Scripture Text: Romans 6:11-23
Memory Verse: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Romans 6:12
Lesson Aim: To highlight: (1) the damages that addiction causes; and (2) the fact that the power of Jesus the Messiah is able to deliver from the bondage of addiction.
Often times, when we hear of addiction, we immediately think of drugs or alcohol. But addiction is not limited to those substances. Addiction is the continued overuse of anything—substance or behavior—that results in the alteration of one’s mood. A person can be addicted to anything—exercise, sex, shopping, gambling, sweets, nicotine, television, caffeine, work, the Internet, social network—anything.
On one hand, it could be a substance that is intended to benefit us, like food, but over indulgence in it harms our body. On the other hand, it could be something that is naturally harmful to us, such as intravenous drug use.
Addiction is evidenced by several factors: (1) when the person is in denial; (2) when the person continues in the behavior despite adverse consequences; (3) when the behavior prevents the person from dealing with their life, their personal issues, or their family; and (4) when the person requires increasing dosages of the behavior or substance to obtain the original effect.
Addictions most often serve as a way for us to avoid painful feelings. Therefore, the best way to treat addiction is to address the underlying hurt and emptiness that lead to this destructive behavior. Because the addicted person is seeking relief, they often engage in the addictive behavior for immediate gratification (short-term reward), which is almost always accompanied with delayed negative effects (long-term costs). This leads to physiological dependence on the substance or behavior and is manifested by the body’s ability to adjust to the substance or behavior by incorporating it into its ‘normal’ functioning. This then creates a significantly higher level of tolerance for the substance or behavior than the person who is not addicted.
Addiction is bondage. All addictions are devices of Satan to enslave and deprive us of the fullness of the life our Creator intended for us. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Jesus came to deliver the captives and liberate the bruised. As a believer, we are no longer under the penalty of our sins. We are new creatures. Old things are passed away. Behold, all things have become new! Through His blood, Jesus has redeemed us, justified us, and liberated us to reclaim the dominion that was originally given to Adam.
Interact with God’s Word:
Recovery from Addiction
- Admit that you have an addiction. You must own the fact that you have a problem. The road to recovery and treatment will not be effective if you are in denial. How does Romans 7:15-25 relate to the need for an individual to admit that they have an addiction?
- Identify and address the underlying issue. Seek professional help and spiritual guidance. Bible-based professional counseling, coupled with the exploration and application of God’s healing Word can reveal truths about you that you and those helping you may not be aware of. Discuss in the context of Hebrews 4:12-16.
- Find healing in the Word of God. As with any type of healing, find and read scriptures that are relevant to your situation. Let the Word heal you by personalizing the Word. Place your name in the text when you read them. Read them aloud. There’s power in the spoken Word.
- Yield yourself to God. How does the act of submitting to God affect your ability to overcome and recover from addiction? Romans 12:1-2; Romans 13:14; James 4:7-8
- Change your association and environment. By removing yourself from the company and environment that encourage the addiction, you can reduce temptation. Discuss the necessity of surrounding oneself with strong believers that you can be accountable to and who will encourage you to do the right thing. 1 Corinthians 15:33; Hebrews 10:24-25; Galatians 6:1-2