I’ve corresponded with many people who ask me the same question: How do I win the long battle against sin? How do I fight sin in such a way that I’m not merely changing my behavior, but really changing my heart?
For most of these people, their big battle is lust or pornography. Their sin feels so deeply rooted, so much a part of them, that they don’t understand how they are going to win the fight.
The new movie Fireproof tackled this issue head-on. And people are listening: the movie has grossed $33 million in the last 18 weeks.
Star of the film, Kirk Cameron, plays the role of Caleb Holt. Caleb’s marriage is falling apart, and one of the causes is his hardcore porn addiction.
Fireproof – Breaking Free from rlmelco on GodTube.
I love this scene because it shows the radical nature of slaying deeply rooted sin. Granted, getting Covenant Eyes accountability software on his computer would have probably been more cost effective, but it doesn’t make for good cinematic drama or making a point.
Cameron comments on this feature of the film:
“I think, biblically, it’s clear that there are two different kinds of problems. There are fruit problems—like pornography—and there are root problems, like pride and love of self. And I think that things like pornography, drug addition, or alcoholism are fruit problems. What you’ve got to do is chop the tree down at the root. You’ve got to get at the heart, and that ultimately is done on your knees at the foot of the cross.”
Chopping Sin Down at the Root
We may have heard of the idea of “taking our sins to the cross” but in a practical sense what does this mean? The Bible speaks of being crucified with Christ, of the power of sin being broken by the power of the cross, but how does this really play out in the life of a Christian looking to get free from the grip of pornography (or any other addictive sin)?
We will never break free from the grip of sin until we understand how the cross of Christ breaks sin’s power over us. The 17th century Oxford University scholar John Owen wisely wrote, “There is no death of sin without the death of Christ.”
Preparing for Good Friday
Over the next 7 weeks we will be bringing meditations on the death and resurrection of Christ and how they transform us. Each week we will offer some theological thoughts about the cross. My hope is that these messages will be a boot camp for the soul, a powerful collection of messages that show us what it means to put our sins to death.