Friday, April 22, 2016

How Can Masturbation Be Biblically Sinful? Especially Within Marriage?

Masturbation - Is It A Sin According To The Bible? If It Is, How To Overcome It?

Question : Masturbation - is it a sin according to the Bible? If it is, how to overcome it?

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! First of all if we search for the word 'masturbation' in the Bible to check whether it is there or not to know it as right or wrong, we are missing the point altogether and are already living in the Old Covenant mode where people used to do that to justify themselves before men to become detestable in the sight of God and finally get condemned by the law they have glorified in
(John 5:39, 45; Luke 16:14), no man can ever be justified by the law but by only faith in Jesus Christ which has been so clearly conveyed in the New Covenant by nearly all the writers (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16; 3:11). Through the law only the knowledge of sin comes to a human being. That means, if we search through the law to know whether masturbation is right or not, when we do it we only come to know that we have sinned before God when we do. And the sin of masturbation becomes exceedingly sinful in our own eyes that we might avoid it for a time particularly and be involved in all other related sins of the heart trying to justify ourselves that we are not in serious sin, this is a deception of our evil heart (Rom 7:13-14). For example, the most important ten laws of Moses can be found in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Though the full law is 613 Commandments, 248 Positive Commandments and 365 Negative Commandments, yet the most important law can all be summed up in the 10 for universal application! In it we see that the first four dealing with man's relationship to God and the last six dealing with man's relationship to his fellow men, but only the last commandment starts to deal with the heart attitude of all humans by saying, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's." (Exo 20:17). In other words, where external law keeping ends, the internal law of keeping a clean heart of not desiring something that does not belong to us starts. In fact, many law keepers keep the whole law and the last command they do not realize that they are faltering consistently because they are totally immersed in keeping the external law of behavior to be right that they totally miss that the Lord God wants the heart attitude of his children to be always clean and pure without sin (James 2:10; Matt 23:26-27, 28, 23).

Our biggest sexual organ rests between our ears. The brain is where we truly experience intimacy, pleasure, love, and satisfaction. But it is also where we create negative feelings, bad habits, destructive compulsions, and addictions. Compulsively viewing of pornography that leads to masturbation is a prime example where the act not only leaves out the spirit and soul, but also the tenderness and love expressed through a spouse’s body, their words, their giving, and on and on...of the relational world of reality and intimacy.

Our modern culture delivers a constant flood of sexualized media and pornography that wears at the banks of the mind. In decades past, pornography was limited in availability, especially to minors, but the advent of the Internet ensures hardcore and fetish pornography is always available to an ever-younger audience. Now we can know fully that the imagination of all humans are filled with lust and violence through the media and internet, as in the days of Noah and Lot the world is being filled to the brim with sexual immorality and violence, and that is why this is the time of the Son of Man Jesus who is going to come and rapture the Church after which all hell of God's judgment will break loose on this world for its evil imagination of lust and violence
(Luke 17:27, 29, 30; Gen 6:5, 11-12; Rev 3:10; 1 Thess 4:14-15, 16-17, 18; 1:10)

The Bible clearly reveals,
“For as he thinks, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, if sexual thinking of all fantasies goes on in the mind of a person even though externally he does act as a good person of character to the outside world by avoiding external sins of bad behavior, actually he cannot live pure according to his outside image which has been built, but rather he actually is what he is on the inside which will soon manifest on the outside by his own foolishness or will be revealed by God Himself if they fail to repent in the time God has given them (Matt 10:26, 27; Rev 2:5, 16, 22, 23; 3:3, 18).

This is the reason when Jesus came to establish the New Covenant with God, he concentrated on the heart issues and not just the external issues of sin. The internal sin of the heart is like a cancer that need to be operated out and treated if the person who professes faith need to be really saved from the power and presence of sin, you cannot just put a band aid or apply some ointment externally on the tumor that has come out as a result of cancer and expect the person to fare well in his life on earth. The same goes with the spiritual sin of the heart. That is why Jesus said,
"19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man." (Matt 15:19-20). Every great psychologist can always point out that all the great evil crimes first started as a thought in people, which then over time had begun to become the action of evil when they started to entertain that thought to get a high and fantasize over it.

This is why Jesus said, if you have desired lustfully a woman, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart, then he directly says that if your right eye causes you to sin and your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you rather than to go to hell with it intact
(Matt 5:27-30). We know that Jesus was not talking literally about our right eye, or right hand, if it is, then what about our left eye and left hand that sins equally? In other words, Jesus is telling that a persons eye and his hand co-ordinates to consummate the lust of the heart with masturbation which is utter selfishness fulfilled in isolation, which no one sees but God sees it all and warns not to take this sin of the heart and hand lightly, which when left to be not taken seriously will ruin a person's life to be taken even up to the distance of hell fire which is the wages of sin, but thank God for the gift of God which is eternal life which gives us the confidence that we can overcome lust and masturbation by the help of God when we are saved already from sin's penalty through Jesus Christ our Lord, and walk according to his commandments (Prov 18:1; Rom 6:23, 14; Luke 18:27). Sin of the heart may thrill us initially and may seem harmless, but it stings as poisonous as a cobra at the end of it all. Never play with the sin of the heart which is much more serious than the external sins of the body because the heart is the root which stays to empower the external bad fruit that we will become powerless against it once it is deep-rooted, so allow God to deal with all the sins of the heart without hiding any part of it, or else when it is not dealt with by the Lord to be operated and thrown away by a strong decision to restrain ourselves from the evil indulgences on time, it will destroy us and rip us apart bit by bit starting from our family life to every part of life's existence on earth and make us above all lose our eternal reward forever which God has for us who are over comers by faith over lusts of the heart and masturbation (Rev 3:11). In other words, Jesus is loudly shouting about the danger of lustful fantasizing and masturbation to say finally, “Stop it!”

It is medically proven in our contemporary times that pornography can have negative impacts on relationships, from ignoring loved ones in order to spend time with porn to pornography destroying intimacy, which can lead to divorce. Pornography often reduces sexual potency, including premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Thus we come to understand that porn and masturbation though it may look like it is a harmless alternative to energize and relieve ourselves with its exhilaration initially, over a period of time in reality it is not. When God says,
"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." (Heb 13:4), we never take this command seriously to mean that God is seriously talking about heart adultery and fornication as much as physical bodily adultery and fornication. I mean when someone does not honor his wife with his body by having no sexual intimacy with her by restraining it and instead spending it with porn and masturbation, then actually he is dishonoring his wife (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Cor 7:5-6). The same applies with a single person who is not yet married, when he spends his time in pornography and masturbation which are twin lust masters, then he is actually committing fornication against God and his future wife that he is going to marry where he will face problems because of these unnatural lustfully deviating behavior which will reduce his sexual potency, including premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction which will prevent him from honoring his wife and will be judged by God because the marriage bed has been defiled by the lust of the heart. The same applies to women who bank on solo-sex, pornography and all other things of the lust that defiles the sanctity of the marriage bed.

Paul the apostle has clearly revealed about the will of God for each believer,
"3 God's will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin [i.e. which includes pornography and masturbation]. 4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor 5 not in lustful passion [i.e. sin of the heart like pornography and masturbation is part of that] like the pagans who do not know God and His ways." (1 Thess 4:3-5, NLT). From the above Scripture we can come to understand that Paul the apostle is not just speaking about external sins of the body like fornication and adultery, but actually he is speaking about the lustful passions of the unsaved people which are the sins of the heart like pornography and masturbation done in isolation and secrecy. Apostle Paul also further continues saying, "6 And this also is God's will: that you never cheat in this matter by taking another man's wife because the Lord will punish you terribly for this, as we have solemnly told you before. 7 For God has not called us to be dirty-minded and full of lust but to be holy and clean. 8 If anyone refuses to live by these rules, he is not disobeying the rules of men but of God who gives his Holy Spirit to you." (1 Thess 4:6-8, Living Bible). We clearly see in the above verse that it is God's will that we do not fantasize about any women, if we cheat in this matter by taking another man's wife through pornography or along with masturbation to violate her in our heart, the Lord will punish us terribly for this, because God has not called us to be dirty-minded and full of lust but to be holy and clean. If we refuse to live by the rules God has revealed in the above verse, we are not disobeying just men to go scott free when our sexual activity is done in secrecy of isolation where they do not see it as we do sin only in our heart, but rather disobeying God who sees us in secret as nothing is hidden before his eyes, who will choose to restrain Himself from filling us with righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit which will deaden and make our life on earth miserable without kingdom benefits of a abundant life which is bad enough to become a wage pay for our disobedience and stubborn indulgences in the sins of our heart (Rom 14:17).

So masturbation driven by the force of the lustful pornography is not only a sin, but also a sin warned by Jesus to restrain from it very seriously.

Porn and masturbation together as twins encourages selfishness rather than an exchange of intimacy. Especially among men, who are more visually stimulated than women, porn teaches that women are objects for their lust. Women are just body parts, used for personal gratification
(Prov 18:1). Then porn and masturbation destroys intimacy of marital life completely out as coveting of lustful idolatry comes in to their lives which replaces the real affection between the real partners and replaces it with a surreal and a illusory one in the mind (Col 3:5; Rev 2:20-21, 22). Pornography and masturbation essentially trains men to be digital voyeurs: looking at women rather than seeking genuine intimacy which is the will of God for every man and a woman within the family in the sacred institution of marriage. A person who is addicted with porn and masturbation, is actually stripped, hijacked, emasculated, he has, in effect, been castrated visually because it causes impotence — an inability to function with their own sexual power, as they need to imagine a picture, to imagine a scene, in order to actually reach the heights of completion fully with his own spouse, thus proving that he no longer works with his own power but that of that image of sexual idol in his mind. Isn't he?

After binging on porn, many men and women feel ashamed of having given in again. They promise themselves, others, and even God that they will never again view erotic images, videos, or stories, or enter online sex chatrooms. Typically, this promise is little more than a repeated plea that echoes through their memory. They may even experience periods of abstinence from porn, whether a couple of days, a week, or even a month, but eventually they fall again. Others may feel no shame about using porn and may see it as a recreational activity. But they still will soon recognize its adverse impact on their spiritual life, sex life, work, and family. They will very soon realize that it is indeed a addiction just like as a drug, and that they need porn and masturbation just to feel normal. Then soon they may come to notice that their porn use has escalated to more varieties, or to scenes they feel (or once felt) are hurtful, disgusting, or inappropriate but now feels normal and want more erotic stuff to fire their lustful imagination. Then the vicious circle plays out: viewing porn to feel better, acting out, feeling shame, keeping their secret, viewing porn to feel better, acting out, feeling shame, keeping their secret… The merry-go-round continues, and though nauseous from this spinning, escape seems unrealistic. Then all may be out of control and you might seem helpless and totally addicted to pornography and masturbation.

When you are stressed, depressed or anxious, do you go to porn and masturbation? Are you noticing there is a mood-altering quality to this for you? Understand that you are already addicted to its lustful power. When we are in addiction to sexual lust we need to agree with the following list to make ourselves aware of our own problem and that only God can help us overcome :

(a) We should admit that we are powerless over our sexual addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.

(b) We should come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could only restore us to sanity and that Greater power is God who is ever present within us to help us all the time whenever we humbly ask Him in Jesus name
(1 John 4:4; Psa 46:1; 1 John 3:22-23).

(c) We should make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him through the Word of God to be the gracious one who invites us to give all our burdens to Him and unload ourselves to become free from guilt and condemnation
(James 4:7, 10; 1 Peter 5:7; Rom 8:1).

(d) We must make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves by asking God to show us all the sinful places where we have compromised to call it as sinful evil and instead have chosen to stay considering such sin as harmless activity
(Psa 19:12-13; John 16:8-9; ; Luke 12:1-2; Prov 28:13).

(e) We must admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our
(Psa 51:4, 3; 32:5; 69:5; James 5:16).

(f) We should hate these lustful sins to be willing to let go of its lure and be entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
(Prov 8:13; Psa 34:4, 6, 17, 18, 19; 120:1; 118:5, 7).

(g) We must humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings
(Eph 4:31; Psa 119:37; 141:4).

(h) We must make a list of all persons we had harmed, and must become willing to make amends to them all
(Matt 5:23-24; Psa 37:21; Luke 19:7-10; Exo 21:7-11; 22:16-17).

(i) We must make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
(Rom 13:7-8).

(j) We must continue to take personal inventory, and when we are wrong promptly admit it
(1 Pet 5:5, 6; Jam 5:16; 1 Cor 11:31).

(k) We must seek God with all our heart through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him more and more through the Word of God, praying not only for knowledge of His will for us, but also the power to carry that out
(Jer 29:13; Jos 1:8; Col 1:9; Heb 10:36; 13:20-21).

(l) We must thus have a spiritual awakening through the result of these steps, then we must try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs
(James 1:22-25).

So the bottom line for those who are involved in pornography and masturbation is, you must unlearn what you have learned. You need to renew your mind with the Word of God and restrain yourself from further indulging in it by invoking the blood of Jesus against the thoughts of lust which leads you in to sexual fall by pornography and masturbation
(Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23; Rev 12:10-11). When ever a lustful thoughts attack you, say, 'In Jesus name I reject this thought and apply the blood of Jesus over my mind and I thank you Lord Jesus for keeping my mind pure. Amen!' Lustful thoughts cannot continue to stay strong in your mind when you keep doing this until you experience freedom in your mind from lustful thoughts and dirty mindedness. Knowledge precedes understanding, an understanding to practically apply the Biblical knowledge becomes wisdom that precedes change and overcomes lust.

The long-term goal is to actually stop the porn and masturbation cycle completely, but 90 days of escape is the first goal to achieve. Ask God for grace one day at a time, and things will improve
(Matt 6:11, 34). And for many it will look like a mountain, a period of porn and masturbation abstinence they have not known for years or even decades. Never give up, you can break all the chains of porn and masturbation by the grace of God. Say it, 'With God yes we can!' Like Caleb when he was 80 years old said by faith to Joshua and the priests and elders, "Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said." (Josh 14:12). Did he gain the beautiful mountain estates from the great giants who inhabited the land, yes he did by the grace of God. If you have faith, very soon the soulish and spiritually beautiful mountain land that the demons of porn and masturbation has taken, can be fought with the strength of the Lord and can easily be taken over by you like Caleb for the Glory of God! We can easily inherit the possession that belongs to us by the grace of God (Josh 15:14; Eph 6:10, 12; 2 Cor 10:3-6).

How to develop the intimacy that was lacking before? There is no formula for intimacy; it’s unique to each couple but it has a lot to do with giving and sharing in love that God gives. Consider reading, praying, cooking, and taking walks together. Many couples have forgotten how to play and have fun together. So let this time be of a great revival within the family set up.

For minds and marriages wounded by porn, great sex and true intimacy will not arrive overnight. Repairing brokenness in marriage requires real work and determination. Building trust takes time, but God is there for those who really are broken hearted people who truly have repented towards God to have faith in His ability to deliver them out of this pit of pornography and masturbation, and He will deliver them and also stay close to build them in to a happy family that He intended them to be
(Psa 147:3; 34:18). Your latter life will be doubly blessed by God than the former life you lived before porn and masturbation because of the Lord's mercy and grace, instead of shame double honor will be your reward from the Lord (Isa 61:7; Job 42:10). O what a good Lord and gracious One we have as our Father!

Couples need to explore non-sexual means to express intimacy, and after the 90-day break, they will find this discovered intimacy will make their sex life even stronger and more fulfilling with the grace of God restoring the family with His own Presence and joy of heaven to follow the intimacy between the husband and wife, with the Lord being the focus of them both
(1 Cor 7:5, 6, 7, 9).

Men and women who immerse themselves in 90 days of abstinence with a personal hope for freedom will begin a process of change — a change that can create within them positive desires, fresh competence, and steadfast willpower. The old mental tracks will remain, but can be ignored for new positive habits. Brain activity is plastic and this process is called neuro plasticity, it is not elastic… An elastic band can be stretched, but it always reverts to its former shape, and the molecules are not rearranged in the process. The plastic brain is perpetually altered by every encounter, every interaction. So a new beginning is a whole new world of positivity, creativity, faith and new creation
(2 Cor 5:17).

Physical care is vital to vigilance against temptation to cave in. HALT is the acronym often used by therapists to remind people of when they can be most vulnerable. It stands for: hungry, angry, lonely, tired
(2 Tim 2:22). Abstain from all appearance of evil which has the potential to affect the mind to fire triggers of sexual temptation, it could be places, pictures, people, environment, etc...(1 Thess 5:22). Simply going to bed on a regular schedule to get a good night’s rest can help one’s brain be more focused on positive habits and more alert to fight temptations (Eccl 3:7; Psa 127:2; James 4:7). Have a quiet set time for Bible reading, prayer and communion with God each day (James 4:8). Not only eating but also eating well on time can improve mood and feelings of well being. Regular exercise keeps the mind more focused, the body feeling great, and improves sleep (1 Tim 4:8, 7).

Your journey of a lifetime can only be lived within the lifetime of the journey. Today is someone’s new beginning. Praise the Lord! So never give up, but always learn to trust the Lord no matter what, and He will keep you under the wings of His protection always and also will make you successfully overcome pornography and masturbation addiction, and will make you be addicted to the good and godly things of this life and the life to come, so that you and God can truly share the heavenly abundant life together and also will be able to make others enjoy the same. Only this can give satisfaction and meaning in lives journey!   

Much Blessings...


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