Question text: I have a problem with thinking lustfully. I don`t understand, because I hate when I do it, but I like it at the same time. I want to stop because I know it`s against God`s will, but I still end up doing it and wanting to continue. I grew up as a Christian and I`m 15 now. Many times, as a born again believer, I`ve deliberately thought lustfully even though I knew it was a sin. Does this mean I`m not really saved? I`m so confused, because the Bible says we are made right with God as soon as we believe in Jesus, but then it goes on to say that those who continue to sin won`t be saved, or aren`t really saved in the first place. Christians are so quick to condemn those who have sex before marriage or commit physical adultery, but what about those who commit adultery in the heart by lust? I`m confused, because I truly believe Jesus is Lord, but sometimes I still willingly follow sinful desires. Am I saved? Please help.
Answer Text: My dear son/daughter, I am so proud to meet you here with your question. At the age of 15 you are demonstrating such insights into life that very few ever have. Your insight that we are made right with God as soon as we put out trust in Christ is thoroughly Biblical (Jn.1:12; Rom.5:1). You are also right in saying that those who continue in sin are not saved (1Jn.3:1-10). Jesus our Lord condemns lust as adultery and there is no question about it either (Mt.5:28). Now, your problem is very real. THE FACT THAT YOU ARE DISTURBED BY YOUR BEHAVIOR IS THE INDICATION THAT YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD! If you were NOT born again, you would have continued in your secret enjoyment of lust till it comes out as physical fornication or adultery.
What actually happens when some one becomes a child of God is that our spirits which were dead in trespasses and sins were made alive (Eph.2:1) and the Spirit of God comes to live in and with our quickened spirits (Rom.8:16; 2Tim.4:22). While we were unsaved, it was the soul which was guiding us. The word ‘natural man’ in 1Cor.2:14 is literally ‘soulish man’. In a child of God the ‘soul’ becomes ‘the old man’ or ‘flesh’ or ‘self’. The position of the soul in a child of God is that it is being crucified with Christ (Gal.2:20). As long as we are in our physical bodies, we are in the sinful flesh (Rom.8:3). We need to keep it always crucified with the Lord. And we need to strengthen the newly born ‘new man’ or the spirit in us to take control of our lives (Rom.8:14). And as long as we are in this body of ours, sin is at the door. Listen to what God says in Gen 4:7 “If you do well, shall you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at the door; and its desire is for you, and you shall rule over it”. This is true of every believer as well. Listen to what John the apostle has to say in 1Jn 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. So this is a reality in all our lives. A child of God who does not strengthen his ‘new man’ by daily feeding on the Word of God and by prayer will continue as a carnal Christian, living like ordinary men (1Cor.3:3). And God hates it (Rev.3:16).
People of the world indulge in sin to perish forever. People of God have to overcome them by the power of the Spirit of God within us. We are told to strive against sin till the point of blood shed (Heb.12:4). That means even if we have to shed our blood, we decide not to sin against God. If a saved person continues in sin, he/she is crucifying the Savior again (Heb.6:6). I hope you understand the situation that a child of God is in and I know that you will NEVER want to enjoy the lustful thoughts of your life. As long as they disturb you, you are in the will of God for this time of your life. So what to do about it?
In 1Pe 2:11 we are commanded to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul”. So to have lustful thoughts is NOT sin. That happens as long as you live in your physical body. After all, the body is made of the dust of the earth and weeds are bound to come. But to enjoy it in secret IS sin. So it is our duty to bring every thought unto the obedience of Christ (2Cor.10:5). Arrest every thought and bring them to obey Christ. So from now on, think about what you are thinking. If any unwanted thoughts come, PLUCK them away immediately. Tragically our minds are so active that it can not remain vacant even for a second. So the moment you pluck away the weeds, PLANT the seeds of the Word. For that you need to be EQUIPPED with the seed of the Word. So take time out to memorize the Word of God and meditate on it night and day as the psalmist of old and you will find that you have displaced the lustful thoughts with the fruitful seed which will bring forth the abundant fruit of the Spirit which is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Gal.5:22,23).
Remember, too, that at 15, your body is warring against you. Your mind is affected by the hormones raging through your bloodstream and causing all kinds of havoc. Take comfort in the fact that things will settle down in time as you mature. In the meantime, fill your mind with Scripture. David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). David was a man who understood the power of lustful thoughts, and he came to the conclusion that the Word of God alone has the power to redirect our thoughts toward godliness, which is certainly the desire of your heart.
Most of all, pray continually for the strength and ability that comes only through the Spirit of God that dwells in your heart. God loves to hear us say, “Lord, I can’t do this. Help me!” He will never leave such a prayer unanswered. He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20).
Please feel free to mail to us for any further clarifications or for any other spiritual problem in your life. Kindly accept my holy kiss along with this answer. I BEG GOD TO BLESS YOU, MY DEAR CHILD, WITH SINCERE PRAYERS THAT GOD WOULD GIVE YOU VICTORY FOR HIS GLORY.. AMEN.