An Introduction to Life Recovery

1n 1990, Stephen Arterburn and DavidStoop partnered with Tyndale House Publishers to create The Life Recovery Bible, a unique combination of a study Bible and a devotional Bible, for fellow strugglers who were involved in 12-Step recovery programs and wanted to integrate the 12 Steps with the Bible. They studied the Oxford Group movement, which essentially birthed Alcoholic Anonymous. Both Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the originators of the 12 Steps, were deeply involved in those groups. They were living out the four Oxford Group Absolutes of absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness, and absolute love as they helped others find the sobriety they were experiencing.

In the beginning, there were no 12 Steps. The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous eventually emerged from hours of discussions between Dr. Bob and Bill W., from studying portions of the Bible that supported their Oxford Group experiences, and from their own recovery experiences.

The three portions of Scripture specifically identified as foundational in the development of the 12 Steps were the Sermon on the Mount (which includes the Beatitudes); the Book of James (which focuses on several 12-Step fundamentals, such as confession); and 1 Corinthians 13 (also known as the love chapter). All three of these portions of Scripture from the New Testament clearly establish the Christian and biblical roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Steps.

In the early days of AA, when conservative Christian values and truths were unapologetically used to help others in recovery, the success rate was quite amazing. One documented study revealed that 93 percent of the people in a group in Ohio never relapsed. For a problem that had resulted in hopelessness and helplessness for centuries, this was truly amazing. Even more amazing is how long it has taken to establish a movement back to those original Christian truths and values. That is the purpose of the Life Recover Bible and other resources that accompany it, including the newest publications: The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery and The Twelve Laws of Life Recovery.

Where are you?

We have found that people come to these materials from very different places and with varied expectations. You may be someone who has been in recovery for a while and wants to integrate biblical wisdom into all aspects of your recovery. Maybe you’ve come to understand what it takes to get better, and now you want more insight into the how and why of the changes you have experienced. With The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery and its companion text The Twelve Laws of Life Recovery, not only will you gain a better understanding of the Life Recovery process, but you will also be guided toward a more intimate relationship with God and will become much more effective in helping others.

Perhaps you are brand new to the concept of recovery, and you’ve begun to work the Steps in a Christian group, such as a Life Recovery group. The Life Recovery materials will strengthen your recovery and keep your focus on Jesus as your “higher power.” As you experience this with other believers, or with those still searching for what to believe, you will most likely find this material a unique, proven, and effective way to live a Christian life that grows deeper and produces richer results in all results in all areas.

You also might be a person who is just curious about Life Recovery. Does it complement or conflict with AA? Can I use these principles if I’m not an addict? Are they necessary, or can I just take one step to believe in Jesus as Savior? If you are curious, you are looking in the right place. When you see others totally transform their lives, it will validate the power of Life Recovery. When you follow these Steps and incorporate these materials into your life, the transformation you will experience will allow you to live with a peace and freedom that too few ever experience.


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