Article by: Dr.
Brian Campbell, from
Counsel: Scriptures for today's world..."
Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved
"A man is a
slave to whatever has mastered him."
(2 Peter 2:19)
being physically or psychologically enslaved
to a mood altering
habit or practice
Addictions come in
many varieties. Our society is riddled with:
alcoholism, illicit drugs, prescription drug abuse,
gambling, sexual addiction, pornography, cigarette
smoking, and food addiction. All of these
addictions share one thing in common-they bring
temporary pleasure at the expense of long-term,
People who drink too much alcohol often ruin their
own lives and the lives of those around them; their
world is full of strife and sorrow.1 When
a person drinks alcohol, it can go down smoothly at
first, but in the end it "bites like a snake and
poisons like a viper."2 Getting drunk
leads to a life focused on sensual pleasure
People who drink
alcohol often brag about how much they can drink.4
They stay up late drinking and then when they wake
up they want to drink again.5 They
ridicule others (mock them) and often get into
fights.6 In the end, alcohol
consumption can lead to a life of poverty.7
Most importantly, people who live a lifestyle of
drunkenness and lasciviousness place themselves in
danger of losing the biggest prize of all-the
kingdom of God.8
For people who eat too much, their "god" is their
stomach; they have their minds set on earthly
things.9 Like the drunkard, gluttons
often end up becoming poor because of their
overindulgence.10 The Bible warns
us that a companion of gluttons "disgraces his
Drug addicts are
slaves to their drugs and controlled by their
sinful nature.14,15 Living
according to the sinful nature leads to death, but
living according to the Spirit leads to life.
Those who live by the sinful nature cannot please
God.16,17 God wants us to purify
ourselves from everything that contaminates the body
and spirit, "perfecting holiness out of reverence
People who are sexually addicted have a craving
for more and more sex, often in
increasingly perverted ways. As
Christians, we are to abstain from sexual
immorality; all other sins a man commits are outside
his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his
own body.21 We are to learn to control
our bodies in a way that is holy and honorable, not
in passionate lust like the people who do not know
We are to "put to
death" sexual immorality and impurity and
every-thing that belongs to our earthly nature.23
We are to get rid of all moral filth.24
Your body is a "temple of the Holy Spirit," who is
in you, and which you have received from God.
Therefore, you can't just do whatever you want to do
with your body. It was bought for a
price-Christ's death on the cross. Therefore,
you are to honor God with your body.25
People with sexual
addictions often take advantage of other people to
meet their desires; this runs contrary to God's
teaching. We should treat others with
"absolute purity,"26 without even a hint
of sexual immorality.27 God has a dire
warning for those who live a lifestyle of
unrepentant sexual sin-they will not inherit the
kingdom of God.28
Addiction: The Bible warns us to keep
ourselves free of the love of money and to be
content with what we have.29 People who
want to get rich quickly, get trapped in their sin
and do many foolish and harmful things that end up
in "ruin and destruction."30 The love of
money is the root of all kinds of evil.31
People who love
money never seem to have enough.32
People who gamble want to "get rich quick," but the
Bible warns us not to wear ourselves out trying to
get rich.33 The person who chases
fantasies of being wealthy will end up with "his
fill of poverty,"34 and anyone eager to
get rich "will not go unpunished."35
People who are
"hooked" on the short-term pleasure of addictions
find it extremely difficult to break their habits.
They become slaves to their sin.36,37
Time after time they have tried to resist, but time
after time they have given in to temptation.38-40
Only God offers an effective "way out" of
addictions. All addictions represent a battle
between what the flesh wants and what the spirit
desires.41 The first step in overcoming
addictions is to recognize that you cannot control
your addiction on your own-you need God's help.
Remember that God will never let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear,42 and when you
are tempted He will always provide a way out, so
that you can "stand up" under the temptation.43
If you are addicted,
turn to God.44 If you confess with your
mouth "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead, you will receive
eternal salvation.45 You will
become an entirely new creation and
will be "born again," and filled with
the Holy Spirit, the great Counselor.46
You will no longer be controlled by the sinful
nature, but by the Spirit of God, who lives in you.47,48
Live one day at a
time, and pray each day that God will take away your
sinful desire.49 Completely abandon
yourself to God, and seek His will for your life.50
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of
our faith.51 "Clothe yourselves with the
Lord Jesus Christ," and stop thinking about how to
gratify the desires of your addiction.52
regularly confess your sins to God,53 and
to your fellow man.54 Seek
out anyone you may have
harmed because of your addiction and ask for
forgiveness. Forgive yourself also, for we are
all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of
God.55 Remember, God showed his love for
us by this: "While were still sinners, Christ
died for us."56
Always have hope.57
Even though you are not strong enough to conquer
your addiction by yourself, with God's help you can.58
And if the Son of God sets you free, "you will be
Finally, once God
has delivered you from your addiction, go and tell
others who may also be suffering,60 so
that they too may have hope and come to a knowledge
of God's mighty power and authority over sin.
Who has woe? Who has
sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who
has needless bruises? Who has
bloodshot eyes? Those
who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of
(Proverbs 23: 29-30)1
Do not gaze at wine when
it is red, when it sparkles in
the cup, when it goes
down smoothly! In the end it
bites like a snake and
poisons like a viper.
(Proverbs 23: 31-32)2
Do not get drunk on wine,
which leads to debauchery.
Instead, be filled with
Woe to those who are
heroes at drinking wine
and champions at mixing
Woe to those who rise
early in the morning to run after their drinks, who
stay up late at night till they are inflamed with
Wine is a mocker and beer
whoever is led astray by
them is not wise.
He who loves pleasure
will become poor;
whoever loves wine and
oil will never be rich.
The acts of the sinful
nature are obvious: sexual immorality,
impurity and debauchery;
idolatry and witchcraft; hatred,
discord, jealousy, fits
of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions,
factions and envy;
drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn
you, as I did before,
that those who live like this will not
inherit the kingdom of
Their destiny is
destruction, their god is their stomach, and
their glory is in their
shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
Do not join those who
drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for
drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness
clothes them in rags.
He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a
of gluttons disgraces his
For we are the temple of
the living God.
Don't you know that you
yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit
lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple,
God will destroy him; for
God's temple is sacred,
and you are that temple.
A man is a slave to
whatever has mastered him.
Everyone who sins is a
slave to sin. Now a slave has no perm
anent place in the
family, but a son belongs to it forever.
Those controlled by the
sinful nature cannot please God.
For if you live according
to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the
Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body,
you will live, because those who are led by the
Spirit of God
are sons of God.
Let us purify ourselves
from everything that contaminates body and spirit,
perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave
them-selves up to sexual immorality and perversion.
They serve as an example of those who suffer the
punishment of eternal fire.
Having lost all
sensitivity, they have given themselves over to
sensuality so as to
indulge in every kind of impurity,
with a continual lust for
Flee from sexual
immorality. All other sins a man commits
are outside his body, but
he who sins sexually sins
against his own body.
It is God's will that you
should be sanctified: that you should
avoid sexual immorality;
that each of you should learn to
control his own body in a
way that is holy and honorable,
not in passionate
lust like the heathen, who do not know
God; and that in this
matter no one should wrong his
brother or take advantage
Put to death, therefore,
whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual
immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed,
which is idolatry.
Therefore, get rid of all
moral filth and the evil that is so
prevalent and humbly
accept the word planted in you.
Do you not know that your
body is a temple of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you
have received from God? You are
not your own; you were
bought at a price. Therefore
honor God with your body.
Treat younger men as
brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women
as sisters, with absolute purity.
But among you there must
not be even a hint of sexual
immorality, or of any
kind of impurity, or of greed,
because these are
improper for God's holy people.
Do you not know that the
wicked will not inherit the kingdom
of God? Do not be
deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
idolaters nor adulterers
nor male prostitutes nor homosexual
offenders nor thieves nor
the greedy nor drunkards nor slan-
derers nor swindlers will
inherit the kingdom of God.
Keep your lives free from
the love of money and be
content with what you
People who want to get
rich fall into temptation and a trap
and into many foolish and
harmful desires that plunge
men into ruin and
For the love of money is
the root of all kinds of evil.
Whoever loves money never
has money enough.
Do not wear yourselves
out trying to get rich; have the
wisdom to show restraint.
He who works his land
will have abundant food, but the
one who chases fantasies
will have his fill of poverty.
A faithful man will be
richly blessed, but one eager
to get rich will not go
A man is a slave to
whatever has mastered him.
I tell you the truth,
everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
I do not understand what
I do. For what I want to do
I do not do, but what I
hate I do.
For what I do is not the
good I want to do; no, the evil I do
not want to do-this I
keep on doing.
I know that nothing good
lives in me, that is, in my sinful
nature. For I have the
desire to do what is good,
but I cannot carry it
So I say, live by the
Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires
of the sinful nature.
For the sinful nature desires what is
contrary to the spirit,
and the spirit what is contrary
to the sinful nature.
And God is faithful; he
will not let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way
out so that you can stand
up under it.
What a wretched man I am!
Who will rescue me from this
body of death?
Thanks be to God-through
Jesus Christ our Lord!
That if you confess with
your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
and believe in your heart
that God raised him
from the dead, you will
But the Counselor, the
Holy Spirit, whom the Father will
send in my name, will
teach you all things and will
remind you of
everything I have said to you.
You, however, are
controlled not by the sinful nature but by
the Spirit, if the Spirit
of God lives in you.
For if you live according
to the sinful nature, you will die;
but if by the spirit you
put to death the misdeeds of the
body, you will live,
because those who are led by the
Spirit of God are sons of
I tell you the truth,
my father will give you anything
you ask in my name.
The world and its desires
pass away, but the man who
does the will of
God lives forever.
Let us fix our eyes on
Jesus, the author
and perfecter of our
Clothe yourselves with
the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to
gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just and will forgive
us our sins and purify us
from all unrighteousness.
Confess your sins to each
other and pray for each other
so that you may be
For all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God.
But God demonstrates his
own love for us in this:
While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.
Anyone who is among the
living has hope.
Jesus looked at them and
said, "With man this is impossible,
but with God all
things are possible."
So if the Son sets you
you will be free indeed.
Blessed are those who
have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the
light of your presence, O Lord.
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