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u/muddyfootprints · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

> How would you suggest I go about striving to live a Christ-like life while at the same time remembering that my salvation is through grace?

How would you suggest I go about striving to live a Christ-like life while at the same time remembering that my salvation is through grace?

Trying to earn God's love is THE problem. EVERY Christian I have ever known has had to struggle with this, and I do everyday. It was the problem of the pharisees, and according to Spurgeon, popery. Christianity is all about the heart. As your heart has already been changed and is sensitive to the things of God thus your desire to be Christ-like and Christ pleasing the following is for you. For those who are not in a saving relationship with Jesus, the following will not apply.

There is a Martin Luther quote that I can't find right now (ugh!) that goes something like this: "What makes us so arrogant as to think there is something we can do to add to the sufficiency of the blood of God's own Son!"

There are a few different fronts to the war. One is that you have to get a working definition of what Christian freedom means, and specifically what it means to you and what it looks like in your life. Hint: Do you have the freedom to sin and still be loved? Does God’s grace cover first degree, premeditated sin, or not?

I firmly believe until one understands grace and forgiveness in the forensic (law language) sense, you can’t get a whole lot better. It’s the doctrines of freedom that become the places you can stand when it gets dark. Dark, like when you have blown it so bad that you begin to doubt your salvation.This, as an aside, is an excellent reason to get baptized. It gives us another place to stand.

I find that if we obsess about our sin we sin more. If we obsess about Jesus and His UNCONDITIONAL love for us we may or may not get better... but we will find out getting better wasn’t the point... EVER. Being His is the point.

Front Two: I suggest studying your identity in Christ. These guys are really good at this

“Victory over the Darkness” is from them and is very helpful in obtaining freedom from all sorts of spiritual bondage, but for me it is only part of the equation. It gave me some of the the keys to understanding myself and even my relationship with God, but it didn’t explain God as well as I needed. Some, probably most of my issues with trying to earn God’s love are rooted in the conditional nature of the love I received from my dad growing up. I came from a fairly dysfunctional background. Therefore, the ideas and concepts I projected on God were from my relationship with my dad and it messed up my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

I found this book to give me great insights into who God really is. Check it out and tell me what you think.
(In case the embedded link is inop.

Front Three: For me is learning to recognize and accept God’s love.
The worksheet referenced in that article is available at also under “free stuff”.

Once again, for me, I found that I really needed to understand love. I had to learn what love was, what it looked like, what being loved felt like... pretty much everything. I had walled off my emotional self so far, in an effort at self protection, that I was pretty much isolated. The isolation causes pain and numbing agents abound. Alcohol. porn, false persona(s) etc. Anything to keep me from having to spend time with myself as I fell into the trap of rejection made worse by self rejection. Enter another of my favorite quotes,

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened.”
― Donald Miller
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

I had to look at the cross and see God love me. I had to watch others love and affirm me, because I didn’t know how to love myself. I had to read about what a loving relationship with Jesus looks like (see Brennan Manning’s Abba’s Child and Ragamuffin Gospel, Henri Nouwen's Life of the Beloved).

I also had to find out what a man is supposed to be and be about. I’m sure you are familiar with John Eldredge. While Wild at Heart is a classic, his, Way of the Wild Heart really helped me and still does.

So, that’s it really. Run to Jesus! Get loved, in real and meaningful ways and then take that into the world and just be who you are... a wounded healer. Your walk will be in freedom and you will be like Christ. In more ways than you can possibly imagine now. Your wounds even when healed will be a place of strength though now they are a weakness. Gee, I wonder where we heard that before? Oh, and don’t worry, when your story is one of recovery.. it keeps you humble.

Numbers 6:24-26
New King James Version (NKJV)
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

Blessings to you my Brother

u/DJ_Pace · 7 pointsr/NoFapChristians

I too am a pastor... and my heart breaks man. I know all too well the feelings of guilt and shame over sexual sin, while having a desire to teach and minister to people. I had to step away from ministry for a season while I grew, and it was the best thing I could have ever done.


I'm in no way perfect now, but it's been a long time since I've looked at pornography. I have a healthy thought life. I have healthy relationships with females, and I'm still single. I say this to say, the battle can be won. I know it feels impossible sometimes. I know it does, I've felt that in my room while I was just on the floor crying because I wanted to hate sin, but couldn't find the strength within myself to kill it. I get it man...


Here are a few thoughts:


1- Peter denied Jesus. Peter gave into a sin that made Him turn his back on Jesus. And yet, Jesus restored Him, using Him to build the church. Like so many have said, there is no sin that has more power than the cross of Christ. Jesus was not unaware of all that you would fall into before He died for you. You haven't surprised Him. His arms are open.


Look at the cross my friend. Get your eyes off yourself. Yes, your heart is whoring after idols and other things before God, despite how good God has been to you. But the cross was for sinners. Romans 5:6-8

>"For while we were still weak at the right time Christ died for the ungodly... but God shows his love for us in that while were were still sinners Christ died for us. Since therefore we have been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God".


Find rest in the cross of Jesus Christ. That in that moment, all your sins. All your porn session. All your binge moments of masturbation were, all your evil desires that hate God were placed on the Cross onto Jesus. Jesus took your sins. And by taking your sins, Jesus offered himself as a substitution sacrifice. Whereby you were justified by His blood. Which means this. You're right standing before God, your peace with God, your friendship with God is not built upon your good works. Or your awesomeness. Or your power to kill sin. But only, only, only, on the basis of the atoning, justifying work of Jesus Christ. Period.


You are justified by His blood. Not your works. And if you think, "well if Jesus knew, he wouldn't have died for me. Maybe all my sins aren't covered..." Look at verse 5... when did He die for you? "While you were weak and ungodly." He knew. And he went anyway. Knowing the depravity of your sins. That you would spit into the face of God after his great grace towards you. At yet He went... ponder that.


Stop looking at yourself. look to Him. Your sins are covered and bought and erased. He is not in love with a future version of you that's perfect. He loves you, now. I know how impossible that feels. But the Gospel is that amazing.


2- Peter was restored into ministry. Key word is restored. This is going to sound harsh, but it's biblical. If you show signs or patterns of habitual sin, especially ones of sexual nature, you are unqualified for pastoral ministry. See Titus 1:5-9. When God entrusts His flock to people, the weight and power we wield is great. And it comes with great responsibility. No one is perfect. But if we are not at a maturity of spirit where we are still enslaved to sins, we aren't ready. That's not against you, but for the good of our people.


I say this with all the love I can. Fully knowing the complexity and frustration of your sin. If you are still struggling with pornography, you're not ready. And you're only going to hurt yourself, your future congregation, and you're walking outside of the will of God if you pretend everything's fine.


Don't do this to His people. I've seen too many pastors ruin peoples lives... people walk away from God because their pastors moral failures come to light. Don't do that. I'm dead serious. God will be much more pleased, and you will show much more wisdom if you say, I'm not ready. And back out. And find godly mentors to help you grow. That's wise. That's loving. That's faithful. Don't ruin peoples lives because you are too cowardly to be honest.


See James 3:1. We teachers have an extreme weight on our lives and teachings. Don't heap judgment on yourself because you are trying to not be found out.


3- I don't think you have to resign from bible college, but you need to tell people in your life. You can't do this alone. Sin thrives in darkness and isolation. I know how it feels. Like you can't tell anyone because you've gotta keep this facade up of having it together. But that's so stupid. And fake.


When I told my youth pastor at the time about my sin, even though I was a "leader" in the youth group. I thought... this is it. I'm done. I'm kicked out. But you know what happened? He didn't let me teach for a while. He didn't let me lead for a while. But He didn't leave me. He loved me. He pointed me to the Gospel. He helped me see the seriousness of my sin. And I felt truly loved for the first time. Here this man is, knowing all my sins and failures, and he said: "I'm not going anywhere, in fact, I'm walking with you as you grow in maturity. And when you show signs of true repentance, and patterns of growth and health, then we can talk about leadership again."


I praise God for that man. I needed that. You do too. If your bible college doesn't have those kind of men, it's a crap bible college anyway and you should leave.


4- Repentance is violent. I presume you know the Old Testament sacrificial system? When the slaughter animals for sin offerings as repentance, do you think they leave those meetings clean? No! They've got blood and guts all over them. They're stained by the blood. Repentance is violent.


It's the kind of action that is willing to do anything to kill sin. Jesus said cut your eye out and your hand off, is better than going to hell because you continue in sin. I don't think that should be taken literal. But I also don't think it should be minimized. What are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of repentance? Reputation? Leadership? Authority? Love? Value from others?


None of those things will save you. None of those things are worth lying about to God himself. And if you are unwilling to let go of any of those things in the name of true repentance, you've found what you truly love, and it's not God.


There's a certain type of faith that pleases God. I think you tell God, Lord, I want to repent. So I will come clean and confess my sin to my leaders, and I will take whatever happens as your loving discipline. As your loving hand maturing me. I think that is true repentance. The heart that says, "Lord, whatever you need to do to kill this sin in me, and make me a man after your own heart." That's the repentant heart. That's the heart God restores.


Could I ask you to meditate on some versus and pray about them? I think God will lead you if you do.


-Proverbs 28:13

-Psalm 32:5

-Psalm 32:3

-Hebrews 12:4-11


5- More than anything, you need a heart that loves God and hates sin. This is where I hate the internet. It's so limiting. I can't hear your story... I can't hear how you got here... I can't have good dialogue. I know I'm basing all this off of 5 sentences.


All I know to say is, you've gotta fall in love with God. Sin is always a game of pleasure. You've gotta see that. You go to sin because you think it's going to offer something you don't currently have, or something you think you are entitled too.


But when you see that Jesus, relationship with Him, fellowship with Him is so beautiful. It gives so much pure joy and satisfaction, it makes sin look silly. When you sit at the feet of Jesus and see Him, face to face, it changes your heart over time to hate sin.


Can I just encourage you to sit with God? Listen to worship music and pray/talk to Him. Go on walks and pour your heart out to God. Read the scriptures every day and let the goal not be reading 5 chapters, but spending time with God.


6 - Really practical, I'd buy this book right now. Finally Free. It's the best resource I've read regarding fighting sexual sin. It's very gospel centered. It really gets the deeper issues of sin.


7- I love and care for you both. I know the specific weights pastors carry, and I feel for you. I know how hard it must be to carry this. My heart truly breaks. Please know, you are not alone. I do not say anything from a place of being better than, or having it all together. I am just as much in need of the Gospel. I hope you hear the humble tone in this that I wrote it from. I'm for you. But I don't want you to lie and fake it until something worse happens.


Please send me a message if you'd wish to talk further, or if you have questions about anything, just reply to this. I want to offer help anyway I can.


Blessings friends,



u/Z-h8r · 3 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Read your Bible and pray daily. I know that might not sound cool or whatever, but it is a habit that you'll need for the rest of your life.

As far as being fed...a local church is vital to the Christian life. But also may big time preachers have either audio or video sermons online. For far too many reasons to list here, I would recommend conservative preachers. Check out David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, and Alistair Begg. Also if you do a search for Martin Lloyd Jones there is a trust with his sermons. Again, ain't no school like old school.

And please do yourself a favor and start reading C. S. Lewis. There is another book I like to recommend by Philip Keller it isn't very expensive and is amazing

If your are up to reading more challenging stuff work on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Cost of Discipleship is amazing

u/2ysCoBra · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

Calvin inspired what today is known as Calvinism, which is a staple of Reformed churches. A lot of popular pastors & apologists are Calvinists (John Piper, R. C. Sproul, James White, Tim Keller, etc.). There are also many apologists & Christian leaders of other persuasions concerning God's providence (William Lane Craig, Nabeel Qureshi, & others).

Everyone accepts predestination, but the issue is whether we are determined or not. Are our actions fully determined by God? Do humans have libertarian free will? Or are the two not mutually exclusive (compatibilism)?

This has been a hot topic for centuries, & it seems to have a bit of influence on your present concerns. So, if you'd like to look more into it, I highly recommend "Four Views on Divine Providence".

u/fbernardo90 · 2 pointsr/NoFapChristians

I am in a somewhat similar situation to you. If you can invest some 20$, please read this book and then put into practice the keys it provides. I assure you it will be worth it. GOD the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit desire relationship with each and everyone of us, Spirit to spirit, not performance, not Bible head knowledge, not religious effort. Persistently ask GOD to become real to you, to have a love relationship with you. The void you feel now is already a sign you are being drawn to GOD. Most people are not even aware of the possibilities of a genuine relationship with GOD, in Spirit and in truth.

u/mike_alex14 · 2 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Hi Man, I understand Your Situation. Porn I will not lie and nobody here will Lie is so damn pleasurable and good. It makes us feel so damn good. Just think about it Watching porn and heighten the process through Orgasm. No Doubt the feelings are of immense pleasure but if we think honestly is it really good ? Just think about it, Is it really that good ? Trust me, It is not. I've been there. It is not good man.

Yes it is pleasurable but it is destructive. Just think, eat a hamburger with fully loaded cheese. It is Pleasurable to eat, but it is destructive man. It is. Things that are good take time. Watch This Video


I would recommend you reading one book. Finally Free - Heath Lambert. Get it Here. Book

u/hopefulwife · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

My friend, that may be exactly why God hasn't led you to someone.

You know why I know this? Your description of why you want a relationship is nearly exactly what my husband's was. First, my husband's porn addiction nearly tore us apart. Then, as he was working through recovery, his passiveness in our marriage nearly broke us again. When we finally broke down the reasons why we got married his was as simple was, "I wanted a friend to share life with and someone to love that would always love me." Which sounds nice and Christian, right?

A relationship isn't about companionship or even the warm fuzzy feelings. Honestly, those are the bonuses. A Christian relationship is about sanctification and learning more about God. And it's really hard. This is a book I've waiting on to ship to me to read that maybe you should check out:

u/AMediocreMind · 2 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Yeah, it's pretty good. Basically it is a meditation on the sacrifice of Isaac and Abraham's faith. The first half is very good. You can buy a good edition here and I'm sure the penguin classics edition is good as well. Both have the same number of pages so it is safe to say, if you get one, read at least to page 61.

u/Puzzle_Master · 3 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Everyone has their doubts from time to time. The book of Ecclesiastes, for instance, focuses exclusively on an existential crisis. The author determined that life was meaningless as everything would eventually pass away. If death is inevitable, what then is the point of living?

I'm in no means an expert in apologetics, but I do reccomend that you perhaps study the culturalal contect of the Scriptures. The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible may be of great help. Of course, there are other teachers online who should be just as capable of answering any questions that you may have.

Lastly, when I ever get discouraged, I usually listen to calming music. Two songs that I like in particular are from Tenth Avenue North. They are Beloved, which speaks of Christ's love for the church, and Hold My Heart, which conveys more of what you are experiencing right now.

Whatever you decide, peace be with you.

u/Cosmicbound · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

Interesting, I have a NIV Bible that has some factoids and pictures to it which I find helpful, I bought it from amazon. Imo, the pics help to bring the word alive and make it more understandable and enjoyable.

I also bought the related "most fascinating people, events and places from the Bible." Another picture and factoids booklet.

I take my sweet time reading as oposed to rushing, so i suggest taking it slow and if you dont understand a verse, search more info on it.

When I do finish a book from the Bible, I like to watch the youtube summaries from the Bible Project channel:

They really do a great job, check them out!

All in all, it's important to read on God's word and I do agree that Leviticus-numbers-Deuteronomy are very confusing and were hard to get thru, lol. The New Testament is where we should focus the most (Jesus teachings) but its even better to know all of it, I'm currency on 1 Samuel and proverbs, so I take forever to read it, hehe.

u/fapstronaut85 · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

Sure. I mean, instead of looking at the Big Bang, I'd direct your research to background radiation. There's some interesting books on cosmology you might tap into. <> and <> and then <>. The last book goes even deeper with patterns found within background radiation, Penrose taking this data as evidence that another universe existed before ours. It's really fascinating. I wish I had time to read Penrose's Road to Reality and then this Cycles of Time.

Btw, i'm proud you have left this new-earth Christianity. Of course, you're welcome to believe whatever you want to, but I think we can have more mature discussions since we both appreciate evidence. And also, thank you for not getting defensive about the Big Bang and Evolution. It's really hard to have conversations with Christians about anything related to science! At least for me.

u/xtra1ives · 2 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Since I haven’t seen this book recommended yet I feel like this would be an excellent resource for you both. I’m working through this myself and I’ll be going over it again with my wife once I finish.

The Way to Love Your Wife: Creating Greater Love and Passion in the Bedroom (Focus on the Family Books)

If you want to know what it’s like for a guy to struggle with lust pick this one up as well.

Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (The Every Man Series)

I would also like to say that you shouldn’t have much to worry about. If your boyfriend is being honest with you about his struggles and if he really wants to get better then he WILL understand when you say you’re not comfortable doing something that he wants to do, wether it’s an idea from porn or not. If you both read the first book together and take notes, discuss personally important chapters, and find a marriage councilor, then you’re setting yourselves up for success.

Ps. I think there’s a companion book for women (for both books) but if I link to to many books someone will start thinking I work for amazon... 😇

u/versorverbi · 3 pointsr/NoFapChristians

It sounds like he still has a long way to go, but if he really is getting better, as you say, then I'd say he definitely loves you. If he didn't, there wouldn't be much incentive for him to (try to) give up pornography or masturbation. So that's good.

One thing he definitely needs to work on is thoughtful communication with you. Lying to you, whether about using pornography at all or about the reasons for his ED, is not helping. Does he know about your struggle with an eating disorder? The health of your body image is crucial, and he should be making every effort to respect that.

He needs to be kicking his PMO habit, which--trust me--has nothing at all to do with you. It's not your fault. It never was. It never will be. That's his problem, he needs to own it, and if he ever blames you for it, know that he's either wrong or lying. You never make him sin; that's on him entirely.

One thing that might help your communication (it helped my and my wife's communication a lot, both when we were dating and a few years into our marriage when we felt we needed a refresher) are the books For Men Only and For Women Only (available as a two-volume set here). (Point of order: I haven't read the "revised and updated" version, but the originals were very illuminating when it came to our communication.)

This isn't a problem that goes away overnight, unfortunately. Marriage doesn't fix it (he probably expected it to before you got married). Even if he's trying his damnedest, he'll likely still have struggles. The hard part, for you, is that it means he'll need lots of forgiveness--not leeway, but forgiveness.

If he's not really trying, he needs someone to hold him accountable. That doesn't have to be you, and I understand if you don't think it can be you (for whatever reason). But find a friend of his that will talk to him, or your pastor, or someone, because he needs help (even if he won't admit it).

u/deprofundis77 · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

It’s actually not a pdf but a book. I bought it through the Apple book store but it’s available elsewhere. Here’s the link to Amazon where you can read the description and also a sample. I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

u/holaguapisimos · 2 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Orthodox Study bible includes teachings from the church father's in the footnotes and explains the significance behind many biblical events (in particular does a great job of explaining and connecting OT and NT) .
Also has exactly what your looking for before each book explains author and context of the book.

u/restoredsinglevsporn · 3 pointsr/NoFapChristians

Might I suggest you read

It does a great job of explaining somethings like developing a relationship with someone to the place where you can share your faults. Of the 7 levels of intimacy sharing faults is step 6.

u/LeftHandCircus · 3 pointsr/NoFapChristians

I'd say the book "Every Man's Battle" ( Amazon )and maybe a small gift card to something. I'm reading the book now and its great so far.

u/PhineusQButterfat · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

I presume this book is mentioned in this sub frequently, but I highly recommend "Every Man's Battle" by Steve Arterburn.

I'm a late-30s man and I still frequently go back to this book.

u/fuck_gawker · 1 pointr/NoFapChristians

Isn't it funny how this disease can twist the way we perceive, interpret, and feel about people around us?

If I may suggest, there are people at church suffering as well. Pastor Ted Robert's book, "Pure Desire", touches on this and other aspects of sex- and porn addiction.