As important as Jesus’ extreme instructions about lust may be, they cannot and should not be taken out of the context of the Bible’s big story line. You can gouge out your eyes and still be enslaved to lust. (Literally. That’s why there are pornographic magazines in Braille.) You can cut off your arm and still be led astray.

No, the ultimate answer to pornography is not by putting filters on our computers, as helpful as they may be, but in having the changed heart where we see pornography the way God does–as the ridiculous and dangerous substitute it truly is. And that only happens when our delight is in something bigger, when our grasping for beauty is not out of place but directed to the right object.

Not even a husband or wife can fully satisfy the human heart’s desire for beauty. Only in seeing the beauty of God as He has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ can we be truly set free from the addictive urges of pornographic use. We don’t need Jesus to come along and tell us pornography is bad; we need Jesus to come along and set us free–to empower us by His Spirit to resist the sinful urges that once commanded us.

In the end, our minds must be captured by a beauty much bigger than the warped and distorted images of nakedness that flit across our screens. It’s only through the beauty of Jesus that our frequent failings can be forgiven, and our enslaved minds can be set free. The Bible doesn’t say that the Christian will never struggle with lust or selfishness, but it does promise the day we will be like Jesus–beholding the One in whose image we’ve been remade. That is the hope that we look forward to, the restoration of all things, and the true satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from Living Water, not the polluted wells of this world.


Editor’s note: Excerpted with permission from The Gospel & Pornography by Russell D. Moore and Andrew T. Walker. Copyright 2018, B&H Publishing Group.