The Giver of Grace for Sexual Sin

You know, there’s a lot at stake as we live this one, short, earthly life. Speaking at 2012 The Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, John Piper shared thoughts from Isaiah 6. John spoke about the power of gazing upon the Lord, to know our glorious Jesus as the one who is exalted and holy, yet who has come near to us so that we can have a taste of his majesty. Too often, we have a view of God which is way, way too small! To miss him is to spend the fleeting life we have been given on what is fleeting and passing away.

Seventy-five years from now, none of us will regret the decisions we made which flowed from love for Jesus. If we have gotten a taste of the majesty of God, then we will delight to give glory to God in who we are and what we do. We will not regret the ‘inconvenient’ and painful obedience that faith demands; the courageous confrontation and turning away from our favorite idols; the letting go of even good gifts that may not be what God has for us; living in singleness, which leaves a dull and painful ache at times; being faithful to our spouse in a tough marriage; or persevering in love toward wayward and rebellious children.

Many women I’ve gotten the privilege to journey with have become tripped up in their calling to be “glory givers” because their view of God was too small. A small view of God makes other people become big—bigger than they should be in our lives. We become hungry for them, and we feast at the banquet table of emotional cravings. That’s certainly been true in my own life. A growing worship and awe of our Lord Jesus leads me away from people idolatry to truly loving others, rather than using, being controlled by, or obsessing over them.

The Holy One upon the throne, so beautifully described in Isaiah 6, isn’t meant to drive you to a fearful retreat from a Holy God! No, this throne is owned by the Grace Giver, who is glorious and who welcomes needy, robbers of glory like you and me! We come to this throne “receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV). Read Isaiah 6 in the context of the mercy of Jesus Christ for you, and prayerfully examine your life to see how mercy shapes your life for him.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

How is God calling you to be a living sacrifice for his glory? For his purposes? How is he inviting you to love him by letting go of an unholy relationship that is eclipsing the Lord’s presence in your life? How is he inviting you to fix your gaze on him rather than trying to figure out how obedience will “work” in your favor? How is he calling you to courageously confess to a friend regarding your online addictions?

Updated 5.8.2017
Ellen Dykas
About The Author
Ellen oversees the Philadelphia office’s ministry to women. Her ministry is focused on discipleship with women who are struggling with sexual and relational sins in their own lives, as well as women who are impacted by the sexual sins of their spouses or others. Ellen is available to teach, equip and encourage others (churches, organizations) to become more effective in ministering the gospel of Christ into the midst of all aspects of sexual brokenness.

2 Comments:


  • By betty 07 Oct 2013

    a living sacrifice mans…a living hurting presentation of one’s self to a living, loving God who has walked that path.
    if the idols are really desires of our heart that fashion to attach itself on the created..then God is able to change us. and that object once on a pedestal was really a heart issue. God can purify our hearts to the object is no longer lusted for? it takes work and time, through the spiritual disciplines.
    For some maybe it will be a lifetime struggle God calls him/her to struggle with, but that is never wasted. For He walks with them in it. these, to me, are living sacrifices. things that hurt, things that cost us, (me: fantasy life – where i am thinking no one is getting hurt.) things we fed our sin so well in the past before being convicted of the sin.
    it is easy to know the right thing to do. it is difficult at times to bridge that over to the practical everyday living. God will change hearts and habits according to His will. in the mean time, it is a very hard struggle in finding myself in a life long struggle of a certain sin.
    how does one rest in Him in the mist of this struggle and trying to allow God to lead us through?

    • Ellen Dykas
      By Ellen Dykas 07 Oct 2013

      Betty,
      it is indeed a battle, and as author Eugene Patterson teaches, “a long obedience in the same direction”. The resting in the Lord and allowing Him to lead us through happens day by day as we ‘sow to the Spirit’ and not to the flesh in practical ways AND as we have the Body of Christ knowing us in our temptations and struggles. When we are truly known, then people can truly encourage us, and help us specifically when we fail. A book that I think it really helpful in the ‘practical’ nature of battling against sin is “The Enemy Within” by Kris Lungaard. Blessings!

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