AA and Common Bondage of Sin

Today Scot is hosting the fifth post in the series looking at what the Church can learn from AA. Today’s topic is addiction. In this one, I’ve included a long collection of New Testament scriptures that I think lead to a bold claim: We are all addicts. Or, to say it another way, we are all, as far as our sinful nature is concerned, slaves to sin. We all need to die daily to have and give the new life in Christ, and that’s at the core of the steps. Come by and enjoy today’s discussion!

Also, in the near future, I’m going to be revamping our tab here on our site for the “12 steps” to include all the posts in the series, mainly to answer the questions of “Why, as a Christian without any addiction issues, would I work the steps or do anything the support groups do?” and, relatedly, “How would support group practices, including the steps, tie in to a biblical faith in Jesus?”

  1 comment for “AA and Common Bondage of Sin

  1. January 6, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I would take issue with the teaching that true Christians are still “slaves to sin.”

    One of the scriptures quoted in the post from Romans 6 is quite clear that those that are in Christ are no longer slaves to sin, but rather slaves to righteousness. I agree that we need to daily die to ourselves, but this does not mean that Christians are still slaves to sin. The NT is full of redemption language. To redeem means to buy one out of slavery, out of servitude. God’s gracious deliverance of the Israelite’s out of slavery in Egypt is a parallel to our deliverance out of slavery to sin, being purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.

    ———
    “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

    For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:16-23)
    ———

    Notice how Paul says you (by extension we) “were slaves to sin.” But then we were freed (just as a slave is freed) through obeying Jesus’ teaching. Paul again says we “were slaves of sin,” but now we are “enslaved to God.”

    Jesus was clear that “everyone who practices sin [sinning] is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36) In 1 John, John writes “no one who keeps on sinning [sinning] has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:6) Who ever is living in sin is a “slave of sin” according to Jesus. Anyone who is sinning has neither seen Jesus or known Jesus according to John. Thus, anyone who is a slave of sin (by living in continual sin) does not know Jesus.

    That does not mean there is no weakness toward sin in our normal human bodies after being set free from Jesus, but it does mean we have the presence of the living God living within us, strengthening us to truly live free of sin as children of God. This is the gospel.

Thoughts?

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