Quite often in sharing my personal testimony with people about my addiction to porn I am asked, “So what do you consider yourself to be?” They ask questions like, “Do you still consider yourself to be an addict?” “Will you always be an addict?” “How do you describe yourself?”
Rather than trying to rely on my own words, I respond by using the Word of God.
Ephesians 5:8 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
I believe that it is important to know and believe these things in our minds and hearts so that the enemy, Satan, will not be able to confuse us about our identity and who we are in Christ. Sometimes, even while we say we believe in the Word of God, it can be difficult to apply specific passages to our own lives.
God has taught me to start thinking of myself as a Saint. He is constantly reminding me that I have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. His Word and the Holy Spirit continually teach and encourage me to think, talk and act like a saint (I am using the word Saint in this case as one who is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ – someone who has put their faith in Christ).
I believe that God puts a minimum of three callings on the heart of every person:
God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to save us from our sins and to restore our relationship with him. God wants us all to be saved, and that is the call for or of Salvation.
God, however, didn’t just save us for the sake of saving us. God saves us so that we can be set apart or sanctified from unbelievers of the world. This is the call for Sanctification, in which God is calling us to be holy.
1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. For it is written; be holy as I am holy.”
God calls all believers to live holy lives to glorify him. We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us live in a manner that is pleasing to God.
Galatians 5:16-17 says, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”
Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure; No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolator – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”
God’s call on us to be sanctified means that we must no longer live the way that we did, before we became part of the body of Christ.
The labels that we choose to wear is a personal issue. I also know that it is an issue that many addicts struggle with. I believe with all of my heart that God has totally delivered me from the addiction I once had, and yet it is still all about choices. I can choose to walk in the light, as he is in the light, or I can choose to go back into the darkness. It is a choice we all have to make everyday of our lives. We have to choose to live for Christ every day, especially in the midst of trials and temptations.
I know that there is a long way to go in becoming the Christian that God is calling me to be, but I’m also thankful for how far he has already brought me. I hope and pray that I never forget what God has done for me in providing my deliverance; and that I am always willing to share the transforming power of Christ with other people. More applicable to this article, however, I hope and pray that I will always focus on what I am now in Christ; rather than what I was when I was in darkness.
Finally, we answer God’s call to service out of the love we have for God and because of how thankful we are for what he has done for us in Christ. This is really where the rubber meets the road. Our service to others provides the most accurate reflection of our faith in Jesus, and allows people to see Christ at work in us.