Fighting pornography and sexual sin: A conversation with Matt Jacobson

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Site Search
Give

Biblical living

Fighting pornography and sexual sin: A conversation with Matt Jacobson

May 15, 2023 -

Fighting pornography and sexual sin: A conversation with Matt Jacobson

Fighting pornography and sexual sin: A conversation with Matt Jacobson

Fighting pornography and sexual sin: A conversation with Matt Jacobson

Matt Jacobson joins Dr. Mark Turman to discuss being a biblical spouse, the pornography epidemic, how to have freedom from sexual temptation, and the power we have amid spiritual warfare through our identity in Christ. 

Powered by RedCircle

Show notes: 

Matt Jacobson begins by talking about his testimony, biblical marriage, and the severity of the sin of fornication in the Bible (1:32). Jacobson says that the way Christians believe the lie that they are weak in confronting sexual temptation leads to bondage (14:36). He emphasizes the spiritual warfare around us and at the same time, the choice we have to sin (17:21). They discuss how pornography leads to lonely emptiness, and why Christians must know their power in the Spirit (30:59). Jacobson talks about practical ways to fight the spiritual battle against sexual temptation, drawing on our identity as children of God (39:42). They close with advice for parents and a word of grace and hope for those addicted to pornography (47:53). 

Resources and further reading:

About the host 

Mark Turman, DMin, is the executive director of Denison Forum. He received his DMin from Truett at Baylor and previously served as lead pastor of Crosspoint Church. 

About the guest 

Matt Jacobson is a teaching pastor of Cline Falls Bible Fellowship and founder of FaithfulMan.com, an online social media community focusing on marriage, parenting, and biblical teaching. He is the creator of Freedom Course, teaching men the powerful, biblical path to getting completely free from porn and sexual sin. Matt is the author of the bestselling Loving Your Wife Well and 100 Words of Affirmation Your Wife Needs to Hear. He lives with his wife, Lisa, in the Pacific Northwest, where they have raised their eight children. Together Matt and Lisa are cohosts of the popular Faithful Life podcast.

Transcript

Transcribed by Otter.ai

 

Mark Legg  00:10

Welcome back to the Denison Forum Podcast. My name is Mark Legg. I’m the Associate Editor here at Denison Forum. And I’m pleased to introduce the podcast guest that Dr. Mark Terman has interviewed named Matt Jacobson. He is the teaching pastor of Cline falls Bible Fellowship, and founder of faithful man, an online social media community that focuses on marriage, parenting, and biblical teaching. He’s also the creator of freedom course, which teaches men a powerful biblical path to getting completely free from porn and sexual sin. He’s also the author of the best selling, loving your wife well, and 100 Words of Affirmation your wife needs to hear. He lives with his wife, Lisa, in the Pacific Northwest, where they have raised their eight children. Together, Matt and Lisa are co hosts of the popular faithful life podcast. So we’re excited to get to hear from him and hope you enjoy.

 

Mark Turman  01:11

Matt Jacobson, welcome to the disome form podcast, how are you this morning?

 

Matthew Jacobson  01:15

Doing great. And it’s just an honor to be with you.

 

Mark Turman  01:19

Tell us a little bit more of the backstory about Matt, that we may not get just simply from the typical bio experience, tell us some of your story and spiritual journey. Give us a little bit of that background?

 

Matthew Jacobson  01:32

Absolutely. Well, you know, my spiritual journey actually began with my parents, they were committed pagans and have to say, and they were radically saved when I was six years, six months old. And so I was raised in a home that was just decidedly Christian. They were living one way, they had a radical transformation. And now they’re living in other words, so. So I was just raised in a Christian home, and grew up in British Columbia, and in Canada. And so my dad did a variety of things up there. But all in the content life, he was a lager and he was a bush pilot and a missionary, all of it was in the context of who we are as believers. And so definitely grew up with the identity of being a Christian. But I think it took me a while to, to really settle into that faith for myself. And and that happened at probably started when I was 14, because I went away to a boarding school, I was in boarding school from ages 14 to 17. And, and that was really a time when I internalized my faith and, and then from then on, I just, I had a lot of experience. So working in the bush, and then God called me to, to start a publishing company with my brother. And that became it was quest, our publishers, and then it became melanoma publishers. And so my career has been book publishing, met my wife through publishing, and we have eight kids. And then just God was just stirring within me this desire to to teach others, the simple, straightforward path found in the Bible for marriage and for parenting, and just to, you know, what does the word say. And so because I, and the irony is, is just so many people that I knew that had been in the church for so long, but didn’t really know how to be married in a in a positive way, is had struggled so much with that. And then same thing with with the raising of your kids. So that’s, that’s how God brought us into the ministry. And just one thing led to another, we didn’t start with his grand plan of the way it was going to be it really just built on itself. And, and that just led to the present day. So I don’t know, that’s kind of a smattering. I don’t know if that’s helpful. But

 

Mark Turman  03:55

no, that’s great. Thanks. Thanks for sharing. And as the seventh of eight kids, you know, I resonate with the whole concept of large family. I have, you know, like I said, I am the seventh of eight. So at least two or three of my older siblings think that they are my third, fourth or fifth parent. And so there’s where, what’s the age range of your kids now? oldest and youngest?

 

Matthew Jacobson  04:21

Oldest is 28. Down to 16. Soon to be 17.

 

Mark Turman  04:26

Okay, so yeah, it’s a busy household, right? It’s a busy.

 

Matthew Jacobson  04:31

Most everybody’s moved on. The only two kids we have at home are my 16 year old. And then my 22 year old daughter, she’s in a wheelchair, she had a traumatic brain injury just before she was born. So she’ll be with us. Returns God willing. So but but yeah, so all of our kids have moved out and are either working or while they’re all working. Some of them live here. Some of them live back East.

 

Mark Turman  04:57

Fantastic. So question We’re gonna obviously get into a difficult conversation about the real big problem, what I would call the plague of pornography. And part of what we’ll touch on is how that obviously, is having a very detrimental effect on marriage. But just kind of more broadly on this topic of marriage, and you and your wife have done some extensive work, have a podcast that talks about this, you’ve written a couple of really popular books that deal with enriching your marriage. I wonder what your take would be on my observation that, you know, all in all, as important as marriage is in the economy of God and in the heart of God? Do you find it interesting that there’s relatively small amounts of material in the Bible that directly speak to marriage? There’s a lot that can apply to marriage. But if you total up all the places where God directly addresses, this is what it means to be married. This is what it means to be a great spouse. That’s a relatively small amount of biblical text, or would you disagree?

 

Matthew Jacobson  06:03

Well, I think it kind of depends. How we are looking at the I mean, certainly the the passages that are on marriages speak to marriage. Yeah, there’s just there’s not that many. But what they have to say is powerful. And so the thing is, if we just would apply what God says we would have this powerful outsize impact, right starting day one, you know, get up in the morning, love your wife, walk over, give her a kiss, give her a hug, tell her you’re excited that she’s your wife, looking forward to a great day with her, if you just start that way, love your wife, you know, it would have a big impact. The scriptures that speak to marriage are frankly, earth shattering, they are amazing, they are so powerful. They’re so antithetical to the culture in every way. And yet, so affecting and so if we would just embrace those, we would have an outsized impact on our marriages. But I would also say relative to the other scriptures, there are so many scriptures that talk about the fruit of the Spirit, the way we’re supposed to live, and we tend to apply those things to the people in the church lobby, be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, it’s God in Christ Jesus forgiving you. Well, who is the person that I have the most opportunity to be kind to, I think from a percentage basis agree with the person that’s right next to me, my wife, be kind to one another, we forget that those one another’s, those verses that refer to one another, how we’re supposed to interact with each other, how we’re supposed to love each other, how we’re supposed to walk with each other. Those very verses should apply first foremost and most profoundly to our marriages. So yes, a few Bible passages specifically talking about the particular marriage relationship. So much in the Bible, though, about us walking with each other in in love and Christian character.

 

Mark Turman  07:55

Right? You know, as right Jesus said, and the great commandment right? Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, and your neighbor is yourself. And then somebody actually asked him, well, who’s my neighbor, and we get this, we get this story about the Good Samaritan, right? But neighbor means near one who’s and who’s nearest to me, who’s, who’s the first neighbor, if I’m married, who’s the first neighbor that I have? It’s, it’s the person that I’m married to and in the bed with, right. And that’s, that’s where we need to start. Let’s let’s jump into this really difficult conversation. And you’ve, you’ve done some great work, and we’ll talk about that in a moment. I was refreshing my memory about some of the reality of where pornography is as a plague within our culture. Some of the most recent statistics I came across through covenant eyes with some people will recognize that as a resource and a tool. But at any given moment, there are almost 30,000 people every single moment watching pornography online, every single second, that $3,000 Every second is being spent on the internet for the purpose of pornography, accessing pornography. 88% of the scenes in pornographic film contain some form of physical aggression, and 49% of them have some expression of verbal aggression. Some of these things I thought, were really just astounding. And if you have other stats that really bring clarity, please share them. But some of the stats relative to zip codes are interesting. If some of us are thinking, well, that’s just a problem for a certain poor part of our culture. Here’s some interesting stats. Those who use pornography online are more urban dwellers rather than rural dwellers. They have experienced an increase in higher than average household income. The density of those using pornography does lean toward the young ages 15 To 24 Primarily, but not exclusively, they have a higher proportion of people with undergraduate degrees. These are generally highly degreed people. And they have higher mesic measures of social capital, including more people who donate blood, engage in volunteer activities and participate in community projects. All of that is just mind blowing. When you when you hear the big cystic that about 40 million Americans, both male and female, are engaged in pornography and or addicted to pornography, which is about around 12% of the American population. All of that’s not new to you, right?

 

Matthew Jacobson  10:41

No, no. And and then there’s, it’s an old statistic now, but then there’s that statistic that 50% of pastors have used pornography in the last month. And I’m just going wow, okay. All right. From the top down. Yeah.

 

Mark Turman  10:56

Yeah. So the founder of our ministry, Dr. Jim Dennison, has written on this some and also written on larger issues around religious liberty. He and I were in a conversation recently, he said that, you know, there are some that believe that what’s going on in American culture is going to come down to basically a real battle between religious liberty and sexual liberty, religious freedom and sexual freedom. And there are some even in the Christian community who believe that it’s going to be sexual freedom that wins out over religious freedom. Would you agree with that? disagree with that? What would be yourself?

 

Matthew Jacobson  11:36

You know, the Bible does say that things are going to wax worse and worse until the Lord comes back. So there’s that trajectory, but for the believer, see, we’ve got to, we got to ask ourselves, Am I going to be a biblical Christian? What kind of Christian Am I gonna be? Because there’s lots of different flavors out there at the ice cream store? What kind of Christian am I going to be? Am I going to be a biblical Christian, even that business of sexual freedom as a way to describe the opposition to what the Bible teaches? The Bible says, That’s bondage. It’s not freedom. It’s a bondage, right? So even just like losing the language, there to the other side, is is is what happens when we stop thinking biblically, when we stop asking ourselves, what are the what was what is the standard that I find in the Bible for my life, the statistics are disgusting, Satan’s at work, the demons are dining. Everything is it, you know, is horrific in terms of the trajectory of this culture. But God calls, he doesn’t just call, you know, the group. He calls me individually. Now that call goes out to every person God is calling you. And that call is God’s grace. The call itself is God’s grace. And he’s saying, I am calling you to live a different way. Now, I think the biggest issue when it comes to the church and pornography isn’t, I looked at a magazine, I clicked on a thing. The biggest issue is, we do not fear God. You see, the Bible says that the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, is the fear of the Lord. Knowledge is stuff to know. Right, right begins with the fear of God and wisdom, the right application of that knowledge. It’s the very beginning. So the question is, do I believe God? Do I believe he’s going to follow through on what he says, Do I believe he means what he says, we have got to recover the fear of God. And that’s got to happen from the pulpit, to the lay pastor to the plumber, you’ve got to believe that God means what He says. And so that question I asked people is, Do you fear God? Because God says, specifically in His Word, fornicators will not inherit the kingdom. Right? We tend to think of fornicators is that a pagan over there? That is fornicating. And we kind of forget, and well, actually, a lawyer is somebody who works in the law. A plumber is somebody who works in plumbing. And an equestrian trainer is somebody who works with horses, and a fornicator as somebody who for decades, impure sex life. Well, what you just described in those statistics, that’s an awful lot of people calling themselves Christians with an impure sex life. So we have to say, Do we believe what God says? Do I just get a pass because I struggle more than Bob. That’s the Bible that says fornicators will not inherit the kingdom.

 

Mark Turman  14:36

Yeah, and, and the strength of that. We have the strength of that, that I’ve worked on in some of my ministry, I did a doctoral project on biblical sexuality. And, you know, we all we all know intuitively and inherently how strong we have this passion to love and to connect and to experience oneness. We also understand that sexual desire is created by God, it’s a good thing. It’s it’s not God, it’s a good thing when used in its beautiful context. So at the old like, like all sin, but particularly in this area, the only thing strong enough to bring self control and holiness to our sexuality is our relationship with God is our reverential fear of Him our desire to know Him and to be right with him. Is the only thing strong enough to control all of our desires, and particularly our sexual desire. Would that feel the right way to frame that?

 

Matthew Jacobson  15:39

Well, I agree with that. I think one of the problems is that people actually believe men, Christian men believe they’re weak, they literally walk with this mindset of, I’m weak. And you know, I’m just having a struggle. And God understands that, you know, I’m, I’m struggling and I’m weak. And while I, I fell, you know, well, first of all, nobody falls, we act like something happened to us that we didn’t see coming, we actually choose. And we’ve got to remember that when it comes to our sin, it’s a choice every single time and I like to tell people who have named the name of Christ, stop allowing Satan to define your condition because he wants you to believe you’re weak. He wants you to believe that you can’t conquer he wants you to believe that you can’t try if this is 100% antithetical to what the Bible teaches you about who you are, you are not weak, you are indwelt, by the Holy Spirit of God, you are indwelt by the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, okay, is that power, that sounds like power to me, that is a power here and dwelt. That’s the truth, the Spirit of God indwells you. So first off, when you get up in the morning, you should get up and say, I am not weak. I am strong by the power of God, the Holy Spirit who dwells me. That’s the truth. And the thing about what we believe is the power that animates everything we think and do. And if I believe I’m weak, I’m going to walk in weakness, I’m going to, I’m going to live in weakness, I’m going to respond to the temptations of the enemy in weakness. You are not weak, even though you feel like you’re being attacked. You’re not weak, you are strong. And God. Well, I could just keep going. I don’t want them.

 

Mark Turman  17:21

No, it’s a good word. It’s a good it’s a good reminder, because we’re not telling themselves they’re weak. Yeah, we’ve we’ve bought into this idea that we’re we’re just going to sand we can’t help ourselves, you know, and that’s, that’s not biblical theology. Right? St.

 

Matthew Jacobson  17:36

Gives demon demons bonus bonus checks when they get Christians to believe that nonsense, right? Your sin is not inevitable. And how do we know that? Because first Corinthians 1013 says, It’s not inevitable. First Corinthians 1013 says, There is no temptation taken you but such as is common to men, everybody thinks their temptation is somehow worse than the other guys, you know, hey, I totally get how Dave over there is walking in triumph. But my temptations are really tough. And the Bible comes along because note, your temptation is as common as dirt. Your temptation is the same, it’s common to man, but God is faithful. So stop giving your temptations so much power, stop telling yourself, your temptations are so overwhelming. They’re not they’re common. You struggle, Bob struggles, everybody struggles. But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you’re able God will never allow you as his son or daughter to be in a situation that you cannot try and fit. You will never ever be in that situation. Because why? Because God is faithful, He will not allow that. Absolutely, will with the temptation. Also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it your back is never against a brick wall. There’s always an escape. The Lord always gives that to you. So that’s why you don’t have to sin, sin as a choice. You do not have to choose it.

 

Mark Turman  19:14

Exactly, exactly. It’s such a good word. So tell us a little bit of the story. You’ve written an entire course, that we want to talk about in a moment called the Freedom course, obviously, you know, God is at work in your life early on through your family, you end up coming into publishing and into meeting your wife and starting to develop your family, that type of thing. God draws you into ministry in the local church, God kind of gets you really passionate about how to build healthy marriages. Tell us a little bit more of the backstory of how that then ends up saying, Okay, we really have to focus on this problem of pornography as a unique problem in the context of Christian marriage. Tell us some of the details behind that.

 

Matthew Jacobson  19:58

Sure. Well, the thing is, is that There’s so much that goes on in the church that’s related to, you know, doctrinal pursuits and understanding the history of the Bible and, and somehow, in many, many churches, the families and the marriage relationship does not wind up getting the same kind of, of encouragement and teaching and exhortation. And that might sound funny if you’re in a church where those things are common. But every person, I’m a marriage coach, I work with couples all over the country and in other countries. And I work individually with couples, every couple I work with, without exception, has been in the church for years and years. And the irony of that is, none of them seem to know what the Bible says about marriage. And so Satan hates marriage, because marriage is foundational to a healthy church. The church is the mechanism that God has chosen the organization, the organism, really not organization, it’s an organism living organism. The church is the organism that God has chosen for the dissemination of the Great Commission. It’s our job as the church collectively to see that the Great Commission happens. Well, if all of the marriages are in disarray. Satan gets a win on God’s purposes for the church. God wants you to have a normal, biblical marriage. I said, I said this to cover one time, I was at a wedding. And I know I knew that I knew the woman while I didn’t know the young man. But I just said to them after the wedding, I said, I just I just want to say a blessing over you. I wish for you a normal biblical marriage. And they looked at me as if I pronounced some ancient Chinese curse over them. Because Because looking around you go, I don’t want a normal marriage, Christian marriage, but I didn’t say normal Christian marriage. I said normal biblical marriage. People forget that a normal biblical marriage is a beautiful, loving, close, intimate, open, selfless, POTUS thar wonderful relationship. That’s a normal, biblical marriage. But somehow, we’ve gotten farther and farther away. And Satan is a patient incrementalist, he just wants to destroy your marriage a degree at a time. Then introduce all of this other temptation and introduce all the things that your flesh naturally likes, because of course, we are fallen creatures. But so I’m looking at this and I’m just seeing shipwreck after shipwreck after shipwreck after shipwreck. And I started thinking of my own kids and my own family and how I just really didn’t want that for them. And just in the ministry, just organically that God had us involved and it just became a just man, this is a REIT, if there ever was a repeat theme, something that was on a loop that just kept playing. It’s like I found a pronoun, fell into pornography, it seems everywhere. And yet the but what does the Bible say? It says, this is the will of God in First Thessalonians. Four, I think, you know what, now that I’ve mentioned it better just turn right over to it.

 

Mark Turman  23:11

Right now. I think you’re right First Thessalonians four, this is the will of God for you. Though you can call it go for it. Now, that your sanctification, right, including sexual acts in sexual integrity and sexual honor, ability, purity before God, this is God’s. This is part of your sanctification, and it is God’s will for you. People keep asking what’s God’s Will God what’s God’s will not used? That phrase is not used a bunch of times in Scripture, but it’s very clear right there. This is what God wants for you.

 

Matthew Jacobson  23:42

Absolutely. Yeah. This is This is God’s will is the you abstain from fornication. So there we have it, the percentage of fornication that God is comfortable with in your life as a Christian man 00. All right. So we look at that we go well, is that even possible? Can I actually have to Can I actually abstain from fornication? Can I say no? Yes, you can. So that’s really I just want it see there’s this there’s this easy grace message out there that Hey, God knows we all struggle, and God just, you know, he looks out at you and he sees that you’re just dust and well, you know, you can’t really be successful because you’re in this body of death. And, you know, so you’re just gonna live as you do, but praise the Lord. There’s the grace of God that just covers everything, like too much syrup on your pancakes, you’re okay. Well, that is not a biblical message. And a lot of people get that from viewing the passage in a Roman seven with Paul talking about struggle. You know, it’s interesting, you go back to the early church, they didn’t interpret that as a Christian life. They interpreted that as an unregenerate Jew. Living who knows the law but can’t live in it because he isn’t doesn’t have the spirit. Right? So you know, people have different views of that but a lot of people you That passage to justify the sin they’re walking in. And yet the direct statement of Scripture is abstain. Abstain, that’s God’s will for you that you abstain from fornication. So I just came to look at this as you know what people are living in defeat, because they’re believing the wrong things. And I always say, if you believe wrong, you will never live strong. God is calling you to live in triumph and victory. But if you believe the things that make you weak, you’re going to walk in weakness. And I started teaching men online, I held live classes, people came from all over the all over the globe, really, I have people from Japan and Guatemala and other different countries, builders. And, and I just wanted to teach them what the Bible says about who they are in Christ, the power that is within them, and the expectation that God has for you to war, a good warfare. And you know, we, that takes us right to the passage that talks about armor, and it’s so fascinating to me, when you get to that portion of Scripture. What does God say? He says, get dressed in the space of three verses twice, he says, Get dressed. Now, that’s interesting, isn’t it? Because we kind of think, oh, Lord, somebody was praying the other day, Lord just helped me to be strong, you know, in a sexual template, and God’s going, You know what, brother, I already made you strong, and I gave you armor. But God will not dress you. God tells every Christian get dressed here it is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, get dressed, get ready for battle. And so teaching people the, the, you know who they are, and the fact that the context of your existence is spiritual warfare, giving people new perspective on what the I just felt like God wanted me to teach, in this case, men, although it’s amazing how many women come these days into this discussion. But teach them the truth of who they are, the power that they walk in, and the fact that Satan is blowing the brains out of young men and women in this matter of, of spiritual destruction, through pornography, he’s the enemy, he’s at work, you’ve got to change how you think. Because if you believe wrong, you’ll never live strong. So that this that’s how God led me to freedom course, if anybody’s interested, it’s freedom hyphen, course.com, is where you

 

Mark Turman  27:29

know, yeah, that’s such a good word, such a needy word, especially like I said, I share your share your perspective, as well as your pain as a pastor of just seeing so many people inside the church that are being hamstrung in this, that the church is witness. You know, not only is God displeased and Dishonored, but the witness of the church is just stripped because people look around say, well, that marriage is their marriage is no better than our marriages. We don’t why would we need what they’re talking about? If it’s you

 

Matthew Jacobson  28:01

talk to somebody about the gospel and you’re bickering with your wife. Yeah.

 

Mark Turman  28:07

Or worse, but you beyond bickering? Yeah, or beyond that. And, you know, and if, you know, my pastor used to say, if you’re, if your faith doesn’t work at home, don’t export it anywhere, you know, amen. So, if it’s not going to work there, it’s not going to work anywhere. So we have to start at that neighbor thing. But what do you say, Matt? To people who say, Well, why are you so focused on sexual sin? Is sexual sin pornography? Is it worse than other sins? How would you respond to that? You know,

 

Matthew Jacobson  28:39

it’s interesting in this discussion, and to me, too, so I’m going to say one thing generally, but then I’ll answer specifically, to me, this is a little bit like, hey, how close to the canyon wall? Can I look over without falling in and displeasing God? Right? That’s kind of the spirit behind this because I look at it. I don’t know every sin is separates from God every sin is, but there are definitely degrees of sin and consequences from my actions. There’s no question about it. But we do have to be careful of saying, hey, I can eat 37 You know, fried pieces of fried chicken, and I’m just good. But that sinner over there had himself a beer, and that dude over there is looking at pornography, you know, so we’ve got to be careful that, you know, we don’t justify gluttony in the face of I’m not doing the other stuff. Right? Question is, is am I walking with God? Is it worse? Well, the thing about sexual sin in marriage is first of all, your body is not your own. So you’re sinning against God, you’re sinning against your wife, you’re sinning against your children, and you’re sending against the other person that you’re engaging in this with whether it is the person who is unwittingly being used by the enemy through something visual or you’re actually involved physically with somebody else. but maybe your challenge isn’t looking at pornography or walking in sexual sin. Maybe you’re a glutton or maybe you struggle with being truthful, you just love shading things a little bit to make people think something that isn’t true. There’s all kinds of things out there that compromise the walk of holiness. God wants us to walk in holiness, the, in the old King James in all manner of conversation, of course, that verse that word conversation means manner of life, every way of your life, you were to walk in holiness. So we just have to be careful of the the pride that goes with Well, I’m not doing that sin. God’s calling you to holiness in all things, not just in pornography, but there is a sense in which this this particular wickedness has ripple effects, that effect and impact so destructively, many many other people.

 

Mark Turman  30:59

Yeah, as you as you were talking about the, the earthly consequences and ramifications of of sinfulness in this area, reach far and wide in some ways and and in a unique way beyond some of the other sinful activities that we might go into. You know, in First Corinthians six even talks about that, you know, it very mysterious passage, a lot of theology has been written around this passage, but you know, the Bible says that we are to flee sexual immorality that every other sin very interesting phrase ver every other sin a person commits outside is outside the body, but the person whose sins sexually or in sexual immorality sins against his own body, as you mentioned a moment ago, that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, that that passage has a lot to say to us. theologically, one of the things that it says to us is, there is absolutely no such thing as casual sex, there just is no, there’s no such thing, our sexual behavior, our sexual beliefs reach down to the deepest, deepest levels of our soul, right. And that’s why in the Ephesian letter, chapter, a chapter before the armor that you are mentioning, that there’s this beautiful picture about how Christian marriage becomes a window to understanding our relationship with God, that there is this oneness that God wants with us. And yes, you’re wrong to go. Taking that metaphor to mean that there’s some kind of a sexual relationship between God and human beings. It’s not what it means. There’s oneness that Jesus prayed for, in John 17, that is mirrored and reflected in a Christian marriage. And yes, in the intimacy of sexuality, that simply becomes a window showing the incredible eternal intimacy and oneness that we will have with God for all of eternity in salvation. And that’s why Paul can use it that way. That’s why he can talk about the metaphor that way. And, and, and to just, you know, what our culture sees. And now we’re even seeing some evidences that the culture is wearing out of its sexual freedom. There’s a secular book written by a Washington Post journalist named Christian, Krista imba, who, basically the title of the book is rethinking sex has nothing to do with biblical teaching, although she is a Christian. But basically what she describes is, is that the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s is burning itself out just on its own emptiness. Right. Yeah.

 

Matthew Jacobson  33:36

And yeah, so it does lead to an empty, destructive, lonely place, for sure, especially and so for somebody who has named the name of Christ and wants to walk with God, it’s there’s nothing but destruction that comes from it. And we just have to believe what Satan is doing. He is destroying his the destroyer. So the things that are against God’s way, are from Satan’s perspective designed to take you out to destroy you. And if we were on the battlefield, and we knew there was a sniper up in the hill, we’re not going to stick our head around the stone wall to see if we can get a better look. Because he’s going to blow our brains up. Right? That’s kind of what we do dancing around this issue of sexuality. We don’t really believe what God says the context of your existence is spiritual warfare. So get dressed, if I believe that I am on the battlefield, even though you know, Iraq a few years ago, is a great place for a suntan. I’m not going to be wandering around out there in Fallujah, in Bermuda shorts and flip flops, right with suntan lotion. Because it’s a battle zone. It’s a war zone in the same way This is the description of our lives you are surrounded by principalities, the jurisdictions of evil are everywhere around us. That’s exactly what’s being described in Ephesians. So and, and so the question being, then well, if I’m on the battlefield, then I need to think a certain way I need to have my head in the game. And I have to guard myself against Satan’s destruction, because that is what sexual immorality is. It’s just incoming ordinance from the enemy that wants to blow your brains out.

 

Mark Turman  35:34

Yeah. So unpack let’s, let’s talk about freedom course, a little bit more in depth. So I can imagine somebody listening to this and they’re struggling, maybe they’ve struggled for decades with pornography, and they just can’t seem to get past it. Maybe they know somebody, maybe they’re a pastor that just saying, I need some real tools to help this person that walked into my office yesterday, right? Because as pastors, we experienced that kind of thing. So what are some of the things that a person man or woman could expect if they engage in freedom course? What what are they going to? It’s eight lessons I noticed on the website, it can be done. It sounds like it can be done mostly in an online community. But individually, just do it individually. Yeah. Just do it by yourself. And then but tell us the pertinent pieces that people would want to know what questions would they want to have answered? If they were going to step into this and participate in this course that you’ve created?

 

Matthew Jacobson  36:38

Well, most people who have been walking in failure, believe that they don’t have the power to change, they just cannot do it. Now, right? Now, this is a lie from the enemy. So the first thing we want to do is remember that we talked about armor, the first thing we want to do is we want to take up our sword. You got to get one of these. All right, what does the Bible say about the Word of God? It says, The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. What is the sword? What is the sword for? It’s for sticking in the guts of your enemy, pulling side to side and hoping his bows have spill out on the battlefield. That’s what a sword is for. Okay. And Jesus used the sword when he was being tempted at his moment of physical weakness. Satan came and Satan’s a great Twister of the truth. Satan comes and he whispers to Jesus. Well, you know, if you do this, then you know, the Bible says this. And Jesus answers and says, It is written, it is written, it is written, Jesus comes back and thrusts the sword into the guts of Satan’s arguments. And Satan flees. The first thing we have to do is we’ve got to get serious about the Bible, and what the Bible says. So I challenge people, what kind of a Christian Do you want to be? Because if you’re a biblical Christian, that means you’re going to come to this word, and you are going to submit how you feel to what the Word says, this is going to trump how you feel. It’s going to trump what you think this is the truth. And so that’s where I start, do we actually fear God? Do we believe what He says? So the first thing people discover is that all of a sudden, this thing that I call the Bible that I’m so familiar with, it’s collecting dust on my shelf that I read for devotions. All of a sudden, we discovered who know this is the absolute truth that defines reality. And so I change how I think according to what the Word says, and then we go from there, into some specific passages. I call them milepost verses that we learned that are part of the memorization through this process. And we look at those and we say, Okay, what does the Bible actually say? What is the actual will of God? How has God prepared me to battle and then we talk about specific strategies in the moment of temptation? What should I do? How should I wore a good warfare? For the 7,000th time that I have some sort of thought floating through my head? What should I do? How do I battle? So can you Sorry, go ahead. Yeah.

 

Mark Turman  39:24

Can you give us an example of that, right, the Bible says, take every thought captive to Christ, right. And I, and this is, you know, obviously it is in the heart, soul mind of the believer where this battle begins, where it is joined and this idea of, okay, how do I how do I take any and all of my thoughts and bring them into captivity to the reality of what the Word of God says the reality of what God says and the identity that God has given me in Christ? How do I do that practically, is it it’s obviously partly in in in a enabled by the memorization of Scripture being saturated with scripture in a humble way. But it’s like that. What else is there?

 

Matthew Jacobson  40:08

Yeah, for sure. But we’ve got to recognize, again that we’re in a battle. The battle zone is everywhere around us. So if I’m on the battlefield, I’m going to be on point. And Satan wants to define you by your temptations. All right, he’s a deceiver. So he’s going to deceive you with something that isn’t true. He is going to try to define Oh, I had a sort of thought about a terrible, you know, sexual, perverted thing, and it just was in my head, and that must be who I am. Because I was tempted by something. st goes, yep, your temptations. That’s who you are. But see, there’s a problem with that. See, if if our temptations define us if what we’re tempted by defines us, then Jesus has a problem, because the Bible says that He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin, Jesus faced temptations, the temptations of Jesus, no more define him than your temptations define you. So you need to reject that thought, just because I had a thought. It doesn’t define who I am. So all right, so I’m driving along. And you know, and here’s the other thing to remember that your temptations are common as dirt. That’s what the Bible says. That’s, that’s the Greek on that one verse, By the way, right? That’s common to man. It’s, I’m kidding, of course, hope it but it says common image is their common, this is what you’re not especially bad. That’s what Satan wants you to think, because he’s a liar, because he’s deceive, oh, you have thoughts that are worse, you have inclinations that are worse than the other people, you’ve done things that are worse than the other people see, he’s a liar, because he wants to isolate you in defeat. So if I’m driving along, and I have some sort of thought comes through, and by the way, I’m capable of anything that you’re capable of, in my flesh, something pops into my head. Time to go on bail. That’s, that’s the same thing. As a sniper shooting a, you know, a rocket propelled grenade in your direction. That’s what that is. Okay. So I’ve been tempted with some crazy thing, and I don’t know where it came from. Right. So the first thing I do, and what I teach people in the course to do is the moment that happened, don’t wait. You must act, you’re on the battlefield. So you’ve got to take action. Right? What I tell people do is and then what I do is I say, I reject that thought, in the name of Jesus, I take that thought captive to the obedience of Jesus. I am a Son of the Most High God, I worship Jehovah God, and Jesus has died for my sins. I am a joint heir with Christ. I’m a prince of the realm. That’s who I am. And I start singing a song. I just sing a praise song. And the reason that I do it out loud, it’s cuz I’m sure people have driven down the road looking at me, you know? The reason we do it out loud, is because we are told that we are surrounded by principalities, powers, the jurisdiction, think of it this way. All right, we live on the on the globe. We live in the Western Hemisphere. We live in North America, which of course is south, which is like Mexico, us in Canada. We live in the US. We live on the west, I live on the West Coast of the US, I live in the state of Oregon, I live in Deschutes and Central Oregon I live in, in Cook County. So these are all jurisdictions. Well, that’s exactly what’s being described. In Ephesians, about spiritual wickedness, you’re surrounded by the jurisdictions of evil, right? So I want them to hear what I have to say. And I want them to hear me identifying myself according to the Scriptures, receiving what God says about me and praising him when I have experienced a temptation. Now, if I’m trying to tempt you to if I’m a demon, I’m trying to tempt you to do something and every time I turn around, you’re praising the Lord. I’m gonna you know, this is not working. Okay? This is like this is backfiring right? Now. So that’s the way I think about it. In a very practical real terms, you’re surrounded. So take that thought, captive, name it for what it is, take it captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ, identify who you are in Christ. I am defined by God’s statements about me I am his walking with God, I love him. And I reject that and then sing a song of praise to the Lord. I think you’ll drive you’re in be crazy. The Bible says Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you. That’s the way to resist them. Now some people go, Oh, yeah, I did that. And then like a half an hour later, Hey, brother, you might have to do it 100 times a day. Yeah. Because I’m not giving if I’m your enemy. I’m not giving up easy. No, I’m not just gonna walk out of here the first time you show a little resistance, I want to destroy you. So I’m coming back for more.

 

Mark Turman  45:23

Right? And yeah. And so you said about Jesus, right? The devil went away until a more opportune time Jesus faced repetitive attacks. But you know, kind of going back to where you began a moment ago, you just, if we ever as Christians, if we ever give up the idea that we cannot change, then we have lost the ballgame. We have bought into the biggest lie that there is when when when when we say it at any age, whether we’re 15, or 55, or whatever, when we say that we cannot change, that we have given up the basic, essential message of the gospel, because it’s good. Yeah, the good news is that the person of Christ and the power of Christ will change us if we are willing to be changed. Amen. And as I heard somebody say, recently, you know, when, when, when the pain when your pain exceeds your fear, then change can begin. And, and sin will make you miserable, right, it will especially make you miserable in this area. And then part of the tell me, if you’re experiencing this with some of the people you work with, we seem to be in an idea right now that if I’m tempted, then as you said earlier, that’s my identity. And that’s as bad as if I actually acted on the temptation. No, Jesus was tempted, we’re tempted. That’s just a signal and a sign of the battle, it is not an indication of guilt. It’s not who you

 

Matthew Jacobson  46:58

are. So it’s not who you are, at work trying to define who you are on his terms. And you need to reject that. What you were just describing there, if you believe wrong, you’ll never live strong. That’s why your enemy does not want you in the word. Because he is a twister of the word just and that’s what he did. From the very beginning. He came to even just Did God really say that? See, that’s what he does. But see, Jesus knew the word he knew his sword, he knew how to pick it up and handle it and use it. That’s why you’ve got to be in the Word. Men and women listening out there, you’ve got to be in the word, because Satan is going to twist the word to try to make you believe something that is not true. No, absolutely know what’s true. And if you know your identity, and you know that you’re not guilty, because you were you faced a temptation, then you can just stand strong, is it? Nope, that’s not who I am. No,

 

Mark Turman  47:53

  1. Let me mad as we get ready to wrap up. I had one other question that is really wanted to ask you to speak to and that is more on the preventative side, I just imagine that there’s somebody listening to us, that is a parent, grandparent has young children, eight 910. We know because of the power of the internet, the smartphone and everything that Satan is able to invade the hearts and minds of children and young teens at an even earlier stage. What would you say as a word of wisdom and guidance to parents who say you know what I want to prepare my preteen, I want to prepare my middle school, I want to give them the tools were Would you would you say put them into freedom course? Or would you would you say here’s some other pathways? Because one of the things I’m passionate about is we just as parents and as the church have to get more aggressive and more comfortable with teaching biblical sexuality in age appropriate ways. Very, very early. And what what would be your perspective?

 

Matthew Jacobson  49:03

Well, your enemy has given them condoms in the public school. And you know, that sounds great. Yep. Somebody somebody better get clarity on what the enemy is up to. Right. So yeah, so the so the first thing I would say, relative to dads and moms out there listening, don’t think for a moment you’re going to have success teaching your children how to how to protect themselves, if you yourself are dipping into this garbage and then just telling yourself well, it was only once and well, I only clicked on three pictures and no, God’s standard is zero, no absence, no fornication at what so ever abstain from this wickedness. You have to walk in truth. You have to walk in victory. Don’t try to teach victory to your kids. If you’re not walking in victory, that’s called being a hypocrite. And hypocrisy is a terrible schoolmaster. Yeah, so So that’s number one. God’s calling you to purity. He’s calling you to walk in home. Lindos in all aspects of your life, so that’s number one. Number two, you just have to get comfortable talking with your kids about these things. And a lot of people aren’t. And that’s where you just get to get over it. Because your enemy is coming for the destruction of your children. He’s playing for keeps. So you have to play for keeps, you’ve got to be in that game. And so I, you know, Satan is just really great at taking a fresh cow pie from the barnyard, wrapping it up in a nice package and trying to tempt you with it. Right. So what we’ve got to tell our kids, we got to teach them that this thing that looks so enticing that looks so great that that is, is, you know, something that, you know, maybe I might be interested in, this is what this is, is something destructive and something bedded in something sorted something awful. We have to teach them what the Bible says what God’s standards are, and to show them that Satan is a twister of the truth. And he wants to destroy them by twisting the truth and making them believe something that isn’t true. And teach them how he did that to Eve in the garden. Teach them that he’s at work. Now. We don’t want our kids just living in fear, you know, and oh my goodness, that. So that’s where we celebrate the goodness and the beauty and the awesomeness of God’s wonderful plan for marriage and sex. And we’re not shy about it. And we don’t, you know, don’t mention the war. You know, no, you go in there, and you talk about it and you sex hot is tar sex. This is God’s idea. People want to over spiritualize the Song of Songs, I’m sorry, you remove the euphemistic references to fruit in there, the poetic references to fruit, you’ve got a solid aerating. So the world has nothing to teach your children about the beauty of biblical marriage and God’s way and oneness and obedience and passionate love. But you can need to teach your children to love that to to see that as God’s good and God’s best. And so, you know, you just have to stick with the authentic Word of God and what He says and reinforce that your kids and then model this in front of your kids in terms of your own marriage. And so those are just a couple of things that that I would suggest there are certainly some helps out there that you know, you your ministry probably even provides links to some of those, those those helps, but what I find about those, you know, kids are so savvy these days, and frankly, soar adults. And if you want to circumvent them, you can. And that’s that’s why we don’t really need a mechanical, preventative, or, or a digital preventative. So we can be holy, right? You know, when Now the Bible does say, make no provision for the flesh. So if you know you struggle a certain way, you get to walk down the other street, not the street that has the advertisement for Victoria doesn’t have any secrets, right? You go the other way. But so make no provision for the flesh. That’s true. But the real issue is my relationship with God. And and how I am walking. That’s where the strength is. That’s where the power is. That’s where the security is. And so there’s nothing like teaching your kids to be in communion with God, if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. And in we will not fulfill the if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. So it’s not so I don’t I think those tools can be helpful. But that’s not your safe place. Right? Safe Spaces, communion with God and walking with him.

 

Mark Turman  53:55

Right. And I would add to that seeing Yeah, I would add to that, just being in a biblical church, you know, as you referenced before, you know, one of the best, one of the best reasons to be in a local church that teaches the Bible is that you’ll realize that your your temptation is as common as dirt, and that you’re you get around people, what I tell people all the time is get in a local church, get around and build some really healthy, authentic community with people. And you’ll find out that you’re not losing your mind that that you’re battling. They’re battling and you can battle together, you can hope you can have each other’s back. But that doesn’t happen overnight. That didn’t you know, if you if you only go to church once or twice a month, that’s not going to happen very well. You need to be in fellowship consistently in and around a church that teaches the Bible and growing and community with people who are walking in the light as you’re walking in the light. And then you can do the battle together. All of this works together. There’s not one magic bullet. There’s a lot of things that work together that help us to live strong, and to battle this Battle, right?

 

Matthew Jacobson  55:01

Absolutely. And could I just say one thing up here, I know that there are people listening and you’re going, you know what I’ve done so wrong. And I’ve been walking in Santa’s been hiding it. I’ve had it hid it from my wife. And so I’m just going to encourage you. And maybe you’re somebody that’s done this before. And you’ve asked for forgiveness before. And we can create a lot of really big challenges in our marriage from choosing that path of sin. But Satan wants you to stay on that path. He wants you to stay hidden. He wants you to continue in walking in this sin. And the and God says, no, no, confess your sin. confess your sin. Ask for forgiveness. And if you’re one of those people that have been kind of a repeat player in this in this space, don’t expect your wife to just go Oh, yeah, I forgive you. And we’re good. You know? How about just walking, faithfulness and love her and prove yourself over time, because the only way for you to get rid of your reputation as a serial sinner in this porn. The area of pornography is consistency over time. And so don’t expect her to turn on a dime just because you got convicted to have your sin, but God wants you to come into the light. He wants you to ask for forgiveness. And he wants you to walk in purity. Don’t let another day go by that’s just Satan’s is in and a lot of people are scared. They think well, what will my wife do? Well, I don’t know what she’s going to do. But God’s calling you to holiness. And he’s calling you to walk in oneness with your wife. And that means no hiding from your wife.

 

Mark Turman  56:43

Right? Come into the light, come into the light into the end of the hope. Right? Matt? That’s that’s a great word to end on a word of grace and hope and thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for the conversation today and look forward to other opportunities of working alongside you. And if if people are looking for freedom course it’s freedom hyphen, dot course right or freedom. hyphen, reverse

 

Matthew Jacobson  57:09

iphon course.com Freedom Hudson course.

 

Mark Turman  57:13

Awesome. Good deal. Thanks, Matt. Thanks for being a part of this one. Say thanks to our audience as well. If this has been helpful to you, please rate review us and share this with others. We’d love for them to be a part of the conversation as well as we all grow in grace and walk in the freedom of the spirit. Matt, thank you. God bless you. Take care. God bless you. Thank you so much.

 

What did you think of this article?

If what you’ve just read inspired, challenged, or encouraged you today, or if you have further questions or general feedback, please share your thoughts with us.

Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Denison Forum
17304 Preston Rd, Suite 1060
Dallas, TX 75252-5618
[email protected]
214-705-3710


To donate by check, mail to:

Denison Ministries
PO Box 226903
Dallas, TX 75222-6903