From the blog: Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn Free (Part 5)

Chapter 4 “The Fight of Faith”

Real change takes place through faith and repentance. An individual is transferred from darkness to the Kingdom of the Son (Col 1:13) by repenting of sins and trusting in Christ. Furthermore, Christians grow into the image of Christ (Rom 8:29) by continually repenting and trusting. As Chester says, “we don’t graduate from the gospel to some advanced way of holiness or progress” (87). Luther additionally said “to progress is always to begin again” (87).

With that being said, the Bible uses an array of imagery in describing a Christian’s call and responsibility to live holy.

Christians are called to…

  • put to death sinful desires (Rom 8:13; Col 3:5)
  • cut off whatever causes them to sin (Matt 5:27-30)
  • use our bodies as instruments of righteousness (Rom 6:13)
  • fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 1:18)
  • use spiritual armor to faith against sin (Eph 6:12-18)
  • battle the sinful desires that wage war against their soul (1 Peter 2:11)
  • fight like soldiers against sin (2 Tim 2:4)

Think about the aforementioned verses and apply them to your fight against porn. And it’s not a one-time fight but an ongoing, take up your arms, suit up and fight. The tense in Colossians 3:5 speaks to a continual killing of sin. This is often called mortification. Christians, with the help of Holy Spirit, mortify their sinful desires.

Concerning the temptation that Christians face Paul says “no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13). Another individual speaking about our fight against sin highlights four lies that the devil wants to impress upon our hearts and minds. “The first lie is that we are unique in what we are experiencing. The second lie is that God is not faithful and has forgotten about us. Lie number three is that God is going to test us beyond our ability to endure it. And the fourth lie is that our situation is hopeless and inescapable. 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures us that none of these is true.”[1]

Here are some practical common sense ways to better realize the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:13 (95):

  • Install an Internet filter and accountability software
  • Let a Christian friend check and review your hard drive and cell
  • Go to bed the same time as your spouse or other adults in the house
  • Do not watch late-night TV
  • Avoid shops or locations where temptation flourishes
  • Have diversion strategies in place when tempted
  • Put your computer, iPad, or any other electronic device in a public place

Additionally, here are ten weapons to help in the battle with porn (96-101)

  • The Word of God. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
  • Prayer. Ephesians 6:18 “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
  • Fasting. Christians seldom do this, though Jesus tells
    us to…and one of the points of fasting is to exercise control over our bodies and to feast/be dependent upon spiritual things. This is a great discipline to practice more frequently in one’s fight against porn.
  • Communion. The Lord’s Supper is a powerful reminder of the gospel.
  • Worship. As indicated in previous posts pornography is a form of self-worship and to fight porn we need to reorient our minds upon the One who is worthy of our worship: Jesus.
  • Thanksgiving. “Gratitude quenches the fire of lust. A thankful spirit destroys the driving passion for sex because it creates contentment within the man’s heart…a grateful heart is a full heart” (99).
  • Community. Proverbs 18:1 “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”
  • Service. “Serving other and taking on responsibility prevents you from being inward in your orientation. Your life stops being ‘all about me'” (100).
  • Suffering. “Suffering is not something we can choose as a means of grace, but it is something we can choose to interpret as a means of grace” (101).
  • Hope. “We need to cultivate the habit of meditating on the future life. Porn is visible, but its pleasures are temporary. We may not now see Christ, but his glory is eternal” (101).

Finally, Chester has some concluding thoughts that I will simply summarize in bullet-form that again are insightful, practical, and full of biblical wisdom.

  • Value holiness more than your reputation
  • Bring your wife into your struggle, meaning be accountable to her. I would not advice communicating every gruesome detail of your enslavement (notice I didn’t say addiction – let’s use the language the Bible uses: slavery/enslavement)
  • Be committed to finding brothers (if a man) and sisters (if a woman) that will walk with you as you seek to change
  • Be a member of a church that has a culture of grace
  • Be a member of a church that has a culture of confrontation. Chester says, “offer grace, but don’t offer cheap grace” (108). You need brothers/sisters in your life that will graciously, yet directly confront you in your sin.
  • Be accountable. Accountability has been a buzz word for quite some time in Christian conversation, yet, for many, accountability isn’t anything more than some pats on the back and comments such as “hey, try to do better.” Real, substantive accountability is commensurate with men or women that genuinely desire to be accountable for their sins. Men and women need to feel the weight of their sin and voluntarily confess sin rather than waiting on a specific question to be asked where the green light of confession goes off.
  • Be committed to lifelong change. A commitment to lifelong change presupposes the fact that daily change will be an ongoing facet of a person’s life as well. Change takes place over the course of time, and it typically happens in incremental fashions.

In conclusion, I’ll quote the last paragraph of the chapter: “There will be setbacks. Then it’s time to fight the fight of faith again. It’s time to fight to believe that you’re accepted by God through the work of Jesus so that you draw near to him for forgiveness and help, time to believe that God has given you his Spirit to transform your life so you don’t lose hope and let yourself sink back into the pit of porn, time to believe that the glory of God and the promise of Christ are bigger and better and more enduring than the lies of porn” (114).

Amen, and amen.


[1] Wayne Mack. Out of the Blues: Dealing with the Blues of Depression & Loneliness. (Bemidji, MN: Focus, 2006), 75.

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