Exposure of Sexual Sin: 3 – True Repentance is Radical
The cross of Christ is not a recovery program.
You do not go to the cross because there is some good in you worth saving. You don’t go to the cross to have a better life. The cross is a place to die. It is not a matter of giving up your sexual sin, but of giving up your life! It is a matter of dying to yourself. Roman’s 6:17 tells us:
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness”
When speaking of lust and adultery, Jesus tells us in Matthew:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
So pluck it out!
Take extreme measures!
Whether your sin has already been exposed or not you must go to the cross, die to yourself, and trust in Jesus’ sacrifice.
If you struggle with lust, expose it! – go to your pastor, elder or a mature christian friend and honestly seek help.
If you are having an affair, expose it! – cut it off and get marriage counselling.
If you are dealing with an addiction to pornography or some other form of sexual addiction, expose it! – get counselling or find a twelve step program like Sex Addicts Anonymous, or find addiction recovery through Christian ministries like Setting the Captives Free or Celebrate Recovery or route1520. There are lots of resources out there, so use them!
Cut off your hand!
Pluck out your eye!
Let me be very clear here…I am not saying you have to save yourself or that you have any part in saving yourself. Far from it! What I am saying is that true repentance is radical, drastic, all-encompassing and far-reaching, it is extreme – because it is born of God! True repentance happens on the inside where a real heart change occurs. Since true repentance is born of God, a holy God, a loving God, real heart change includes the desire to flee sin, not only sexual sin but all sin, by the power of the Holy Spirit. As the Belgic Confession says about a believer:
They believe in Jesus Christ the only Saviour, flee from sin and pursue righteousness, love the true God and their neighbour without turning to the right or left, and crucify their flesh and its works. Although great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their life. They appeal constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of Jesus Christ, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins through faith in Him.
True repentance is radical. Even though we are still weak, we flee from sin by God’s power. We strive to Christlikeness. In order to strive to be like Christ in our sanctification, we must put sin to death.
We have to kill it through Christ’s work, through the Holy Spirit’s power.
And believe me…it will be agonizing.