When NOT Watching Porn Is A Sin

Yes, you read right, but before you get too upset, you can substitute ‘watching porn’ with any other sinful act. When not gossiping is a sin. When not stealing is a sin. When not lying is a sin. When not coveting is a sin. When not sinning is a sin. That probably didn’t help you much in regards to not getting upset but please note I am not going to advocating watching porn, stealing, coveting, living in sin or anything like that. Quite the opposite actually!

This article is actually not even about watching porn. It is simply about getting the full perspective on self-righteousness. What is self-righteousness? It is the degree of right standing and justification people try to earn before God based on their own performance and ability to do good and refrain from doing bad. It’s basically saying you can make it yourself, you don’t need Jesus’ righteousness. It is unbelief in the finished work of the cross in action. It’s saying Christ’s perfect work needs your help to improve it.

Most people think self-righteousness is only about them doing good, the holier-than-thou attitude, but it is also about their effort to NOT DO THE BAD. The law has two sides: One side instructs in what to do, while the other side instructs in what not to do. Thou Shall vs. Thou Shall Not. When you live self-righteously, it means you are trying to obey all the Thou Shall Commands AS WELL AS not breaking any Thou Shall Not rules. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but when you’re living under the law, the very action of trying to not break the rules becomes a sin. Why? Because the law is not of faith (Gal 3:12) and whatever is not of faith is sin. (Rom 14:23) So, to put it bluntly, if you believe your ability to stop watching porn will justify you before God, your very effort of abstaining becomes your unjustification, it becomes a sin. Your own best efforts are like filthy rags. (Isa 64:6) Jesus is the only one who justifies us before God.

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Jesus is the end of the LAW FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jesus is the end of trying in your own effort to do good and not do bad in order to gain righteousness and relate to God. You are saved (brought back into relationship with God) by grace through faith and it is not of your own works. (Eph 2:8-9) It’s got nothing to do with the amount of good things you do, nor does it have anything to with your ability to not do bad things.

Trying to qualify yourself for something you were disqualified from by birth is useless. You were born in sin. No amount of self-effort to stop sinful actions can remove sin from you. Only Christ can remove that. The law is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ system. That is part of its purpose. (Rom 3:20, 1 Cor 15:56). The law is the very thing that gives life to sin. (Rom 7:8-9). That is why Jesus ended the law, to cut off sin’s life at the source. Faith in Him puts an end to your effort and you can enter into His rest with Him.

So what is my motivation to stop a sin I am struggling with if I am saved and thus no longer under law, under the commandment to not do something? Well, my answer is LOVE! Love lives in me, through me and love gives me life. Sin only destroys life and in Christ we have been called to preserve life. (Matt 5:13) You will only preserve something you love. When you find something of great value which you love, you do everything you can to preserve it. Imagine a man who bought a classic car. He polishes it, washes it, and takes really good care of it because he loves this car. Can you imagine this man taking a sledgehammer and knocking dents into his prized car, making it worthless? No, it would the most unnatural thing for him to do. Sin is the opposite expression of love, and when we are motivated by love, sin becomes the most unnatural thing for us to do.

My wife and our marriage is one of my great loves. I love my wife and do everything I can to preserve both her and our relationship. Will a porn addiction preserve the life of our marriage? No. Will anger and fits of rage preserve us? No. Will any sin ever preserve anything? Never. The sting of sin is death. Sin will kill the things you hold most dear. Decide what it is you love, what it is you value, and decide if you want it preserved or not.

Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but THROUGH LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER.

The first step to living out this love, is to realize you are loved regardless of your shortcomings (Rom 5:8). Christ’s sole constant motivation was His love for us and His desire to preserve us. As a result He lived a sinless life. When you live for love and the preservation of what you love, sin is the most unnatural thing to do. Live to love and love as Christ loved you, and sin will have no hold over you.

This article is taken from Charisma Ministries.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. savedbygrace says:

    awesome! well said..

    when is lying not equal to murder?

    Romans 1:16-17 (NIV)
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed

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