I am a born again Christian and baptized since 2001, for 16 years. For more than 8 years I have fallen into the sin of masturbation and all that it includes: bad lust, passion, misty intent, fornication and adultery (mind). I tried all the spiritual methods to free myself from the book “The Truth about Sex”, days of fasting, and confession to my brothers. I sought righteous brothers who fulfill the Scripture: “The effective prayer (made for the deliverance of me, of course) of a righteous man can accomplish much”, but I am not released from this spirit of fornication, which I have given “an opportunity” in my life. What should I do to get full release?
I do not think you are born again because in the Word of God it is written:
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:9-10)(NASB)
The verb form of “sins” here refers to something habitual, a way of life, not to something accidental that happened once because of not keeping watch but never again. The fact that you cannot free yourself from the sin of masturbation for eight years is a clear proof that you have not experienced the birth again. The same verb form of “sinning,” and the same truth is repeated in two other passages of John’s First Epistle.
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18) (NASB)
If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:29)(NASB)
You must be born again and this will happen if you do as Paul did, when he writes:
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14) (NASB)
When someone is born again, they decide to be the disciple of Jesus Christ, crucify the flesh with its passions and desires, and walk by the Holy Spirit. If you cannot succeed in being released from the sin of masturbation, it means that you have not crucified your flesh, and its passions take you again and again to that sin. You do not have the Spirit and you are powerless against sin. You must be born again. If you do not make the decision to crucify your flesh with your desires, you will not be able to experience the new birth. I remember Jesus’ claim that the new birth is absolutely necessary for the inheritance of eternal life and for entering into the Kingdom of Heaven, for He said:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3) (NASB)
Make the decision in your heart today to crucify your flesh, its passions, and desires. Then you will receive the Holy Spirit and neither masturbation nor any other sin will be able to poison your life. Rather, you will experience every day and every moment the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces, as it is written:
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:18-25) (NASB)
God can help you to be born again today. Do not think that being born again is something so hard and inaccessible that it must happen to people aleatory instead of to each who asks for it. God wants you to be saved, and He wants you to be born again. The fullness of life is in the Spirit. The wall that prevents you from being born again and having the fullness of life in the Spirit is the flesh that you cannot crucify. The famous author of the Inductive Bible study books tells how she has crucified her flesh. She says she was 28 years old and was totally desperate because it seemed that immorality had ruined her life. One day after learning the Gospel, she went to her room, knelt, and told Jesus that she was ready to die, live all her life paralyzed, not have any man in her life, and everything else if that is what it took to receive Jesus and His peace. She was born again then because she crucified her flesh with its passions and desires. She will be soon 84 and during her lifetime God has used her to write over 270 books, most of which are Inductive Bible Study courses. God gave her a righteous husband, children, and a nice family. She can enjoy these and a life lived with God because she crucified her flesh. Crucify your flesh with its passions and desires today to be born again.
Read this article in Romanian.
Translated by Liza Birladeanu.