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Many Christians struggle with besetting sins. The sins cover the range of the whole human condition. Being that I minister in Skid Row, I have had numerous conversations with people to shepherd them out of their sinful habits and patterns.

Most people I meet have been told that they just need to "REPENT!". Others have been told that they need to just accept by faith the deliverance that God has given to them. Many are waiting for God to suddenly give them superman strength to overcome their addictions. Some have tried 12 Step programs and try to use accountability to prop each other up in the face of temptation. All of them are discouraged and have given up. Within this atmosphere of hurt and defeat, we seek to minister Christ's love and transforming power to these hurting souls who are so badly needing the Lord's transforming cleansing.

There is hope in the Lord! We can have victory over sin! True, lasting change is possible and can happen to even the worst sinner! Our Bible study on defeating sin has several regular attenders. These are comprised of a kind and gentle man who did hard time in jail for murder and was such a problem to the prison system that he was flown between prisons in an airplane alone and bolted with chains to the floor. Another man is wise man of God who spent decades selling hard-drugs on the streets. Another man spent 8 or more years living in a card-board box as an alcoholic and is just beginning to walk with his Lord. More attend, but these men are a testimony to being truly set free by Jesus.

This study hasn't transformed these men (in fact we've only just begun), so they have already been transformed by God. They have already been faithful to Him and He has blessed them and changed them. They were not changed by programs, but by the abiding, transforming presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Most of these attendees are actually co-laborers in our effort and essentially are the live-in servants downtown for the One At A Time Baptist Church. They have already been set free by the Lord and now they are teaching others also. So we have begun this study to help them in their own lives, to broaden and deepen their ministry, and to give help, strength, understanding, and support to the others who also attend.

Overcoming addictions requires fewer steps that 12, but many, many more principles. The underlying philosophy behind this ministry is that in Christ we have available to all of us all the power and strength we need to overcome our own individual sins. But that power is not like electricity so that we would be "slain", nor it is not like a soda machine where we pump in the right prayer and out comes victory. Rather it is the ability to obey given to the faithful soul who abides in the Lord.

In many ways, overcoming sin is simply growing in Christ. Though we will never be completly free from our struggle with, spiritual maturity naturally strengthens us against sin. Thus, this study is as much on the fundamentals for Christian maturity as they are for defeating sin. Once again, they are not "steps", but they are components.

Sin comes from our flesh so the flesh needs to be reckoned with. Sin also comes from our mind, so our thinking and thoughts need to be purified. Sin comes from our desires, so our hearts and "wants" need to be purified. Sin comes from our habits, so our habits need to be reshaped. Sin comes from our idols, so our worship needs to change. Sin comes from demonic forces, so they need to be reckoned with. As these areas of our lives are brought into submission to the Lord, we will experience great victory over sin.

These are the handouts of the study we are going through. They are mostly fill-in the blank questions. The material is straight-forward enough that several people have gone through the material on their own. Most fill-ins have the first letter of the word and thus all these studies are designed to be used with the New King James Version. The study is on-going (current as of 8/5/04) and I'll add to this page as the hand-outs are completed. The rough outline is at the bottom. It is very different from the course material, but gives a guideline for the direction we are going.

Please send me an email if these handouts have been helpful to you or if you have any thoughts or advice. Thanks.
Last modified on Thursday, 12 August 2010 22:57
Russ Brewer

Russ Brewer

Rescued from the domain of darkness, transferred to the kingdom of the Son. Undershepherd of Grace. Husband of Corinne. Father of three. Chew-toy to Zeke...

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