Was there a "murderous anonymous" or a "Persecutors anonymous" that helped the Apostle Paul along the path of recovery from his wicked past?
Was he part of a "small group" of "former haters of Christ...." who found comfort and support, in weekly confessing to one another, that they were still struggling with impulses to oppose Christ's church?
How else could Paul declare in triumph, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ lives in me!" (Gal 2 v 20)
If such a question seems absurd, what does that say of today's recovery programs?
It is a fact that neither Paul, nor his fellow apostles, nor anyone else in the early church, nor for that matter, any of the millions of followers, who loved Christ so much, and were so on fire for the truth as it is in Christ, (Eph 4 v 21) none of them followed any recovery plan at all...yet....were faithful unto death. ( Hebr11)
The early church was made up of former...( shock...horror)
fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, need I go on? (see 1Cor,6 v 9-11)
Paul reminds the Corinthians...."And such were some of you...but ye are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God"
Isn't it surprising that such wicked people, without the help of any recovery plan, were completely delivered from deeply ingrained evil habits, to live victoriously for Christ?
OF COURSE NOT!
This total change of life style is what Jesus promises to all who will believe Him and will obey Him.
This is the normal Christian life that missionaries, for centuries have seen live out, by converted natives, in the darkest and most pagan areas all over the world.
Even, still, today, lots of people are being delivered instantly from the powers that held them bound.
It all begins by confessing one's guilt before a Holy God.
Then, believing that Jesus Christ, His Son, died and paid the full penalty, that God's justice demands,for sin!
THERE IS NOT A WORD ABOUT ANY SPECIAL PROGRAM TO KEEP THEM RECOVERING FROM THEIR SORDID PAST.
But, society has fallen into the hands of leaders, who have lost "confidence" in Jesus Christ.....His word.....and the Holy Spirit.
This has brought out all kinds of "recovery" programs which they now recommend people take part in!
The trouble with these "counseling programs" is that they do not include "Christ and His word" to save and sanctify them.
The apostle Paul clearly states..."Put off the old man...which is corrupt and deceitful, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind....and put on the new man..." and...."Do not let the sun go down on your anger, let all bitterness and wrath and anger, be put away from you, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, walk in love as Christ has loved us" ( Eph 4)
There is not a word about any programs to help us in the above, so why are they needed today?