Pornography: How It Works and How To Reverse Its Effects (Part 2)

What follows below is a brief look at the greater biblical means of reversing the effects of porn

“The work of God in salvation begins a definitive work in us whereby we progress in our sanctification and thus desire all sin, porn included, less and less over time. We must avail ourselves to God’s many means of grace so that we increase in our affection for Him and thereby diminish our desire for porn.”

 

Last week I wrote about how pornography works. This week we look at how to reverse its effects from a biblical perspective.

How to Reverse the Effects of Pornography: A Biblical Perspective

As helpful as it is to understand the physiological process of how pornography works, God gave us His Word to correct and instruct us on any matter, let alone the topic of sexual sin (cf. 2 Tim 3:16–17), and beyond this, Scripture has a great deal to say about the topic of sexual sin. This is not to say that it would not be useful to some degree to do physiological studies that would yield suggestions for battling porn. It is to say, however, that God’s Word already explicitly addresses the matter of how to handle sexual sin, so why would we run elsewhere first for answers?

What follows below is a brief look at the greater biblical means of reversing the effects of porn. It would certainly help to give a detailed examining of many texts on the topic of sexual sin, but for the sake of brevity, these texts must be assumed within the broader framework of what follows below.1

The work of God in salvation begins a definitive work in us whereby we progress in our sanctification and thus desire all sin, porn included, less and less over time. We must avail ourselves to God’s many means of grace so that we increase in our affection for Him and thereby diminish our desire for porn. What follows are a few points to explain these thoughts more fully.

Repent of sin and Believe in the Gospel

Seeking and deriving pleasure from pornography is sin. As with any sin, one must understand Jesus Christ as fully God and man who lived a perfect life and sinlessly died for the sin of all mankind (Rom 5:8–10; 2 Cor 5:20–21), including sin that involves pornography. All those who repent of their sin and place their faith in Christ find forgiveness and cleansing in Him (1 John 1:8–9).

Die to sin and live to God in Christ Jesus

The work of salvation includes having died to our former way of life and being no longer dominated by the power of sin (Rom 6:5–6). The reign of sin in our lives has been definitively breached and broken. At the point of salvation and thereafter, we progressively put away what remains of sin and live unto righteousness by the power of the Spirit (Rom 6:6; 8:13; Gal 5:16–26).2 We will certainly do so because God continues His work in us until Christ’s return (Phil 1:6). As we grow in our affection for God, our desire for pornography will diminish.

Put the Pornography Away

“Sexual immorality, impurity, passion”—it is these things that we must “put to death” immediately (Col 3:5). To actively sin through pornography while claiming to have fellowship with God is to walk in darkness, lie, and not practice the truth (1 John 1:6). Along with our salvation, we must get rid of your porn. Throw out your magazines and videos, clear your internet favorites, and get rid of all your pornography, whatever form it may be.

Lead Yourself Not into Temptation

Not only must we get rid of our porn, but we must also put up checks and balances that keep us from engaging in this sin again. Just as we are to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” so also we must “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14). It is not sin or legalism to do what it takes to keep yourself from sinning again. Get a filter for the internet on every device, have an accountability partner, and do whatever it takes to keep yourself away from porn.

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