The lives of many were rocked by the recent news that Bob Coy, founder and former pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale—a bourgeoning mega-church—stepped down because of a sexual scandal.
The reason for his doing so was described as “moral failure.” Sadly, sordid details including adultery and a longstanding pornography habit have also emerged.
If Bob Coy can’t figure this out, what hope is there for me?
The damage from this is great. Many must be asking, “If Bob Coy can’t figure this out, what hope is there for me?”
Bob Coy’s story shows that he had become a slave of lust.
Of course, few in the secular press or even in the Church choose to characterize him as a slave of lust. Instead, there is widespread dismay or derision over the idea that a man in his position would be unable to control his behavior and make such bad choices.
In all that is written about this grievous story, the sin of “lust” receives virtually no attention. It lurks in the shadows. Instead, the concern is over morals—behavior—visible, destructive sin. If he had been able to bottle up his lust without letting it spill out in such a damaging way, he would still be on the job.
Yet, make no mistake. Lust was firmly in control and the driver behind Coy’s behavior.
Jesus was clear: “He who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). Anyone who continues in sin without properly confessing and repenting from his sin gradually loses his ability to resist. This applies whether you are a Christian or an unbeliever; whether you are a mega-church pastor or someone unknown—a new believer or a veteran. It is simply the way sin works.
As a “slave to sin,” Bob Coy had no choice but to lust. Lust weakened him and caused him at times to give in to its visibly ugly demands. Resisting some behaviors or hiding others did not change the underlying problem.
The good news is that no one needs to remain a slave to lust. Jesus came to set captives free. He changes us so that instead of slaves to sin, we become “slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:18). However, this is not an automatic or instant result. It does not come from going to church, by merely placing our faith in Christ or by limiting visible, bad behavior.
Instead, we become slaves to righteousness as we put off the old man and put on the new. It comes as we put sin to death and walk in the Spirit. It is the glorious outcome evident in those who truly follow Jesus.
Having been a slave to lust myself, I feel heart-aching sadness and compassion for those who fall like Bob Coy.
If you are struggling with lust, consider this:
- Do not be misled by Satan’s lies. Even though you see prominent Christians fail, this does not mean that victory over lust is out of reach for you. No life dominating sin can stand before the power that is at work in you.
- Step out in obedience. God will lead you to victory, allow you to overcome lust and to experience freedom from sin. Lust will not have dominion over you. You will not be its slave.
Note: Read here if you don’t know what is required of you to overcome lust.