by Eric Dunbar
The gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Stop and think about that for a moment. The power of God actually rests in the gospel of Christ, and that power is able to save anyone from anything.
When we think of salvation we generally think about being saved from going to Hell. But salvation means more than to be saved from Hell. The Greek word salvation is the word soteria which denotes “deliverance and preservation” in every area of one’s life, including health, deliverance from addictions, financial lack, etc. So in essence, salvation means wholeness, or completeness.
The power that is resident in the gospel of Christ to make you whole or complete is made alive in you when you exercise your faith in the works and teachings of Christ. What this means is if you are addicted to anything, be it cigarettes, sex, drugs, gambling, or food, there is power for deliverance through faith in the gospel of Christ.
I think one of the reasons we are not seeing the power of God manifested in the lives of those who have problems with addiction is that there are too many voices delivering the message of Christ. When I was in High School we did an experiment to see if a message could be delivered accurately by word of mouth after it had been delivered by several people. On one end of the classroom, one student whispered into the ear of the student next to them a message that went something like this: “A pink elephant had on a pair of purple shorts with red dots and green stripes.” The message was then passed on to the next student until it reached the other side of the classroom. Surprisingly, when it reached the last student the message was quite different from the original. The elephant was no longer pink but rather it was now green wearing purple shorts with green dots and red stripes.
Because we hear so many versions of the gospel it becomes distorted like the message in our classroom experiment. You cannot get the full understanding of the gospel from a tweet, a Facebook post or an Instagram photo. You have to go to the source — the Bible, which is the written word of God. You might say, but Eric, I read the Bible every day. Well I’ve got news for you. You can’t fully grasp the fullness of the gospel from casually reading a couple of verses or chapters every day. You have to spend time with God Only God can expose the true meaning of the gospel to you.
The resident power of the gospel of Christ can set you free of your addiction, for the Bible says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” But freedom from an addiction can only come when you know the truth, as the Bible again says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This truth is the truth of the gospel of Christ — not some watered down version of someone’s interpretation of the gospel.
So if you have been struggling to get sober, or maintain your sobriety, put your trust in Christ, the Son of the living God of the Bible. Rehabilitation programs and group meetings can be helpful, but don’t depend on drug programs and group meetings for your deliverance. Rather you should learn to not trust your own intellect, but to trust in the Lord (Jesus Christ) with your whole heart and He will lead you to the freedom that you thirst for.