I’m going to take a break from reviewing Bobby Conway’s One Minute Apologist videos to give you what I believe is a real-world application of apologetics – a real-world situation that has hit a little close to home with more than one person near and dear to me.
Up until the end of the 1930’s, alcoholism was considered to be a hopeless condition. The medical community realized that once the evils of alcohol had gripped a person to the point of compulsion, there was no hope. Such a person was doomed to be destroyed by alcohol with no chance of being healed. In 1939 a group calling itself Alcoholics Anonymous came out with a plan by which alcoholism could be removed from a person – a 12 step program for alcoholics to process and find their victory over this evil spirit of alcoholism. Allow me to group and abbreviate the 12 steps for the purposes of this posting.
Step 1 is to come to the realization that you are powerless over alcohol, if left to your own resources.
Step 2 is to realize that turning to God, as you understand him, is the ONLY hope of healing from this disease.
Step 3, then, is to make the conscious decision to turn your life over to God and ask Him to take control of your will and your lives.
Steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 are to take moral inventory, admitting and turning over your wrongs to God and ask that these wrongs be removed from you.
Steps 8-12 are to ask God to help you make amends for harms done, and to continue this process on a daily basis.
That sounds a lot like the problem we all have with sin in our lives. We were all born with a sin nature that separates us from God, and no matter how hard we try, no matter what we do, we cannot cross the chasm between us and God of our own resources. Our condition is hopeless without turning to God, the only One who can remove our sin nature. The steps to this victory over death are the same basic steps as those of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program.
Steps to Peace with God
- To realize that the chasm between us and God cannot be bridged of our own power.
- Romans 3:23 – ‘For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
- Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”
- To come to the realization that the only way out of death, our wages of sin, is to turn to Jesus Christ, who has paid the price of death for us.
- 1 Timothy 2:5 – “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
- To make a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to turn our lives over to Him in order to cross the chasm between us and God.
- John 1:12 – “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
- Romans 10:9 – “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
- To pray the Sinner’s Prayer through which we recognize our own sinful nature, repent of that sinful nature, and then to ask God to forgive us of our sins, come into our hearts and take control of our lives.
- From that point on, we are admonished to allow the Holy Spirit to continue bringing our sins to our conscious minds, that we can repent of them, seek forgiveness, and ask God to help us make restitution for them. And we are further admonished to pick up our cross daily.
In the very real-world situation of alcoholism, we can see that this process works to give people victory over something that left them hopeless without turning to God. In just as real a situation, and far more consequential on an eternal scale, God has given us that same opportunity for victory over our sins, and eternal life over death.