CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Christians and Addiction
From Grace to Victory
By Barry Huddleston
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There isn't any sin that wasn't settled at the cross. And when a person comes to Jesus and realizes just how perfect the sacrifice of Jesus was in showing us how much God loves us and how completely forgiven we are, then God sets us on a path of freedom from all our fears, guilt, and addictions. As you take your eyes off yourself you will begin to see that Jesus is the end of all your struggles. This is because God's perfect love is the answer to overcoming the addiction in your life. But the devil is doing everything he can to alienate and cut you off from this love.
Let me just say that the emphasis of the new covenant of grace, that Jesus gave us, is about God's love for you. And when you know and believe how abundantly God loves and has forgiven you, you will end up loving God, and then your addictions will fall away. But the key is to occupy your mind with Jesus. You see the more forgiveness-conscious you are, the more easily you will experience freedom from every form of addiction and destructive habit. Your new life in Jesus, who is within you, will push out the addiction, but you must get into His Word and feed on Jesus' forgiveness and the fact that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). Fellowship — hang out with other believers who are putting Jesus first in their lives and have a sincere desire to serve the Savior.
You need not be defeated by anything unless you consent to be. Jesus says in John 16:33, "In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Every enemy you face is a defeated one. Nothing can touch you that hasn't touched Jesus and that hasn't been defeated by Him, and if you open your life to His power and love every sin can be defeated again by and through His grace.
Each time we fall into sin, God wants us to remember the cross and say, "Lord Jesus, you were sentenced for this sin I committed. You bore the judgment, so God will not judge me for this sin. You were condemned for this sin, so God will not condemn me for it." If you don't look to the cross, you will become your own judge and condemn yourself because of your sin-consciousness. Expecting judgment for the addiction will give the devil a chance to get you thinking that God has something against you because of your sin. You must come to the place where you know and believe that all your sins are forgiven, that there is no sin that will ever disqualify you from God's blessings — there is no sin that will ever send you to hell — because you are forgiven and saved eternally. Hebrews 10:17 tells us that God will remember our sins no more. God did remember all our sins 2000 years ago at the cross. Every sin which we have committed or will commit has been punished to the full in the body of Jesus Christ at the cross. That is why today God remembers our sins no more. We should, therefore, not be focused on the power and bondage of sin.
The blood of Jesus shed at the cross has redeemed you from all curses, including the curse of serving sin. Because you belong to Jesus, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death (Romans 8:2-9; 2 Corinthians 5:15, 17).
It takes God's grace to destroy sin and when you are under His grace then sin has no dominion over you (Romans 6:14). It is Jesus' life that brings victory over the devil and all his works and He put that life in you — the life of Christ is in you! When Jesus went to the cross He put an end to everything that was natural of the Adamic race. Jesus took the power of sin and replaced it with the Holy Spirit that indwells you (John 16:7), so that you will live life with His Spirit in you and walk in His overcoming power. Romans 6:6-11 says:
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider ourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.The Bible says that we overcome the devil, the accuser of our brethren, by the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 12:11). First John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." Some Christians that are involved in addictive behavior (sin) would rather hold on to their past and condemn themselves instead of claiming the truth that Jesus' blood continuously cleanses them and releases the power and salvation of God into that situation.
God will change your heart, and as you get into the Word of God He will also change your mind. Watch what you are thinking about. The ancestor of every action is a thought. Saturate yourself with the Word of God. Go to a good Bible-believing church on a regular basis that has a recovery group. Don't put yourself close to the fire and then wonder why you are burnt. We all have straw tails. One last thought; You can get rid of one desire only by a higher desire. Let the love of Christ be the fire that eats up these lesser loves. The love of Christ must be at the center.
Romans 12:2 says, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." The mind is the key. The renewed mind can renew your nature. The mind decides what shall or shall not be the nature of your nature. A lot of Christians refuse to settle down in God and have a quiet time, but instead they keep their troubles and thoughts in their own hands and are frustrated. There can never be complete peace unless that peace rests ultimately in the love and goodness of God. The only way to escape from yourself is to make God and His will the center of your consciousness and your life plans. I'll explain how this is done in a minute.
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Published on 4-29-15