As I talk with students at Bethel, I am confronted with the secular teachings of other drug and substance abuse facilities that many of them have been through. These facilities may have a religious aspect to them which will mention God in one form or another. They may even have a requirement of repentance for the good of the counselee. The terminology I hear repeatedly that is being used at many of these facilities is; “disease”, “confessing to being an addict”, and the most common term brought over from these facilities is: “recovery”.
One term that stands out as missing at most of these facilities is the name of Jesus. When Peter and John healed the lame man in the name of Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem, the rulers, elders and scribes were offended. In an attempt to prevent further miracles they threatened Peter and John and commanded them to speak to no man in this name. (Acts 4:17) And so we have it today. There is an attempt to give people help but it is without power. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those being saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:16; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jews first and also for the Greeks.” And, in Acts 4:12 we read; “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus has come not only to save our souls, but all those taken captive by the power of sin. Whether the sin is lust, alcohol, drugs, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, envy, jealousies, etc., (Galatians 5:19-21), Jesus has come to set us free from the captivity of sin. We should never confess an addiction as identity of who we are. The Scriptures warn us of this in Matthew 12:37; “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” And, may I proclaim another truth of the gospel? According to Hebrews 9:22, without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Atonement for our sins is accomplished only through the blood of Jesus as written in Colossians. 1:13-14;“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
How can one get help with saving grace if he is not told about or not allowed to mention the name of Christ? Or, how will the one who repents of his sins receive forgiveness if the atonement for one’s sins can only be made by the shed blood of Christ at the cross? It is only by God’s Word that men may be sanctified. In John 17:17, Jesus prays concerning His disciples; “Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth.” And where do we find truth? In God’s Word! And how are we changed? By God’s Word! It is the Word of God that will make effectual change in a believer. It is the means for training believers in order to be “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith as you have been taught.” (Colossians 2:7) One recovers from his sins by repentance. Then he trains as a disciple of Jesus Christ in order to “walk in Him”. (Col.2:6)
Bethel Colony is a transformation center. We rescue men from the bondage of sin by preaching Christ and Him crucified. Men are made new creations in Christ Jesus; old things have passed away; behold, all things become new. (II Corinthians 5:17) They are then saturated with the message of Christ and discipled in Christ. We do not speak of recovery but of “pressing on, that [you] may lay hold of Christ, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward.” (Phil. 3:12-13) We preach, teach, and counsel Christ and His Word.
If you want help with your life, you must get to Christ and His Word. You must get involved in a local church where grace flourishes in the fellowship of believers. Find someone who can lead you to Christ and disciple you in His Word.
On a recent Sunday morning my wife, Cathi, led us in worship with a song titled;“Jesus, What A Beautiful Name!” One of the lines in that song is; “grace that blows all fear away”. Oh, Jesus IS the answer for our lives. Grace IS dispersed to uphold, strengthen, encourage and comfort us. And, that is the follow up program for all that come through Bethel Colony’s program. Get into a local Bible believing church…where the grace blows….