The sin of self-pollution is one of the most destructive evils ever practiced by fallen man. In many respects it is several degrees worse than common whoredom, and has in its train more awful consequences, though practiced by numbers who would shudder at the thought of criminal connections with a prostitute. It excites the powers of nature to undue action, and produces violent secretions, which necessarily and speedily exhaust the vital principle and energy; hence the muscles become flaccid and feeble, the tone and natural action of the nerves relaxed and impeded, the understanding confused, the memory oblivious, the judgment perverted, the will indeterminate and wholly without energy to resist; the eyes appear languishing and without expression, and the countenance vacant; the appetite ceases, for the stomach is incapable of performing its proper office; nutrition fails, tremors, fears, and terrors are generated; and thus the wretched victim drags out a most miserable existence, till, superannuated even before he had time to arrive at man’s estate, with a mind often debilitated even to a state of idiotism, his worthless body tumbles into the grave, and his guilty soul (guilty of self-murder) is hurried into the awful presence of its Judge!
Reader, this is no caricature, nor is the colourings overcharged in this shocking picture. Worse woes than my pen can relate I have witnessed in the addiction to this fascinating, unnatural, and most destructive of crimes, I HAVE LISTENED TO THE TESTIMONIES OF THE VICTIMS THIS VICE, Jesus only can save the person who is under the influence of such if only they RUN TO HIM. If thou hast entered into this snare, flee from the destruction both of body and soul that awaits thee! Advice, warnings, threatenings; increasing debility of body, mental decay, checks of conscience, expostulations of judgment and medical assistance, will all be lost on thee: God, and God alone, can save them from an evil which has in its issue the destruction of thy body, and the final perdition of thy soul! But who dares and will do it, and in such language that it may neither pollute the ear by describing the evil as it is, nor fail of its effect by a language so refined and so laboriously delicate as to cover the sin which it professes to disclose! Elaborate treatises on the subject will never be read by those who need them most, and anonymous pamphlets are not likely to be regarded.
“What does the Bible say about masturbation?” It is one of the most frequently asked questions. Many Christians have found it difficult to answer this question according to the Bible, because the Bible never mentions masturbation specifically. To understand how God feels about this subject, we must examine other verses that deal with issues such as lust, self-control and purity. Also, we must examine its fruit to see if it is from God. I have tried to address this issue by answering some of the most frequently asked questions. My prayer is that God will use this writing to bring total freedom and deliverance.
“Does God care about what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms?”
Sex is God’s invention. Why do I have to talk about sex when dealing with masturbation? Because masturbation is SELF-SEX. Now God is the mastermind of every pure sex and His creation is worth far more to Him than it is to us. This beautiful expression of love was created out of His own heart, as a gift to be experienced between a husband and wife. It is only in marriage that this manifestation of intimacy can be fully enjoyed in the depth for which it was created not any other form of sexual habits.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4, NIV).
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4, KJV).
The more beautiful and unique something is (like sexual intercourse), the more power it holds over our lives, either for good or bad influence. That is why it is so easy for the devil to corrupt the most precious of God’s gifts. When we become more in love with the gifts than the One who endowed them, the things that were designed to bless us begin to destroy us instead. Yes, God cares about what we do with our bodies, in public or in private. He doesn’t want us to abuse ourselves in any way. In fact, an older definition of masturbation is “self-abuse.” Although more modern dictionaries may no longer carry this definition, they are still linked together under self-abuse:
- Abuse of oneself or one’s abilities.
1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) further confirms this, saying that unlawful sexual relations defile our own bodies. “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”
“Isn’t it still better to masturbate than to commit fornication?”
The easy answer to this question has been, “Yes, it is better to masturbate, because at best it corrupts only one person. It certainly is the lesser of two evils.” However, why would a loving, holy, all-powerful God abandon you to a situation in which you have to choose any evil, whether it be “lesser” or “greater?” To really answer this question, we must again go back to God’s original plan for sex. But in a more precise way, masturbation is a result of fornication and what is stored in mind, and it should not be compared to lesser sin or wet dreams at any given day.
First of all, masturbation will not truly relieve the sexual pressure that one may feel. It may for a short moment, but in the long run it only creates a deeper desire and capacity for sex, which will lead to more masturbation. If you let yourself become enslaved to a sexual high, you will find that you need to go to increasingly extreme acts to maintain the same degree of excitement. There are even ungodly sex therapists who recommend masturbation as a way of increasing sexual desire, not lessening it. This creates a vicious circle, like the junkie who craves a “fix,” but is only temporarily satisfied. The more he indulges in his dependency, the more ensnared by addiction he becomes. This is the nature of all sin. That is why Jesus declared that all who sin become a slave to sin (John 8:34). Furthermore, masturbation usually involves fantasy, visualization, and often pornography. The Bible is very clear as to what God expects of us in these areas of fantasy and lust. It teaches that we must not look lustfully at each other nor behave in such a manner as to entice others to lust after us.
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a girl. I know full well that the Almighty God sends calamity on those who do” (Job 31:1-3, The Living Bible).
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
While the above verses refer to men lusting after women, all women know that it can very easily be reversed to apply to them as well. Men may be more easily visually stimulated than women, but women can be just as vulnerable to sexual fantasy in the emotional realm. Both are sin in God’s eyes, and both can be brought into subjection by controlling our thoughts through Christ’s power. All sexual immorality begins with a thought. A lustful thought not taken captive, will eventually lead to other perversions, because sin reproduces itself in increasingly greater measures. If we do not deal with our evil thoughts, they will take root in our hearts. It is for this reason that God is so concerned with our thought life. Jesus came not only to deliver us from our “outward” sins, but also from wickedness that begins in the heart.
Since masturbation begins with sin in the mind, it might be called an “affair of the mind” because it brings about sexual sin inflicted against one’s own body. Although it brings a short lived gratification, it makes one feel defiled when continued on a regular basis. In fact, it is a form of fornication as I have earlier highlighted because fornication is more than just sex with someone before marriage, it includes many other sexual sins such as pornography and the use of sexual toys for gratification. People who are not satisfied with God’s plan for sex commit idolatry by using evil things to experience weird and unlawful forms of sexual intercourse. Some verses in Ezekiel actually describe this kind of fornication.
15But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his.
16And you took some of your garments and made for yourself gaily decorated high places or shrines and played the harlot on them–things which should not come and that which should not take place.
17You did also take your fair jewels and beautiful vessels of My gold and My silver which I had given you and made for yourself images of men, and you played the harlot with them.
“Isn’t God unreasonable to demand sexual purity after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us at times?”
Our loving God never demands from us what is impossible for us to do. We are so weak within ourselves that it may seem impossible, but He will equip us with His holy power to overcome any sin, if we ask in faith. Of course, sexual urges in and of themselves are not wicked. They are natural. God created us that way. He desires that we get optimum pleasure out of them by using them the way they were created to be used. However, many desires for physical gratification (whether it be food, sex, etc.) stem from a deeper need that is unfilled deep inside us. Gorging our flesh can never fill a hunger that grows out of our spirit. Only intimacy with God can fill the deepest needs inside of us. No other created thing has that power. God is no more unreasonable than any caring parent who lovingly disciplines their child. It is only because He knows what is best for us. He sees a mighty potential in each one of us that far supersedes our wildest dreams, and He loves us enough to do all He can to bring it to pass.
“I agree with all the theory, but living it out on a day to day level is another story.”
This is the place where we need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. The Holy Spirit is not a vague “force,” but the very power of God to comfort you and strengthen you against the sins that used to rule you before you were born again. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the very ability that Jesus had to resist temptation. He depended completely upon the Father and so must we. Something you must know is that God is not the one who is tempting you in this area to “test” you. God is on your side and wants to set you free from these things, not lead you into them! “When tempted, no one should say “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:13-14)
God wants us to overcome every sin and temptation in our lives. Please let us read the following verses and let their message seep deep inside our spirit.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
“For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
“In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 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 for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:11-14)
“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16, King James Version).
“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
“Can I really be set free?”
“In (this) freedom, Christ has made us free—completely liberated us; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery—which you have once put off ” (Galatians 5:1 Amp).
If you are in a real struggle with any form of sexual sin, I do not believe it was by accident that God led you to this lecture. He wants to set you free, starting right now! I would like to share several things that you can do to break loose from this stronghold:
- Confess this sin first to God, then go to a committed Christian you trust, such as your pastor. Ask God to lead you to someone that you can be accountable with, who will be faithful to pray with you and for you. This will take humility on your part, but it will lead to life. James 5:16 says: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (You may not feel “righteous” but if you have admitted your sin to God and received His forgiveness, you are! That means your prayers are powerful and effective!)
- Flee from and reject anything that aggravates this sin. For example, you may need to get off the Internet for a season or purchase software that blocks out pornography. This may sound too drastic, but it certainly is mild compared to Jesus who said, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to go into Hell” (Matthew 5:30). His point was that we must be willing to part with anything that causes us to sin—even if it hurts temporarily.
- Don’t give up! Deliverance might take time. Self-control takes effort. You may slip occasionally—or even a lot. But remember that God loves you and He will be faithful to perfect His character in you as long you keep submitting to Him. Eventually you will win—and not because of your best efforts, but because of God’s mercy (Titus 3:5). Just as salvation is received in faith, so deliverance must be received in faith. This has nothing to do with our character, strength, or failings. The only thing it is dependent upon is you receiving it in humility. If you should fail, recognize it quickly; ask God to forgive you—and then receive His forgiveness! He is faithful to do that which He promised, not just in a select few mighty men and women of God, but in all who are willing to come humbly before Him. That includes you! I want to encourage you to hold on to this scripture as your anchor:
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through; may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).