An Endless Supply of Spiritual Delights with Biblical Counseling
Author: John Henderson
Category: Counseling, Ministry, Relationships, The Gospel, Uncategorized
Jesus lived among his disciples. He heard their conversations and understood their struggles because he walked with them and listened carefully to their words (Luke 22:22-24). A great amount of his counsel to his followers took place in the flow of daily life and relationships (Matt. 17:14-27).
An endless supply of spiritual delights can be enjoyed among the people of God when the Word of God is counseled truthfully and faithfully in the church. I will try to mention a portion of these spiritual delights.
The pleasure of God and glory of Christ (1 Thess. 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:11-15; 1 Tim. 5:1-2; Tit. 3:1-11)
God is pleased and Christ is glorified when we faithfully minister the Word of God to people under our care. The Word of God commands us to lovingly admonish, comfort, exhort, encourage, and instruct one another; so we must believe God delights in His people following His instruction.
Elders and pastors grow in affection for and knowledge of the flock (1 Pet. 5:1-3)
When elders, pastors, and tribal leaders spend time hearing the struggles of their people, they come to know and understand them in a more personal way. Often this helps them preach and teach in a more gracious, personal, and helpful manner. When biblical counseling is neglected, elders and shepherds can become aloof and distant from their flock. Before long, their preaching can become academic, cold, and irrelevant.
The people of God grow in grace when they humbly apply the Word of God to human life (Eph. 4:15)
Men and women in the body of Christ may grow in their appreciation of the gospel by counseling one another. Without daily application of the Word to our own lives and to those we love, we usually fail to grow up in Christ because we are not putting our learning into practice. Counseling is an exercise of our faith in Jesus and love for one another.
The people of God become involved in the work of ministry (2 Cor. 5:18-21)
When the people of God are equipped and challenged to counsel the Word with one another, they are more likely to realize what it means to be ministers of the gospel rather than mere consumers of knowledge given by pastors and books.
The people of God become an encouragement to one another for living out the gospel in daily life (1 John 1:7)
When “one-another-ministry” exists in the body of Christ, people come to know one another more honestly and closely and, by God’s grace, grow in love for one another. Without being accountable to others, we run the risk of isolating ourselves, remaining selfish and even destructive in our relationships. Biblical counseling offers a way to get to know one another personally in the body of Christ.
Faith in Christ and His Word will increase while faith in mankind and his theories or methods for improving the human condition will decrease (2 Pet. 1:1-3)
When biblical counseling is lacking in the body of Christ, her members will probably seek counsel from the institutions and voices of the world in order to handle their suffering and struggles. Problems such as anxiety, despair, adultery, and alcohol abuse will be labeled, understood, and addressed in worldly terms because the voices of the world become the only or perhaps loudest voices dealing with those issues.
On the other side, when the body of Christ strives to humbly and patiently bring the Word of God and the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to bear on every aspect of human existence through counseling ministry, the people of God may come to realize that He has truly “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us be His own glory and excellence.” (II Pet. 1:3)
The people of God will mature in their ability to discern truth from falsehood in their historical, cultural context (Gal. 1:6-10; Heb. 5:11-14)
Spiritual discernment is not for pastors and elders only. We are each called to faithfully preserve the beauty of the gospel and the primacy of God’s Word. Saints who strive to live and counsel according to the Scripture are less vulnerable to the various kinds of deceit, error, and false teaching because they are learning to personalize the message of the gospel and apply it across every aspect of their lives.
All believers have been appointed to the broad task of counseling. Each of us have been entrusted with the gospel and are called to deliver that precious message whenever possible, “namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:19)
The Association of Biblical Counselors offers different levels for certifying biblical counselors and is available to all believers who are committed to sound counsel from the Word in their own lives and as they minister to others.
Posted on July 7, 2016