The Battle for Sexual Purity – John Piper

There are two types of men who struggle and fight against sexual sin:  Men who are honest enough to admit it, and men who lie about it and deny it.  I do not mean that all men are viewing porn, or falling into sexual sin. But every man must struggle and fight against this formidable foe in order to remain pure.

“I love Jesus” is simply not enough to keep us from destroying our marriages, ministries, and very lives. If Samson, David, and Solomon gave into to sexual temptation, let’s not deceive ourselves and think that we are any better.  By God’s grace we can, like Joseph, flee Potiphar’s house, and not fall prey to the seductive voice of sexual sin or give in to her relentless pursuit.

“For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:6-27)

Below John Piper gives some good advice and resources to aid us in the pursuit of holiness.

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
“The Christian church has a long tradition of systematic theology, that is, studying theology and doctrine organized around fairly standard categories such as the Word of God, redemption, and Jesus Christ. This introduction to systematic theology has several distinctive features: – A strong emphasis on the scriptural basis for each doctrine and teaching – Clear writing, with technical terms kept to a minimum – A contemporary approach, treating subjects of special interest to the church today – A friendly tone, appealing to the emotions and the spirit as well as the intellect – Frequent application to life – Resources for worship with each chapter – Bibliographies with each chapter that cross-reference subjects to a wide range of other systematic theologies.”

John Owen – The Mortification of Sin
“In this abridgment of a classic work, the famous Puritan John Owen shows the need for Christians to engage in a life-long battle against the sinful tendencies that remain in them, despite their having been brought to faith and new life in Christ. Owen is very insistent that believers cannot hope to succeed in this battle in their own strength. He sees clearly that the fight can be won only through faith in Christ, and in the power of the Spirit. Fighting sin with human strength will produce only self-righteousness, superstition and anxiety of conscience. But with faith in Christ, and with the power of the Spirit, victory is certain. The temptations in times like Owen’s and ours are obvious on every side; the remedy to them is clearly pointed out in this practical and helpful book.”

John Piper – Future Grace
“In Future Grace, author John Piper helps readers discover the key to overcoming sin and living a life that honors God. Many men and women attempt to walk upright out of gratitude for what Christ did in the past, but Piper encourages believers to look ahead to the grace God provides for us on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis—putting faith into action by laying hold of God’s promises for the challenges we face.”

John Piper – ANTHEM: Strategies for Fighting Lust
“I have in mind men and women. For men it’s obvious. The need for warfare against the bombardment of visual temptation to fixate on sexual images is urgent. For women it is less obvious, but just as great if we broaden the scope of temptation to food or figure or relational fantasies. When I say “lust” I mean the realm of thought, imagination, and desire that leads to sexual misconduct. So here is one set of strategies in the war against wrong desires. I put it in the form of an acronym, A N T H E M….read more.

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