How can addicts honor God and stop sinning?

Veronica asks, "Based on Hebrews 10:26, how can someone with an addiction still have a sacrifice for sin if they continue deliberately sinning and struggle to stop?"

Hi Veronica!

Thanks for writing. Here are my thoughts on this passage. 

As believers, we have assurance that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9a). The New Testament is quick to offer forgiveness for people who confess and repent. All sin is deliberate, but deliberate sins can receive divine forgiveness.

I think the author of Hebrews is describing people involved in deliberate sin, but who fail to seek God’s forgiveness by repentance. He’s referring to people with an attitude that leads to repeated disobedience. There are people who sin with complete disregard for God because they presume and expect that God will forgive them. They presume upon God’s grace. They intentionally commit sin, believing that since God forgives sin, it really doesn’t matter. “I can do what I want, and ask forgiveness later.”

That doesn’t sound like what you are describing. You are battling a sin. It grieves you that you still have the struggle. You desire to change. You are not presuming on God’s grace. You are the recipient of God’s graces and you are seeking to follow Him. It doesn’t sound like you are in the category of what Hebrews is describing. 

In Hebrews, the author is warning people who sin habitually and who sin against God deliberately. They plan to do it. After they sin, they offer up some prayer of confession, but even while confessing, they plan to go off and do it again. That is a willful disregard of what God says, and it’s not the mindset of a Christian. That person willfully disregards Christ’s sacrifice. And because they disregard Christ’s sacrifice, it is not applied to them.

We all have sins that we seem to come back to time and time again. As long as you feel genuine remorse, as long as your confession of your sin is sincere, and as long as you desire and pursue obedience, I don’t believe you are in the category of what Hebrews 10 is describing. 

I hope this is helpful.

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