New Life, Locally

W hat do Jesus’ resurrection and addiction recovery have in common? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn’t it? Thankfully, the answer is nothing to laugh at and everything to be grateful for.

New life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” If we accept what Christ did for us on the cross, Christ makes us into a “new creature.”

Resurrection and Baptism

Baptism serves to symbolize this becoming new – leaving our old lives behind. Romans 6:3-4 explains it as such: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

I was baptized when I was in my twenties and I still recall attending the class before the service, learning all about how the ceremony would unfold on the big day, and being so excited to be washed clean and born new.

Imagine my surprise when I was lifted from the water and felt… like myself. I had neglected to understand that while salvation itself happens instantaneously when we repent and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, baptism isn’t a means of immediately becoming someone different. Rather, it is a symbolic announcement of faith and commitment to Christ, designed to represent how Christ’s death and resurrection changed everything.

Think of a wedding ceremony.  While the couple is announced as husband and wife in the moment, the marriage itself develops and grows over time. Growing spiritually is an ongoing process that should never stop taking effort.

Addiction Recovery

So how is this similar to addiction recovery? When an addict willingly seeks help for their addiction, they are admitting that they are powerless over it. They are expressing a commitment to wanting a different way of life. But recovery isn’t an instantaneous or overnight transformation either. In fact, many addiction specialists will tell you that recovery from addiction is a lifelong venture. While detox is a short-lived process, removing toxic substances from the human body, recovery is the process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Addiction recovery is also ongoing and never stops taking effort.

The Addiction Healing Center at Westminster Rescue Mission 

As part of the local outreach initiative, LifePoint supports The Addiction Healing Center at The Westminster Rescue Mission, a faith-based, residential recovery center. The Addiction Healing Center is deeply committed to helping men and women overcome the chains of addiction in an environment that is Christ-centered, therapeutic and dedicated to their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

The Addiction Healing Center believes whole-heartedly in the reality of new hope and new life. They believe that true life transformation is not only possible but promised in the redeeming power found in Jesus Christ.  Even in the wake of the destruction and despair of addiction, nothing is too hard for God. Each person, created in the image of God, is the object of His extravagant life-changing love.

What they are doing is working. Testimonies from residents like Barbara, the first woman to complete treatment at The Addiction Healing Center, serve as powerful proof of the new life that can be found in Christ.  As Barbara notes, “It is a journey…. [At The Addiction Healing Center] you learn how to live.”

How You Can Help

If you are looking for a way share Christ’s example this Easter, consider helping these men and women who are working towards their new life. Here are two ways that you can do that.

You can contribute a needed item to the Mission via their Amazon Wish List here – these items serve both the men and women in The Addiction Healing Center as well as pantry staples needed to assist in the Mission’s food programs.

Additionally, one thing that the residents are missing in light of social distancing is human connection and encouragement. If you would like to send support or prayers to these residents, you can do so using this online form. Simply type in your personal message on one or all four pages, and LifePoint will create a full size visual display of these messages for Mission residents to enjoy in the common area of their facility. Making the residents feel loved and cared about is a beautiful way to demonstrate the same extravagant love that God promises for them.

On behalf of Westminster Rescue Mission and The Addiction Healing Center, thank you for taking time to make a difference in your local community this Easter.  Your involvement with those in need is proof that Easter changes everything.

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