A young adult ministry leader from a Texas megachurch recently shared five ways believers can battle against the temptation of “secret” sexual sins, such as porn, lust and masturbation.
JD Rodgers of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas, who serves as the young adults creative director of The Porch Ministry, warned a primarily young adult audience about the perils of sexual freedom, labeling it “one of the biggest rip-offs or scams that the world sells us.”
In a June 1 sermon titled “Battling Sexual Sin,” Rodgers began by reminding the audience that they were instructed in last week’s sermon to write on a card the thing that makes them most shameful and to submit it to the ministry.
Rodgers recalled how when The Porch leaders reviewed the "thousands upon thousands" of cards, a lot of them mentioned struggles with lust, pornography addiction, homosexuality and "past sexual perversion."
He then listed five steps that all start with the letter “R” that young adult Christians can apply in their lives to win the battle against sexual sin:
- Remember who you are and what you're called to do
- Recognize where you're susceptible
- Resist the urge
- Run to community
- Respond rightly
“Remembering requires something mental," Rodgers said. "You will be what you think you are. You will be or you will do based on what you believe you are.”
Focusing his sermon on the story of King David from 2 Samuel 11, where David was described as “a man after God’s own heart," Rodgers noted that David committed adultery with the wife of Uriah because he failed to take time to think about his identity.
“David clearly forgot who he was and what he was called to do. Because if he remembered, ‘I am a king, anointed and chosen by the God of the universe, called to lead and stand up and be a man and go to war,’ it would have changed everything about this moment,” Rodgers preached.
“But because he forgot who he was, and his purpose and his calling, because he neglected his character and his calling, he found himself home when everyone else was at war. That is often when you will fall, is when you are at home when you're meant to be in the battle.”
Rodgers said it's vital for Christians struggling with sexual sin to remember who they are based on what the Bible says about their identity rather than what the world says.
“That is who you are: chosen, royalty, a nation set apart and you are personally important to God. You are his very own possession,” Rodgers added, referring to 1 Peter 2:9.
Mentioning step two on his list, Rodgers said that many young adult Christians who struggle with sexual sins often don't think about what is leading to their sinful battle.
He advised those gathered to remove from their life the things that cause them to fall into sexual sin.
“If we're going to fight the battle against sexual sin, we have to recognize where we are susceptible to fall into sexual sin," Rodgers said.
"Another way of saying this is we have to look for patterns, [because] patterns often point to problems. If you have a recurring problem in your life, if you have an addiction in your life, look at the pattern that leads to the problem.”
Rodgers also responded to the question of "what even classifies as sexual sin" and whether things like making out constitute "sexual sin" or if it's acceptable.
“I'm going to leave that between you and the Lord. I'm not going to say yes or no," he said regarding making out, then listed examples of sexual sin.
"Sex, oral sex, sex in ways that shouldn't be sex, getting too handsy, making out while bumping and grinding, getting hot and steamy. You know what I'm talking about. Being alone. Looking at things that cause you to be sexually aroused, entertaining yourself.”
Rodgers then cited Proverbs 18:1, which says: “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire,” adding that he believed that many young adult believers will feed their sexual urges instead of resisting temptation.
“Resist the urge or feed it," said Rodgers. "And if you continue to feed it, it will only get more and more hungry and it will lead you down a path to destruction. That's what we see in David's life. He could have walked away, but he inquired about the woman."
Lastly, Rodgers said, finding community is key in the effort to “respond rightly” to the temptation of sexual sin, stating that “you need people who will lovingly seek to challenge and correct you with compassion and care because they love you and they have your best interest in mind."
"That's the kind of people you need around you. You need soldiers in the battle with you. A man who goes to war by himself is sure to fall. But there is strength in numbers. There is strength in the pack. It's he who is isolated that the prowling lion seeks to devour,” Rodgers continued.
Secular culture, he reiterated, perpetuates the scam that “in order to be free, you can do what you want, when you want with your body because it's your body and whatever makes you happy, do it.”
"We will constantly be battling all types of sin, but specifically in our young adult years, we will really be battling sexual sin, as single young adults, as married young adults. It doesn't go away. But in this battle, I think a lot of us wonder, ‘Can I actually be free? Can I actually defeat this addiction? Can I win the battle against sexual sin?’ And I want to tell you the answer is through Jesus. Yes, you can,” Rodger declared.
“My hope for this message is that you would see that your story does not end with your sexual past. Your story does not end with what's happened to you sexually. And you are not defined by what you have done or currently are doing sexually. That, you can, with Jesus, defeat your sexual sin.”
The Porch describes itself as “a place where you can come as you are, no matter your past or present, to find authentic friendships and hear messages about dating, relationships, finances, mental health, faith, and more.”