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“Not Even a Hint” of Sexual Immorality? A Word to Those Who Like Porn

Last Updated: July 22, 2021

Jeff Fisher

Jeff Fisher and his wife Marsha live in Raleigh, North Carolina. They run PurityCoaching.com and have helped hundreds of sexual strugglers, spouses, and church leaders find help and resources. Jeff has podcasted for the last six years about sexual purity through his Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast (iTunes). Jeff can be reached at jeff@puritycoaching.com.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” – Ephesians 5:3

I was awakened to this verse when I read Every Man’s Battle by Fred Stoeker and Stephen Arterburn, an essential book for any of us seeking to be sexually pure. Ephesians 5:3 is the theme verse for Every Man’s Battle, and it’s become the theme verse for my own sexual purity journey. It sums up my personal purity mission.

“No hint of sexual immorality” is the big goal we need to have in our sexual purity journeys. There are other sins and worldly pursuits mentioned in this passage but sexual immorality stands out the most for me.

If you read Ephesians 5 you’ll see that Paul calls the us to be above the world (v.1). Don’t be like the world. Don’t imitate the people in the world and their ways. Instead, imitate God.

Let’s look at the phrase “not even a hint.” I wish that it didn’t say it like this. I would like to allow a “hint” of sexual immorality every once in a while. Do you ever feel like that?

I may allow for it in my standards, but there’s no place for it in God’s standards. My standards are sub-par and usually have to do with stopping behaviors I don’t like anymore. But God has something different for me, something deeper. He wants me to be pure. Period. Completely pure. No hint of sexual immorality.

God broadens his call to purity when he adds “or of any kind of impurity.” There are impurities I allow into my life that are not necessarily sexual. God is trying to tell me “don’t be stained by the world.” He pounds this truth again when he reminds me I’m one of “God’s holy people.”

As I’ve wrestled with this verse in my sexual purity journey, I’ve had a couple of sincere questions to God.

Question #1: Is this really possible?

I think the answer is “no,” not with us…not when it comes to having no hint of sexual immorality or impurity. It has to come from God. He leads us in this direction and will provide for us.

I think the problem I have (and many of us have) is that I really don’t believe this Scripture. I know it in my mind, but I don’t believe it in my heart. I don’t think it’s achievable. I think there must be some other understanding of this verse.

Just because I haven’t had sustained victory in an area like masturbation, adultery, or lustful thoughts doesn’t mean that it’s not God’s standard. Also, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. There must be a faith component to this verse. I know that nothing’s impossible for God, but my heart is not always there yet.

Early in my recovery, I wished that sexual purity would come my way instantly. I wanted magic. I wanted to go from struggling to having no struggles. I wanted my sexual problems to disappear immediately. I kept looking for God to wave His magic wand over me and it would be easy. It never worked out that way.

This verse reminds me how much I need God for my sexual purity journey, and how impossible it is for me.

Question #2:  Why would God impose this on me?

I felt like God was being cruel by asking this of me. I believed I needed sex and sexual stimulation in order to be okay and have my needs met. I thought I needed to have an orgasm to be fulfilled and take the edge off. I thought sexual satisfaction was a part of being a man.

When I got honest with God, I would pout, “Why can’t I have just a little bit of sexual stimulation? Don’t you know that I need it? Don’t you know that I can’t live without sex?”

This was one of the many lies I believed about sex. My heart was deceived. I convinced myself that having sex and having orgasms were basic needs for any man.

I was angry that God was calling me to a higher standard. I didn’t like it. I liked my standard. I liked what I was already doing. I liked my “drug of choice.” I liked to be able to masturbate, look at Internet pornography and objectify women.

The Path Toward Healthy Sexuality

Until my recovery began, I didn’t realize I had never experienced healthy sexuality. I thought I was healthy when I would stop looking at porn or stop masturbating. But health was more than sobriety and stopping bad behaviors.

Ephesians 5:3 calls me to trust God with my sexuality and surrender it to Him. It becomes a matter of faith. Do I believe God’s Word is true? Do I believe that His standard is the best? Am I willing to obey and adopt His standard as my own?

Key Purity Principles

  1. God calls us to the highest standard of sexual purity.
  2. Sexual purity is impossible without God’s power. The desire to be pure pushes us toward God.
  3. Sexual purity goes against the flow. We’re not going to be like the world and like our buddies any more.  It’s all about being holy people and imitators of God.
  • Comments on: “Not Even a Hint” of Sexual Immorality? A Word to Those Who Like Porn
    1. Duncan on

      This message is nice.. Pray for me that i may succeed in stoping sexual impurity.. Thanks for the message..

      Reply
      • Folarin on

        You need prayer and you need self control be with your BIBLE ALWAYS AND STUDY IT INVITE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO YOUR LIFE THRU JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.MAY GOD HELP US.AMEN

    2. Leah on

      I never could overcome all sins even though I asked for prayer in this area. I wish I were never born.

      Reply
      • Folarin on

        Leah,Are you GOD?Only GOD can forgive sin.Get a Bible Believing Church Attend.GOD LOVE YOU.JOHN3:16

      • Shauntrice on

        Have you experienced the baptism of the holy spirit?

    3. john turanga on

      @Folarin thanks for sharing – how many times have I said thatI wish I was never born when I messed up with porn and masturbation for the millionth time. The only known cure for this & it comes from the bible is to get a wife or a husband so that you don’t give insatan when you lack

      Reply
    4. anonymous on

      thank you this really helped

      Reply
    5. Joe Blow on

      Lifted you up in Jesus’ name, Duncan.

      Reply
    6. G on

      Pray more, read your bible more, have more faith, trust God more. These are the standard comments of the religious and all of these are right, but not complete. We must find Christian community where we can be honest with each other. We need to find other men and women who are struggling like we are and hold each other accountable. We need to find mature men and women that have been freed from these areas of bondage and learn from them and live life with them, side by side and every day!
      God is always enough, but in our weakness, we need community in order to achieve freedom. God saw that when He gave Adam a “life supporter” in Eve. We need deliverance that comes through engagement with other mature christians through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ which will set us free from every bondage.
      God will provide a way. He is faithful and we can trust Him. Just don’t give up on yourself or on God and you will find the freedom you desire. Jesus did not die on the cross so that the Evil one could keep us in bondage.

      Reply
    7. Ron on

      I used to struggle with pornography and masturbation, I tried everything including memorizing Bible verses but to no avail. It wasn’t until I discovered what Jesus had done for me at the cross and my true identity in Christ that I finally came to the sweet place of walking in victory over this sin that had plagued me. The answer my fellow strugglers is not trying harder, God knows I tried and failed, but in total surrender and trust. Chances are what is at the root is that you do not feel accepted and loved and so you keep running back to this dirty well hoping to have your desires quenched. The amazing truth is “you have already been made acceptable In Christ!” May God’s truth set you free, for it is freedom that He has purchased for us at the cross!

      Reply
      • Rodger duvall on

        Amen

      • Bill Beeton on

        Terrific! You shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

    8. dave on

      Its really hard ive watched porn when i was 12 till now . there were times i quitted but i ended up doing the same thing again.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hi dave – how many years have you struggled? The comment posted by Ron immediately above yours is really spectacular. I’ve found what he has said to be exceedingly true – as soon as I stopped “trying to stop” and instead changed what I believed, everything changed. My beliefs were twisted, actually believing that God was holding out on me and that sex was providing satisfaction he couldn’t. Sometimes people say “we’re sexual beings” and so it’s OK to look at porn and masturbate. But, I think we can change that – we are SPIRITUAL beings first. We do not require sex to live, but we truly do require Christ in order to fully live.

        Peace, Chris
        -Covenant Eyes

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