Friday, January 30, 2009

Change we can believe in

When you think about someone addicted to drugs or drinking, what remedy do you think would liberate them? Some have said that the addict must admit his need before he will be free to change. While there is some truth to this, is this really the answer? Obviously, there must be more than simply admitting your need for change. You need to recognize it and then do something about it. The problem, however, is that addictions are more powerful than we are willing to admit. Due to our sinful nature, we often feel shackled to our ungodly behavior and feel powerless to change. So, the question remains: What is powerful enough to break the power of sinful addictions?

As people who want to help addicts, we need something very powerful to break the hold of idols. Pleas, tears, arguments, or threats will not penetrate. Reason is useless. We cannot simply say, "Stop doing drugs, get control of yourself, stop worshipping an idol." As a result of spiritual oppression, drug worshippers may be very intelligent, but they can be oblivious to the destruction and slavery associated with drug abuse. They need the power of God (1 Cor. 1:18), the message of Christ crucified and risen. Other therapies can offer sobriety, but only this good news is powerful enough to liberate the soul.

Edward T. Welch, Addictions A Banquet in the Grave—Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel, (Philippsburg NJ: P&R Publishers, 2001), 55.
This is something we often miss in our presentation of the gospel. The message of the cross is not just about God's forgiveness. It also includes the ability to change the lives of those who are transformed by it. In other words, Jesus didn't just die for our sins. He also rose again to give us new life! This message of the gospel truly is what will give victory to the addict and what will give us the ability to overcome sin in our daily lives.

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