Lesson 1: Heart Change

Questions 5, 6 and 7

Beginning in the next lesson, we are going to look at the foundational truths of freedom and I think you’ll see how applying them, from the heart, will set you free even as it has me.

Some Initial Encouragement

If you cried out to God, He heard you. Now listen to His Spirit encourage you to do what you can to remove access to areas in which you’ve been falling.

Shut the door

Of course, it’s not possible to remove everything that might tempt you, but I’m specifically talking about those areas where you’ve noticed a pattern of falling. You might put a filter on your computer, change your cell-phone number to keep a sinful relationship from connecting, cut the cable, or use parental controls to block immoral content. Basically, you want to get rid of or block anything that has tripped you up in the past.
When you cannot block or get rid of something, filters and accountability type apps can be helpful. One option is “Accountable2You” (use promo code SCF to get your first month free). You may have to try a few different options until you find one that is helpful to you. Put some time into this and be as thorough as you can. You lock the doors on your home to keep out those who would do harm, how much more important is your heart and mind?

Question 5. What things do you intend to do, right now, to shut the door to Satan’s temptations?

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The hope of heart change

I hope you will take the above encouragement seriously. However, I want to be clear about something you might already know, and that is, no filter, porn blocker, or accountability program can save us or set us free. If our hearts are bound and determined to gratify the lusts of our flesh, we will find ways to do it.
This is why I started this lesson by showing our absolute need for a heart change. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God changed your heart, making you detest the impurity you once loved? Now that would be a change of heart, right? No filter or blocker or accountability can do that for you, only the living God can. Filters are fine and can be helpful, but what we’re really after is a radical transformation of our inner desires. We want our hearts cleansed and changed, our thoughts purified, our desires and lives transformed.
Friend, if you desire those things I mentioned above, they can happen. Oh, not that we won’t ever be tempted again, but there is a way to be cleansed and purified, washed and made new:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 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.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)

Question 6. What happened to those in the Corinthian church who had previously been sexually immoral (among other things)?

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The Power of Christ's cross

Friend, I’m here to tell you that you too can be washed and changed, cleansed, and set apart from pornography and all sexual impurity. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been ensnared, how many programs and things you’ve tried in the past, or what problems are in your life because of it.
I’ll tell you what has happened to me as we continue in the course, but right now suffice it to say that the gospel of Jesus Christ has changed my heart and is continuing to do so. If a heart change is what you know you need, then let’s study together how the cross of Jesus Christ has the power to do exactly that!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Romans 1:16 (NIV)

Question 7. Please share any final thoughts on this first day of your course.

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