Romans 6:12-14 The Reign of Porn

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

The Reign of Porn

As our standards change in North America and Europe pornography has become more acceptable.  The Economist has been taking a pole of its readership on Twitter and I keep receiving updates that tell me the vote is 50/50 as to whether the porn industry is a legitimate venture.  We could talk about the links between trafficking of sex slaves and their use in pornography.  We could talk about the power plays of those who control the exploited workers.  We could talk about how the way we feel about something does not necessarily define its moral value.  If we don’t feel like it is harming anyone or we feel a sense of release when we engage with porn, it does not really tell us whether engaging with it is right, all that it tells us is that we feel good when we engage.

We know that our bodies have appetites which sometimes work against us.  Not only is there the literal pull of drugs like crack, but we joke now about snacks that are ‘like crack.’  The potato chips taste so nice on the way down, but over time we see the extra layers of fat that they produce.

Having looked hard at sin, Paul does not just leave it as a ‘spiritual’ issue.  He points out that our physical bodies have cravings and desires and these are not just ‘natural’ but sometimes sinful.  We are not powerless to resist our appetites.  In a godless world it would be reasonable to assert that the only natural response to desire is to engage.  However, in the world of God and free will our bodies are to be overcome.  We are to eat better, sleep better, and have sex better.

Porn is ravaging Christian men and women.  It satisfies a deep desire to engage with women who look attractive and provide release.  People know that the images on the screen are just a fantasy, but the images provide escape from the pain of daily living.  Over time the addiction comes to the surface.  The engagement with porn does not satisfy, but there is no sufficiently strong motive to break the cycle.  If you know someone who is struggling with pornography, read Dallas Willard’s article on the subject (http://www.dwillard.org/articles/artview.asp?artID=133).  Try and communicate its truth to them.  Even read it for yourself.  It’ll help you live out what Paul is describing above.

Prayer

God grant us victory over the unhealthy appetites of our own bodies.  Help us to be fit in mind, body and spirit.  For your glory.

Questions

  1. What does Paul warn his listeners not to obey?
  2. What kinds of actions do you think Romans were prey to?
  3. What shall not be your master?
  4. What sin does your body move you toward (e.g. gluttony, lust)?
  5. How does faith in Jesus actually cause one to be healthier physically?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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13 Responses to Romans 6:12-14 The Reign of Porn

  1. Kimberly W. says:

    The pain I have seen in the lives of those around me as a result of porn breaks my heart. It has so infected our society, including the Church. God, forgive us. Open our eyes to sin. Remind us that we have victory in You.

  2. Andrew Moore says:

    Porn is an awful problem for our society. It takes a wonderful gift that God has given between a man and a woman and it twists into something that it terribly self-serving. However, at this point it is so intertwined with our societal structure that I don’t think we can ever really get rid of it. It especially burdens me to see how many Christians struggle with it. Always praying for God’s mercy and deliverance.

  3. JuNg Kim says:

    Looking at myself, it is so evident that I act like I am powerless like people who do not know God that I prone to give in to my flesh, old self. I think before looking at how wrong the person is, we must see them with compassion and love and pray for God’s protection amongst them.
    Prayer; Dear God, help us to not forget that you have already defeated Satan and won the battle. Also, help us to remember that the battle is not ours, but yours. Thank you for your protection and guidance.

  4. Emmy R says:

    Sin causes so much pain. It ruins people, ruins relationships, ruins families. I hate sin. I hate the effects it has on people. Pornography is just one of the many forms of it, and I hate how it twists the image of beauty and relationships as God originally intended. As I look out into the world and see how messed up we have become, it makes me long that much more for the return of our Savior.

  5. Molly says:

    I recently read an article about a Duke University freshman who started participating in porn to pay for her school bill. She casually talked about how she had watched porn since she was 12 and did not think it was a big deal to participate in pornography because “everyone is having sex, I might as well get paid for it.” My heart breaks for her, and others who believe that pornography has little effect on them.

  6. Christa says:

    1. What does Paul warn his listeners not to obey? The evil desires of sin in their mortal bodies
    2. What kinds of actions do you think Romans were prey to? Different forms of sexual immorality, gluttony, lust
    3. What shall not be your master? sin
    4. What sin does your body move you toward (e.g. gluttony, lust)? Gluttony, especially during this season of life; the reminder that we are not powerless over our bodies is a good one
    5. How does faith in Jesus actually cause one to be healthier physically? You have Christ as a master and therefore should not have other unhealthy things like sexual immorality, gluttony, or other addictions be master over you; this would make your body be more physically healthy as you are following the plan God intends for our bodies.

  7. Michael McCardle says:

    What does Paul warn his listeners not to obey?
    The evil desires of sin.
    What kinds of actions do you think Romans were prey to?
    Sexual orgies at the temple
    What shall not be your master?
    Sin shall no longer be my master
    What sin does your body move you toward (e.g. gluttony, lust)?
    Evil desires that corrupt the heart, soul and mind
    How does faith in Jesus actually cause one to be healthier physically?
    Humans are wholistic persons and when we sin, we harm all areas of our person hood. As we believe in Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers us to resist sin, and as a result of that we become healthier people.

  8. Sometimes people have the tendancy to abstract sin from consequences. We don’t feel like it will effect us and we definitely don’t feel as if it will effect others. Sex trafficing is a prime example of how our personal sin can cause ourselves so much harm and others so much harm. God tells us to flee from sin for very good reasons: sin hurts us and hurts others. It is slowly (or rapidly) killing us and sometimes we’re to blind to see that.

  9. The effects of sin are detrimental and it’s interesting to see how rapidly the porn industry is growing. However, it’s refreshing to see so many people standing up against the porn industry and talking about it openly. I follow an organization called Fight the New Drug which studies and researches the effects of porn on people physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s not a Christian organization, so I actually think it’s gotten more interest than it would if it was a Christian organization. I really appreciate the fact that people are not afraid to call out the fundamental issues with pornography, and I hope it will lead more Christians to think about/discuss this topic.

  10. Maelynn says:

    Praise God for the freedom we have under grace. God has given us the ability to offer the parts of our body to him as instruments of righteousness. We don’t have to be slaves of sin.

  11. Maria T. says:

    I have been thinking about how our eyes are Jesus’ eyes, our ears are Jesus’ ears, and our brains are Jesus’ brains. Why would I do something with what is really His that He would not want me to do? If I love Him, I will not allow what belongs to Him to go against Him. That includes my body. I need to be careful to honor and please Him. I used to think that I was bound to my body, and one day long into the future at the resurrection I would be free from sin. But the truth is, His righteousness is at work in me right now, and He is making me able to choose Him rather than to sin. Praise the Lord that He reigns in my mortal body, and that one day He will reign in my immortal body.

  12. 1. He warns against listening to sin and its desires.
    2. Different forms of sexual immorality.
    3. Sin shall no longer be your master.
    4. Evil desires that pull me away from Christ, especially worries.
    5. Because of my faith in Jesus I am called to be holy as God is holy. That kind of holiness is one that effects the entire person.

  13. Christina W. says:

    1. The evil desires of sin.
    2. Sexual immorality and lust
    3. Sin shall not be my master.
    4. Worry and impatience
    5. When we are living in sin, we are doing ourselves harm. However, when we have faith in Jesus, we should no longer be living in the destructive pattern of sin.

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