How God’s Grace Sets Us Free from Porn

Christians often define “grace” as God’s unmerited favor. But we are told in Titus 2:11-14 that God’s grace actually “trains” us to be godly. How does God’s favor do this?

More specifically, for those trapped in pornography addiction, how does grace train us to set porn aside and pursue a life of holiness instead? How does grace empower this kind of change?

I recently spoke with Dr. Heath Lambert, author of Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. Here’s what he said about this subject.

Fighting Out of a New Identity

Romans 6:12 tells us, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” We are commanded to present the very members of our body—our hands, feet, eyes, and even our sexual organs—to God as instruments of righteousness.

However, if we start at this verse, we cannot obey it in God’s power. We have to start back at the beginning of Romans 6.

Before we can present our bodies to God, we must first embrace Romans 6:11: “Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” This statement strikes at the heart of who we are, not just what we do. Though it may not seem like it at times, as Christians, we are dead to sin and alive to God.

How Are We Dead to Sin?

Paul explains, we are dead to sin because we are united to the One who is dead to sin.

Throughout this text, Paul writes about sin, not just as a habit of behavior, but as a slave master. Sin is the Pharaoh of this evil age, and like Israel long ago, God must come and rescue us from his grip. This is what Jesus came to do.

When Jesus died on the cross, He made a decisive break with the realm of sin. He not only died for our sin, but He died to sin. When He lived on earth, He lived surrounded in a sinful context. He went face-to-face with the devil. He was tempted in all ways that we are. He befriended sinners and was surrounded in a sinful culture. But when He breathed his last breath on the cross, He parted with all of that.

Because the Spirit of the risen Christ is in us, we are united to Him. Through His Spirit, he shares with us his resurrection life—not just an unending life, but a new quality of life in age without sin. We are no longer defined by our sinful past, our present struggles with sin, our former guilt, our shame, or our relationship to this sinful age. We are fundamentally different people now: we are defined by the age to come and the One who is King of that age. This is who we truly are.

Dead to Porn

We now “reckon” or “consider” ourselves dead to porn, but alive to God (Romans 6:11). We are dead to porn, so now we need to believe it. We need to meditate on it and wholeheartedly embrace it.

Only out of this new identity can we fight sin in the power of grace. It is only when we reckon afresh every day our true identity that we can live out the command to put our habits of sin to death.

This is how grace changes us: it transforms us by redefining who we really are.

Pursuing Purity in a Pornographic World

Dr. Lambert will be speaking at an upcoming conference in Montgomery, Alabama, called, “Pursuing Purity in a Pornographic World.” The conference takes place next week, October 7-8, 2013.

Photo credit: rpgmaster94