59: Admonishing One Another


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  • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

    Thanks Pastor Jeff for this great Podcast (on Admonishing One Another) and I will attempt to answer the homework as follows:

    How do you balance admonishment and comfort?
    We can do both (admonish, they repent and then we comfort but if they harden their hearts, we admonish again but when they repent/ cry, we comfort them.). In one counseling session, we can go from confrontation to comfort. The Lord, convicts, exposes the sin, rebellion & wrong & when the heart is melted & humbled; we help with the Comfort of God– the Paraclete ministry.

    What is admonishment?
    Admonishment is simply the use of words/ knowledge/ love to confront/ warn/ give spiritual instructions to guide/ redirect someone from error to the correct path according to the Word of God (e.g. saying to a brother/ sister – here’s the path you are on; here’s what the Word of God says about it; there’s a danger/ warning if you continue in that path; as a Christian that you profess to be; you should take heed and retrace your ways to God’s plan for your life). This can however be done in a multitude of ways but with the same principle. We are to use the law of God to admonish knowing that the law is for the rebellious. As Christians, we are to admonish one another (Romans 15:14).

    What is noutheteo?
    It is a Greek word in the noun form that literarily means to counsel and Nouthetic counseling is about admonishing/ warnings, putting something in mind by challenging it; confronting people with the truth of the Word of God.
    Part of Church life is to counsel one another, knowing that counseling God’s way is one another’s ministry, admonishing one another, confronting one another, warning one another.

    What is comfort/ parakleo?
    It simply means to bring comfort/ consolation. It’s not all confrontational but there’s another word that describes the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Paraclete, Parakaleo, (come along side to bring comfort to someone, encouragement, consolation, etc. and it’s very strategic. However, the rebellious, disobedience, self-sufficient, stiff-necked, needs counsel by confrontation.
    It reminds us of how God feels about the broken heart/ the contrite spirit/ a person of humility – God loves the contrite spirit and God gives Grace to the humble and so we are to counsel people with the comfort of God.

    How do they (noutheteo and parakleo) relate to the counseling ministry?
    The words noutheteo and parakleo have their roots in Greek to mean counsel by confrontation or comfort respectively.
    The New Testament word ‘counsel’ is either confrontation (Romans 15:14) or comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) or measures of each depending on where that person is knowing that Christians have the capacity to counsel because Jesus, the Wonderful counselor is in us; hence we are declared ‘competent to counsel one another’.
    The Greek word ‘noutheteo’, literally means to bring to mind by bringing the issue right up in front and before somebody and it has to do with ‘confrontation’ (admonishing). The second translation of the New Testament counsel is Parakaleo (literally means to come along side to bring comfort to someone, encouraging, consoling, etc.
    To live by the Comfort, Encouragement & Grace of God is a ‘one another’s ministry’, admonishing one another, comforting one another, counseling one another, I counsel you, you counsel me, this brother & that brother, this sister & that sister, even though we may not all work as experts but let’s minister one to another in the setting where the Body (the Church) is all connected to the Head (Christ), from where we all are drawing our needs.
    Romans 15:14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Also consider, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
    In one counseling session, we can go from confrontation to comfort. The Lord, convicts, exposes the sin, rebellion & wrong & if the heart is melted & humbled & helps with the Comfort of God– the Paraclete ministry.

    • JoAnn Eagle says:

      Great post! My husband and I recently encountered a situation in marriage counseling where my husband needed to admonish the husband. My husband approached the male counselee from several different angles on the same topic, showing his sin from God’s word. At no time would this man repent. He did acknowledge that his behavior was not in line with God’s word, but he stated that he wanted to do “things his way.” This obvious rejection of God’s direction was stunning to us. We continue to pray for this couple and encourage the wife. This continues to be an admonish, harden, admonish, admonish, admonish situation.

      • David Bowman says:

        Thank you JoAnn for sharing that personal experience. It can be difficult to deal with someone so rebellious towards the Scriptures. I have often found that when people are that rebellious, it stems from their lack of salvation. Once that becomes the central issue, it doesn’t always end in a happy ending. Sadly, many Christian women find themselves with men that are willing to be religious, but unwilling to be Christians. Those sessions are still necessary, but still difficult.

    • Athena Williams says:

      Thank you Esther. I think this is why it is so important for us to depend on the Holy Spirit in counseling. Only He can discern a person’s heart; we may think we know what they need to hear, but only He truly knows. I am finding that I have to practice praying continually as I counsel so that I don’t get “on a roll” and miss His leading.

  • JoAnn Eagle says:

    This podcast reminded me of how important admonishing is. Bearing one another’s burdens should include admonishing. I believe Pastor Jeff is correct in his assessment that counseling by warning is not in the church today. We definitely see more of a feelings-based approach, in terms of using an encouragement strategy as opposed to straight-up admonishment. People in the church today take offense to correction. Perhaps this is a sign of the times? I find a lack of humility in most counselees when it comes to admonishing. Admonishing someone can be done while speaking the truth in love. The best way to approach this is simply by using God’s word – what He has to say about the matter. In this way the admonishment isn’t someone’s opinion or a matter of preference.

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      I agree with you JoAnn people in the church take offense to correction and turn things around. When we are admonishing someone it can be done while speaking the truth in love. I think if you love someone your gonna speak truth to them and using God’s word is good because it’s truth not our truth but God’s truth the truth we should all built our lives around. It is a sign of the times because in this time no one likes to be corrected even in love because they think there way is the only way.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Amen JoAnn admonishing in love is so important especially in these times as many have seen the rise of controlling, abusive behavior going on in churches where someone would put you down if you make a mistake, to make themselves feel superior. Using the word of God is key as it leaves the admonishing to the word and God himself and we can be there to bring comfort and encouragement.

    • Athena Williams says:

      I agree, JoAnn. It is a sign of the times: 2 Timothy 3:1-5a, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” This is why we need to start each counseling relationship with evangelism. It also helps me to remember that I am not responsible for results; I just need to be faithful to present counsel from God’s Word.

  • Jerry Troyer says:

    Thank Pastor Jeff for another vital podcast! As you spoke of admonishing I was taken by the internal question of am I worthy to do so? I am a sinner. Am I qualified? You answered that fully. I also came to the realization that the Wonderful Counselor will be with me at all times to instruct me. Further, I was compelled to consider am I willing to let those who are a part of the church to live in sinful ways and do nothing? If left to their sinful ways will they will not influence others in the church that ways of sin are acceptable by the church? I believe so. So courage is required. I have admonished with truth and grace and it has been sanctifying for those I confronted when it was mixed with love. I can recall once being very direct and confrontial to a good buddy whom I thought was sinning in his “second look” actions. He did not value my style of confrontation and told me so. It was some time before we could build and restore our relationship. He never said he was wrong and I never apologized as he and I knew he was. But we made it through. But mostly by human effort. Not God ordained effort. I found the Strong’s definition of noutheteo includes to caution or reprove gently; – admonish, warn. My greatest God honoring times in bringing people back to the Lord is to reprove gently, with caution, yet firmly and deliberately with Wonderful Counsel from the Lord. It is amazing when you speak the words “I come to you to caution you from the word of God” how it has a life rendering affect on wayward believers.

    • David Bowman says:

      It is amazing when you speak the words “I come to you to caution you from the word of God” how it has a life rendering affect on wayward believers.

      Jerry, you made some great observations and thanks for sharing that personal story. It can be so difficult (near impossible) to confront without offending, but with God all things are possible. I have heard someone reduce evangelism to one beggar telling another beggar where they found bread, but when that fellow beggar also confronts you on your sin, the results can vary. It would seem to suggest that biblical counselors need both a tender heart and thick skin.

  • David Bowman says:

    Once again, the podcast “brought to mind” (Gk. noutheteo) aspects of biblical counseling that I once struggled to conceptualize. There are two approaches that were mentioned in this episode, counseling with confrontation (admonishing) and counseling with comfort (comforting). I lean more often than I would like to admit on the admonishing side of the biblical counseling spectrum. In 1 Thess. 5 :14, I found the same Greek word (noutheteo) used in a context that gave me even more understanding, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.”

    This is in direct agreement with what Pastor Jeff shared about “the law being for the rebellious”. It is not helpful or biblical to continue warning those that need comforting. Likewise, one admonishment may need another if repentance is still lacking. Because of my penchant for admonishment, I will make it my prayer focus this week to be sensitive to the Spirit for those opportunities to comfort one another.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks David for your response to this great Podcast; especially in highlighting Pastor Jeff’s declaration that ‘the law is for the rebellious’, the disobedience, self-sufficient, stiff-necked, that need counsel by confrontation. However, God accepts/ saves the broken heart/ the contrite spirit/ a person of humility –
      Psalms 34:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
      Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart —these, O God, You will not despise.
      God loves/ accepts/ saves the contrite spirit and God gives Grace to the humble and so we are to counsel people with the comfort of God.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Thank you for another great pod cast Pastor Jeff on Admonishing one another. How do we balance admonishing and comforting when counseling. We can actually do both with the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us. We can get direction thru the Spirit when to comfort and when to speak admonishing.
    The meaning of Noutheteo is it’s a Greek word meaning to admonish through instruction, especially appeals to the mind, supplying doctinal, and admonish means to warn or reprimand someone firmly, advice or urge earnestly.
    The meaning of Parakaleo is to call alongside, it’s a Greek word in the biblical manuscripts translated as counsel, comfort, encourage, urge. The word comfort means a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.

    I think we are able to comfort others the way we have also been comforted at times with the help of the Holy Spirit, I do not think it is something we can do on our own without guidance from The counselor who can guide us. He can speak humbly and gently to us with his direction through the Spirit.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      True Margaret, I agree with you that we are able to comfort others the way we have also been comforted with the help of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.). It is our duty as Christians to comfort hurting people with the comfort that we have also received from God by the help of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.).
      Thanks for your response to the Podcast.

    • Anne Marie Maguire says:

      Thanks Margaret for your comment I am in agreement with you, the Holy Spirit gives us comfort and we can share that with others but the source is the from the Holy Spirit and he fills us up so we can in the overflow share with others. Praise God Amen.

  • Anne Marie Maguire says:

    All believers are competent to counsel according to Romans 15:14: “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”

    “The final potion of Romans 15:14 speaks directly to this matter: “able to admonish one another.” This phrase is translated in the William Translation of the New Testament as “competent to counsel one another… God pronounces all believers as potentially capable of giving counsel to one another.” (How to Counsel God’s Way. Bob Hoekstra P.1047)

    The word admonish in Romans 15:14 in the Greek is “noutheteo” which means: admonish, warn, exhort, confrontation. This admonishing in love should lead to repentance.

    Also counseling with comfort in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 it speaks here of the comfort we receive from God in our own trials and how we can share this comfort with those in similar situations.

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God..”

    The word for comfort in the verses here in the Greek is “parakaleo” which means to come alongside and to bring comfort to those in need.

  • Kristie Gallagher says:

    In Romans 15:14 Paul tells us that we are filled with all knowledge and able to admonish one another. This Greek word for admonish is noutheleo. In this podcast Pastor Christenson talks about confrontation that is addressing the sin or failure in a person’s life as we counsel them. I don’t like confronting people, but I know that it is necessary at times, especially when someone comes in for counsel and is seeking godly help. When counseling someone by correcting them or by confronting them it must be done in love. It is important that they know that we care for them and that we desire what is best for them by God’s standard. The key to Biblical counseling is to be led by the Spirit, seeking the Lord to give us wisdom, compassion and His words to speak to them.

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks for your thoughts in response to this week’s Podcast on ‘Admonishing One Another’; and in line with Pastor Jeff’s teaching, I agree with you that we use ‘confrontation to address the sin or failure in a person’s life as we counsel them’.
      Romans 15:14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
      One of the beauties/ benefits of ‘admonishing one another’ to address sin in their lives is so that we as Christians don’t end up carrying other people’s sins (Ezekiel 3:18, 20; 33:6, 8).
      We are called to admonish one another, and may we not fail in our assignment in Jesus Name, Amen.

  • Johan Alarcon says:

    God is the counselor, and He will use us, His word and the Holy Spirit to counsel people and We are to bear one another’s burdens. Everything that has been going on recently, has been weighing people down and can be considered burdens that are very heavy. I loved that Pastor Jeff speaking on stopping and praying for someone right there on the spot. I have done my best to live that way and have influenced many people here in the ministry I work for, to do the same. I have failed many times, from when I have tolled someone, I’ll keep them in prayer, and then the busyness of life has distracted me in so many ways, which does not justify anything and there’s no excuse. So, when someone asked for prayer, or I feel convicted to do so, ill pray right there at that moment, and in that the spirit has always been present. Like Paul said were born again and we should always admonish the next person when necessary. Counseling by warning, disappeared in the church, and that’s why I like to hear old school pastors before my time preach the word, mainly because of the admonishing teachings.

  • Pablo Acosta says:

    Thanks for another podcast inspired by the Holy Spirit,
    like everyone else, I have been impacted by the “I will pray for you”syndrome, early on I thought that I was snot worthy of praying for someone or that my vocabulary was not up to par with others simply that I did not have what was needed.
    It is a weapon of the enemy a deceitful one that blinds us because the bible gives us the example that we should not worry about what we are going to say pray and words will be given to you.
    Admonishing happen by my mentors who never look down on me but challenge me and correct me, they call and ask what I am looking at and why? if I don’t answer a call I get a text or email. I gave them permission to do so but God gave me the heart to be able to receive correction and find repentance.
    I have been on receiving and giving end of this issue which edifies us. We must correct those brothers and sisters in Christ and those lost in the world but it must be done through His love 1Cor 13

  • Athena Williams says:

    Noutheteo – to admonish, vs. parakaleo – to comfort. I personally find admonishing to come more naturally for me; I have to really stretch and depend on help from the Holy Spirit when comforting is required. Both of these verses (Romans 15:14 and 2 Cor. 1:3-4) are very helpful, and it’s important to remember that we are called to do both in counseling. Regardless of which role comes easier, we are fully equipped for both and both are necessary. I find it helpful to prepare ahead of time before a counseling meeting so that I can be diligent in finding “comfort” or “encouragement” verses. Having them ready makes it easier for me to share God’s comfort with the counselee – this can be an amazing way to experience His strength through my weakness!

    • Esther Ambie-Barango says:

      Thanks for your response Athena, to this great Podcast on ‘Admonishing One Another’; and I agree with your submission that we should ‘depend on the help from the Holy Spirit when comforting is required’. This is so true knowing that on our own, we can do nothing but by the help of the Holy Spirit, we can comfort/ admonish one another with all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.).

  • Ethan Malis says:

    The Church was an is supposed to be the front line of counseling. We should in our church family be helping and counseling one another. I like the point that we should be admonishing and one another, helping one another and guiding one another being given guidance by the Holy Spirit. I think this is so effective, because us being Christians who are exercising life, can help other Christians with the issues of life as well, grounded in biblical practice and truth. The church is a body of humans walking through life together, in God’s wisdom, and this includes consoling and helping others.
    I would point out though, I don’t necessarily agree with the reprimand of psychology or Christian Psychology. I think Christian Psychology and the scientific study of behavior and trauma, paired with the scriptures is wildly helpful. I think even in Romans 15 encourages us to use the knowledge we have and have observed from past trauma and mental behavior, paired with the truths in scripture to help each other. I don’t see Psychology as an enemy to the Christian Church, or even a threat to dependency of the scriptures, rather I see it as a helper to prove and lift of the truths in the scriptures.

  • Greg Nelson says:

    When we face difficult times in our lives, it is nice to be able to have this reminder that it is so that we can encourage another person and come “alongside” them. Also there are other times when we are to give a stern warning to a brother or sister in Christ about the sin that they may be living in at that time. We need to remember that when we are giving them this stern warning, that we act in Truth, and in love.

  • Josiah Arceo says:

    Pastor Jeff as supportive as he is about keeping the general population safe from the ill-effects of COVID-19, does not believe that letting the church meet digitally accomplishes what she was meant to accomplish. The church cannot do its job of admonishing and comforting the believers in the fellowship if there is no fellowship to come to physically. So the church needs to come back together physically soon. When it does it needs to be able to confront when necessary and know when to comfort. Confrontation needs to happen as by the Law and comfort needs to be handled as with grace.

    What is very interesting about confrontation and comfort is that it all takes into assumption that judging a fellow brother is expected from one another and that if a brother has been offended by another’s sin that the person go to his brother. It is incorrect to believe that we shouldn’t be judging one another. We just have to judge righteously.

    As far as the word “noutheteō,” from Romans 15:14, the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:28 uses it as a word of warning so that the Colossians believers may be all mature in Christ. Noutheteō is to be done in the spirit of sanctification.

    Interestingly, the job of comforting is to be the responsibility of both brothers in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:31 says, “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.” 


    When it comes to balancing between confrontation and comfort, I think the hint is in the nature of of the situation. If the situation of the brother leans more towards pain because of one’s own sin or another, then perhaps comfort should be given. However, if the brother is dealing with issues of purity, then confrontation may be what he needs. Regardless of the situation, the goal of both should be the same. As was already mentioned in Colossians 1:28, the purpose of counseling is to present the believer to be mature in Christ.

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