The plan of salvation provides for the restoration of the divine image in the human soul. Yahuwah is pure. He is holy and perfect. Those who will be inheritors with Yahushua in the kingdom of light will reflect Yahuwah in every particular.
Scripture is very clear that only those who are pure will inherit eternal life:
Who may ascend into the hill of Yahuwah? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from Yahuwah, and righteousness from the Eloah of his salvation. (See Psalm 24:3-5.)
In His sermon on the mount, Yahushua admonished: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, KJV) Such an unachievable requirement, made of fallen and sinful humanity, would be cruel but for the fact that Yahuwah is willing to provide all the help necessary for the ransomed children of earth to reach that state.
It is impossible for a sinner to become perfect by working at it. “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin’?” (Proverbs 20:9, NKJV) Yahuwah knows no one can purify himself or herself. He has pledged the infinite resources of Heaven to aid in the battle to overcome sin in the soul.
Of the many ways Satan seeks to corrupt the soul and destroy purity is sexual impurity. Adultery, fornication and pornography are widely acknowledged sins that corrupt the mind and open the floodgates to ever more of Satan’s temptations. However, there is another area that also brings the soul under Satan’s control. It is not discussed as frequently due to discomfort of the topic. That area is masturbation.
In past centuries, masturbation was widely acknowledged to be a degrading vice. It was referred to as the “secret vice” and even medical professionals wrote of the suspected health risks that accompanied masturbation. For this reason it also gained the name of “self abuse.”
With the open lewdness and widespread immorality of modern society, masturbation has become a socially accepted alternate to the dangers inherent with promiscuity: unwanted or unplanned for pregnancy, AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Even some Christians now promote masturbation as a way to enable teens and older singles to remain celibate outside of marriage.
However, the wisdom of man is foolishness to Yahuwah. Repeated assertions that something is right, or moral, or acceptable do not automatically make it right, moral or acceptable in Yah’s eyes. Society’s mores change too frequently to be a dependable guide. Scripture alone is the one infallible standard to determine what is right.
The Bible does not actually address masturbation specifically. Some people quote Paul as saying that it is better to masturbate than to “burn” but in reality, Paul never said anything of the sort. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he was advocating that it was best for believers to remain single. Considering the immense persecution Christians were facing at the time, this was not unreasonable advice. Yahuwah Himself told Jeremiah to remain single or else he would see his wife and children die of starvation in the coming siege from Babylon.
Paul’s advice was actually that it was better to marry than to “burn”, which has been understood to be an oblique reference to masturbation:
For I wish that all men were even as I myself. . . . But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8 and 9, NKJV)
The main problem with masturbation, and it is a big one, is that it promotes impurity of the mind which, in turn, corrupts the soul. Those who engage in this activity will often fantasize in order to bring about more intense sexual gratification. Sexual fantasies tend to become more depraved over time as the initial sexual response decreases and ever more exciting fantasies are sought. Such lack of control of one’s thoughts is contrary to the example Yahushua left.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Yahushua the Anointed.” (See Philippians 2:5.) The mind of Yahushua was ever pure as He surrendered every thought and emotion to the will of His Father.
Yahushua made it clear that fantasizing about sex in one’s mind is as much a sin as engaging in the act itself. He stated firmly:
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27 and 28, NKJV)
Masturbation is often the result of other sins, such as watching movies or television shows that stimulate the desire for sex. Masturbation also goes hand in glove with pornography, since the passions that are aroused by looking at pornography seek the quick satisfaction that comes from self gratification.
Masturbation in those that are married can also be very selfish. It can seem easier and quicker to give oneself sexual release than to gain it while at the same time unselfishly seeking to give pleasure to one’s mate. Thus, the marriages of those who pleasure themselves will often suffer, causing confusion, pain and a sense of betrayal in their spouses.
Sexual intercourse is a beautiful gift from a loving Creator. It was designed to be shared within the intimacy and privacy of marriage. It is the ultimate expression of love and trust as each one unselfishly seeks to give joy to the other. Mutually shared within the bonds of holy matrimony, sexual intercourse can bring a couple closer and closer together.
Yahuwah created men and women as sexual beings but He never intended people to be slaves to their sexual desires. Adam and Eve were created in complete control of their bodies. They were beings whose sexual drives were under the control of their higher natures. Masturbation is an act that is highly addictive. A person who has developed the habit of masturbating will either be overcoming in the strength and power of the Redeemer or he or she will be engaging in this activity more and more as time passes.
When a man (or a woman) masturbates, the desire to masturbate increases with every time it is done. The body produces in accordance with the demands made upon it. A person who starts out masturbating just a few times a month will, over time, increase as the drive to masturbate increases.
Some people have actually reached the point of being sexual addicts where their every waking thought is centered around sex. Such people are truly captives of Satan, play things under the control of his evil promptings. The only hope for them is the only hope for any sinner: surrender to Yahushua for strength outside of themselves.
All who want to have Yahushua formed within will surrender all areas of their life to the Saviour – including the area of their sexuality. Surrendering your sexual drives and desires to Yahuwah will not make you asexual. “Elohim created man in His own image, in the image of Elohim created He him; male and female created He them.” (See Genesis 1:27.)
Yahuwah created two separate and distinct genders. Those who surrender their sexuality to Him will not lose their distinct gender. Instead, men will be more masculine, women more feminine as self control takes the place of self gratification. The person who has been a slave to his or her lower nature will regain the dignity that comes with the freedom only obedience to the divine law can bring.
As with any area in life through which Satan seeks to gain control, Yahushua is the answer. “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto Yahuwah by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (See Hebrews 7:25.) We are all born enslaved to Satan through our sinful human natures. As slaves of Satan, it is impossible through our own will power to free ourselves. We may know what is right and what is wrong. We may long to do what is right and shun what is wrong. But such knowledge is not enough to actually free us to do the right we wish to do.
This internal struggle between the desire to do what is right and the drive to give into sin was well described by Paul when he wrote:
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of Yahuwah according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (See Romans 7:14, 15, 17-25.)
This has been the heart cry of every person who has ever struggled in his or her own strength to overcome an addiction to any sin. The very next verse provides the answer: “I thank Yahuwah—through Yahushua the Anointed, our Master!” (See Romans 7:25.)
There are many, many sins. For every inherited and cultivated weakness, there is a temptation perfectly designed to entice to sin. However, regardless of the sin, there is only one answer: the Saviour. He is an ever present help in trouble. He will give the victory to all who ask for it.
When tempted to masturbate:
Victory is assured to all who receive it as a gift by faith in the Saviour.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Yahushua the Anointed, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Yahushua the Anointed has made me free from the law of sin and death.
What then shall we say to these things? If Yahuwah is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of Yahuwah which is in the Anointed Yahushua, our Master. (See Romans 8:1-2, 31-32, 37-39.)