Defeat Lust & Pornography
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Three Ways the Gospel Overcomes Online Temptations

Last Updated: February 21, 2014

Below is a video clip with a trifecta of some of my favorite preachers: D.A. Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper. They talk candidly about how the gospel of Christ can set someone free from the sin of pornography.

Piper’s question is a good one: How does the biblical gospel help the person who is ensnared in lust? They talk about the message of “costly grace”: costly because it cost the Son of God His life, and grace because forgiveness is so freely given to unworthy sinners. Together they mention three ways this gospel brings about lasting change:

  1. The gospel reveals the wrath of God against lust. Piper points out Jesus words from Matthew 5:27-30. God detests lust so much, we deserve hell for delving into it. Keller points out the immense redemption price for our sin: the death of Christ. When we see the hell Jesus experienced on the cross on our behalf, this truth grips our souls and we run from lust because we know how repugnant it is to God.
  2. The gospel reveals the love of God for sexually broken people. Keller rightly says many people rush to the false intimacy of pornography because they hate themselves, and are consoling themselves on a parody of real love. We find that love, not in porn, but in the radical love of God seen in Christ, God’s ruthless pursuit of rebellious sinners. Piper says this is where the battle against lust should be fought: from a position of knowing we are justified in God’s eyes by the blood of Christ.
  3. The gospel places us into a new family. Carson mentions how useful brother-to-brother accountability can be. Even though we have been united to Christ, we are still fallen creatures. So when we are united to Christ, we also become united to each other, into a family that helps us in the fight against temptation. Carson talks about several men in his church regularly getting together, praying together, and using Covenant Eyes accountability service. Keller rightly acknowledges that to be effective, accountability partners need to captivated with the gospel themselves, otherwise the relationship will too easily lean towards legalism or looseness.
  1. Not a bad thing having Don Carson plugging Covenant Eyes, eh?

    I noticed in this brief few minutes that John Piper seemed about to say something, or had a look on his face that said to the other two, “something is still missing here” – if that’s true I wonder what it was…

    Still, it’s great to see these three lions getting together and talking about the issue that is affecting so many men. I like what they’re saying about “costly grace”, those two sides of justification, but alongside what Jesus saved us from there is what He saved us to – to be caught up in and experience the larger story of living for His glory.

    Brian

    • @Brian – If I was to wager a guess, I believe Piper was about to develop his thought on what it means to fight lust with “a centering” on the gospel. Keller touches on this theme some when he mentions how the love of God fills the void that we try to fill with the false intimacy of pornography. If you watch Part 7 I think you see Piper jump in on this full-steam. He says, “One of the things the gospel-centered accountability partner will do…is so magnify the beauty of Christ, the glory of Christ, the wonders of Christ, that the heart—the hungry heart of the porn-prone person—is gradually satisfied by something far superior, so that he is, in a positive way, weaned off of this.” If I recall, he really develops this in his message, “Battling the Unbelief of Lust.” Gotta love Piper.

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