Redeemed rebels and addiction

I volunteered as a chapel aide at the local county jail between 2017-2019.

Many of the prisoners were addicted to alcohol, methamphetamine and other illicit substances.

I spent a lot of time researching addictions and Christian approaches to this topic.

I would like to recommend a few resources in this regard for those who might be struggling with this issue, or have loved ones that are struggling with them.

A very good book on this topic is Heart of Addictions by Mark Shaw. You might consider purchasing this book and giving it to the addict in your life. See the related resources section below for a video lecture from Mark.

One of my friends that I met through the jail ministry told me it was the most helpful book that I gave him.

Jeff Durbin, pastor of Apologia Church in Phoenix, struggled with addiction prior to his encounter with Jesus Christ. See the related resources section for his testimony.

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Addiction is a symptom of the fallen nature in mankind, resulting from man’s rejection of God in the Garden of Eden.

The fallen nature is common to all men in Adam, before being born again in Christ. You must be born again, as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3.

The believer is a new creation in Christ. He is new, although not yet perfect.

Alistair Begg outlines our history as good, bad, new and perfected. The believer is in the new state moving toward the perfected state.

After being born again, believers still struggle with indwelling sin. Success in overcoming is achieved through use of the means of grace like prayer, Bible study, fasting, fellowship, and the ordinances of the Church. Neglect of the means of grace leads to constant defeat and yielding to the indwelling sin.

The reality is that the true believer is joined or united to Christ in a spiritual sense. However, we must focus upon our identity in Christ, and living it out in our life. Satan whispers his defeatist lies into our ears constantly and we must be vigilant in our exercise of the means of grace to overcome and to dispel these doubts.

Christ in us is the victorious conqueror of the ancient serpent.

Comments? Email me at [email protected] or leave a reply below. Respectful comments and questions without expletives will be posted and I will respond to them.

Robert Sparkman


Seeing Addiction Through a Biblical Lens – Mark Shaw
Freedom From Drug & Alcohol Addiction – Apologia Studios
Collective Online- Union with Christ – Campus Outreach TTU
The Heart of Addiction: A Biblical Perspective – Mark E. Shaw
Union With Christ – The Way to Know and Enjoy God, Rankin Wilbourne
The Christian’s True Identity: What It Means to Be in Christ – Jonathan Landry Cruse

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