Recorded, our new narrative podcast, begins with a two-part miniseries called “Remembering 9/11.”

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These 20 quotes caught my attention as I read Garrell Kell’s helpful new book, Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God (Crossway, 2021).


You will never regret resisting sin. You will always regret giving in. I have never looked back on obedience with regret, nor on compromise with gratitude. Seeing God is both our eternal destiny and our daily delight. (24–25)

Pornography is satanic discipleship. It trains us to see people and situations in perverted ways and become calloused to the way it grieves God. But by continually beholding Jesus, God transforms us to think and love like Jesus by serving people rather than using them for sinful satisfaction. (33)

God does not blush when he speaks about intimacy or orgasms. He designed our bodies with parts that actually become one, in the most intimate and enjoyable way imaginable, to produce new life. . . . Sex should cause us to marvel at Jesus because all its pleasures point to the glorious one who made them. (46–47)

Love never does anything to harm another person’s relationship with God. For instance, sex outside marriage is not an act of true love. God’s Word warns us that defiling the marriage bed incurs his judgment (Heb. 13:4). True love wouldn’t lead someone toward judgment; it would help him or her toward true joy. (48)

Your fulfillment as a person is not dependent on being sexually or romantically fulfilled. . . . You can have the best spouse on the planet and enjoy the most fulfilling sex life imaginable, yet this fact remains: if your heart is not satisfied in God, it will wander to find satisfaction elsewhere. Spouses can be wonderful helpers, but they are sorry saviors. Jesus alone can satisfy something as large as the human soul.” (54–55)

[Satan] offers a cup of promised refreshment, but doesn’t disclose the drop of poison within. He is a master counterfeiter, assuring you that compromise will not kill; you can escape any time you like. Like a fisherman who presents the bait and hides the hook, Satan fishes for us with personalized lures. He has studied you and knows what you like, maybe even more than you do. . . . Satan desires nothing more than to keep you from seeing Christ. So he does all he can to keep your Bible closed, your prayer closet empty, your fellowship shallow, and your trust in God’s promises hollow. (62–63)

Before a sin, Satan tempts you to believe repentance will be easy. After a sin, Satan tempts you to believe repentance is impossible. (64)

No matter what form your sexual brokenness takes, Jesus came to save you from it. . . . No matter where you have been, what you have done, or what has been done to you, the grace of God can wash you clean, consecrate you as his child, and restore what sin has stolen. (78)

When you are tempted today, remember the last day. . . . Make decisions today that you will be grateful for ten thousand years from now. With each passing moment, we draw nearer to that day when we’ll be saved to sin no more. Until then, read often of heaven and ask God to make you homesick for that everlasting city where the pure in heart will see him at last. (95)

We are not all weak in the same way, nor are we all strong at the same time. . . . Being “authentic” is not an end in itself. Satan is glad for people to talk openly about their sin—so long as they make no strides toward repentance. (102, 103)

Though it’s never safe to sin, a healthy church will be a safe place to struggle. (104)

Confessing to God brings us face to face with the one who knows us fully, yet forgives us completely. (117)

Meditate on the assurance of God’s love for you. Neither demon nor disaster can pry you from Christ’s grasp. His love is an everlasting love that was never earned and therefore can never be lost. (118)

The longer you wait to confess, the more likely it becomes that you never will. . . . Sin is a cancer—it must be rooted out as quickly as possible before it spreads. (122)

If you do sin, you will be tempted to lie about it. . . . We must learn to confess specific sins specifically. Don’t hover in generalities: “I’m struggling” or “I had a rough few days” or “I’ve been tempted recently.” Those are good introductions to the conversation; they’re not the substance. (122)

You can trust God with the consequences of your confession. . . . Hiding sin stokes a crushing anxiety that is always terrified of being exposed. Stepping into the light will be hard, but the fruit God will produce will be eternally worth it. (124–25)

The gospel of Jesus does not just free us from hell someday; it can also free us from sin today. . . . We are not who we used to be, so we do not have to do what we used to do. (133)

Small sins are just great ones in disguise. Any sin allowed to remain will prove to be a metastasizing cancer for your soul. Sin is imperialistic. It may seem slow at first, but this is part of its deceitful plan. Friend, never be comforted by how much worse of a sinner you could be. No sin is safe, no matter how small you perceive it. (135)

Kill your love for sin, or sin will kill your love for God. (142)

If you will know the freedom of seeing God, you must also know the pain of killing sin. (149)

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