James 1:15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
What is the real problem? What causes so many to struggle with addiction? Is it parents, community, environment, teachers, financial status, race, spouses, or children? These things may have aided in someone’s addiction, but it is not the source of the problem. The source of all of our problems and addictions is sin.
Sin is bad news in every dimension:
- Sin has selfishness at its heart – the more selfish we are the emptier we feel.
- Sin produces guilt – no matter what we do, the guilt will not go away.
- Sin produces meaninglessness – trying to fill a void that cannot be filled.
- Sin produces hopelessness – we feel that we have no hope.No hope for joy, peace, contentment, happiness, and love.
Some may refer to their addiction as a disease or disability; but the truth is – it is a sin! Once someone accepts this fact, then they are headed in the right direction to correct it. You cannot correct something unless it is properly diagnosed, and then properly treated!
Psychology began in the late 1860’s and it dealt with why man does evil, and where evil comes from. Psychology cannot answer these questions – these are questions that only the Bible can answer. Why do I sin? How does God see it? How is it dealt with? These areas of the soul, the mind, and evil are metaphysical areas. It cannot be solved using physical means; it must be dealt with in a supernatural way – God’s way!
The first step in dealing with addiction is to diagnose it properly. If an addiction is diagnosed as a disease then medicine and psychological counseling will be used to treat the “disease.” A disease is defined by Webster as “a deviation of the body from its normal or healthy state; or a disorder of a specific organ.” Addiction, on the other hand, is defined as “a habit so strong, that it cannot be easily given up, despite the consequences.” A bad habit and a physical disorder are hardly the same thing. Addiction is not a disease; it is a sin, therefore, medicine and counseling will not cure it. It may cover over the problem, but it will not solve it. Only Jesus can!
The Problem is Sin!
The word sin means – “to miss the mark.” God defines what is right, and whenever we miss the mark it is sin. Thinking wrong thoughts, looking at the wrong things, saying the wrong things, going to wrong places, doing things that are wrong and putting harmful substances into my body – all of this is a result of the sin in us. We will not be able to succeed in life until we deal with our biggest problem!
When someone can see that the sin in their life is what is causing all their problems, then they are well on their way of solving it.
The Affects of Sin:
There was a man in the Bible named Samson. He was the strongest man that ever lived, but he had a weakness — lust. He ended up going after a Philistine woman named Delilah. Delilah was Samson’s enemy, but Samson’s sin blinded him to the truth. We read this in Judges 16: 4-21:
“And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver. And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known. And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread. And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web. And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man. And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath showed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
In this story we see what sin did to Samson:
- It made him blind to his real enemy.He thought that Delilah loved him, but in reality she hated him.
- It made him do things that were very destructive.Delilah wanted him dead, and he was putting his head in her lap, as if she loved him.
- It made him overconfident.Even when the Philistines came in to attack him, Samson continued to play the game with Delilah.
- In the end we see that Samson loses his strength, loses his eyesight, loses his freedom, and then loses his life.
A Biblical Illustration:
In Luke chapter 15 Jesus tells a story about a young man who rebelled against his father. This story is referred to as the “prodigal son.” This man ends up paying the price for his actions, but he learned from his mistake, and then he gets things right. This story is a parable that Jesus uses to illustrate how someone who has sinned against our heavenly Father can get their life right with Him.
Luke 15: 11-24 “And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
In this story we see, not only how the prodigal son caused his own problems, but how he got things right!
- The “prodigal son” took his inheritance and spent it foolishly, against his father’s will.
- He wasted his substance with “riotous living.”
- He came to a point where he “spent all” and he began to be “in want.”
- Finally he “came to himself,” which means he thought about his life, and how much better it was when he was back home with his father.
- He decided to go back to his father and say to him, “father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”
- Then we see that he arose and went to his father, and asked for forgiveness, and his father forgave him.
This is exactly how someone can get their life right: by admitting that they have sinned and then by repenting and asking God to forgive them. Today many people will blame others for their problems and say: “It is my father’s fault for giving me the money; it is my brother’s fault because he is a hypocrite; it is the bosses fault; it is God’s fault for sending the draught. It is the pig’s fault; it is the owner’s fault.” Blaming others may make us feel a little better about our problems, but it will not deal with the real issue. We will continue to suffer until we acknowledge that we have sinned!
The Deceitfulness of Sin:
If we can understand how sin works in our life, it is less likely that we will be deceived by it. When someone commits a sin, there is immediate gratification. BUT…when the same sin is committed, the gratification level lessens. This is known as the “law of diminishing returns.” This means the person has to commit more sin in order to achieve the same level of gratification originally achieved. For example: a drug user must take more and more drugs as their addiction progresses in order for them to achieve the same “high” they achieved at the beginning. It basically works the same way for all sins. In other words, the more we sin, the more prone we will be to sin more. It only gets worse and worse. It can get so bad that some people think that the only way out is suicide. The truth about sin is: “the longer we sin the harder it will be to quit.”
How to Deal with Sin:
- Admit that you have sinned against God.
Sins should be named specifically (lust, drug abuse, lying, gossip, immorality, etc…)
- Realize the consequences for sin.
Depression, bondage, financial problems, relationship problems
- Ask God for forgiveness.
God has promised to forgive us!
- Submit to God in all areas of your life!
No one is perfect, but if we continuously try to bring our life under God’s Word, we will live a life of victory over sin. When we fail, then we need to get things right, and try again.
- Be accountable to someone.
Accountability will help someone overcome sins that are very difficult to overcome.
The way you deal with sin initially is by receiving salvation, then you deal with it by confessing and forsaking it on a regular basis (1 John 1:9). We are all sinners, but once we receive Jesus Christ we have the ability to break sins power over us.
Sin is the problem. If we recognize this and deal with it properly, we have overcome it!
- Although there are many factors causing someone to struggle with addictions, what is the real reason people
struggle with addiction? ___________________.
- What is the first step in properly dealing with addiction? _______________________________________.
- Until we acknowledge that we have sinned we will continue to s_________________________.
- The truth about sin is: “the longer we sin the __________________________________________.”
- In the story of Samson we see that sin made Samson blind to what?_____________________________________.
- If we can understand how sin works in our life, it is less likely that we will be ____________________________.
- How should we deal with sin:
Memory Verse: James 1:15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”