When a person is saved by grace and truly repents anything is possible and yes, when we are in Christ we are a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Without Christ a person will always be lost. Strong self-will to overcome problems can work for a time, but the original “addiction” or bad habit is often replaced by a new one creating a never-ending cycle of problems. An alcoholic might stop drinking only to turn to an obsessive consumption of sugar and food or overindulgence in any number of other things.”For with God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37).
Only a true personal ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ can totally heal a person from destructive behavior. Countless testimonies by believers have been reported where they have been healed from various addictions. Although some believers continue to struggle like the rest of the world because they have not fully renounced their participation with the destructive behavior and have not truly surrendered their self-will to the Lord.
A self- examination of whether we are truly saved is important. Saying we “believe” is quite different from making a commitment to let go of the old and give our lives fully to Christ. Thousands of carnal Christians can be found in churches all across the world. It takes a genuine born-again conversion in one’s life that leads to a change from the old self to the new.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:3a).
Self-gratification and feeding fleshly desires is something the Lord calls us to let go of. Jesus was very straightforward when he asked all believers to go out and share the gospel with the entire world. The bottom-line with any self-indulgent behavior is taking up the cross daily, sharing the gospel with others, taking the focus off one self and doing the work of evangelists as Jesus asked. By helping others we also help ourselves, and living a self-centered life of self-indulgence will quickly fade away. Addictive behavior is all about “me.” And Christ asked that we place others above ourselves.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
We all have a sin-nature but Christ has promised us that He will strengthen us and not let us be tempted by anything that we cannot handle. Being truly born-again in Christ, seriously studying the Scriptures, having a strong prayer life (communicating with our Lord and Savior) and getting intensely serious about one’s faith is the best remedy for any destructive or addictive behavior.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).