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Christians Don’t Get Addicted

Christians Don’t Get Addicted

The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:13

With the threat of prison looming over their heads, I’ve seen a lot of guys turn to faith, asking God’s forgiveness. They want to turn their lives around and they’d really like some divine assistance in getting out of legal trouble. Often, with their newfound faith, there’s an expectation of deliverance. I’ve been forgiven by God, so now I won’t go to jail, right?

I’ve done something similar. Growing up, I thought faith meant that Christians didn’t get addicted to drugs. I thought I could enjoy my pills with no consequences. When I got addicted and consequences arrived, I asked God’s forgiveness, hoping that meant he’d spare me. When I wasn’t spared, I had a crisis of faith. Christians don’t get addicted and lose their jobs. What am I then?

Today’s passage sheds some light on this. In the story, God’s people awaited deliverance from Egyptian slavery as the 10th plague approached – the firstborn child of every household in Egypt was about to die. To be spared, God commanded the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb, spreading its blood on their door posts. This blood would serve as a sign for the destroyer (Exodus 12:23) to pass over that house, saving the Israelites from God’s judgment. This event was to mark the beginning of their new life as they’d be set free from centuries of Egyptian slavery.

The lamb was a foreshadowing of Christ, who would one day be the perfect sacrifice for us all. The blood marked the Israelites as God’s children and signified the beginning of their new life. Did it mean that they could never again fail or suffer painful consequences? No, of course not. They later disobeyed God, causing themselves tremendous misery. Some of them even wanted to return to Egyptian slavery. Forgiveness didn’t mean they could never sin or suffer Earthly consequences. Forgiveness meant that God set them free from the slavery of the old life so that they may enjoy the new life.

If we’ve placed our faith in Christ, we too are restored to a right relationship with God. We’ve been set free to enjoy the new life. We are forgiven and spared from the eternal consequences of sin. This, however, doesn’t mean that we can’t suffer painful consequences here on Earth. We’re still free to choose self-destructive behavior, experiencing its repercussions.

We’re also free though, to abandon our self-destructive ways to follow Christ, who will never lead us to addiction and its misery. Christ’s sacrificial death doesn’t mean we’re made perfect or that we’ll never fail. It does mean that we’re free to stop following our toxic appetites. Faith means that we have the freedom to daily enjoy the new life, but daily, that choice is up to us.

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