Accountable2You Logo
Accountable2You Logo

How to Safeguard Sexual Purity

The Purity Shield™ is a biblical plan to defend and cultivate sexual purity through a lifestyle of accountability.
“Sin is at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
— Genesis 4:7

In our pornographic age, temptations assault you every day. But you do not have to be a slave to them. As a Christian, willfully consuming pornography is a sin that you can—and must—have complete victory over.

Let’s get this straight: Sexual purity is possible! If you fail to believe this, any hope of victory is dead before you start. As we’ll examine below, God says purity is not optional, and He empowers us for it by His Spirit. Purity brings blessing, joy, and peace!

You need a plan to safeguard purity

Purity does not fall from the sky; it is the fruit of a lifestyle of accountability. And although Accountable2You is a very helpful tool for transparency, sexual purity requires more than an accountability app on your phone.

You need a comprehensive plan to guard against the temptations of our pornographic age. This guide offers a straightforward approach, distilled from the Bible’s teachings on sexual purity and accountability. We call it the Purity Shield.

Introducing the Purity Shield™

Purity thrives at the intersection of three essential steps: Flee from Sin, Come to Christ, and Share with Others.

Purity thrives in a lifestyle of accountability

“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
— 2 Timothy 2:22

Based on the apostle Paul’s words to Timothy in the Bible, this guide will show you the three essential steps that work together to cultivate a lifestyle of purity:

  1. Flee from Sin (“Now flee from youthful lusts”)
  2. Come to Christ (“and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace”)
  3. Share with Others (“with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”)

These steps build on the three sides of accountability that form the outer frame of the Purity Shield. You are accountable to God and accountable to others, who are also accountable to God.

Where the steps overlap, we find purity in the center along with repentance (believing the gospel by turning away from sin to follow Christ), fellowship (pursuing Christ in the company of like-minded believers), and transparency (humbly confessing sin to others and receiving counsel). You will also see what happens when any step is lacking.

We call this comprehensive approach the Purity Shield because sexual purity thrives only at the center, where all of these elements come together. Sexual purity is the fruit of a lifestyle of holistic accountability!

Frame: three sides of accountability 

You are accountable to God, and accountable to other Christians, who are also accountable to God.

Be accountable to God and one another

“Each one of us will give an account of himself to God.”
— Romans 14:12

Before exploring the three essential steps below, we need to start by understanding accountability.

This guide is written for Christians, and the steps are based on the biblical framework of three sides of accountability within the church:

  1. You are accountable to God
  2. You are accountable to others
  3. Those others are also accountable to God and to others

All three sides of accountability are critical to preserving sexual purity.

You are accountable to God

The Bible teaches that everyone is accountable to God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the perfect standard He requires of us (Romans 3:23). One day everyone will stand before the Judge of all the earth, and “each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).

Accountability to God is inescapable. You may be able to deceive other people, but before God “all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 ESV).

Our sin exposed before a holy God is bad news, because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). But that same verse continues with the good news that “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus, the Son of God, died on the Cross to bear the judgment of God against sin and rose to life again, defeating sin and death, so that anyone who believes in Him can receive forgiveness of sin and walk in newness of life!

Having been forgiven and rescued from sin, Christians live to please Jesus who saved us by His blood (2 Corinthians 5:9). All believers in Christ are accountable to Him as Lord. Knowing we must answer to God should compel us daily to turn away from sin and pursue purity. And when we stand before Him at last, we want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

Sexual purity is truly possible for Christians who have been forgiven and are accountable to God. We will learn more about this type of accountability under Step Two below.

You are accountable to others

Christianity is not a “lone wolf” or “me and God” religion. If you are joined to Christ by faith, the Bible teaches you are part of His body, the church, and “individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). Being accountable to one another is part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are supposed to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1–2). That means you should be close enough to other believers that they can speak into your life with encouragement and admonition. We will discuss more about this type of accountability under Step 3.

Those others are also accountable to God and others

Accountability in the church is not a one-way street. All believers are individually accountable before God, and we should also hold each other accountable, helping to bear burdens and grow in holiness.

Importantly, it is not enough to be accountable to just anyone. If those holding you accountable are not also walking in right relationship with God and others, they will not be equipped to help you when you need it most. Mutual accountability is a key function of a sound local church.

As part of Christ’s body, you are accountable to God, and to others who are also accountable to God and others. With this framework in place, we can start exploring the three steps to walk in purity.

Step One: Flee from Sin

Do whatever it takes to avoid the trap of temptation, dreading the awful consequences of sexual sin.

Run from sexual sin and don’t look back!

“Now flee from youthful lusts…”
— 2 Timothy 2:22

Paul told Timothy to flee from youthful lusts. No casual turning away. Flee like your life depends on it! The stakes are too high to toy with pornography. The first step to living in purity is to Flee from Sin.

The first step to freedom is getting serious about eliminating this sin. You cannot defeat the monster of lust while coddling any of its tentacles. If you claim to hate pornography but refuse to destroy that secret stash, you’re just lying to yourself and to God—which never ends well. Paul also gave the same strong counsel to the believers in Corinth:

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Fleeing can mean literally running away from the scene of a temptation—and sometimes this is absolutely necessary. But more generally fleeing from sexual immorality means staying as far from this sin as possible.

When God opens your eyes to see just how destructive pornography is to your own soul, to the men and women involved in the sex trade, to marriages and families and society as a whole—then fleeing is the only sane response! As Solomon wisely said:

“The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out.” (Proverbs 6:32–33)

FLEE: Tactics to leave lust in the dust

The acronym FLEE breaks this step down into four tactics to put into practice.

FLEE from Sin
Fear God: Remember the deadly consequences of evil and turn away.
Look away: Enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward any form of lust.
Eliminate: Make a plan to stay away from compromising situations!
Evade: Do whatever it takes to remove known sources of temptation.

Fear God: Remember the deadly consequences of evil and turn away.

This is the biblical starting point for living in purity: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). To fear God means you dread the consequences of disobeying Him. It’s a fear of turning away from God, which should draw you toward Him in purity of heart (James 4:8).

A healthy fear of the Lord will motivate you to obey His wise commandments and reject temptations, knowing that “God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). Seek to grow in your understanding of God’s character—His holiness, righteousness, justice, and other attributes.

“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13). Ask God daily to give you a holy hatred, dread, and disgust for pornography! Studying chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Proverbs will help you better understand the deadly consequences of this sexual sin.

Look away: Enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward any form of lust.

Resolve as David did, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3) and like Job make a covenant with your eyes not to look lustfully at a woman (Job 31:1). “Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you” (Proverbs 4:25).

Make a habit of “bouncing” your eyes away from scantily clad figures. When a temptation appears, immediately look away and pray to the Lord for help: “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in Your ways.” (Psalm 119:37). Determine at the start to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

Eliminate: Do whatever it takes to remove known sources of temptation.

Recognize the deadly seriousness of sexual sin (Proverbs 5:22–23) and “make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14). If you have collected any pornographic materials, destroy them completely. Get rid of any potential pitfalls such as login credentials, contact information, or other means to access sinful content.

This might require “radical amputation” to remove or limit access to certain devices. Jesus said, “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29–30).

Evade: Make a plan to stay away from compromising situations!

“Keep your way far from [the adultress] and do not go near the door of her house” (Proverbs 5:8). Identify and avoid the ungodly influences that encourage you toward impurity. This could include friends, places, movies, TV, music, and other media. Remember, "bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

As Paul encouraged Timothy, “Pay close attention to yourself” (1 Timothy 4:16). Take time to carefully examine yourself and write down the situations that cause temptation for you, then write out how you plan to avoid or address those triggers.

When you do find yourself unexpectedly in a tempting situation, don’t linger and foolishly trust your own willpower. Get out of there fast like Joseph did! (Genesis 39:11–12)

Step Two: Come to Christ

Direct your attention to what is good and beautiful, seeking God in His Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Replace evil desires with righteous ones

“…and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…”
— 2 Timothy 2:22

Paul didn’t just tell Timothy to flee from the bad stuff; he followed up with a charge to pursue the good stuff! So the second step is to Come to Christ, replacing your old desires for sin with new desires for the pure and holy pleasures God wants you to enjoy.

We all know that “just say no” doesn’t work for long. Cutting out deeply rooted sin is no easy task, and old habits die hard. Your willpower is a finite resource that is quickly used up in the struggle against temptation.

Instead of joyless self-denial, you need what theologian Thomas Chalmers called “the expulsive power of a new affection.” Think about it: how can you get all the air out of a glass? Easy, fill it with water instead. So how can you get rid of filthy, sinful desires? Replace them with good, beautiful, and holy desires!

Never leave a vacuum in your heart; it will quickly fill up again with all those old lusts of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Having seen pornography as the repulsive evil it is, turn your attention to the goodness and beauty of God in Christ. Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

By continuing to embrace your new identity in Christ and deny the old sinful passions, your desires will be transformed. The soul that awakens to enjoy God will begin to see sinful desires as empty counterfeits to the lasting pleasure and joy of knowing Him.

The more you draw near to God, the easier it is to say “no” to lust and sexual immorality. And God Himself will draw near to you: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)

COME: Drive out lust by drawing near to God

The word COME spells out four key tactics to apply this second step in your life:

COME to Christ
Confess: Acknowledge Jesus as Lord and ask Him to forgive your sins.
Obey: Submit to God and embrace His wise commandments.
Meditate: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
Enjoy: Cultivate delight in God and His good gifts.

Confess: Acknowledge Jesus as Lord and ask Him to forgive your sins.

First, confess that Jesus is Lord. Confess means to acknowledge or agree, and the Bible says that “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is your Master, your King.

Believe the good news that Jesus died on the Cross as the perfect sacrifice for your sin and rose again to ensure your salvation (Romans 4:25). You cannot save yourself. But no matter what your sins have been, in Christ you can be forgiven and made new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Second, confess your sin to God. Lay it all before Him in prayer and humbly ask for the forgiveness, believing His promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). You also need to confess your sin to your spouse and to others, but we will address that under Step Three, Share with Others.

Confession is not a one-time event; it should characterize your life as a Christian. Keep confessing Christ as Lord. Keep confessing your sins. Keep repenting and believing!

Obey: Submit to God and embrace His wise commandments.

As a Christian, you belong to Christ, having been purchased by His precious blood. Jesus is Lord, not only of your heart, but also of your mind and body. God’s claim on your life has very practical implications, as the Apostle Paul wrote:

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:12–13)

In other words: obey God, not sin! No excuses. Agree with God that his commandments are good and right (Psalm 19:7–11). Submit yourself to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In the power of the Holy Spirit, strive to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

Meditate: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

Read God’s Word daily and meditate on it throughout the day (Psalm 119:97). This means thinking about what you read and spending time understanding and applying it to your life. Saturating your mind in the Scripture is a powerful way to guard against sin (Psalm 119:9–11) and renew your mind (Romans 12:2).

Meditating on Scripture is especially helpful to fight temptations that arise out of boredom. Instead of “killing time” when you have nothing to do, fill your down time with God’s Word. Open the Bible and spend time reading in it, or simply recall Scripture in your mind and prayerfully reflect on it. Consider setting an alarm or writing well-placed reminders for yourself to practice this tactic effectively.

A. W. Tozer insightfully wrote that “faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God.” Scripture teaches this as an essential mindset. “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1–2).

Singing or listening to “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” is also a great way to meditate on truth throughout the day (Ephesians 5:19). Pursuing righteousness does require discipline, but the reward is worth it!

Enjoy: Cultivate delight in God and His good gifts.

Far better than the fleeting thrills of pornography, God’s steadfast love for his children is a “river of delights” (Psalm 36:8). David said of the Lord, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).

God is never far away. Draw near to Him by “praying at all times in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). Like Brother Lawrence, the 17th century monk, you can find enjoyment in Christ no matter your circumstances by “practicing the presence of God.”

Ask God to replace your sinful desires with a desire for what is good, right, true, and beautiful—and choose to “think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Invest yourself into productive, God-honoring pursuits and hobbies, knowing that He “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Step Three: Share with Others

Embrace transparency by inviting mature believers to keep you accountable and help you grow in purity.

Surround yourself with others pursuing purity

“…with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
— 2 Timothy 2:22

Paul finished his charge to Timothy by directing him to pursue righteousness, not alone, but “with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Like Timothy, as we flee from sin, and as we draw near to Christ, we must also share our joys and struggles with other believers who spur us on toward purity and holiness. As with the first two steps, this third step is critical. It completes the Purity Shield, bringing you into the joy of Christian fellowship and the light of transparency.

As a person made in God’s image, you were made for authentic relationships. From the very beginning, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Without the counsel of godly friends, it’s dangerously easy to stray from the right path. Isolation is your enemy in the fight against sin.

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment” (Proverbs 18:1, ESV).

If you’re not presently caught in sexual sin and wisely want to avoid that trap, you need accountability! Countless men and women have fallen into sexual sin because they trusted themselves too much and were not answerable to others when they began to stray.

Have you tried to battle pornography on your own, discouraged by repeated failures? Friend, you need accountability! Pornography is deeply isolating, partly because it is utterly self-centered and turns everyone else into objects for your personal pleasure, and also because it heaps on the viewer a crushing load of shame: “I could never tell anyone about this.” The result is a vicious spiral of secret sin that only gets worse over time.

Being accountable to one another is non-optional if you want to avoid—or escape—the awful cycle of sin and shame fueled by isolation.

SHARE: Heart-level accountability in Christian community

Lasting peace and sexual purity are found when you walk in all three steps of “Flee from Sin, Come to Christ, Share with Others.” Our key word for this last step is SHARE:

SHARE with Others
Seek help: Ask at least one mature believer to hold you accountable.
Heed advice: Listen and diligently apply the counsel you receive.
Assemble: Regularly join with your local church in worship, fellowship, and service.
Reveal: Embrace radical transparency and confess your sins to others.
Engage: Do the work necessary to walk in freedom by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Seek help: Ask at least one mature believer to hold you accountable.

Find a trustworthy partner who is willing to hold you accountable in the area of sexual temptation and is not struggling in this area. Two or three partners are best, but one godly, mature person can be a huge help. Your accountability partner should be the same gender as yourself, unless you have a strong marriage and your spouse is able to carry this responsibility.

Agree on a regular schedule (time and place) to continue meeting together for accountability. Weekly face-to-face meetings are best, but a phone call or video chat can also work well. This accountability relationship should be a high priority for both you and your partner.

If your sins have hurt your spouse, you will need to humbly seek forgiveness and begin the process of rebuilding trust in your marriage. Having a qualified biblical counselor to walk alongside you and your spouse will be a huge help during this healing process in your relationship.

Heed advice: Listen and diligently apply the counsel you receive.

Having opened yourself to be accountable to others, heed their advice! Humbly receive counsel from your accountability partner and diligently work to apply their input.

Invite your partner to critique how your actions are helping or hurting. Their objective feedback will help you recognize successes, correct deficiencies, and keep you moving forward. Listen graciously and assume that the speaker has your best interests at heart, speaking what is “good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

Show your gratitude to those who reprove and correct you. Avoid a foolish mindset that refuses to accept counsel. Be willing to learn, change, and grow. “Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored” (Proverbs 13:18, ESV).

Assemble: Regularly join with your local church in worship, fellowship, and service.

If you haven’t already, join a church that teaches and practices God’s Word—and don’t neglect meeting together weekly for worship, prayer, and fellowship (Hebrews 10:25). Get involved in an authentic Christian community, welcoming people into your life to know and be known.

Look for opportunities to “do life” together with people who love the Lord, in addition to worship on Sunday mornings. This could mean joining a small group that meets in a church member’s home, or perhaps hosting a Bible study or game night at your own home. Maybe it’s an informal date for coffee and prayer with a friend each week, or inviting a young couple over for dinner. Start small and grow as you become more comfortable.

Be careful not to approach relationships with a self-serving mindset, as if other people exist to meet your personal needs and desires. Instead, practice the many “one another” commands in Scripture. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10). Combat the self-seeking nature of lust by finding ways to sacrificially serve and build up others around you.

Reveal: Embrace radical transparency and confess your sins to others.

No more hiding, period. This is key! Accountability crumbles fast when you deceive and cover up the truth. Commit to honesty, no matter what.

Continue to drag your sin into the light by honestly confessing to your accountability partner and other trustworthy believers who can offer encouragement, admonition, and prayer support to you in the battle. “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Install Accountable2You on your devices and invite your accountability partner to receive regular reports of your device activity. Commit to radical transparency, and do whatever it takes to keep living in the light.

Engage: Do the work necessary to walk in freedom by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Together with your partner, make a clear plan for how you will stay accountable in known areas of temptation, such as an unmonitored computer at work or a trip away from home without your spouse. Commit to the plan and follow through.

Remember, it’s not your accountability partner’s job to drag the truth out of you or make you change. You are primarily responsible for your spiritual growth (Galatians 6:4–5). Take ownership of your actions. Accountability helps those who want to be accountable.

The Purity Shield™ brings it all together 

All three steps overlap to form repentance, fellowship, and transparency—with purity at the center.

Purity is possible—and worth the effort!

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
— Matthew 5:8

God says sexual purity is not optional

Many well-meaning Christian pastors and teachers shrug off pornography as a struggle that can never be overcome in this life. But that mindset simply does not fit with God’s Word.

According to Jesus, the Christ, looking with lust is a form of adultery (Matthew 5:28), a grievous offense against God and against people made in His image. The word pornography comes from the Greek porneia, a term for all kinds of sexual immorality. The Bible repeatedly says that sexual immorality (porneia) has no part in a Christian’s life. Here are just a few examples:

“But sexual immorality [porneia] or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” (Ephesians 5:3)
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality [porneia]; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3–4)
“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality [porneia], impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5)

Thankfully, sexual sin can be forgiven! You can turn away from sin in repentance and pray like David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

The Spirit empowers us for purity

Born-again Christians have a new heart and God’s Holy Spirit living within them (Ezekiel 36:26). Sexual purity is possible in this life because God empowers believers, through the Spirit, “to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). We have this assurance:

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

Purity brings blessing, joy, and peace

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The blessing of purity is knowing God intimately and enjoying His presence! He is the only source of true life, full joy, and lasting pleasure (Psalm 16:11).

“He who has clean hands and a pure heart… He shall receive a blessing from the LORD.” (Psalm 24:4–5)

Don’t skip any steps

As The Purity Shield illustration shows, you cannot ignore any of the three essential steps without compromising purity. When any of these steps is lacking, the pursuit of sexual purity will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

Repentance: Steps One and Two

When “Share with Others” is lacking, repentance and sin become an endless cycle with no growth in purity.

The lifelong practice of turning from sin to Christ

The process of turning away from sin to Christ is called repentance. It begins when someone hears and believes the gospel that Jesus, the Christ, died on the Cross to bear the punishment of God’s just wrath against their sin and then rose from the dead so they also can walk in newness of life. But that’s only the start!

Many believers think repentance is something they did when they first received Christ. In fact, it should be something we are doing—an ongoing reality for every Christian. “Repent and believe” is the two-cycle engine of the Christian life, not just the ignition switch.

Every day, every hour, we must be continually turning away from our sin and looking to Jesus Christ in faith. Each time we fall for the lies of the devil, we have to repent again and choose, by faith, to believe God’s Word instead.

Isolated repentance (when “Share with Others” is missing)

Step One “Flee from Sin” and Step Two “Come to Christ” work together to produce repentance (turning from sin to Christ) as you are accountable to God. But without Step Three, you only have isolated repentance, which is not enough to break deep-rooted sinful habits and overcome the cravings of the flesh.

Many Christians are confused and discouraged in the struggle against sexual sin. They feel trapped in an endless cycle of giving in to lust (watching pornography) and coming to God to repent in shame. They purpose to try harder this time, only to fall back into sin again—over and over, with little or no progress in purity.

If this describes you, take heart; there is a way out of this cycle! The key is to not only Flee from sin and Come to Christ, but also Share with Others.

Fellowship: Steps Two and Three

When “Flee from Sin” is lacking, accountability is just empty talk, and purity is impossible.

Encouraging one another toward holiness

At the overlap of Step Two and Step Three we have fellowship. The first level of being accountable to one another is simply spending time with other believers. This is the essence of Christian fellowship, an essential ingredient to walking in purity.

Although fellowship includes much more than chatting about your week after church each week, it should not be any less. Scripture warns us not to forsake the assembly of believers because we need the encouragement and admonition of others—especially during times of trial and temptation:

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24–25)

You become like the people you spend time with. Through conversation we come to know one another. In the course of sharing life together, we can encourage each other to become more like Jesus. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20).

Biblical fellowship means a shared life, the opposite of isolation and individualism. It means you have friends and mentors, brothers and sisters, who love and know you. It means you are part of something bigger than yourself: the church, the family of God, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12–27).

Fruitless fellowship (when “Flee from Sin” is lacking)

As we've already seen, the Purity Shield only works when all three steps are active. So what happens if you Come to Christ and Share with Others but make no effort to Flee from Sin? We call this destructive combination “fruitless fellowship” because it offers the appearance of Christian fellowship without the fruit of purity and holiness in turning away from sin.

If you refuse to do whatever it takes to root out sexual sin from your life, your “accountability” to God and others is worthless. Purity will not be the result. True accountability starts with taking personal responsibility for your actions.

Fruitless fellowship is always superficial. It is a lie. Jesus warned about false teachers that “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). The very definition of a hypocrite is someone who pretends to be something he is not—and you are not serious about pursuing purity if you don't Flee from Sin.

For those who Come to Christ and Share with Others, but lack the discipline to Flee from Sin, their “accountability” relationships will become nothing more than confession sessions—lacking the godly sorrow and biblical repentance that result in holiness.

Transparency: Steps One and Three

When “Come to Christ” is lacking, the heart’s evil desires are not being transformed by God’s Word and Spirit.

Promote purity with authentic relationships

Transparency happens at the overlap of Step One and Step Three. Sadly, many Christians settle for superficial “fellowship,” never going any deeper than surface-level conversations. Dying on the inside, they keep up a cheerful exterior and dodge any probing questions that might expose their sin.

If you want to walk in purity, you need more accountability than, “Hey, I missed you last Sunday.” You must build deep relationships that go beyond fellowship into radical transparency. This deeper level of accountability requires humility, honesty, and vulnerability.

Transparency does not mean you stand up in a prayer meeting and share all the details of your sexual sin. It does mean you are totally open with one or more brothers (or sisters) in the Lord, honestly confessing your sin and praying together for healing (James 5:16). Transparency means you consistently expose sin in your life and turn from it, as Paul wrote:

“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” (Ephesians 5:11–13)

As terrifying as it feels to bring your sin into the light, that is the only way to find freedom. When you determine to stop hiding and lying, the results may be painful at first, but God will reward your transparency with compassion.

“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.” (Proverbs 28:13)

Godless transparency (when “Come to Christ” is lacking)

Although it is essential to maintain sexual purity, transparency is not all you need to succeed. Being accountable to others but not to God will end badly, either in despair at your own inability or in prideful self-righteousness from your perceived success. The latter is worse because "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).

What is the point of purity if not to please God? To be righteous in your own eyes will make you feel good about yourself, but God is the Judge of all, and He is not deceived by appearances. As Jesus clearly said in His famous Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8).

If you Flee from Sin and Share with Others, but do not Come to Christ, you are going down the secular “self-help” path without the transforming power of God’s Word and Spirit to create a pure heart. This ends either in despair or in prideful self-righteousness.

Guard against digital temptations with the Accountable2You app 

Accountability software for all your devices makes transparency easy with detailed reports and instant alerts.

Sexual purity thrives in a lifestyle of accountability

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
— Hebrews 3:13

Remember, sexual purity is a lifestyle not a destination. You should practice these three essential steps every day. Lasting freedom is possible only when we choose to “Flee from Sin, Come to Christ, Share with Others” on a daily basis and even moment by moment when temptation strikes.

Put in the work necessary to cultivate a lifestyle of accountability, and you will enjoy the fruits of purity, joy, and peace as a result!

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram