In the present day we enjoy a wealth of programs that help people better themselves — as programs to quit drugs, quit drinking, quit smoking, break co-dependence, and lose weight. Typically these programs involve twelve steps, but you also see programs with seven steps, eight steps, ten steps, and so on.
While these programs have helped many overcome problems that were hurting them — for which we are thankful — yet they deal with man’s problem on a superficial level. They focus on individual issues that are particularly problematic rather than dealing with our root problem. These efforts may change a man’s outside and make him more acceptable to man. But they don’t change a man’s heart — they leave his unbelief and self-will intact. Thus they leave him as they found him — unacceptable to God.
Fortunately God has his own recovery program — a simple one step program — which does what our programs cannot do. We know it as the new birth (John 3). This “washing of regeneration” (Tit. 3:5) completely changes a man’s life (2 Cor. 5:17), washing his inside as well as his outside (Matt. 23:25-27). It changes his unbelief into faith, his religion into reality, his weakness into strength, his failure into victory, and his disobedience into obedience.
~Lee Brainard, October 4, 2014