Monthly Archives: January 2012

Notes on Killing Lust – Part 1

On Thursdays at 6:30 am, a group of 25 to 35 men have been meeting together to encourage biblical manhood. In the last couple of weeks we have been focusing on fighting for joy in Christ. Or to say it another way, we have been focusing on waging war against lust.

We invite all men to join us. In the meantime, here are the notes from our last meeting.

What does lust do to men? How does it hurt others? What would it be like to never cave to lust again?

Almost every male, if not every male, struggles with the temptation to lust.

  • 70% of men ages 18-24 visit porn sites on a typical month.
  •  More money is spent on porn than on professional football, basketball and baseball combined.
  •  The most popular day for viewing porn is Sunday.

It is easy for men to cave to the temptation to lust because men by their fleshly nature are lazy and passive (See Genesis 3:6 and Genesis 3:16).

What is Lust?

  • Lust is not glancing or looking at someone or something. We were made to recognize and enjoy creation – within the parameters of God’s moral standard.
  • Lust is wanting and thinking about something as if it were your own. Lust is characterized by fixation and control without consent (See Matthew 5:28). The word “look” implies a continual fixation. It is a purely lazy and selfish act.

Some Bad News About You and Lust

  • You will never be done with lust in this lifetime. It’s a life-long war. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  A younger man asked an 86 year-old man if there would ever come a time when he didn’t struggle with lust. The 86 year-old man replied: “If it happens, it doesn’t happen at 86.”

What is the root cause of Lust? Why do we lust?

  • We are infected with sin from birth (Psalms 51:5; Romans 3:23). We are broken (Eph. 2:1-3).
  • We don’t trust God’s goodness and provision (Genesis 2:9, 15-18; Jeremiah 2:12-13) so we try to create our own joy. We don’t live by faith (Hab. 2:4).

“God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” St. Augustine

  • We don’t wage war against the flesh by the power of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-22) because we don’t know how to fight for joy (Hebrews 12:2).

“Be killing sin (lust), or it will be killing you.” John Owen

How do we Wage war on Lust? An Incomplete Strategy.

How do we most commonly attempt to fight lust?

Negative Strategies

  • By focusing on not lusting.

What are some examples of negative strategies?

  •  Lust is horrifically selfish. You don’t have consent.
  • She is someone’s daughter, sister, mother, spouse.
  • Lust is atheistic (Prov. 15:3).
  • You get rid of your computer, phone, etc. The problem is you. Your computer is amoral.
  • Would you want your wife-to-be or wife to lust after other men? Matthew 7:12

Why won’t don’t negative strategies work – at least for long?

Positive Strategies

  • We must learn to displace a harmful thought with a Philippians 4:8 thought. “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worth of praise, dwell on these things.”
  •  We must learn to be so full of the Spirit, we can’t be full of the flesh  (Gal. 5:16). “Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied in God.”  John Piper

“The real way of mending a man’s taste is not to denigrate his favorites, but to teach him how to enjoy something better.” CS Lewis

Other Biblical Strategies

Matthew 5:27-30.

  • Deal Severely with temptation. 1 Cor. 9:26-27
  •  Recognize the consequence(s) of unchecked lust. 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 John 3:4-10

Job 31:1 – Integrity.

James 5:16 and Hebrews 3:12-14. Accountability with a trusted person or persons.

The openness with which we are attacking this perversion is not common. Problems don’t go away by ignoring them.

Counting Generosity – Sobering Statistics

These statistics are from Mark Driscoll’s: Doctrine; What Christians Should Believe pgs 396-97. They are fairly shocking when you consider passages like Luke 12:33; John 3:16; Acts 4:32-37; Romans 5:8; 2 Cor. 8:9.

  • More than one in four American Protestants give away $0.
  • From 1968 to 2005, giving to Protestant churches declined from 3.1 percent of income to 2.6 percent of income.
  • The average regular churchgoer, compared to those who say they are Christians but rarely attend church, gives 6 percent of their after-tax income.
  • The median annual giving for a Christian is $200-just over half a percent of after-tax income.
  • Mormons give more than 7 times the amount of money as a percentage of income than do Catholics.
  • About 27 percent of evangelicals give away 10 percent or more of their income.
  • About 5 percent of Christians provide 60 percent of the money to churches and religious groups.
  • 20 percent of all Christians account for 86 percent of all giving.
  • Among protestants, 10 percent of evangelicals, 28 percent of mainline folk, 33 percent of fundamentalists, and 40 percent of liberal Protestants give nothing.

If our treasure reveals the priority of our hearts (Matt. 6:11), then what do these statistics reveal about the hearts about many professing Christians?