So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36 NIV).
Years ago I read a work of historical fiction, the name of which I cannot remember. It focused on two characters from Jesus' ministry: the demoniac of the tombs and the prostitute who washed Jesus feet with her tears.
The two of them became part of those who followed Jesus from place to place. They were there when He was tried and crucified. Like many other disciples, they went away crushed and discouraged.
I remember the reaction of the man from whom the demons had been cast. In this fictional account, he began to doubt Jesus who they thought and regarded his companion as still a prostitute. Her past had not really been erased; it would surely resurface now that Jesus was dead.
The woman (naturally) objected. She too had trouble reconciling Jesus' death with what had transpired previously, but she knew deep in her heart she was a changed person. Besides, if she were not changed, that would mean the man was still possessed by demons.
Not so, insisted the formerly possessed man. It was clear he had been
delivered because there was no longer a physical manifestation of the
demonic activity. But the woman's character could not so easily be changed since it could not be seen.
I don¹t remember how the book resolved the issue, but we know better, don¹t we? We know the salvation offered by the risen Jesus is enough to make real and permanent changes in a person's character. Glory to God!
What do we do, then, with the claim by Alcoholics Anonymous and others that there is no such thing as a cured alcoholic that the best we can say is that they are perpetually recovering?
I understand where they are coming from. While AA acknowledges the help of a higher power, ultimately the alcoholic quits by taking certain actions and seeking the help of other people. Whatever existed in the individual's life genetics, personality, childhood trauma doesn't necessarily go away in rehab, so there is always the chance of relapse.
They have a point. Christians should not become arrogant in thinking they have achieved anything on their own. However, believers can live in confidence that we are more than conquerors through the power of Christ
If Jesus has set you free, do not continue to believe you are defeated and just hanging on. Believe you are a new person and your old identity no longer has its grip on you. Trust God to complete the good work He has begun in you.
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