Summary: A plan for ministering to addicts according to Scripture
“Addicts Victorious in Christ”
The first and possibly the most important fact is the attitude of the addict concerning their addiction. Unless a Biblical understanding of their addiction is acknowledged there will be no real victory over an addiction for the Bible clearly states:
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man:But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust has conceived it brings forth sin, and sin when it is finished, brings forth death.”(James 1:13-15)
The present-day thinking among many who deal with addicts creates a victim mentality, telling the addict that he had no choice in the matter because his environment, his childhood, his inability to have access to adequate medical/psychological help is the root cause of his problem.
In addition, the so-called victim is also told that his addiction is in reality a disease and they had no actual choice in the matter, therefore it must be treated as any other disease such as cancer, diabetes etc. If the addict adopts this modern-day mentality there can be no real success in applying God’s power!
However, if they take responsibility for their condition by recognizing the obvious principles found in God’s Holy Bible and apply God’s cure found in Christ, the calamity of any addiction can be eliminated and the addict can be victorious through the power of God in Christ.
Although the passage above (James 1:13-15) is normally applied to born-again Christians, the principles can be applied to an addict whether they are in Christ or in Adam:
1. The first step is the temptation occurs “when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed”
2. Then “when lust has conceived it brings forth sin”
3. Then “sin when it is finished it brings forth death”
The starting point is the person’s desire to commit the single sinful act whether it be to drink, smoke, gamble, abuse drugs, pornography, etc. all of which occur through the lust of the flesh. Then by allowing lust to continue through repeatedly entertaining the enticement they commit that first sinful act and this first act of sin eventually turns into a habit.
Then the habit turns into an addiction controlling the addicts life which is aptly described as “sin when it is finished brings forth death” for the death spoken of here can be both physical and spiritual. The addicts life is no longer controlled by the Holy Spirit [believer] neither is it controlled by their own will [believer/unbeliever] but instead they are now controlled by another spirit.
Every addiction must be viewed though the filter of the spiritual realm [not the physical] as described in the Bible in order to have complete victory in Christ. Therefore, the real enemy that is being fought must be recognized as the devil/demons for:
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand [against the wiles of the devil] in the evil day and having done all to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12,13)
And, in the case of the one who is still in Adam, it must be acknowledged that they are without Christ and are“children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38) who can only be cured by:
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which lives and abides forever.” (I Peter 1:23)
“Ye must be born again…that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
(John 3:3, 6)
The second step for complete victory over an addiction is the application of the Word of God in the life of the addict for as one preacher has rightly said: “The Word of God does the Work of God!”
No amount of physical effort, or self help programs, or psychology/psychiatry etc. can bring complete victory to those who are struggling with an addiction for the efforts of man will only bring fruitless frustration, but the simple application of God’s Word can and will bring complete and lasting victory every single time it is applied in faithful obedience for we have God’s promise:
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things [Satanic addictions] are passed away; behold, all things [Christ-like addictions] are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
(Mark 5:1-15) Testimony: Illustration of New Creature Message
1. Being born again places the addict “in Christ”
2. Being born again causes the addict “in Christ” to become a new creature/creation
3. Being born again causes old things [Satanic addictions] to pass away