Questions & Answers
Q: I’m working on my 4th Step and I’m concerned with the biblical basis of the 12 Steps and how they fit in with what we believe.
A: The 12 Steps are completely biblical, as long as you keep the biblical perspective of who God is and how He works. Steps 1, 2, and 3 set the foundation of what you need to know to be saved from sin (any addiction). In Step 1, I admit that my life is not working and I have no power to fix it. Step 2 is the realization that God can do for me what I can’t do for myself: He provided a new life for me by sacrificing His Son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross as my substitute to pay for my sins and provide a way for release from the sin-spirit who controlled me. Step 3 is my response of faith to Steps 1 and 2–I recognize my need to be saved from my sins, I believe God’s solution for my life, and I turn my life and will over to Him by receiving Jesus Christ as my Savior. Thus Satan, who was running my life–resulting in all forms of addictive and destructive habits and behaviors–is now out and Jesus Christ, the only "good" doer is joined to my spirit and now controls me, is in.
Steps 4-9 are the actions I must take to face the lifetime of lies that keep me believing Satan and giving him entrance–even if only temporarily–into my life, and to replace them with faith in God. The Bible is very clear about the need to address our past sins and their consequences, to make amends to those we have wronged, and to keep short accounts with God and man (read I John, for example). We must recognize exactly how we cooperated with Satan in doing what we knew was wrong/sin, see how these sins have separated us from God and created great harm to others, set straight the wrongs we have done, and live a different, righteous life.
Few Christian churches practice Steps 4-9 and Christians remain addicted, ineffective, and defeated as a result. Yet the Bible is full of admonitions to "put on the new man" and "put off the lusts of the flesh." The Steps are clear instructions as to HOW to do this. Step 10 is the continual practicing (daily walk) of the first 9 steps–the way Jesus Christ is lived out in our human form. Step 11 defines the quality of the life He lives in my form–totally for others. I am only concerned for God’s will and the power to do it.
What the Church doesn’t see and the 12 Steps don’t say is that I am merely a vessel, controlled by another. Formerly I was controlled by Satan and he committed his sinful acts through me. Now, as a Christian, I am joined in spirit to the only One with the power to live a right life. And what is the purpose of my life? To be a channel through which a loving God can save His creation (Step 12). However, just knowing and practicing the 12 Steps does not result in salvation or living out Christ’s righteous life; they are not a "formula" for a better life, but a description of how Jesus Christ lives His life out in a formerly Satan-operated person.
As to the 4th Step, in which you inventory your resentments, fears, and sexual conduct, this step is the beginning of the process necessary to expose the root of sin-Satan in your life. Laying out in detail your specific resentments against people, principles, and institutions, each of the fears that have driven you, and an inventory of your sexual conduct, as the Big Book instructs, exposes the specific ways Satan has deceived you and the destruction your Satan-operated behavior has caused others. This is what Norman Grubb wrote about this necessary stage in a Christian’s life: "Truly the way to God is down, not up. It lies through the valley of humiliation. Blessed valley. It leads to the heights, but is the only trail to Him" (The Law of Faith, pages 36 and 37).
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 1
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Weekend in New York 1995
- The Letter to the Romans
- The Mailbox
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- Questions & Answers
- The Walk Through The Bible
- God’s Wonderful Plan
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- Excerpt from After C.T. Studd
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By