Sunday, November 11, 2012

Addiction To Sin

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
Psalm 32:1-2

This morning our church had the delightful opportunity to share our worship time with men and women who are part of the Teen Challenge substance abuse recovery program. How wonderful it is to hear the testimonies of these people who have seen sin in such a raw state in their lives that they do not need to question the need for a savior. This morning this group stood before our congregation, forgiven but yet no longer deceived that life is something they have the ability to do on our own or in thinking the most important things to be accomplished are for the betterment of self.

As I prayed for these precious souls while they were singing and sharing this morning, I knew the world they have experienced and the darkness they have seen (and even allowed to live within their hearts during those times), was something beyond what I could say I even understand. And yet, as I look back I do understand that the fight I once waged to resist a dependency on other things, on my own before Christ, had been just as strong as that of a substance abuser. Yet, my addictions were not categorized as deviant, and therefore were tolerated by society and even by my wayward and prideful heart during that dark time in my life.

My pastor this morning said it the best when he stated at the end of our service, “It is not as if these people who are standing before you are in a boat and we are on the shore cheering them on. No, we are all in the same boat and it is called sin.” We are best not to forget that this sobriety from sin is something we are all seeking and the Jesus Christ and His faithful forgiveness is the only thing that makes us clean and holy in the sight of the Lord.  Apart from Christ we are destined to a life of addiction to sin and for it to control our lives, our thoughts, our actions, and our goals.

If you think that anything other than holding onto the hope of Christ is going to save you from your sinful tendencies, than you are holding onto the side of a sinking boat. The only boat the will lead any of us to eternity, and into the arms of our Savior, is the boat that is covered with His blood and which is guaranteed by His undaunting faithfulness.

As I was reading through Hebrews this afternoon, with thoughts of the choir still mulling around in my mind as well as the heartache our family has been feeling about the downward turn our county took this last week with the elections, I think the following verse are very fitting to be at the forefront of our minds when we wonder, “What is it we are supposed to do now that we are stuck between the world and its deceitful lusts and our own sinful natures that keep trying to drag us down to follow the ways of the world?”

The answer is right here. Hold fast to your hope – Jesus. Remember He is faithful and He will bring to pass all He has promised us. Continue to love on other believers and show the light of Christ as you reach out to the lost but also in how you interact with one another. Build up the body of Christ. And most of all, never forget that the end is coming and for that reason you must be prepared.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25

It is one way or the other. The boat that will take you towards salvation or the boat headed to perdition. How you determine to live from this day forward will determine which boat you are on. Which ever you choose, it will seal your fate when Jesus comes back because one will guard you from your own sinful addictions but the other will feed those addictions and only allow you to be more and more consumed with them. And since we don't know when that moment is going to come when Jesus returns and calls us home, it would be best to decide right now to stay in the boat that will not lead us off course.

“But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39

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