What is a Precept?
Any commandment, instruction, or order intended as a rule of action or conduct; especially, a practical rule guiding behavior, technique, etc." In the scriptures the word which is translated "Precept" is a general term for the responsibility God places upon His people. Precepts are guiding truths which have the good of the individual in mind. The root idea behind this word is "intervention by a superior for the good of the subject." Precepts are guiding principles rather than legal restrictions. Those who follow precepts acknowledge God's guidance in their lives and their dependence upon Him. Precepts encourage responsibility, promote truth, are beneficial and acknowledge dependence. They assist us in discovering what God is doing in our lives so that we can coperate with Him rather than compete with Him.
The precepts keep us from blaming God or others for our problems. They urge us to admit our failures without making excuses and to trust God for forgiveness and cleansing. They give us the tools which we need to experience and maintain our restoration from bondage to freedom in Christ. Freedom must have boundaries or it will lead to confusion. A train is only really free when it stays on the track. If it should go off the track it loses its freedom and causes a tragedy. Likewise a Christian is only free when he follows God's precepts.
The precepts keep us from error because they are founded on God's truth. Each precept is an attempt to set forth a biblical truth. They are understood fully by studying the Scripture and putting it into practice in our lives. It is the truth which will set us free and it is error which keeps us bound.
The precepts are for our benefit and not to be a source of bondage. We need not attempt to follow them perfectly but must only seek to follow them sincerely. We must do what we are able to do with God's help. Our understanding and practice of the precepts will improve if we get started doing what we are able to do.
The precepts help one to see his imperfections and they drive him to the One who is perfect. One cannot make progress in following the precepts unless he depends upon God for the ability he needs.
The ten precepts of the Higher Ground Ministry seek to transform the heart of the addict and to develop qualities essential for deliverance from the bondage of addiction and promote spiritual growth.
Honesty, Humility & Surrender
1. Honesty: We admit that we we are sinners by nature and by choice and that we we are in bondage to addictive-compulsive behavior which has an effect upon every area of our life and the lives of those around us. Romans 3:23
2. Humility: We identify the idols of our hearts using biblical terminology, repent of them, confessing them as sin and rely on Jesus Christ alone for deliverance. Ezekiel 14:1-8
3. Surrender: We surrender our life and our will to God, in the person of Jesus Christ, as He is revealed in the Bible. Acts 16:31, Philippians 3:8 & Romans 10:9
Responsibility, Repentance & Cooperation
4. Responsibility: We take full responsibility for the wrongs we have done and avoid blame-shifting or rationalization. - Proverbs 28:13
5. Repentance: We confess all known sins to God and to anyone else who has been personally affected by them, and trust God to fully forgive and cleanse us of our sins based upon the merits of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. James 5:16 & I John 1:9
6. Cooperation: We cooperate with God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, in making the changes which He reveals to us in His Word, the Bible, and become accountable to a mature believer who can assist us in making these changes. Philippians 2:12-12 & II Timothy 2:2
Discipline, Submission, Service and Compassion
7. Discipline: We read God's Word daily, pray and fellowship with other believers so that God can continue to show us the areas that need to be changed and how to change them. Hebrews 4:12
8. Submission: In our prayers we ask for the knowledge of God's will and power to carry it out. Philippians 3:10-11, Luke 22:42
9. Service: We become part of a Bible-believing, Christ honoring church where we can serve God and others. Hebrews 10:25
10. Compassion: As we continue to grow in Christ, we make every effort to carry this message to others who need it, and to continue to walk in obedience to God's Word, the Bible. In this way, we will fulfill the commission of our Lord Jesus Christ by passing on what we have received.