I accepted Christ about 9 years ago. I backslid for a few years but God was always there with me, protected me from a lot of things, and waited for me to come back to Him. But I did get into drugs. I found my way back to Him finally and got back into my church; I have that hunger to learn more and share my love for Him and what He’s done for me. But I still struggle with my addiction and fall back sometimes, and whenever I do I open my bible and read. But I feel guilty when I do. And I am scared that I continue to fall and that I might not be the believer that I thought I was because I continue to fall. I know that as a believer that we’re still tempted. I’m not tempted by a lot of things that I used to, but this one thing I just seem not to be able to shake. Please someone help me understand why and/or how I can over come this because I want to honor Him and become a Christlike example without feeling so guilty.
ESV - 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
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Absolutely YES. We can struggle with all kinds of sins and addictions and still be a born again Christian. We are saved by the grace of God, as a gift from God, that we receive by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. Jesus takes all our sin upon himself and gives us his righteousness. Our job is to believe in Jesus and walk with the Holy Spirit. We all sin in many different ways. When we become aware of sin we are to sincerely confess it to God and repent of it, that is, to do all we can to turn away from the sin and do what pleases God. When we are still controlled by sins, God knows the desire of our heart and that is true repentance. I came to faith in Christ in 1984. At the time my life was controlled by many sins, some fell away immediately and others took years. I was addicted to cigarettes. I knew it was wrong because I was polluting the temple of the Holy Spirit. I tried to quit hundreds of times. I prayed and prayed for miraculous healing and deliverance. I prayed for strength of will. Finally, on weedless Wednesday in February of 2001 I was delivered and set free from this addiction. I knew it was an act of God because I woke up that morning and the craving was gone, never to return. Thank you, Jesus. It is important not to allow the enemy to “condemn” and make our guilt drive us away from God, like Adam who went into hiding. To deal with the guilt and shame and not let it sidetrack your relationship with God and your mission from God, I suggest meditating on Psalm 51 and Psalm 32. These two psalms focus on confession, forgiveness and cleansing for restoration. You may want to memorize and pray these psalms to God every day. I also encourage you to share your addiction struggle with other trusted Christians, and implore then to pray for your deliverance. Ask other mature Christians for their advice (wisdom from God) on strategies for success in overcoming this addiction. Keep the faith. Wait on the Lord. Watch his deliverance. Tell your story.
Would overcoming your addiction save you? No, Jesus already saved you apart from anything we do or do not do. The GIFT of God is eternal life. Not a reward for good behavior. We can lose our life, and our rewards in heaven, but not eternal life that we did nothing for. Romans 4:8. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. First Corinthians 3:11-21. We are saved by faith alone in Jesus finished work on the cross alone apart from works. We are rewarded in heaven by our works after we have received the free gift. We can lose our life, and our rewards in heaven, but not eternal life. First Corinthians 3:15. If all of our works are burned up, we shall be saved so as by fire. Only our rewards are lost. God does not heal all sickness, and He does not cure all addictions. He paid for the sin so we can no longer be condemned John 3:18. Whether you give up and overcome your addiction has nothing to do with you receiving the free gift of eternal life. It may have to do with your rewards in heaven, but not the free gift of eternal life. First John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. We all sin all the time because we are still in our sinful state. Only our soul/spirit is saved. Not our old nature or our flesh. Flesh and blood can not enter the kingdom. We are all addicted to things we do not even know we are addicted to. John six:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE. Jesus said it, we believe it, and that settles it. Romans 3:23 and Romans 3:9-10 Roman six:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life, through Jesus finished work on the cross.
"For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity" (Prov 24:16). Although the devil likes to point to our failures, we have to keep in mind that God is in control of our lives if we let Him. Please do not underestimate the power of God to save the sinner – Christ died for us so we can be free from sin and have eternal life. Addictions, regardless of its nature are not in God’s plan for our lives. I’m not an expert in the area and probably others are more qualified to advise you on how to deal with this issue – but all I can say is to trust in God, surrender in prayer to His will and let Him do the transformation that you need. Ask God to give you victory over this addiction and remember that from Mary Magdalene Jesus cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). Below are listed just few promises that God made to us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Heb 8:12). “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:12). “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:1).
I as a Christian man struggle with a sexual addiction to the opposite sex. But 2 verses help me here: "For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, But the wicked stumble in time of calamity" (Prov 24:16). Micah 7:8 "Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me." (ESV)
Once saved always saved is a wicked doctrine. Many heroin addicts and drunkards have been deceived by it. God loves the back slider, but he doesn't want you to stay in that condition.."You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."
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