have pings of inner pain when your heart begins to stray towards sexual sin. But without regularly feeding your heart truth, you will have less and less conviction over sexual sin. Without conviction, godly guilt, and holy remorse over sexual sin, we will never repent like David.
Psalm 119:9 affirms that the Bible is key to overcoming sexual sin, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.”
If we want to pray like David, repent like David, and overcome sexual sin like David, then we must be convicted by God’s word like David.