Category Archives: Equipping the Man of God!

What the Bible Says about Lust

BeFreeinChrist is pleased to share a message on what Scripture has to say about lust. This message from Biblical Counseling Ministry, was published by Insight for Living Ministries (the Bible Teaching Ministry of Pastor Charles R. Swindoll) in May 2011.  We would like to thank Biblical Counseling Ministry, Insight for Living and Pastor Swindoll for allowing us to share this message and for their devotion to the Body of Christ.

What the Bible Says about Lust

God’s Word speaks to the depths of our sensual desire. Moral compromise is challenged by the truth of God’s unwavering standard of holiness. The Bible offers words of wisdom and instruction, prompting us to trust God for our deliverance from worldly desire. The following passages reveal the destructive power of unchecked lust and point to the way of freedom provided by the Lord.

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The Character of a Godly Man

By Dr. Charles Stanley

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The first step to becoming a godly man is to follow the Lord’s guidance, as outlined in Scripture. Then we should seek out relationships with Christ-like men—men whose wisdom comes from understanding the Word of God. They are uniquely equipped to refresh and encourage us so that we can succeed in every aspect of life. How can you actively grow your faith and build relationships that will help you become a godly man? You can start by being committed in your daily walk with Christ.

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The following resources are graciously provided by Dr. Stanley and InTouch Ministries. 

The Character of a Godly Man (Sermon)

The Character of a Godly Man (Study)

BeFreeinChrist would like to thank both Dr. Stanley and InTouch Ministries for their dedication to leading people worldwide into a  growing relationship with Jesus Christ!

Temptation, Temptation, Temptation…

By BeFreeinChrist

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All day long we are attacked! Everyone deals with temptation and they come at us from every direction. Even our Lord dealt with temptation.

Luke 4:13 – when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Hebrews 4:15 – For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.

Where do temptations come from?

It might come in the form of a billboard on the highway with a picture of a greasy hamburger that will ruin your diet. Or perhaps it may be that car parked in the dealership along the side of the road that is way beyond our budget.
We can be tempted by the desire for praise for something we feel we have done particularly well.
And of course, it could be in the form of an attractive woman, we want to take a second or prolonged look at.

Temptations are not necessarily a bad thing, nor are they a sign of weakness, but it is wrong when we give into those temptations which are outside the will of God. And if we choose to give into temptation, guilt and shame are certain to follow. Satan knows where our weaknesses lie and is constantly trying to trap us. But if we handle temptations correctly/Biblically, we will grow in faith!

God’s Word provides ample ammunition to warn us against the attacks of Satan.

Matthew 6:13 – lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

1 Timothy 6:9 – those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

How do we combat temptation?

The Bible also is filled with verses to guide us in order that we can defend against temptations.

2 Timothy 2:22 – Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 7:2 – because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Mark 9:43 – If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

Perhaps most importantly, God’s gives us encouragement in this constant struggle with temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Luke 11:4 – forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.

The greatest Biblical encouragement however, is God’s promise of forgiveness and that He will never hold sin against those who have accepted salvation through Christ.

Psalm 103:12 – as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

So, in closing, we know from scripture that temptations will most certainly come, it is unavoidable. God tells us what we need to do to defeat Satan’s attempts to draw us into sin. We need to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, and allow Him to strengthen us. And when we ask Jesus to be our Savior and Lord, He washes away the stain of our sins and never holds them against us.

Tools of Freedom: Biblical Models of Change For those who Battle Sexual Bondage (Part 5)

This is the final part of our 5-part study on battling sexual bondage, written a brother of Be Free in Christ.  If you would like to review previous parts, please click here.

Model # 5 – Living in Biblical Hope

Sooner or later, all of us will have to answer a question that sounds like this:

“Are you willing to face the possibility that you may continue to struggle, at some level, with your sexuality (or finances, or health problems physical limitations, or..)  for the rest of your life down here,  and to continue to rejoice and not give up”?

In other words, are you willing to say with Job: [Job 19:25-27]

25      I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the     earth.

26      And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;

27      I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns   within me!

Are you willing to say with David: [Psalm 61]

1        Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

2        From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

3        For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

4        I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

5        For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

6        Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations.

7        He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may reserve him.

8        So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

And with Habakkuk: [Hab 3:17-19]

17        Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

18        yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19        The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments. 

And with Paul [II Cor 4:7-11, 16-18]

7        But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

8        We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

9        persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

10      We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

11      For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. ………

16      Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

17      For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

18      So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Sexually broken people need the same hope that all broken people do–that is to say, that all people do.

We need to be reminded of the kind of God we serve.

  • He’s the God of resurrection.
  • He’s the God who can take what looks like death and what IS death and turn it into life.
  • He can take our very weaknesses and struggles and transform them into stepping stones to service, ministry, worship, praise and overflowing hope.

We need to be reminded that He is Emmanuel– God with us, and that the calling of Christ is not to a sprint but to a marathon as it were – to what one Christian writer appropriately called “a long obedience in the same direction.

We need to be reminded to keep our eyes on the prize.

Conclusion:

Francis Schaeffer, Malcom Muggeridge, historians Will and Ariel Durant, the Apostle Paul and many other observers of history and culture, I’m sure, have observed that when a society’s view and practice of sexuality seems to erupt out of control, that culture is probably in the death throes.

Looking at current events, at what’s been on the news both nationally and locally, against the backdrop of those kinds of observations might seem at first blush (no pun intended) to be cause for despair.

But for us as believers, there is cause for great hope, because God in His mercy and kindness has entrusted to us the keys to unlock the cell doors and release the captives.

Whether America or even western civilization can survive much longer is a matter of debate.  But God hasn’t called us to save America or western civilization or democratic capitalism.  He’s called us to faithfully hold out the Bread of Life to hungry, hurting lonely, weary people, one heart at a time- one life at a time.

Sexual bondage and brokenness may lead people to bizarre, strange and even dangerous behavior.  But beneath the surface, it’s the same old stuff.  It’s what all of us are wrestling with in our inner lives –  the fear, the anger, the broken cisterns, the legalism, the manipulation.

And the solutions are the same, too.

God’s amazing justifying grace plus nothing = right standing with God.

The Lamb of God conquering our lonely rebel hearts by love.

May God bless, strength and encourage each of you as the battle continues.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books:

[1] Mark Laaser, Ph.D,, Fathful & True, Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World , Zondervan, 1996 (previously published as The Secret Sin).

[2] Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., Don’t Call It Love, Bantam Books, 1991.

[3] Carnes, Contrary to Love, Minneapolis, CompCare Pubs., 1989.

[4] Carnes, Out of the Shadows, Minneapolis, CompCare Pubs., 1983.

[5] Ralph Earle and Gregory Crowe, Lonely All the Time, New York, Pocket Books,     1989.

[6] Juhn White, Eros Defiled, the Christian and Sexual Sin, Intervarsity Press, 1977.

[7] Charles Mylander, Running the Red Lights, Putting the Brakes on Sexual   Tempatation, Regal Books, 1986 (now out of print).

Tapes:

[1] Pastor to Pastor: Overcoming Sexual Addiction, Focus on the Family; Stephen Arterburn; audio cassettes (also includes a booklet of resources); 1994; describes the various types of sexual addiction as well as the common causes; offers a biblical approach to overcoming the complex problem; $10.00.

WebSites:

http://www.ncsac.org/   -National Council on Sexual Addiction and Recovery

http://www.christians-in-recovery.com/links/linkchri/sexadd.html – Links to a bunch of Christian websites and ministries related to vaious type of sexual brokenness [see sheets headed “Christian Resources”.]