“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Salvation is a focus for Christians of all denominations and a central tenet of faith. The idea of everlasting happiness and eternal life is assuredly appealing, driving many Christians to live their lives by the teachings of the Bible and the Word of God.
Despite this, seeking salvation and receiving salvation isn’t always the same thing. In order to be granted salvation by God, His followers need to follow His rules and His examples to be considered worthy of a place in heaven. This might seem easy enough, but Christians with addictions may see things differently.
Addiction and the Bible
Addiction is not looked upon kindly in the Bible. As 1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” Temptations, especially in the form of drink and drugs, are not a gift of God. Rather, they are sins from the earthly world. With this in mind, Christians with addictions may feel as though they cannot be saved; that their time is over and that the ship has sailed without them. With prayer, faith, and recovery, however, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Salvation in the Bible
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” – Titus 2:11-12
Salvation is an ongoing topic throughout the Bible. A way to escape the evils on Earth in exchange for life everlasting, salvation is a main priority for many Christians. As stated in many places across many passages, loving Jesus Christ, following His examples, and abiding by His Word is the path to salvation— to being saved.
While the focus on salvation is certainly inspiring, the warnings about failed efforts of attaining it are less so. The Bible makes it clear that salvation is not for everyone and that not all who want to be saved will receive God’s forgiveness. As stated in Luke 13:23-24, “Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.’” While motivating for many, these kinds of passages can be extremely damaging for those trapped in a dark place.
The knowledge that salvation is limited can easily diminish hope for any Christian addict. Rather than seeing the pursuit of salvation as a reason to get sober, substance abusers are far more likely to assume that the door to eternal life has been closed to them forever. Even worse, with so few options available for Christian addiction treatment, those who struggle with both addiction and faith may believe that there’s no point in trying to find salvation.
How Can an Addict Find Salvation
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” – 2 Timothy 1:9
Due to the nature of addiction in the Bible, many Christian addicts feel as though their chance at salvation has passed. By deliberately disobeying the word of God through using substances, each day spent in drink or with drug is further diminishing their chances earning a place and a life at God’s side.
This, of course, isn’t true. It’s easy to feel lost and alone during the depths of addiction. But, as a follower of God, you’re never truly isolated. God is always with you, and He’ll always love you, no matter how many mistakes you make or how many times it takes to finally gain sobriety.
Taking the Steps Toward Salvation and Away from Addiction
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – Ephesians 2:8-10.
The Bible addresses the steps to salvation in several different places, including in the Acts of the Apostles. In this book, Paul and Silas find themselves in a jail in Philippi, beaten and fastened to the stocks in a painful position. Together, they prayed and sang songs of worship until a sizable earthquake struck, breaking the walls of the prison and freeing Paul and Silas from their captivity. The jailer was horrified— laws of the time dictated that a jailer who lost his prisoners should be condemned to death— but was shocked to find Paul and Silas still within the jail.
Weeping, the jailer threw himself at the men’s feet and cried “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” In Acts 16:31, they answered him: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” The message? Believing in Christ, following His teachings and examples, and opening your heart up to Him is the secret to salvation. This is the case for anyone, even those who struggle with the disease that is addiction.
Forgiveness in the Bible
Christianity is about following the guidance of the Bible, but it’s important to remember the passages about forgiveness. As stated in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” After seeking forgiveness, it’s possible for any recovering Christian addict to return to the embrace of the Lord and continue the quest for salvation.
The mistakes you make in your past don’t have to dictate your future. Being saved isn’t a use-it-or-lose-it opportunity. Christians with addiction can certainly still be saved, but it’s up to you to right your wrongs before you can be forgiven and, consequently, truly saved.
Seeking Salvation – and Treatment
As a Christian, the first step in searching for salvation must involve atoning for your sins. As a substance abuser, this, of course, means sobriety. In order to move beyond addiction and seek a happier, healthier way to live, recovery is absolutely essential. And you can absolutely find it at the best Christian addiction treatment center in the nation.
Road to Freedom is a Christian addiction treatment center focused on combining addiction medicine, psychotherapy, and worship to build a customized path to sobriety. At Road to Freedom, patients work through detox and rehabilitation in a safe, secure atmosphere that embraces faith and uses God’s teachings to further the journey toward sobriety and abstinence. Whether you remain strong in your faith or have lapsed during your descent into addiction, our team is here to hold you up in prayer and help you find your way toward salvation.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, Road to Freedom can help. Please contact us at (844) 402-3605 to get the faith-based support you need.