What You'll Discover in this Episode:

In this episode, we will consider the topic of Church Life in Counseling God’s Way.

How have you seen God’s love displayed in your church body in the past few weeks? Have you been wondering how biblical counseling impacts the life of members within the body of Christ? 

On this week’s episode, Jeff Christianson concludes this mini-series discussing church life as the context of biblical counseling. Pastor Jeff reviews the core principles to biblical counseling and care within the body of Christ. It is easy for believers to assume that change depends upon their own strength and ability to apply biblical truths to their lives. Pastor Jeff points our attention away from ourselves and toward God, the true biblical counselor. God the counselor ministers to counselees through four means: the Word, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and church life. As the wonderful counselor, God uses his Word to discern and address the contents of our hearts. This work requires the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings God’s counsel from his Word to bear spiritual fruit in our lives. Also, God works through Christians who seek him through prayer. Finally, God has designed the church as the location where believers can fulfill God’s instructions and live out God’s command to love one another. 

After reviewing the two previous episodes, Pastor Jeff reminds us from 1 John 4:7 that biblical counseling is a ministry defined by divine love. In biblical counseling, we draw upon God’s love to seek God’s best for others. It can be difficult to fulfill God’s commands to love one another within the body of Christ. When God commands Christians to love one another and biblical counselors seek to help others grow in discipleship, God also supplies the power for Christians to fulfill this ministry. God’s love for us must mark our ministries within the body of Christ.


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  • Thanks Pastor Jeff for another great Podcast (on Church Life III – Love One Another) reiterating that God is the Counselor while we are instruments of His counsel and if we allow God to be the Wonderful Counselor; the Biblical Counselor; He will use four means to get His counsel to us (through us to others): His Word (the power of the Word of God; the sufficient resources of the sharp/ powerful Word; showing the difference between soul and spirit; joints and marrow; discerning the intents/ thoughts of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)), or by the power/ dynamic/ illuminating work of Holy Spirit (we can’t remove the Holy Spirit from His counsel because His counsel brings to bare the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit for discernment, wisdom, clarity and illumination), all happening in a Prayerful life (those lives that are talking to God/ communicating with Him through prayer (knowing that God is the Counselor, using us as His instruments of His counsel – He will use the Word/ Holy Spirit/ Prayer)), but He will use the Word/ Holy Spirit/ Prayer in the setting of Church Life (recall that we had earlier learnt about Church (ecclesia, a ‘called-out assembly’, the called out ones; a people, an organism – living body of Christ; not a dead organization, not a building – we must remember that we are the Church (not necessarily an organization though we get organized, the way a body gets organized with each member doing his/ her share with Christ as the Head))). That’s how God counsels – it’s important and foundational to a Biblical counselor to have a rock-solid foundation/ understanding in our minds/ hearts that God is ultimately the Counselor (Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor – using His Word, the power of the Holy Spirit in Prayerful lives; all in the context of Church setting). Recall that Pastor Jeff had in previous episodes discussed Church life as ministering ‘one to the other’ and the ‘other to the one’; that’s reciprocal or that’s mutuality of ministry; where we minister one to the other naturally through relationships yet supernaturally because the Holy Spirit indwells each one of us; as we open up the Word, as we pray for each other, as we serve one another, accepting each other and one another into our lives; making room for each other; giving preference to one another or being kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love – just being nice to each other; to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another (Romans 15:7; Romans 12:10; Ephesians 4:32).
    Ephesians 4:32 particularly taught on forgiveness knowing that the world is full of grudges/ vengefulness/ holding things against people and that’s not the way of the body of Christ (Psalm 133 – let’s dwell together in unity with one another, enjoying the sweetness of unity (Acts 2 – the Apostles/ Disciples were in one accord, praying together)). We should be those that forgive one another, not holding things against each other, not letting grudges build up, not planning vengeance like the world/ flesh/ devil do but bearing with one another – bear with one another in ministry; forbearing/ put up with each other in mutuality. It’s all about the life of the body of Christ, not necessarily online (not rejecting online ministry but preferably manifesting the liberty we have been called into in Christ (Colossians 3:13; Galatians 5:13)).
    We must not be selfish/ fleshly in serving one another but care for one another – not in rebellion but use liberty as an opportunity through love to serve one another. We have been set free from bad habits and bad attitudes. We must receive one another, give preference to one another, be kind to one another, forgive one another, bear with one another, serve one another – just a mind flow of life within the Church.
    Counseling God’s way – this is how counseling takes place – begin to disciple or formally counsel people we meet – the first thing is to get them into the Word of God and into prayer; ensuring that they have a deep walk with the Holy Spirit and that they are born again – talking to them about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and this is Biblical/ theological/ doctrinally sound not to be ashamed of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This produces an empowering that can take place that’s subsequent to the regeneration or subsequent to the sealing work of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life. There’s a difference having the Holy Spirit and being in the grip of the Holy Spirit. We must bring our counselees into the Word, Prayer and in the working of the Spirit; letting them know that it’s time to start attending Church, especially now – staying engaged in God’s way of counseling.
    Talking about ‘bearing one another’s burden’ – in these times, we need to help people under their heavy load and they need their burdens lifted and we help them cast their burden/ cares off their shoulders; praying with them, sometimes giving them a financial gift and help them out; helping people carry the loads of life in the spiritual battle we are in. these are the things we do as Biblical counselors; so that when we are presented with a case, having a discipleship opportunity, we are equipped to know what to do – Jesus is the Counselor and not me – He’s got the power/ wisdom/ He knows what’s going on and I know the four things to do (get them into His Word, working in the Holy Spirit, in Prayer, and all in the context of Church Life and they will begin to flourish). These are just foundational before we build upon with other content of teaching/ discipleship.
    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.
    Brothers, I myself am quite sure that you, as you are, are full of goodness and replete with all knowledge and well able to give good advice to one another. Williams translation.
    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. KJV
    Personally I am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge, and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another. Amplified.
    As a Biblical counselor, Romans 15:14 is our key Scripture to recall our two Greek words (noutheteo or parakleo) that are often translated in English to mean counseling.
    A very important counsel by warning when people are hard hearted/ stiff necked/ rebellious – they get the law/ they get warned – danger my friend; you claim to be a Christian, this is what the Bible says: ‘you are living in sin and it leads to death and separation from God and hurts people’. Warning danger and admonishment to bring their minds to act as Christians.
    We earlier talked about counseling by comfort (parakleo); para (to come alongside) and kleo (to call alongside); putting our hands around someone, consoling, comforting, encouraging – it’s very strategic and to have a gift of discernment so that we know the difference and when to admonish and when to comfort because if we are predisposed to admonishment but we comfort – that’s not the way of the Lord.
    Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth.
    Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;
    We must watch out to see that the person is broken/ contrite/ humble enough to receive comfort – even if it was the result of a sin or the result of their own doing – because they are humble, we can bring comfort; not continuing to admonish when they are showing signs of repentance (coming alongside them to say that the Lord loves them, He’s with/ for them, able to restore them etc.). Counseling one another – sometimes: admonishment and sometimes comfort.
    Pastor Jeff’s concluding thoughts – Church life is important to the people we counsel because we are under the teaching of the Word – counsel comes from the Word; involving the Holy Spirit in prayerful lives and we are to edify/ build up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.). We are not only born again, forgiven of our sins but to grow together, strengthen each other; help each other to grow in the Lord.
    Loving one another is the pinnacle of all these teaching – if we are doing this; all the others will flow naturally. If we are to be Biblical counselors/ Biblical disciple makers/ caring for people’s souls (we do the work of soul care; caring for people’s lives in a spiritual sense and we help them in a spiritual sense), if we are walking in love (1 John 4:7), we manifest the God’s kind of love (agape/ agapeo; the love not stirred by the object but supernaturally imparted by the giver to people; even when they are the least loveable. This is the love we receive from God Himself.). We are to love one another with divine/ sacrificial love; not motivated by the object but imparted from the source. This love involves desiring God’s best for one another; desiring the best for others and involves exercising God’s best for one another in mutuality of ministry (the reciprocity of ministry); loving one another. One another ministry is in the Church and this is how the Biblical counselor engages in ministry (full time ministry and we don’t need an appointment or title or an official position – ministry for everyone; serving at Church/ home/ home fellowships/ school/ social media/ etc.). remember that the resource of this ministry is Jesus Christ and it’s a ministry for all (Ephesians 4:15-16).
    Counseling shouldn’t be in the worldly way (not designed to take place in some sterile or secular or even professionalized Christian clinic) but in God’s way.

    • Thank you for mentioning the aspect of biblical counseling through comfort and admonishment. We need God’s discernment to know which the counselee needs. Many times they need both, and we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading to deliver what is needed in the moment. I was reminded that the “Lord will not break a bruised reed” (Is 42:3). I am currently counseling a mother of a drug addict. Many times she needs comfort as she worries about her son’s life, if he will end up in hell for eternity, and whether or not she has done all she can to minister to him. At other times, she needs to be admonished. She cannot be her son’s savior. Only Jesus can be that. I need God’s wisdom in each moment, just as she does!

      • Great task JoAnn, but not bigger than our God (1 John 4:4). Recall Pastor Jeff’s teaching that we are to utilize four tools as Biblical counselors [God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, Prayer, all in the context of Church Life] – In this case particularly; we must trust God for the miraculous through the power of His Word, the working of the Holy Spirit and praying until something happens for God’s glory; knowing that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). May God speedily intervene and deliver this precious child in Jesus Name, Amen.

    • Esther, thank you for mentioning again the “one-another” ministry. So often we are focused on the ministry we give others, we fail to recognize the opportunities we have to receive ministry from others! We always need to maintain a teachable spirit, open to receiving counsel from God through other believers. This is just as important for counselors as the ministry we do – probably more important! After all, what good would we be as counselors if we acted like we had already arrived? Even Paul said, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:12-14.

      • Athena, great points! My younger brother has a biblical counseling ministry from his home and I often wonder how many of his clients are active members in their local church. If we are supposed to have all the answers, I’m afraid I will be found woefully inept. Thankfully, as you quoted from Phil. 3:12-14, we all continue to progress in our own personal discipleship journeys with Christ. The four foundational elements place heavy emphasis on the Spirit through the Word, Prayer, and in Church Life. This keeps the burden off of our shoulders and in His capable hands. This may lead to the assumption that Biblical counselors are not as well-trained as their secular counterparts. But, I would contend that sincere biblical counselors display an honesty that points to the sole source of life/heart change; God Himself.

    • Esther this is so thorough and good. It is so important that when we counsel others we receive our instruction form the word of God, with prayer and by a leading of the Holy Spirit and it has to be out of love. If we lack any of these we are most likely trying to do it in our own strength and will not accomplish all that the Lord wants us to.

  • This podcast was a great reminder that we need to show the world we are Christians through our love, especially for one another! The idea of “opening up our lives to others” and “making room for others” is a great picture of loving one another. We tend to be very focused on our to do lists, our biological families and work. But making room for our brothers and sisters in Christ needs to be a priority. I appreciated Jeff’s mention that he believes much of this can be done digitally right now, in the days of COVID quarantine and social distancing. I have been blessed through this season to begin a daily text for accountability in the word with a few of the ladies I am counseling, as well as good friends. This has been a great tool in discipleship and something that I’d like to continue beyond quarantine!

    • True JoAnn, I also enjoyed this Podcast as a reminder for me to show the world God’s kind of love as a Christian especially in these challenging times that we live in (Ephesians 4:15-16).
      In the words of Pastor Jeff, loving one another is the pinnacle of all these teaching – if we are doing this; all the others will flow naturally and that as Biblical counselors/ Biblical disciple makers/ caring for people’s souls (we do the work of soul care; caring for people’s lives in a spiritual sense and we help them in a spiritual sense), if we are walking in love (1 John 4:7), we manifest the God’s kind of love (agape/ agapeo); the love not stirred by the object but supernaturally imparted by the giver to people. We receive grace to manifest the God’s kind of love in Jesus Name, Amen.

    • Amen JoAnn, we can continue to encourage each other and it can be done digitally in these days during the health crisis, by meeting online on zoom or Facebook or text messages. Most Christians have adapted fast. I attended a zoom prayer meeting tonight and felt very encouraged just by prayer together.

    • I have noticed that “making room for others” works in my life in a similar way to tithing. When I am obedient and trust God with my time, as with my money, and give with an open hand, I somehow still have plenty of time for the things that are important. When I am stingy with my time, there never seems to be enough…

    • Very true JoAnn it was a reminder for me also that we should be showing more of God’s love and be forgiving and tender heart. and opening our lives to others. I find myself at times being focused on things I need to do not on things I could do to help other brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s awesome that you have been blessed with accountability like that. I have been blessed with accountability also by texts from ladies from our bible study, and I also get to meet with the biblical counselor from my church we give each other accountability thru the word.

    • JoAnn, I agree that this quarantine situation has opened up new opportunities to counsel and encourage through technology. While it is not my preferred method, I realize that we must use all available resources to show Christian love to everyone. Making room for people requires a selflessness that runs counter to the “Me first” mentality that is our modern culture. However, that is exactly what Christ did for us, He lowered Himself and sacrificed in order to make room for us. When we keep our eyes on Christ and the Cross, we will not be able to avoid the mandate to do likewise.

    • This is a great way to reach out to ladies at this time by texting verses and encouraging women during this time. This probably means so much to the ladies that they are loved and not forgotten during this time where it would be easy to get your eyes focused on yourself instead of others.

    • Wow that’s great. Most people are unaware of how busy being in the ministry can be. And it’s busy for good reason, since where people are, are where problems usually are. But busyness in ministry should not give permission to ministers from giving time and space for others.

      Weekly time for discipleship has allowed me to be sure to be able to spend time with my other brothers in the fellowship all on the basis of getting to know more of what Christ wants to observe in His Word.

      Besides learning

  • Encouraging podcast Jeff,
    I especially liked when you recommended in the counseling situation individuals being directed back into the word of God, as you said some Christians can become lukewarm due to a lack of prayer and bible reading and need to get back in the word of God and prayer and that we should not condemn people but encourage them in this way.
    And talk to them about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the empowering by the Spirit in their lives and the importance of attending church, that people stay engaged with the church.
    That God counsels the people through the pulpit, the Holy Spirit and the word and praying.
    At the moment we have started a zoom meeting for our discipleship group and our main focus is sharing the word and encouraging the group to get into the word themselves. To grow in Christ.

    • Hi Anne Marie,

      Your use of the word lukewarm struck me. I really appreciate the reminder that when we are encouraging our counselees to draw near to God, we are in essence seeking to nudge them from their lukewarm state. This reminder was timely for me, as I am currently nudging others toward a daily accountability of being in the word. Praise the Lord for their responsiveness! May He use it to His glory.

      • Amen JoAnn, I pray all your counselees will commit their lives fully to Christ and be truly blessed in the daily study of the word and prayer. Over the years I have seen so many in the lukewarm state and it is terribly sad place to be in. Some are stuck in a cycle of sin and never achieve victory in certain areas. But as we encourage them to depend on Christ over the self life a great victory can happen. Praise God.

    • Anne Marie, thanks for your insight on the pod cast. I agree you get much further in directing others by encouragement then you do by condemning them. When you are trying to help others get back into the Word. That is awesome that you are not letting everything going on keep you from your encouraging others to get in the Word and grow in Christ by starting a zoom meeting to keep in touch during this season.

  • I loved the emphasis in this podcast on being committed to loving others. As Pastor Jeff said, this doesn’t mean we have loving feelings towards others. It means we do what’s best for them. True love is self-sacrificial, not self-centered. It doesn’t matter whether or not I want to wear a mask, or whether or not I want to counsel this person. The love of God has enabled me to love that person as unto the Lord. When I take myself out of the equation and consider the other person’s needs, it is easier to discern whether they need comfort or confrontation. And the more focused I am on Christ and on loving the other person well, the less focused I am on myself.

    • Thanks for your submission Athena, particularly in highlighting as Pastor Jeff said, that ‘loving others doesn’t mean we have loving feelings towards others’; especially for those that appear to be unlovable. It makes me remember that we are recipients of God’s love and we must freely love others with the love of God.
      Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
      Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
      Thanks for reminding us that ‘true love is sacrificial and not self-centered’; and in these days that we live in, we have ample opportunities to love one another by the special grace of God.

  • I really enjoyed when Pastor Jeff said “We are an instrument of his counsel “and that “You cannot remove the Holy Spirit from His counsel”, for in (John 14:26) mentions that He is our counselor. We as the church is a living organism, rather than an organization. Theirs a battle within the body of Christ and I thought of a situation I was in today with another staff member, and I’m not here to bash or Gossip but simply saying that the way this particular situation was resolved, let’s just say it could have been so much more easier if we both confronted the situation from the same team. It Goes along the lines of the statement” You are Christian, so we need to always act Christianly”. I do my best each and every day to edify the students here, but at times I believe the guys do not know how to receive love. I can try to help, or give something to one of the students, many times they don’t want the help, but I will continue to love as the word tells me, to walk in love.

    • Without the Spirit, there is no way that we are counseling God’s way; the Spirit needs to be involved in this ministry, otherwise, it won’t work, and as 1 Corinthians say: “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” This passage is so clear that all that God has to tell us it is revealed to us through His Spirit. There is no doubt that there will be battles within the body of Christ; and there will be situations like the one you encountered, but I love how the Lord put us in situations where we can practice the things that He teaches us. To know that all we do is for God and God alone is important. He gets pleasure in the things that we do for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are in training daily and what better way of training than to be in a situation that will challenge us to live out Christ. I love this passage Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Thank you, Johan, for staying strong and focus on what the Lord has called you to do.

  • Pastor Jeff gave us great counsel again in this podcast! I was influenced by his speaking of the church being a living organism. We are not an organization as are other organizations. There are many that do not function well other than by their bi-laws. We are to live out our faith in the church. Ministering to one another. Other to one. Supernaturally as well as naturally. Not walking according to the world, but of the Lord Jesus Christ our Wonderful Counselor. I was moved by the relevancy of Galatians 5:13 with diverse positions of Christians in relationship to COVID-19. Here in San Diego, Christians are all over the place on their positions of respecting or not believing we should follow government imposed regulations. From ” I have liberty and am free to worship how I want. Without social distancing and a mask if that is what I want to do”. Others are complying and yielding to the authority of the government following guidelines completely ( Rom. 13:1). The positioning that I find disturbing, is that their are believers on either side who are starting to have bad attitudes toward other believers. Taking offense if others do not agree with their position. Just yesterday a fellow believer who is questioning if there is really a pandemic asked three of us, “Do you know anyone with COVID-19”? We each said we did not. Which led him to further conclusion that there is no pandemic. While I understand his position, it seemed hostile toward reporting agencies and the governor of California. Speaking further he spoke of his freedoms and since he sees no actual proof of the pandemic he believes we as Christians should not endure the faulted rules enforced on us as Americans and believers. Interestingly, he said those statements while wearing a mask. I by no means think I have this all figured out or know the absolute right action to take yet I am trying to live Col. 3:13 while following Paul’s instructions of Rom. 13:1. As the heat of his oratorical waned, I did express my joy of being with my friend and how good it was to see him.

  • Church life is so important to our Christian life; we need people; we need the body of Christ. I have a friend that I work with and she is a Christian, but she refused to go to church; she felt that going to church was not necessary. I remembered telling her how important it was to be with the body of Christ and I reminded her of the early church, of how they met together every day to pray, to brake bread, etc. I also told her that I love to help women, and a way that I could help them is by going and gather together with them, and see what God has for me to do. I know that God uses people to be a blessing and it is a great honor to be used by God and to be able to serve Him in the church gathering. She eventually understood, and now she has been going to church and gather with the body of Christ. She can now see the difference. Going to church has an advantage, we can see and connect to people in a different way; a more intimate way. I agreed with you when you said that we need to get the counselees to do the foundational tools that the Lord has provided which is to read His Word, to pray, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and to be involved in the flow of the church life. We as counselors need to get right there with them as you said so that we can help them carry their burdens. We have to also make sure that we don’t forget to know when to comfort and when to admonish. I like what you said about counseling people that are going through trials because of their own doings, but if they have repented then we need not admonish anymore, but to comfort. It is so amazing to be part of God’s plan for ourselves and for the people we counsel; to see how God changes and transforms lives. But we can’t be used by God if we are not using the tools that the Lord has provided for us as counselors. Also, we need to love one another as God has loved us; a love that is supernatural, and it only comes from the relationship that we have with Jesus Christ because He fills us with living water. We need to pray that the churches open soon and that we as Christian do what is right and to not take our liberty and be a stumbling block to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and also to be the best witness we can be for the glory of God. Thank you again, Pastor Jeff!

    • Ritter, I love your servants heart. Christians are to be known by our love (John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”) Too often, I believe that we are known by our do’s and don’ts, not by our sacrificial agape love for people. Those that have experienced “Church Hurt” (like myself) can be reticent to engage wholeheartedly in the local body, but this is harmful to oneself and to those you should be loving. I have learned and am learning to bear with my church family and not merely tolerate them. This can and often will inconvenience you, but when you realize that your life is not your own, those interruptions and delays are interpreted as divine appointments and character-building moments.

  • Thanks Pastor Jeff for another great pod cast, thanks for the reminder that God is the counselor and we are his instruments, He is the wonderful counselor. We are all ultimately called to love one an other with a Godly love unconditionally, but to many times we see people get discouraged because they tend to get lost in self, and they don’t go to the source of everything which is getting filled daily by God with fresh water thru a relationship with our Father. We tend to be forgiving, tender heart, not hold grudges. When we cling to that everything flows from the body of Christ we tend to do things more God’s way then doing things in our own fleshly way. I am learning this more and more as lately I have been struggling in my grief but I have many friends in church and I have a biblical counselor that also reminds me that outside of God I can do nothing on my own. I am so grateful that I am still able to meet with others from church and my counselor thru zoom right now, for the accountability.

  • Thank you Pastor jeff,
    It is confirmation that it is a building ekklesia is the people, we make the church at home, over the phone, meeting with one another. so refreshing to have spiritual confirmation over churches opening up early because of a flesh carnal desire. It is something we discussed at the church I work at
    Do we open just because we can?
    Are we able to protect the flock?
    Quality of service? Quantity?
    Are we to turn someone away because we are at capacity?
    Is this our desire to open because we miss it or…?
    It is a moment where God will instruct us and we must listen but God is with us in a building or not.
    thank you again for the references to helping and admonishing one another but first look at the bible like a mirror not binoculars

  • Another great podcast episode and review of the importance of Church Life in biblical counseling. In the end, Pastor Jeff highlighted the agape love of God (1 John 4:7) as the key ingredient to all one-another commands as evident in the local body of believers. It was encouraging to be reminded that the heavy-lifting is done by Christ through the Holy Spirit, not us human counselors. We must base our counseling efforts on a firm foundation of the Bible, prayer, walking in the Spirit, and activity in Church Life. In past, I have counseled individuals on a Sunday (prior to service), only to sit in the service and have the Senior Pastor touch on many of the same things discussed in the session. I can imagine counselees wonder if I relay the content of our sessions to the pastor (by the way, I do not).

    This multi-faceted approach is helpful in another way, as it is a guard against arrogance and pride. We aren’t their saviors. We are one disciple trying to get another disciple back onto the road of discipleship. We need to walk in the same Holy Spirit that we encourage them to walk in. Great reminders and a strong foundation for counseling biblically.

    • Amen to how church life is a “guard against arrogance and pride.” It is just like the flesh and the temptation of Satan to make us out to be the saviors of all those we counsel. But, just as Pastor Jeff said so, Christ is the true counselor who we serve under. It is similar to the idea of pastors being “under-shepherds” who shepherd the Lord’s flock, not their own. Starting from position of humility is always the best way about it.

  • Love was described as desiring God’s best for others. This is a wonderfully simple way to explain agape. God’s best is always merciful, gracious, compassionate and gentle. But, God’s best is also holy, true, faithful, and has nothing to do with sinfulness. When we desire people to experience God’s best it includes the warning, or reproof in regards to sin. God wants to make holy those who aren’t living holy, and that can’t happen if people are always ignoring sinfulness. May the Lord bless all of us with boldness to explain the truth and speak it in love, with a commitment to holiness and the Word of God.

    • I agree with you Alejandro that ‘when we desire people to experience God’s best it includes the warning, or reproof in regard to sin’ and in line with Pastor Jeff’s teaching, it’s important to know/ discern when to admonish or comfort; hence; we need the mind of Christ to discern the intents/ thoughts of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)), and the power/ dynamic/ illuminating work of Holy Spirit (knowing that we can’t remove the Holy Spirit from His counsel because His counsel brings to bare the Word of God and the Holy Spirit helps us with discernment, wisdom, clarity and illumination), all these happen in a Prayerful life (those lives that are talking to God/ communicating with Him through prayer (knowing that God is the Counselor, using us as His instruments of His counsel).

    • That’s absolutely true, Alejandro. It’s tough when we can see God’s best for someone but they don’t want to hear it. It takes courage to speak up in love and do what’s best for the other person, even if it’s not what they think they want. Agape love gives someone what they need, not necessarily what they want.

  • I liked the emphasis on the Holy Spirit, and Scripture reading. This is something I find a lot of the time is that when people are having issues, it seems to be they are not at all in Scripture or praying for the Holy Spirit to be filled in their lives. To be grounded in the peace and the joy of the Lord we must slow down, stop and meditate in the Scriptures, praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us. I am so surprised at the amount of people that say they are reading their bibles, but are not. We need to make time, to slow down, dedicate our time and our mind to focus on silence and reading the Scriptures. This time is so important, saying we are not going to be bound to the pace of our culture that tells us to fill our time with other things. We need to take the time to literally stop and be silent, asking the Holy Spirit to fill our minds. We need to take the time to literally stop and be silent, reading the Scriptures. These two things, along with the practice of slowing down will help clear our minds and set them on the Lord. This is an act of defiance in our cultural of fast pace, workaholism, pleasure seeking cultural. To slow down and find silence in the presence of the Lord our God.

  • This was a great reminder that we as Christians are called and have opportunities to counsel people all the time in conversations at church. It is so important that we are giving counsel from the Word of God and that we rely on the Holy Spirit to speak to us and through us. One of my favorite verses is Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.” It is so important that all counseling is done out of love and honoring the person we are speaking to. It is a high calling and privilege to instruct someone in God’s path.

    • Thanks Kristie for your post on this Podcast (on Church Life III – Love One Another) especially to bring to light that it reminds us as Christians that have opportunities to counsel people all the time in the Church. I agree with you and in line with Pastor Jeff’s teaching, we should allow God our Wonderful Counselor; the Biblical Counselor; to use the four means mentioned in the teaching to get His counsel to us (through us to others): His Word (the sufficient resources of the sharp/ powerful Word; showing the difference between soul and spirit; joints and marrow; discerning the intents/ thoughts of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)), the power/ dynamic/ illuminating work of Holy Spirit (we can’t remove the Holy Spirit from His counsel because His counsel brings to bare the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit for discernment, wisdom, clarity and illumination), a Prayerful life in addition to carrying out the counsel in Church life like you rightly stated.

    • That’s a great reminder of what kind of attitude the Lord desires for us to sow in our hearts. All Christians, being the servants of God are all called to serve one another. But this service to others in the body, if it’s done in a manner outside of loving God (our love for others should be motivated by wanting to love God), we tend to serve from other means and purposes. The last sentence you said about instructing others is a great reflection of that kind of attitude.

      Loving God by serving others is such a privilege because if done in the proper attitude, results in worship and glorification of God.

  • Thank you once again pastor Jeff for reminding us that we are instruments used by God. We are the body of Christ, and when one person is hurting the whole body hurts. Also we all have a different job to do, and in that we are able to encourage one another.20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.1 Corinthians 12:20-26

  • What an interesting podcast about church life. The biggest takeaway from the podcast seems to be that one does not have to have a title or certificate to be a biblical counselor; certainly, if one lives out the commandments of God through the empowerment of God, he will be the best biblical counselor anyone can ask for. For if he lives out the commandment to love God with all of his heart, soul, and strength and to love his neighbor as himself, his life becomes a living testimony of God’s truths taught through his life, speech, attitude, and behavior.

    To be a biblical counselor is to be a Christian willing to grant comfort and devoted confrontation when necessary. Both of these objectives are not to be done out of a motivation to pep anybody up or bring anybody down. The goal is to always point back to Christ and what His word says.

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