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Addiction, Pornography, and the Gospel of Grace

The topic of pornography in the church is one that has been written on quite extensively the past few years.  The pervasiveness of this problem among professing believers, especially men, is a fact that most of us know all too well.  

But instead of rehashing the statistics, let’s turn our focus to  what the Gospel teaches us about this issue.

What is the Gospel?

First, let’s not assume we all know the answer to that question, what is the Gospel?  In summary, the Gospel is the good news of who Christ Jesus is and what He came to do.  Jesus, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, very God of very God, took on human flesh and condescended to a people who had rebelled in sin.  In what is called His “active obedience” He perfectly obeyed the Law of God on behalf of sinners like us who could not do this–He lived a sinless life.  In His “passive obedience” He went to the cross and paid the punishment in the place of us sinners, who could not make such a payment on our own–He was the perfect Lamb of God, the once for all sacrifice for sin.  Christ died, was buried, and rose again from the dead, proving his authenticity as the promised Messiah, the Son of God.  His resurrection was verified by over 500 eyewitnesses and is not only the subject of much of the New Testament and the lynchpin of the Apostle Paul’s faith, but was also recounted in non-Christian historical records in His time.

In short, Jesus IS the Gospel.  He is a perfect Savior.  There is no way to Heaven apart from faith in Him.

Gospel Forgiveness

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

The breathtakingly good news of this Gospel is that in Christ we are forgiven.  We are objectively forgiven of an objective guilt.  And praise God, this goes for our pornography viewing as well.    

In Christ, your sins of viewing and thinking on pornography are completely forgiven.  Let that sink in.  Dear brother or sister, you are forgiven.  

Gospel Application

Driving out our sinful desires and replacing them with God-given desires is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.  This gradual process of gaining freedom from the power of sin is called sanctification.  So not only does this Gospel save us from the penalty of sin (justification), it also saves us from the power of sin over our lives (sanctification).  Friends, this category is important to grasp, especially for the believer who struggles with the desire to view porn.

In this fight, the Gospel propels us by grace in a new direction, but not immediate perfection.  When you come to saving faith in Christ, you’ll begin to notice a competing desire to put away porn and be done with it.  This new desire to please the Lord will be in competition with your lingering sinful nature.  This battle will be difficult, but over time you can gain victory.  How?  The Gospel.  

This Gospel of grace brings us continually to our knees in gratitude for what the Lord has done for us.  The Holy Spirit brings us to daily repentance from our ongoing struggle with sin, trusting in Christ that He is our sufficient savior, even from ongoing sinful desires.  This daily pattern of repentance from sin and faith in Christ is one of God’s gracious ways of sanctifying His people.  

Gospel Participation

Gaining freedom from pornography is not an isolated endeavor.  It is a battle, and you need companionship to fight this battle well.

Technological accountability is an absolute must in our day and age.  We wholeheartedly endorse peer to peer accountability software such as Covenant Eyes.  This ensures that your online viewing habits are shared with a trusted friend–a very effective tool in this battle.

But accountability goes deeper than technology.  

The Lord uses His Gospel to save us.  Yes, we are saved as individuals.  But we are not saved unto ourselves, but rather into His church.  We are saved into a “body” of believers, also known as the church, Christ’s body here on the earth.  

In your fight against porn, being an active member in a Christ-centered, Biblical church is of utmost importance.  While our American individualism often pushes us into isolation, thinking we can handle our faith on our own, the Bible calls us into Christian community.  

“Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16

We need to be honest with God and with others about our sins.  This open and honest approach happens in a good church.  Oftentimes it occurs in a small group, designed to join believers in weekly accountability and fellowship. We absolutely recommend you find a church that places emphasis on small groups.

Gospel Honesty

The grace of the Gospel is that we can all now be honest about our helpless status as fallen sinners.  Our only hope is Christ.  And now that we are united in Christ, we can live out this honesty in the context of the church and Christian community.  No more pretending we have it all together.  No more pretending that those remaining vestiges of our sin nature aren’t there.  No more hiding our ongoing desire to view porn for the sake of trying to present perfection to others.  

We all need Christ and His forgiveness, and this need is ongoing for the rest of our lives.  One day the Lord will bring us home to glory, where He will free us from even the presence of sin.  Until then, the Gospel is sufficient to bring us victory over porn, for our victories are once and for all rooted in our perfect Savior.

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”  2 Timothy 2:22

Need help stopping? Here are the best porn blocking services for 2023.

Covenant Eyes Software and NordLayer DNS Filtering: Covenant Eyes provides accountability software that covers URLs and images, as well as blocking options, and lots of resources for helping you quit porn.

NordLayer allows you to implement network-wide filtering, and is a much more comprehensive blocking option, with added security measures and more extensive configuration options. It's effective for both homes and businesses.

More Helpful Stuff on Dealing with Addiction


  • Matthew Hall

    Matthew is a youth football coach, copywriter, and dad of four. He has also lead worship in the PCA for over a decade.

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