What You'll Discover in this Episode:

The Unregenerate Man and the Born Again Man

In Romans 5:12, God shows the state of the unsaved man. This is the unregenerate man. The man who has not been born again. The reality is, there is a spiritual benefit to those that believe or born again.

The Problem of Sin

Let us look at the problem of sin that separates man from God.  The reason why we focus on sin in biblical counseling is because it is man’s basic problem. The sin done to you or the sin you commit others is getting in the way.

Through one man, that is, Adam, sin entered the world, and has spread to all men. All men are born into sin, and all men sin. Through sin, death has spread to all humanity.

We are all separated by God by sin. We are each facing eternal death, which is eternal separation from God because of sin. This is spiritual death (separation from God.)

We see in this verse that man has the problem of sin and has no power in and of himself to deliver himself from this problem of sin. He is separated from God, dead in his sins, his spirit is dead, and he will continue into eternity in this state of spiritual separation from God.

How do you counsel a non-believer?

A lot of times, a non-believer will come to you for counsel, and they need salvation. They come to you for a conflict that is going on in their life and they are not born again. They need salvation!

Do we help people? Yes. We do what we can to help them, but we lead them to eternal life with God – the gospel. When God cross your path with somebody that seeks counseling, you as a biblical counselor now can direct them to their need for forgiveness in relationship with him.

The entire world lies under the sway of the wicked ones, but the heart of the problem is not a question of not being able to function properly or having a “disease”. It is not something you can “unlearn”. The heart of the problem of the humankind is not a question of not being able to function. It is not their personal circumstances or behavior, but the basic problem is the problem of sin. Through Adam, we became a race of sinners, rebelling against God, and we became people who serve self instead of God. In Adam, our nature is the problem.

  • We need to have a solid doctrine.
  • There needs to be an admission.

Christ Offers A New Source of Life

Christ offers a parentage. We are no longer Adam’s family. We are Christ’s family – spiritually alive children of God. We partake on a new Christ-sourced life that is no longer dominated by sin.

How does a counselor discern a counselee?

First, find out if they are natural, 1 Corinthians 2:14. The unregenerate man does not have the spirit of God. Their spirit has not been made alive by God. Therefore, he does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.

The biblical counselor has the obligation to take this person in a spiritual direction. If they are not saved, he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. So, the first step in counseling is to make sure the person is born again.

Next is to ask them, are they walking in victory or not mature? Are they spiritual or carnal? Are they experiencing a dynamic Christian life? A Christian can Christian can be living carnally, 1 Corinthians 3:1-4.

Help see a Christian see what God has done for them through Romans 5-8. A life can be a victorious life. We do not have to live a carnal Christian life. God has given us everything we need to live a spiritual life.

A person saved is in standing with God. When a person is born again, it solves many problems. Romans 5:17

Adam and Christ have both reign over humankind. If you live in Adam, death and sin will reign over you. If you live in Christ, you will reign in life. You will live in victory, abundance, and righteousness. All the problems of life are related to be in Adam and the remedies are in Christ.

As a biblical counselor, you need to step back and take the picture. If death is reining over your counselee, you know there is an opportunity for them to reign in life. That is the hope.

People need to be broken free from the reign of Adam and be brought into a new life, not dominated by the bondage of sin and death. Grace can be abounding much more in Christ.

Psychology and Behavioral Modification

Psychology declares man is basically good and just needs to be modified and have their “self” made more confident to change.  

People need to break free from the reign of Adam. The Bible declares man is born into sin and needs to be reborn, not molded, or shaped, but remade into a new likeness, become spiritually alive. Self should not be pumped up or given more control, but self is crucified, and it becomes a life of faith in the Son of God.

You need a new life. You don’t need to fix the old life. Man is born into sin and needs to be reborn. You are not going to find this in psychological theory. The old self needs to be crucified. 

How to Reign In Life

  1. First, we received abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness.
  2. Second, those who have received this grace and the righteousness of Jesus Christ will reign in life.

Reign in life- overcome trials and defeat. Keep pressing on. This is the way to a life of victory- understanding that we are righteous before God, and receiving the abundance of grace given as a resource to live the Christian life by.  Christians have these spiritual resources of God’s grace available for ability to reign in life.

As Christians learn of and know these truths for they can begin to access God’s grace for living a more victorious Christian life. Walk consistently in God’s grace and empowerment in order for the person to reign in life.


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  • Great episode! I have a question about whether you think biblical counseling should charge for the counseling sessions. Framing it as dicipleship makes it feel wrong to charge.

    • Jason, There is an ongoing debate on this topic. I do not charge for discipleship or counseling in the local church setting. But, I do charge tuition if a student wants to earn a grade – sometimes this is how I help people with in-depth discipleship. Now, this means that I can only counsel a few people at a time. What about the rest of the people that need discipleship? If someone wants 2-4 hours per week of counseling, there are some counselors that will do so for a fee or suggested donation. This is an important topic to research before making a decision and it falls under the category of personal conviction.

  • The last piece really struck me. “Mere men.” It is interesting that Paul uses that term, and not to say that Christians are better than others, but taken in the sense that we have something (Jesus) that gives us more than what others have. I think that’s the point of calling them Mere Men in 1 Corinthians 3:3-4. As a Christian, I have to be reminded that I can abide in Jesus, no longer separated from God and His grace, and that He is the hope and confidence I have through faith and redemption.
    Everything else is a false hope; Mere Men, being worldly, attempting to change on the understanding of men at eye level. This reminds me of Jesus speaking with Nicodemus in John 3:1-21. Jesus spoke in worldly terms, and yet he could not understand or accept Jesus’ testimony, but Jesus went on to preach the message of truth that we preach today: That whoever believes in Jesus as the Son of God receives eternal life, and forgiveness of sins. I think that I, as the counselor who points people in a direction, need to be understanding and discerning of what others are able to understand when I go to speak truth to them.

    In other news, I have lots of notes taken from Jeff today, re-emphasizing the importance of salvation from sin and death and living in the Spirit of God. My mission remains as always: Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.

    • Yes Kayla, Paul is very convicting when he uses the term “mere men”. As believers we are so much more. Not because of us, but because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. He makes us to be so much more than “mere men”. Paul wrote in Gal. 5: 25 “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Help us to show Christ in our walk.

    • Kayla, The phrase stuck out to me, too. “Mere men” are offering counsel man’s way versus God’s way. It’s natural without the work of the Holy Spirit – and then the church borrows mere human insight to integrate with the Bible and think it’s better.

    • Hi Kayla… This term “mere men” is interesting indeed, especially in the context that the apostle Paul uses it in. In the previous verses he makes a distinction between those who are “spiritual” and those who are “fleshly” and/or “babes in Christ.”
      The “fleshly…babes in Christ” he denotes as “mere men” unable to receive the deeper more spiritual things of God. I love this thought as I often try to encourage fellow believers by telling them that as Christians, we are “more than a human”…yes, More Than a Human. I mean, is this not what the apostle Paul is somewhat referring to here. With the indwelling Spirit of the Lord on the inside of us we are capable of so much more here on earth. He provides us with the healing, the deliverance, the hope, and the power to go forth and love our fellow man; to forgive and to comfort just as we have been comforted. This all takes real supernatural power (faith).
      It is true, as “mere men” we cannot do these things, we cannot live and walk in the Spirit, we cannot be spirit led. However, with this indwelling Spirit of God we more than conquerors, we can do all things in and through Christ, and we can come boldly before the throne of grace…in a sense…we are more than humans!

      • I love your explanation very much; it is very encouraging! I personally tend to forget that Christ is able to strengthen me with His Holy Spirit; it is good to be reminded that my faith is supernatural and God works all wonders for me, for His good will.
        “With the indwelling Spirit of the Lord on the inside of us we are capable of so much more here on earth.” I absolutely agree, and this gives me such hope in Christ to be more than a “mere-man” to live with Christ shining and living in and through me.

    • Hi Kayla, I think you are so right when you say “I can abide in Jesus” and then “Everything else is a false hope.” As I was going through the Self-Confrontation book for the biblical counseling course, that was something that really hit home. I haven’t done a lot of ministry lately and a large part of that was because I was doing so much in my own strength and I got worn out. This is supremely foolish when God has offered Himself for the work and it is really best when He does it. I am doing people no favors if I’m working with all of my strength. That’s not the true gospel. I could be leading people to a false gospel if my actions speak “You have to work really hard to earn your place or to look godly.”

  • This is a very thought provoking teaching. How do we deal with those who just have chronic problems and seem to never be able to get victory in their lives. Our discipleship team has dealt with some people like this. These folks often have the Christian lingo down and can quote verses better than most. The problem is when they are confronted about wrong doing there is a clear lack of repentance. Blame shifting is the name of the game. In all of these cases there was a clear profession of faith that can be referred to. I believe that we are often reluctant to question a person’s salvation testimony. After all if they said the prayer, they must be saved. 2 Cor. 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” We must consider the possibility that we are working hard to modify one’s behavior, when in truth they are absolutely powerless to change because they have only professed, but never processed Christ.

    • Ouch. That’s a good point “they have only professed but never processed Christ.” I thought when I gave my heart to Jesus all my problems would literally be washed away. Years later, I have grown and continue to grow in wisdom, knowledge, discernment and understanding. People have to want to. I know I wanted to. I had literally had enough and what I was doing and thought to be right was destroying me. All those old fleshly habits I was so comfortable with were preventing me from growing. I was self-destructing my walk just like everything else in my life. Familiar patterns were familiar spirits. Once I began letting go of what I knew the chains started to break. Once I tasted the goodness of the Lord and experienced His healing, I understood how much more He had for me. I am thankful He never gave up on me. Very thought provoking. Thank you.

      • Hi Christina, Breaking those chains are not easy when we do it in our flesh instead of walking in the spirit. I think many have had that experience I have. It helps to practice new habits that bring God Glory walking in His Spirit(Galatians 5:18) I hope to help others see the goodness of the Lord too, and like you, I also am Glad that God did not give up on me. Philippians 1:6 Being Confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will complete it to the day of Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing.

    • I have a friend and his brother who were raised in church but they have walked away, however they can quote scripture like no body’s business. We have had conversations about them returning to the Lord, and starting afresh. It seems they will only listen when something tragic occurs in their lives and family. It is painful watch. We just keep on praying for them.

    • Harry, yes! It does need to be the Holy Spirit at work convicting of the world, the flesh and the devil!

    • Hi Harry…many good points here. Many of us are and were knuckle heads when it comes to listening to and following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I look back on my own and walk and realize how much God had to break me in order to get me to a place of molding and shaping. Many times I gave up on myself, many times the other guy had the victory in my life, but I am very thankful that there were some that did not give up on me and were persistent in prayer, in long suffering and in fellowship. Sometimes it was hard to receive a rebuke, but often times a rebuke is exactly what I needed.
      Just a few verses that come to mind while reading your comment.
      “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”
      (2 Peter 3:9).
      “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
      “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ”
      (Galatians 6:1).
      “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from this body of death?
      (Romans 7:24).
      May God give you much grace as you so graciously continue to confront us
      “knuckle heads”…:)

    • I want to reference @James L Padilla’s mention of Christian’s built in GPS system (God’s Precious Spirit) as it always keeps us dialed into EXACTLY where we need to be according to His will & plan for our lives. I am a bird watcher and am always amazed as to the exact accuracy of birds and most wild life in regards to their homing capabilities. I have a few nests in my yard and while the mother bird stays close, the father bird flies away and all over during the day. Yet still able to come back to the EXACT location of his mama & soon to be babies to care for them. This is undeniable the hand of God! I see Unregenerate Man as having a tweaked out GPS system. They may be able to recite bible verses and talk of biblical stories, yet there is always something slightly off with their level of understanding. They do not KNOW what they are talking about. The simplistic beauty of my relationship with Him has always been in the ways that He shows me His presence, unconditional love and hand on my life – in ways that I cannot describe. If you KNOW than you KNOW. If you DONT KNOW you really can’t fathom. Oprah says it well “You can read for years on the HOW TO of baking, watch cooking videos and interview people who excel at their craft; however until you have actually gotten into the kitchen and baked a cake…completed a recipe from start to finish, then you really don’t know anything about baking.”

    • “Only professed but never processed” is spot on. Some people do just enough to have the security that they are getting into heaven but never look beyond to get the fullness of the sacrifice. I relate it to a time I bought a juicer. I bought the juicer, put it together, tried it once, didn’t know how to use it so I never attempted again. I had the juicer but never obtained the benefits of it. A Christian who professed has eternal life but never obtains the benefit of life because they don’t know how.

  • Another great episode and topic. I took a counseling class through a local church. Many asked the questions throughout the whole 9-month program “Do we counsel someone who isn’t saved?” and “How do we counsel someone biblically who isn’t saved?” The answer was always the same: we counsel every person God brings us by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is where our discernment is essential. We are called to meet people where they are at and love them into the Kingdom. It’s all about Jesus and for Jesus. Jesus changes everything.

    I find it very sad for the client who comes in for counseling saying they are a Christian but haven’t given their life to Jesus. Through conversation it is revealed they were “born a Christian” or “raised a Christian” but never had a salvation experience choosing Him. Regardless of whether they are saved or unsaved, the goal is always the same, to lead them to the Healer. I find it non-threatening to ask someone during a conversation as the Holy Spirit leads. “what are their spiritual beliefs, if any?” This opens the door to amazing conversations. I then know how to be praying for them and am always careful not to push anything on them. They have to want Jesus and see their need for Him.

    Psychology and behavior modification confuses hurt people further. I used to think I could “fix” myself too. I find more often than not many people who go to secular counseling, therapy, etc. are worse off than when they started. They are defeated, discouraged and feel hopeless because they aren’t able to heal and oftentimes blame themselves.

    We are called to take what the enemy has meant for harm and use it for good. We are all living testimonies that Jesus changed everything the moment we surrendered to Him. They see Him in us and that sparks their hope. That’s why it’s so important to share our story as the Holy Spirit leads. We don’t have it all together but we are markedly different than where we were. May He continue to train us up and guide our steps to changing this paradigm.

    • Good points Christina A. It is so easy for a person to develop a false sense of security about their salvation because of their up bringing, or other experiences. It is always good to probe for the answer to the salvation question in the beginning of trying to help someone. Often when assurance of salvation is settled, other problems go away.

    • I agree with you Christina, it was a timely Podcast indeed. I believe it is vital to find out where a person stands with Jesus Christ, that has to be to beginning point. If you don’t find out I believe we will just be spinning our wheels. Even Paul got down to the brass tacks, Paul didn’t waste any time, Acts 17:18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

      Paul then lays it out for them. It all most seems that we are living in these times. Acts 17: 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. 22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; Having a form of godliness but denying the power.

      • Great verses Kevin. We like Paul have no time to waste. I love Psalm 90:12 and I pray this often: “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

    • Christina,I like the question you ask, “what are you spiritual beliefs, if any?” – and it leads to amazing conversations every time! This is a great question that I use, too!

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you that, “They have to want Jesus and see their need for Him. I meet so many people who want what we have as Christians but they fail to see they have a need for Jesus Christ. I can’t force it on them either. It brings me so much joy when an unbeliever comes to me and says “hey….I want that Jesus you keep talking about”! The Lord is working in the hearts of the unbelievers. . 2Pe 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  • Excellent Podcast, through Adam sin entered the world, however through Jesus, sin and death have been dealt with. Sin is the problem and Jesus is the cure. The church needs to keep the main thing the main thing, which is preaching the cure for the world’s difficulties, complications, and problems which is the result from Adam’s sin.

    It seems as we progress as a society, overall, with each generation the percentage of humanity and youth who turn away from doctrinal truths have been increasing at alarming rates. They begin to follow their itchy ears and the lies of the enemy. Pastor Jeff brings out a great point just because a person attends church doesn’t make them a Christian. Sometimes its easier to talk to an unsaved person about their need for Jesus than a church attending person. Right up front one must know where a person stands with Jesus. Whether they are good moral pagans, a young Christian, an immature babe or a mature Christian.

    All of us need behavioral modification, this behavioral modification takes place when we accept Jesus into our lives and we become “Born Again.” My Christian walk as been being modified by Jesus every day of my life since I met Jesus. This spiritual behavioral modification will continue in my life till Jesus either calls me home or I meet Him in the air. Jesus’s modification is everlasting with an eternal reward.

    Man is not good, he is sinful. The natural man cannot be fixed with spiritual solutions unless one is “Born Again.” Jesus will make us free, to live in victory in Him to live above our problems and trials in this world. The gospel of John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. We need to point them to the author and finisher of our faith.

    • Great viewpoint Kevin, especially the “spiritual behavioral modification.” That’s what it all boils down to when we surrender and are obediently following Him as we are called. The Holy Spirit is actively and faithfully working in us and through us to grow, transform, sanctify and cleanse us, washing away the things of this world and replacing them with His truth.

      I also agree that it’s sometimes easier to talk to an unsaved person about their need for Jesus than the saved. The spirits of deception and religiosity can blind the believer into thinking they are good, as long as they are doing the things they think are right. The Holy Spirit isn’t leading them. These encounters and relationships really test our walk and reveal what type of fruit we are bearing, ripe or rotten. I was gently reminded of Ephesians 4:2 last night, “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.” Very convicting.

    • As you mention the generations turning from “doctrinal truths” very quickly, I am reminded of the Israelites, how quickly after one generation, they turned to worship idols and forget about God. Where there was hope for them, there is hope for us, too!

      I will have to also agree with the behavior modification – when I finally turned my whole life over to Jesus and His will, my behavior was rapidly changed. There is no cure like salvation through Jesus. “Jesus’s modification is everlasting with an eternal reward.” I absolutely love that you said this, this brings so much joy to my spirit to be reminded that there is something waiting for me in Heaven because of Him.

  • The Unregenerate Man and the Born Again Man… so much to ponder on just in the title of this podcast, and the wonderful yet devastating difference between the two.
    The unregenerate man is truly without hope when it comes to his battle against sin, self, the world and the devil. Without God in his life he is no match for the spiritual deception that awaits each created child of God. Satan loves the un-regenerated man, he is an easy target, he has no spiritual insight, and often times no spiritual covering. No wonder this one finds himself in bondage, beat up, and a captive to the evil one.
    But the born again man…:), yes….:), the born again man has the indwelling spirit of God on the inside of Him, protecting him, convicting him, leading him into all truth and molding him and shaping him into an instrument of purpose/righteousness. He has a built in GPS system (God’s precious spirit) who directs his steps and guides him in the way of his battle against sin and self. With the spirit of God on the inside of him, he is more than a conqueror through him who loves him and leads him, he is more than a match for the enemy of his soul. He is well on his way to obtaining the victory that is found only in and through Christ Jesus.
    Thank you Pastor Jeff for bringing out the importance of determining the spiritual temperature of those whom we are working with. Very important that we know where they stand when it comes the unregenerate or the born again man. Are they in Adam or are they in Christ? This will entirely determine the direction of the counsel.
    Often times if one will not accept the counsel of Scripture (accept the truth that we need to be born again), than it may be time to refer that one to someone else. It is not that we don’t care about that person and won’t stop praying for them, its just that Scripture (the Lord Jesus Christ) is what we have to offer.
    Unfortunately there will always be those that we have nothing in common with.
    Excellent podcast/teaching.

    • I love this Spiritual GPS system. It’s awesome when we see and know the Holy Spirit GPS has been turned on in those we counsel. It’s very rewarding knowing our time spent was truly the Lord working and now guiding them.

    • Knowing their “spiritual temperature” really does change the whole counseling scene. I always think of how I can actively speak directly to what they need most, and if that is salvation in Christ, then so be it; if it encouraging in the Spirit, then that’s where it will start.
      I do appreciate your reminder of those without Christ may reject the Scriptures, and I have to remember not to take it personally, but to allow God’s word to go forth and pray to leave it to Him.

    • LOVE, LOVE your mention of believers with a “built in GPS system (God’s precious spirit).” That is so true. There are so many non-believers or Unregenerates that are “searching” for something yet not sure of what that is. I praise the Lord that I was given a solid foundation in Christ from the start. I surely had moments when I turned away from my faith, but could not deny the sweet soft voice which always kept me on the right path moving forward towards HIM. Presently it is my daily undertaking to wake up completely grateful for my built in GPS system and His unconditional love & grace.

    • James, That is good God has given us a gps system Gods Precious Spirit. When we are led by the spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh Galatians 5:16. What we have to offer is what Jesus offered and that is eternal Life with Him. So definitely what Pastor Jeff said brings great discernment as to where to begin. Are they saved or are they not I think this is where the faith hits the road. Mans ways can only lead to death but Gods Ways lead to life. It is like the story Jesus told about the foundation you build on. I am blessed that we have chosen Christ( Luke 6:46-49). Thanks for Sharing

  • The point made in Romans 5:17 about reigning in this “life through Jesus Christ. Reminds me of what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:3 ..that we have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness… Which is something I was reading about in the book by Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp “ How people change”. It is speaking about the life we are living here as we wait for Christ to return and get us but it does not say for our eternal life to come. God is concerned about our lives while we are in the waiting. And since we are His ambassadors we must share the the message of reconciliation so the counseled has an opportunity to be born again(John 3:16). . Speaking only for myself I can see how we can live our Christian lives out Carnally (1 Corinthians 3:1-4)but it is not where we should stay since Christ has given us everything in this life to live for Him and the Holy Spirit as a teacher. It reminded me of the Lord’s Prayer in the garden in John 17:15 where he prays that they should not be taken out of the world but to keep them from the evil one. Anyone who is in Christ is a new Creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 so although we may have been born into sin we are given a way out a rescue. We must pray for mankind everywhere that they will have hearts to receive the message of the Gospel, in order to make real lasting change and give them a future and a hope with Jesus.

    • I too am reading the same book and it has opened my eyes on the perception of eternity and how to live life with eternity in mind (Revelation 7:9-17). If we could as believers live life always remembering that nothing compares to eternity then it would be easy to share the gospel and help bring understanding the carnal Christian. Sin will always be in the world and its man’s consist struggle, but we have a God and Savior who is bigger than sin and the promise of eternity.

  • This was a great podcast. I am currently in the process of leading a person who was a devout Catholic to faith in Jesus Christ. He really desires to be born again! He is still living a somewhat carnal life and now feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit to change his ways. As I lead him in the Word Ephesians 2: 8-9 God saved you by His grace when you believed. You cannot take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. So, no one can boast about it. This verse has been a blessing to him. He is putting off his old sinful nature and repenting of his ways. He is understanding grace and how wonderfully freeing this gift is in believing through redemption in Christ. I have another person who is struggling with past hurts and she is not a believer in the truth of God’s word. She refuses to acknowledge the very existence of God when it comes to her life. Blinded by Satan: II Corinthians 4:3-4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. This is where I feel the Lord urging me to hang in there. She sees the changes the Lord has done in my life and wonders what is wrong with her. Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Her life in constant turmoil. She suffers from depression and constant suicidal thoughts. She continues to blame shift and believes she is a victim thus turning to alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs. The problem I feel is her hardened heart. She too fell into the oppression of Catholicism. I continue to pray for the softening of her heart. I believe the difference between these two people is the willingness of their hearts. A heart that desires to know Jesus and surrender to His perfect love. Contrasted by the person who denies the wonderful loving promises of salvation and healing through Jesus.

    • Thanks for sharing some of the story of these two precious people Shauna and how God is using you to minister to them. Timely podcast topic. I was raised Roman Catholic. I walked away from the Catholicism around age 16. The priest at the church I was attending was imbittered and people bashing during his sermons. It felt wrong to be there so I left church. I didn’t realize I had also walked away from God. I never knew I could have a personal relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit kept pursuing me and one Ash Wednesday I attended a service at a non-denominational church that forever changed my life. That’s when my heart became willing. Your statement: “I believe the difference between these two people is the willingness of their hearts” is true. I will keep them both in prayer. May He continue to give you wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Keep planting and watering. God is faithful and will bring the growth. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was causing the growth.” 1 Corinthians 3:6

    • Thank you for sharing Shauna. I was also raised Catholic, I traded the religion for the relationship when I saw that the religion was not doing anything for me. I was in a time of my life where I desperately needed help and turned to a priest for advise and he sent me to a psychologist, tried that and made things worse and in mere desperation sought help at another church that introduced me to Jesus the savior not the image.

      If you permit me to suggest, encourage them to read the word regularly, as often as possible. Maybe even listen to the audio bible in the car or while they are getting ready in the morning and through the revelation of Holy Spirit they will be encouraged and transformed. The reason I say this is because I experienced that whenever anybody approached me about the religion I would shut down and automatically rejected because “they were attacking my religion”. It wasn’t until I began reading the word myself that I started being revealed all the things I was doing wrong by following the religion that the vail fell from my eyes.

      I pray that Holy Spirit guides your approach and your words in each circumstance in accordance to the need. Keep doing the good work. Blessings

      • Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. I don’t know much about the Catholic Church so hearing your truth is helping me grow in wisdom. That’s why I’m here. Your encouragement and guidance is truly a blessing. Thank you and I look forward to learning and growing with you. Blessings, Shauna

    • Hi Shauna, It is a wonderful praise when one sinner repents and believes the angels in Heaven rejoice in the presence of God. (Luke 15:10) I will pray for you as you minister love and truth. Thanks for sharing.

      • Thank you Sheila. Yes I definitely need prayer and encouragement as l learn to minister through the Holy Spirit. Thank you for ministering to me today.

  • I find that carnal Christians sometimes are the most reluctant to hear the fullness of the gospel because they “know” everything the bible promises. They are impatient and discouraged 85% of the time and can’t seem to experience that abundant life that Jesus sacrificed for us to live in (John 10:10). However, there are also those carnal Christians that are carnal do to lack of knowledge. Many may open their bible read, but do not understand. These are the best because they are hungry and once you guide them they take off full of the Spirit.

    Pastor Jeff mentioned how difficult it is now a days to present the Gospel to people. I agree, not only because everything is offensive, but also because people are so righteous. No one thinks they are sinners, somebody else is always to blame and they are always the victim. This mind set it is difficult to break through to and I continuously have to remind myself that it is not I who has to convince, that this is the work of the Holy Spirit to give that faith to believe in Jesus and in what He did on that cross for us who are sinners. It keeps me from getting discouraged from presenting the gospel.

    • I agree with you that carnal christians are reluctant to hear the gospel, and it can be frustrating to sit and have a truthful conversation. They know enough of the gospel that they are blinded by their own self righteousness. And they miss living a life of purpose and joy. Unfortunately, this is very common in the Body of Christ 🙁 But God is good and He can change the hardest of hearts and open the eyes to the blind. We need to be diligent, keep strong, be in the word, and without ceasing. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

  • To start it MUST be mentioned that I feel Pastor Jeff should win some type of PODCAST award for the phrase “They must be listening to WiiFM radio” in reference to a regenerate man being tuned into a frequency of “What’s In It For Me.” I found that hilarious as it is completely right on! When it comes to the unsaved I am filled with empathy. I get so much out of doing things for others and not heeding to a “only if there is something in it for me” attitude. Having a humble spirit, walking in love and living generously with those around me is part of my daily JOY. We are all sinners however as Christians we are able to confess our sins to God and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9). My empathy is for all of the unbelievers who sin and then have to carry around all of that heaviness, guilt and remorse inside of them. As believers we are able to live our lives with the confidence of salvation & eternal life. We are the salt of the earth and are called to live amongst non-believers and preserve and improve the lives of society. As this world is filled with sin, and we interface with non-believers each day, I find the best way for me to stand strong is to rely on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and to be a shining light that leads by example to others. They may not be able to put a finger on WHY I am different, but they will surely know that I AM different. This is all because I have the HS living in my heart.

  • This podcast is great reminder for Biblical counselors or those who are seeking counseling that it’s about the gospel and the grace that comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s sad but true that the church as invited the views of man into the body of christ to help heal and restore, and it reveals our short sightedness into the gospel of Jesus Christ. It should always be the goal of a biblical counselor to learn and seek out if the counselee is saved or living as a carnal christian. Without the saving grace of Jesus Christ there can be no healing, restoration, or redemption which will cause unbenefital results into the soul care process. It is very important that biblical counselors know the Bible well so that they can discern if someone is saved or not.

    • Hi Michelle. I really like your last comment. I mean all of it is good but your last point reminded me of a helpful point that Jeff made in the podcast. I think He said something like “If your bible were to drop to the ground and fall open it should open to Romans chapters 5 through 8 because you just live in those chapters.” He described it as being incredibly important to the life of the believer. Your point about the biblical counselor being well versed in the Bible so they can discern a person’s salvation helped me to remember that point. I think it’s a great starting point in training so that I can be discerning. So I want to start that practice soon.

      Jeff also said that the comment section is helpful for having conversation with the wider body of Christ. Would you Michelle, or anyone else here, have any scriptures to keep in mind for discerning if a person is indeed saved or not? I can think of some but I would l love to hear more from others as well as any experiences folks might have in dealing with a person who has not actually made that step although the seemed like they did.

      • HI Barbara, thank you for commenting appreciate your input and insight. As far as the scriptures my go to’s are Galatians 5:22-28 fruit of the spirit; Ephesians 4:32-5:1-2 for christian living, and Psalm 1:1-3. These have helped on gaging a person’s walk with the Lord and if they are living a Godly and righteous life. Hope this helped you. Blessings!

  • When pastor Jeff said that often times unbelievers will come to you (a believer) for counsel I thought of several occasions in my life where that proved to be true. It caused me to wonder why they made that choice. I often thought “they have to know that I’m going to tell them about Jesus” and they did and surprisingly they received it pretty well. I think that unbelievers seek counsel from believers because there is a simple law in creation that godliness is wisdom. The unbeliever can see that things are going rightly for the believer, maybe not easily but right and they want that. That convicts me that I would be wasting everybody’s time if I do anything but point them to Jesus. Whether they know it or not they are asking for the gospel. They want a life that goes rightly and that only comes through the salvation offered by Jesus. Also Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the only means to sustain a righteous life.

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