CHOICES: THE DISORDER BEHIND ADDICTIONS
Though we acknowledge the ever-worsening effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, Freedom That Lasts® Canada sees choices, not diseases, as the root cause of every addiction and life-dominating sin. The source of these choices, in turn, is a heart that tries to use a created thing – a drug, a behavior, a relationship, etc. – to make life worth living, rather than turning to the Creator Himself.
We also acknowledge that painful situations in life may drive a person to seek quick relief in substances, behaviors, or other people. But when God does not occupy first place in a person's heart, his attempts to handle the hard things in life must end in disaster.
If a person is controlled by a certain life-dominating sin or stubborn habit and does not experience God's conviction or chastening as a result, the testimony of Scripture is a warning to him to consider whether or not he truly belongs to Christ. God will not allow His children to pursue sin unhindered, without any rebuke or chastening from Him (Revelation 3:19; 1 John 3:2-10).
SANCTIFICATION: TRUE "RECOVERY"
Scripture presents sanctification as the way for the Christian to break free from sin's enslaving power. The key parts of this process, as Bible teachers have identified them, can be summed up as follows:
Sanctification is that process whereby the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make the people of God like the Son of God amidst the circumstances they face in the providence of God.
This definition outlines the basic components of any discipleship efforts resulting in real, permanent change. Change of this kind that glorifies God cannot happen unless students first have become His children. Once that relationship has been established, they can start to become who they already are by taking on more and more of the character of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Scripture further presents the internal ministry of the body of Christ among its members as an essential means of advancing this process, especially as it is practiced in the local church. A biblical addiction program will make the discipling of addicts its primary objective. A person enslaved to a life-dominating sin must receive Christ's gift of salvation and be guided into a Spirit-filled lifestyle regulated by the Word of God. Sanctification is God's way of recovery, the path to freedom that lasts.
Christ's death, burial, and resurrection provide the foundation for eternal salvation from sin and for release from its power in this life. The content of the Freedom That Lasts® program will highlight the centrality of this foundation for living out the truths expressed in the sanctification statement above.
THE LOCAL CHURCH: A DIVINELY-APPOINTED "SUPPORT GROUP"
God provides the teaching and fellowship needed for sanctification through local churches loyal to His Word. Isolation makes a person vulnerable, and a believer who does not allow himself to be edified through the preaching of the Word and through relationships with fellow believers sets himself up for failure in dealing with his entrenched sinful behaviors and the painful realities of life. No other "support group" can substitute for the local church.