First Step to Freedom
Jesus wants to help you! He has already provided a way of escape for you. Choosing to continue in your addiction is, in essence, denying and rejecting the freedom Jesus offers to you. Trying to construct your own answers to your addiction or even your other problems in life is like saying that the torture Jesus went through for you on the cross was not enough. He would need to do more for you to turn to Him.
No! His death was enough to pay not only the penalty for your sin, but also to provide you with the emancipation from the power of your sin, as well. Yes, true freedom begins by accepting Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross as your penalty payment for all the wrong you have ever committed. All of it, one payment. God’s sinless Son died for you. We refer to this as “accepting Christ as your Savior.”
It is the most important choice you will ever make
If you have never done this in your life, there is no other step, much less twelve steps you can take to find freedom. This is a “change in belief” that each individual must make for themselves. It is the most important choice you will ever make.
Justification is a benefit that takes place at the moment of salvation. Justification is salvation from the penalty of sin (which is the Bible word for our wrongs). The penalty from which we are being justified is the penalty of eternal separation from God in a place called Hell.
To help you picture what Christ has done for you and me, there are some key words in the Bible I want to help you understand. What Jesus Christ actually did for us needs to be understood before we can clearly accept His gift and establish the pathway to freedom from our addictive nature.
Sin is the Bible word for our wrong. The Bible tells us that everyone does things wrong and everyone does wrong things. This makes us sinners.
Our wrongs must be paid for in some way and someday. It is a huge debt! The Bible tells us the payment for our wrong doing is death.
Step One: Accept the fact that you are a sinner
Step One: Accept the fact that you are a sinner. We are all sinners and so are you. Your drug of choice is just one of the many sin problems that you have. You may think the best choice you could make is avoid using your. But the worst choice you can make is to die as an unconverted sinner. You will spend eternity in hell.
Do you really believe that you are a sinner? As you enter our program, ask yourself this question. “Do I realize I am a sinner, and that my sin deems me worthy of hell?” If you do not know this, your beliefs must change, my friend, if you are going to be made free in life.
Express to God in dependence upon Him your agreement with the Bible that you are indeed a wrong doer, a sinner!
Death means to be absent of life. The Bible tells us that because of sin, God determined that man would become mortal. As a result of that decision, eventually each person physically dies because of our wrong doing.
However, if we die in our sins, we are destined for hell and separated from God for eternity. Hell is God’s judgment and final rejection of the lost. But it is not a rejection because of our imperfection, it is judgment for our rejection! God loves us, even as sinners. But our sin exempts us from our ability to enjoy heaven that does not accept His free gift of Salvation.
That free gift was borne by God’s Son, Jesus, who willingly offered His own life as a substitute to pay for our debt. Jesus paid our sin debt when He willingly submitted to die for us by being crucified on the cross.
Do you believe that Jesus died for you and me? If not, please remember that our beliefs must change, my friend, if we are going to be made free in life. Please don’t die refusing to believe that you are a sinner and that Jesus died for you.
Step Two: As you continue your prayer from step one, agree with the Bible through your own personal dependence that Jesus died for your sins.
The Bible tells us that after Jesus died, His followers borrowed the tomb of a wealthy believer and laid Jesus’ body to rest in that tomb. It was guarded every hour of the day by Roman soldiers. After three whole days, some close friends of Jesus came to visit the tomb, and found it empty! The body of Jesus was missing! Some thought he had been stolen. But the Bible says that an angel of the Lord was sitting nearby and informed Jesus’ friends that He was gone, for He had risen from the dead.
Do you believe that Jesus was buried for you? If not, please remember that our beliefs must change, my friend, if we are going to be made free in life. Please don’t die refusing to believe that you are a sinner and that Jesus died and was buried for you.
Step Three: As you continue your prayer from step two, agree with the Bible through your own personal dependence that Jesus was buried and laid in state for three whole days.
Resurrection means “brought back to life
Resurrection means “brought back to life.” The Bible tells us that God the Father raised Jesus, His Son, from the dead through the power of His Holy Spirit. Yes, after being crucified and lying in a tomb for three days, Jesus came out of the grave alive! Hundreds of eye witnesses saw Him, proving that this phenomenon is truth.
You see, God is love. God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, and He loved His Son so much that He raised Him from the dead. You see, death’s power over us would not have been conquered unless God could demonstrate His power over it. Thus, the resurrection of Jesus is important to understanding what He has done for us. Yes, God has power over life and He has power over death. He can give us the promise of His life and He can save us from our penalty of our death.
Do you believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead by God through the power of His Holy Spirit? If not, please remember that our beliefs must change, my friend, if we are going to be made free in life. Please don’t die refusing to believe that you are a sinner, that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead the third day.
Step Four: As you continue your prayer from step three, agree with the Bible through your own personal dependence that you believe that Jesus rose from the dead after three days, by the empowering Holy Spirit.
These three simple words—death, burial, and resurrection—are three words that represent the miracle events that provide us freedom from the penalty of our sins. Receiving this payment frees us from paying the debt for our sin. If you have accepted this gift, then according to the Bible, you now have a home in heaven reserved for you. We do not get to heaven based on what we have done, but by believing in what Christ has done for us. We have to believe by dependence on the events described in these three words in order to be saved from Hell and granted a home in Heaven.
That brings us to our final two important word definitions. Those final two words are “believe” and “receive.” After this, we will focus on how depending on the events that surround these single word meanings will also help YOU overcome your addiction. These simple words, their meanings and the events we are defining will provide you, as it has us, a great peace that simple sobriety could never afford!
The word believe means “to be persuaded to accept a truth through complete dependency upon it.” The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Truth and anyone knows this Truth will be made free.
However, in order for Jesus’ sacrifice to be applied to our personal sin debt, we must “be persuaded to accept this Truth of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection through complete dependency upon it.” When we are fully persuaded that something is true, we will depend upon that truth, that is to say, we will believe it!
Belief is another word for confidence or faith
Belief is another word for confidence or faith. But your confidence in something must be accepted through a complete dependence upon the truth believed in order to qualify as real faith. In other words, in order to be saved, you must “completely depend on Jesus” as the payer of your sin debt through His DBR (death, burial, resurrection). We must have confidence in Him that leads us to depend on Him alone to save us from the debt we owe for our wrong doings in life.
With that said, we do not need to add good works, or join a church, or give money, or even “go to confession” to get to Heaven. We only depend on His DBR! That is what the Bible calls “saving faith.” We must believe on Him in order to receive Him. Now, what do we receive when we believe on Him?
Receive means “to obtain from another.” The Bible tells us that if we will believe in our hearts that Jesus died on the cross and that God raised Him from the dead that we would be saved. (See .) When we are saved, our sin debt is paid and He gives to us eternal life. If you believe on Him, you will receive this from Him.
Eternal life is best defined as “life in perpetuity.” This is to say, it is a life that begins when we get saved (or, are born again) and lasts forever. That is why we can commit to you that your new life will provide you power over your addiction. It has for me and many others just like me.
Our eternal life cannot be taken from us. It is a free gift that cannot be earned by doing good or be taken away by doing bad. It is yours, if you will only believe and receive. Should we? Oh, yes, we all should. Could we? Oh yes, we all could accept this free gift. But would you? That is the most important question that you will ever answer.
Salvation also gives us the empowering of Internal Persuasion. When we receive Christ as our Savior, the Bible tells us that Holy Spirit comes to live within us. He lives within our spirit in what the Bible calls our inner man. Within the inner man, your spirit and the Spirit of God can have fellowship one with another. This is where we find our ability to worship God and the ability to gain victory over our vices, including of course, your specific addiction.
This is God’s simple plan of salvation, benefit number one—justification. When we experience justification, we have been saved from the penalty of sin.
Would you like to believe and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior? It is the first step to freedom from the power of sin, but it is the most important step. This is the step that grants us the freedom we all need from the penalty of sin. As a matter of fact, if you find freedom from life crippling addictions but die and go to hell, your sobriety will not have been worth it whatsoever.
Friend, I plead with you today to take this first step! Consider praying this simple prayer to God, meaning it from your heart. Saying this prayer is a way to declare to God that you are depending on Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. The words themselves will not save you. Only dependence (faith) on Jesus Christ can grant us our salvation!
PRAYER: “Father, I know that I am a sinner and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly wrong and deserve to be punished for it. But I do believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died to pay my sin penalty. I believe that He was buried for three days and was resurrected from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus is alive, and hears my prayers. I accept His payment for my sins and invite His Spirit to indwell me and empower me to overcome my wrong behaviors. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”
Your belief systems are changing, and if you have placed your full dependence upon Jesus to save you, you now have a Presence living within you that can give you the power to behave differently. In other words, now that you have changed just one of the ways you believed, you are now empowered to change the way you think. This simple step can forever change the way you act.
To overcome the world’s many vices, this new relationship you have established with Jesus needs to be developed. This relationship is strengthened by the Power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The more you know Jesus, not about Him, but the more you personally know Him, the more freedom you will experience over the wrong doings of which you have been forgiven. This personal relationship will set you, as it has us, on a pilgrimage toward the second benefit of your salvation, your sanctification.
If you have prayed this prayer, you need to let another Christian know as soon as possible. If you have accepted God’s plan of salvation or have questions about what this means, we would like to hear from you. Please contact Mike Smith 734-788-8535 or contact us here and we will give you information on living life “God’s Way.”