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Do You Believe You Can Be Free?

by Jeff Fisher on October 1st, 2012 in Men

I want you to be honest about what you’re about to read. 

These Scriptures speak to your sexual sin, and any other areas of your life that God wants to touch.  Read them slowly.  

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

Romans 6:12-14 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

Response #1:  I believe it.  I’m experiencing Christ’s freedom and learning to walk in it.

Response #2:  I believe it.  I can’t figure out how to get there.

Response #3:  I read these verses, but have a hard time believing them. 

There’s no question what the Bible says here: 

  • Freedom exists.
  • It is Christ who makes it happen.
  • I can use my freedom to indulge in sin or serve God and others.
  • There is a connection between freedom and the grace of God.

I have struggled with these Scriptures (even as a Christian) because my sexual sin was so dominant.  I believed in Jesus, I knew He had saved me, but I didn’t think I could be free from lust, pornography and masturbation.  How was that possible?  If there was freedom in Christ, why was I having such a hard time staying pure?

Some Scriptures are easy to believe and obey.  I like those.  Some Scriptures I struggle with, but still believe they are possible.  Other Scriptures kick me in the butt and seem so out of reach for my life that I have trouble accepting them.  The exercise here is to be honest… with yourself, with others, and with God.

It’s OK to admit that you are having trouble believing a Scripture.  God is our loving Father.  He can take it.  He will not strike you down or punish you for your honest.  The people He had the strongest judgment for in the Bible were the fakers.

I’m learning not to be a faker.

I’m also learning that freedom is a journey of faith.  I am learning to believe that God’s Word is true.  I believe if He allowed it to be penned in the Scriptures there must be a way to get there.

If you’re having trouble believing that freedom from sexual sin is possible, that’s OK.  Be honest with God and ask Him to help you believe. 

Mark 9:24 “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”

Wednesdays blog is titled “I Believe Freedom is Possible, But How Do I Get There?”   I hope you’ll join me. 

Jeff Fisher is a blogger and podcaster living in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He and his wife run  Jeff’s podcast Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast (I-Tunes) is one of the more popular podcasts on sexual addiction recovery.



  • I’ve been contemplating this EXACT idea recently. I know that I’m redeemed and I don’t watch porn anymore, I haven’t for over a year, but I still struggle with masturbation. I was praying one night, “God, will I ever be free? Will it ever stop?” I see a lot of confessions/submissions on here and guys always say things like, “I’ve gone without for this long” or something like that. But is that the point?Just seeing how long we can go with jacking off? There’s gotta be more to this Freedom Christ has saved us for than just out lasting our best time. I just don’t know what it is.

    • Robert

      There are relatively few single males who make such claims (usually well over age 50) and only a handful of married men.

      Many have the idea that masturbation is sinful due to either how they feel about themselves afterward or due to false teaching about “lust”. The Bible, of course, never taught such nonsense. Masturbation has a beneficial and practical purpose in our lives. In light of this, many Christian authorities, doctors and ministers teach that it is acceptable for Christians.

      Part of the cause of normal masturbation becoming a porn addiction, I believe, is due to failure to begin our sex life at a young age (just after puberty) like they did in the Bible. We are no longer preparing our kids to be young adults, but to remain in perpetual adolesence ( forced celibacy) through the years that they should be learning sex with their mates. God has never asked people to live in celibacy unless he first called them to it and gave them that gift. Otherwise, we are expected to enter sexual relations in response to our desire to have se (“for this cause a man shall cleave”). There is no sin of masturbation; but it does tend to make us feel dissatisfied and yearn for the real thing and that’s good.

      • You’re not helping me, bro. Maybe I should add that I do lust every time I masturbate and it is impossible to separate the two. And Jesus said that looking at women lustfully/lusting after them in your heart is equal to adultery. So I have committed adultery. I get that masturbation itself is not “bad,” but that’s a red herring; I don’t care if its practical or beneficial, it is the byproduct of sin, and I hate it and I want it out of my life.
        Anyone else feel the need to condone their sin or can I get a real answer here?

        • Roberto

          I hope you find the answer that you seek.

          In keeping with common sense and the teaching of Scripture, marriages in ancient times were arranged by the parents to begin shortly after puberty (age 12 girls, age 13 boys) They could marry a couple years later, but definitely not in their 20’s. Modern society has wrongly forced celibacy upon their young people by expecting them to wait until they are out of college to marry and then have sex. God commanded us to enter a sexual relationship not remain single, if we burn for sexual intercourse. This departure from scriptural marriage rules combined with our highly sexualized culture produces kids with porn and masturbation addictions.

          –A possible, partial solution for you—
          You can reduce your frequency by delaying and by not using fantasies or images. Do it, but make it boring and the desire to do it will decrease, because your brain habituates itself to whatever your pattern is. Ejaculation is a normal need for males after puberty. No need to apologize for that. Sex is the expected means of resolving this “problem”.

          Regarding your comments, if you or someone else is interested:

          No, It’s not impossible to separate masturbation from lust, if by that you mean sexual fantasies. I can give you numerous examples and website articles to prove that. It’s just a male preference.

          Second, “lust” doesn’t mean ‘fantasizing’ or ‘engaging in sexual desire of any kind’. Lust in the Bible, when it has a negative moral context, means “to desire that which is forbidden.”

          Third, Jesus did not change the meaning of adultery in Matt. 5:28. When he began his discourse, it meant “having sex with a married woman” and it meant the same thing when he finished (See Smith’s dictionary or ISBE). So, when Jesus talks about looking at a woman to desire sex with her, it’s understood by his audience that He means a married woman, due to the context. He taught that it is wrong to look “at (such) a woman to lust for her”, which means to desire sex with her. The word “epithumeo” translated lust (in the KJV) simply meant desire. It has no moral or sexual connotation of any kind. (Check Vine’s dictionary or Strong’s or YLT) In Luke the same word was used, the noun and the verb, when Jesus said: “With much lust have I lusted to eat this Passover with you.” I changed the word desire to lust so you understand that the words are the same as in the adultery passage. The word ‘woman’ in this context has to mean married woman, because that was the only way to commit adultery under the Law.

          Matthew 5:28 is simply a warning against desiring to have sex with a married woman. His disciples knew it was wrong to have sex with a married woman but they didn’t realize it was just as bad to even have a desire to do so, or to act on that desire by looking at her knowing she was forbidden. Once you understand what Jesus meant by lust and adultery, you realize that he is talking about desiring a married woman, not wishing to have sex with single women (There is no Greek word for wife). Plus he is talking about an actual desire, not a fantasy, for He says “he has committed adultery with her *already* in his heart”. The word “already” denotes a time element, that is, if the desire being contemplated were fulfilled, an actual act of adultery would take place and that this intent is counted as sinful as the act itself. This scenario almost never applies to masturbation. The Church has been gravely misled on this subject.

          If this text meant that we aren’t to ever look at a woman with sexual desire for her, it would be unlawful to look for a woman to marry and if we got married, we couldn’t look at her with a desire to have sex with her. It’s a false teaching if there ever was one.

          There is no evidence in the Bible that God opposes masturbation or thinking about sex. He wrote numerous passages praising sexuality and human sexual beauty. If it is wrong to think about such things, then God sinned by writing about it. God knows that people tend to fantasize about sex when they masturbate, yet He never spoke once against it; but He did make sure to tell us, male and female, to not have sex with animals and to not have sex with our mother-in-law. He is faithful to warn us against things that are actually wrong. Sex isn’t sinful and neither is it sinful to think about or read about.

          • Roberto: your “possible partial solution” is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard within this subject. I’m not a robot, I can’t just turn it off that easy. And I get that talking about sex isn’t a sin, we’re doing that now. And I will have redeemed sexual desire for my wife once I’m married and it’s gonna be like Song of Solomon and I can’t wait. But this is all a big red herring. My initial comment and this whole blog was about freedom from sexual addiction through Jesus Christ. Not about “Oh what did Jesus really mean?” I know what Jesus meant because I have the Holy Spirit in me telling me what is right and what is wrong in accordance with God’s will.
            I don’t get some of these people on here. Most people that visit this site (aside from trolls) have a vested interest in seeing their vices and addictions eradicated by Jesus Christ, but others come on here, and with hollow and deceptive philosophy, and distort God’s truth. Some of us are actually interested in becoming more like Christ, if you don’t want to, that’s fine, I won’t force you. But stop covering your own “spiritual ass” as it were, and stop trying to bring other people down.

          • Robert

            I found freedom from the lust for porn over 4 years ago by using that method. (As I said, I can give you numerous websites to back up it’s viability. yourbrainonporn .com ) Prior to that I used the same type methods as are espoused on this site with similar unsatisfactory results. By unsatisfactory I mean: As long as a guy continues to be tempted by this “sin”, having to resist thoughts, imaginations, visual temptations, obsessions and needing human overseers,– HE IS NOT FREE. He is merely smothering the problem and trying to hedge it in.

            The Bible teaches that Christians have died to Sin; that slave master no longer dominates us and we are now servants of Righteousness. We have a new nature that drives us. The law/principle/power of the Spirit of Life in Christ has set us free from the law/principle/power of Sin leading to death(Rom.8:2). You are a new creation in Christ designed to live in righteousness. ‘You the sinner’ was crucified with Christ; legally dead in the eyes of God. Since you are dead, Satan lost his right to dominate you with the law of sin that used to enslave you, operating in your members. Freedom from sin comes from Christ living within, living out your new nature by renewing your mind, not by having external constraints to corral the flesh.

            Four years ago, I had just done a thorough new study of sexuality and masturbation, as well as the brain chemistry of sexual addiction. I realized that I could implement the same brain chemistry that causes porn addiction to undo that addiction,and take control of my sexual appetite. Yes, it takes self-discipline. Within a week, I knew I was getting better. By the third week, I felt free for the first time in nearly 40 years. I had already bypassed my web filter long before that unbeknownst to my AP. I emailed him the third week and told him I no longer would be needing his accountability help. By about the 6th week, my interest in porn and sexuality had dropped so low, I started telling people online that I think I’m becoming a nun.

            Freedom from porn (as an adult male) must include the option to look at it, otherwise you aren’t free.

          • Seriously fuck you

        • Darren


          Ignore Robert and his evil twin Roberto.

          There is deliverance. It can be found in Jesus by chasing after him. Where is your treasure? There will your heart be. I was bound for years by porn and masturbation. When my focus and joy became Jesus those behaviours melted away.

          Seek him daily.

      • Darren

        Your thinking is twisted.

        • Guest

          @51595916dca1526faf75c40e45ea7573:disqus your pronouns are vague and nebulous.

    • Tim Jones

      Read Romans 12:2, about the renewing of your mind. As a recovering porn addict myself, I’ve learned that ONLY by working deliberately to REPLACE AND REPROGRAM those parts of our minds that have been so structured by porn for porn, can we ever, ever approach anything like true freedom. How does one “renew their mind?” As a believer, this would include honest prayer and self-reflection (a kind of prayer that perhaps consists of more “listening to” than “talking to” God), regular daily study of scripture (and I don’t mean just reading, but reading, questioning, ruminating, discussing with another), worship, the regular gathering together with and accountability to other believers (men – iron sharpens iron). These are just some of the things that help me. (Might look up the definition of “sanctification” in relation to this, also.)

      In the end, I believe, there will be NO FREEDOM if we do not allow God access to those parts of our minds and our hearts that have come to be so scarred and mutated by our “relationship with pornography.”

      God Bless.

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