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Topical - Twelve Steps to Success

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Twelve Steps to Success

Topical                October 20, 2002


Scripture Reading:


We discussed last Sunday morning about how we might find power for success in our lives, and that it is all found in Christ.

How does God's power give me success in Christ?

God's power gives me success by protecting me through faith in Christ.

God's power gives me success by placing all other power under Christ.

God's power gives me success by working through me to bring praise to Christ.

God's power gives me success by bringing me to glory in Christ.

God's power gives me success by giving me all I need for life in Christ.

God's power gives me success by revealing Christ to me.

This sounds real good to know that the path to success over whatever besets us is all found in Christ.

He is our one-step program to success. Belief in Christ gives us freedom from all sin.

But we have a problem here. And that is that many people, even though they know Christ, still suffer the effects of besetting sin in their lives. No matter how hard they try, they still can't seem to overcome.

I believe the reason is that many people have not taken seriously the teachings of Christ.

They have taken him personally, but they have not taken him practically.

They bought the car but have not yet learned how to drive it – so they don't go anywhere.

Perhaps they need to get over their fear of driving, or take driver's training. And they need to know the rules of the road to drive safely and successfully.

In some ways too it is like reading a passage of Scripture and not understanding it. If you can't understand it you can't apply it. And so you come to church and go to Bible study and listen to sermons so you can understand it and apply it.

The message that Bill and I are doing together this morning will take last week's message about success in Christ and show you how to apply it to your life.

It will take the one-step program in Christ and expand it to twelve steps as sub-points of his teaching in order to ensure your success.

Many of you may be familiar with the Twelve-Step Program used by Alcoholic's Anonymous. Maybe you attended meetings at one time in your life and found victory. Maybe you attend meetings now and are working on victory.

I attended some AA meetings myself at one time as I struggled with alcohol. I have complete victory today. I am not a "recovering" alcoholic. By the power of God I am a "recovered" alcoholic. In other words, I am no longer an alcoholic. God has done this in my life by the power of his Word – his teaching – that he gave me the faith and the will to apply.

When I am confronted by alcohol, I don't go there. I know from experiencing the consequences what it does to me. I know from experiencing God's power what is available to me. I know from God's teaching how to apply that power. I imagine that Bill can say the same.

These twelve steps are not only for the alcoholic, however. Take any problem in your life that hinders your holiness and insert it. Alcoholics are not the only sinners among us.

God can take any one of you who struggles with any problem, turn you around, and use you as a missionary to others.

On our Missionary Emphasis Sunday today, I wanted to have Bill Udrow up here with me to help explain the Twelve Step Program.

We will go over each of the steps and explain their spiritual significance according to the teachings of Jesus.

Q: "Bill, what work are you presently doing?"

Q: "How can you see this work as a missionary calling?"

Q: "What has taken place in your life to qualify you for this?"

Q: "What place has the Twelve Step Program had in preparing you for this?"

Q: "What is your understanding of this program in how it relates to Scripture? In other words, how Christian is it?"

Q: "How do Scriptural teachings contribute to the success of this program?"

A: They are a bridge to true Christian faith.

Q: One of the questions Christians always ask about the AA Twelve Step Program is the statement about 'God as we understand Him'. "What is your understanding of this and how it fits into what AA is trying to accomplish?"

A: It allows the non-Christian to experience the power of Christian principle without coercion and perhaps come to faith in the One who first taught it.

Q: "Do you think that long-term victory can be achieved without believing that our 'higher power' is Jesus – that he is the God we must understand? In other words, how well do you think the Twelve Step Program can work without Christ as your God?"

A: This would be applying Scriptural principle without Scriptural authority. The principles work but they cannot save. Without the God of our salvation, there can be no lasting success. The Twelve Step Program is not salvation in itself, but it can draw addicts to the One who saves because they are his principles.

Big Question:

What steps must I take to successfully apply God's power in my life?

We will be taking our information from:

The Twelve Steps for Christians, published by RPI Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 44, Curtis, WA 98538, (360) 245-3386, 1994 by Friends in Recovery

NIV Recovery Devotional Bible, gen. ed. Verne Becker, Zondervan, 1993.




I.       Step One

          A.      Narrative

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

          B.      Implication

Step one is about recognizing our brokenness.

          C.      Illustration

 “ When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NIVUS)

“ Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Luke 5:31 NIVUS)

 “ I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  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 out.  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.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:15-20 NIVUS)

“ But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

II.      Step Two

          A.      Narrative

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

          B.      Implication

Step two is about the birth of faith in us.

          C.      Illustration

“ When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” (Mark 5:15 NIVUS)

 “ "‘If you can’?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."  Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"” (Mark 9:23-24 NIVUS)

 “ "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."  "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” (Mark 10:51-52 NIVUS)

“ "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIVUS)

 “ For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NIVUS)

 “ Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:9 NIVUS)

 “ Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5 NIVUS)

 “ for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13 NIVUS)

 “ And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIVUS)

 “ And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIVUS)

 “ Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

III.    Step Three

          A.      Narrative

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

          B.      Implication

Step three involves a decision to let God be in charge of our lives.

          C.      Illustration

“ As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."  At once they left their nets and followed him.  Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,  and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-22 NIVUS)

“ "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIVUS)

“ "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1 NIVUS)

 “ I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed— not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence— continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-13 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

IV.    Step Four


          A.      Narrative

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

          B.      Implication

Step four involves self-examination.

          C.      Illustration

“ "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."” (Matthew 26:41 NIVUS)

“ Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you— unless, of course, you fail the test?  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.” (2 Corinthians 13:5-6 NIVUS)

“ Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:5-8 NIVUS)

“ If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9 NIVUS)

          D.      Application



V.      Step Five

          A.      Narrative

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

          B.      Implication

Step five is the discipline of confession.

          C.      Illustration

“ I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’” (Luke 15:18-19 NIVUS)

 “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 NIVUS)

 “ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12 NIVUS)

“ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:7-8 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIVUS)

 “ If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

VI.    Step Six

          A.      Narrative

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

          B.      Implication

Step six is an inner transformation sometimes called repentance.

          C.      Illustration

“ If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7 NIVUS)

 “ In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.” (Romans 6:11-12 NIVUS)

 “ Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NIVUS)

 “ May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIVUS)

“ Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10 NIVUS)

“ This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

VII.   Step Seven

          A.      Narrative

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

          B.      Implication

Step seven involves the transformation or purification of our character.

          C.      Illustration

“ For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24 NIVUS)

 “ Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19 NIVUS)

 “ Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NIVUS)

“ But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:6-8 NIVUS)

 “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIVUS)

 “ And if we know that he hears us— whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:15 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

VIII.  Step Eight


          A.      Narrative

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

          B.      Implication

Step eight involves examining our relationships and preparing ourselves to make amends.

          C.      Illustration

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5 NIVUS)

“ "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:27-31 NIVUS)

 “ "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."” (Luke 6:37-38 NIVUS)

 “ But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."” (Luke 19:8 NIVUS)

“ We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."” (Romans 15:1-3 NIVUS)

 “ Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NIVUS)

 “ Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:11-12 NIVUS)

          D.      Application

IX.    Step Nine

          A.      Narrative

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

          B.      Implication

Step nine is the discipline of making amends.

          C.      Illustration

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.  I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:23-26 NIVUS)

 “ Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.  On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21 NIVUS)

 “ Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.  "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,  and do not give the devil a foothold.  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” (Ephesians 4:25-28 NIVUS)

 “ Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIVUS)

          D.      Application



X.      Step Ten

          A.      Narrative

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

          B.      Implication

Step ten is about maintaining progress in recovery.

          C.      Illustration

“ Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."” (Mark 14:38 NIVUS)

 “ For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:3 NIVUS)

 “ So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12 NIVUS)

 “ Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5 NIVUS)

 “ You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIVUS)

 “ Be very careful, then, how you live— not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIVUS)

 “ Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it— he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:23-25 NIVUS)

 “ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NIVUS)

 “ To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—  to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25 NIVUS)

          D.      Application




XI.    Step Eleven

          A.      Narrative

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

          B.      Implication

Step eleven involves the spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation.

          C.      Illustration

“ But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 NIVUS)

“ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."” (Matthew 26:39 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24 NIVUS)

 “ "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10 NIVUS)

 “ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26 NIVUS)

“ Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2 NIVUS)

 “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIVUS)

 “ And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” (Colossians 1:10 NIVUS)

 “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 NIVUS)

          D.      Application




XII.   Step Twelve


          A.      Narrative

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

          B.      Implication

Step twelve is about ministry.

          C.      Illustration

“ "The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIVUS)

 “ Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."” (Mark 5:19 NIVUS)

 “ "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.  Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."” (Luke 8:16-18 NIVUS)

 “ Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.  But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."” (Luke 14:12-14 NIVUS)

 “ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NIVUS)

“ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NIVUS)

 “ Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 NIVUS)

 “ Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIVUS)

“ Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6 NIVUS)

 “ Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage— with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2 NIVUS)

 “ Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise— the fruit of lips that confess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16 NIVUS)

 “ Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:8-11 NIVUS)

          D.      Application


Big Answer:

What steps must I take to successfully apply God's power in my life?

Victory over any sin/addiction can be achieved by:

(1)     Becoming convicted about my sinfulness.

(2)     Receiving faith in God as my only solution.

(3)     Submitting to God as an outworking of my faith.

(4)     Examining my life for specific areas of rebellion.

(5)     Confessing my sins honestly to God, myself, and others.

(6)     Hungering for God to transform my character.

(7)     Allowing God to perform the moral surgery my character needs.

(8)     Understanding the damage my sin has caused others.

(9)     Accepting responsibility for the damage my sin has caused.

(10)   Continuing to keep a short account of my sins by confession before God.

(11)   Growing in my communion with God to know his will and power to do it.

(12)   Sharing my victory with others by living and teaching what I have learned.

As I look over my life, I can see clearly that whatever I have and know in Christ is a result of these twelve steps and the power of Christ that inhabits them.

Q: "How do you feel about that, Bill?"

Timeless Truth:

These 12 steps come as a package.

They are a process of deliverance through discipleship.

Remove any one of them and you can't achieve victory and you pay the cost of failure.

The price of success is cheaper by the dozen.

And if the truth be known, I don't mind at all being a stepchild of the King.

I have been adopted by his grace to me in Jesus.

And if you think the 12-step program is just for addicts, what is holding you back?

We are all addicted to sin.

“ As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;  there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."” (Romans 3:10-12 NIVUS)

But all can find freedom in Christ.

“ To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21 NIVUS)

And if Christ was a missionary from God to us, you can be a missionary from Christ to others – if you have found success.

Just keep putting one step in front of the other and you will get there.

The thing all 12 of these steps have in common is Christ Jesus.

He is the means and the goal of your success.

“ "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIVUS)

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