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biblical counseling, calvary chapel, cca, ccu, cgn, jeff christianson

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  • Thank you, Pastor Jeff. I love that you brought back the foundation of counseling God’s way, which is to remember that Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. We need to always come back to this foundational truth. There have been times when I am counseling a person and we just talk and for a long, while there are no scriptures given, then God brings something into my mind and I have to act right away and go back to what Jesus wants to bring to the counselee. Jesus is the Expert as you said and this needs to be in our mind at all times even when we are not in a counseling session. Why would I not use God’s wisdom and knowledge in every little thing that comes up, it is going to bring hope and it is what God has calls us to do. Colossians 2:2-3 is clear of why I need to come to Jesus for Counsel, and is because it is in HIM that all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden; they are in the Person of Jesus Christ. You mentioned about some people don’t want to get God’s help because they just want a quick fix. I see this a lot in our church body, and it is so grieving; they don’t understand as you said the sufficient of the Word of God which is absolutely a battle that the church is facing. I don’t think they can grasp it and understand the meaning of it. Or maybe it is just laziness and/or they just are not ready to make changes. I said this not to be judgmental but because I was one of those people. Also, given homework to people to do has been such a blessing. We have been experiencing the results of the homework we give; to see people come back with their answers for their issues and to see them in awe of what God revealed to them while seeking His counsel by themselves. It is pretty amazing. I love that we don’t have to do much; God does it all! We just need to point people to Jesus and what He has to say. Again, thank you Pastor Jeff for your insight!

    • Thanks Ritter for your response to this week’s Podcast (on ‘what counseling is from a Biblical perspective’; the Lord as Counselor); stating the basics – the foundation of counseling God’s way). I agree with you that giving homework to people to do has been such a blessing (referring them to read/ meditate on specific Scriptures) to set them up with an appointment with the true Counselor before meeting with them at a later date. Sometimes, after listening to them, praying with/ for them, doing some exposition of Scripture with them, investigating things about them, working with them in a relational atmosphere with the leading of the Holy Spirit and then send them off with Scriptures to read/ meditate on and return again to discuss their encounter with God as they meditated on the Scriptures and this will be the starting point for the next meeting. If they didn’t do their homework, they have to go back and complete the homework before next discussion commences because we are not the experts in this matter, but we are to point them to the Lord Jesus, the ultimate Counselor.

      • Hi Esther, you are right. We are not experts and I’m so thankful for that :). I’m so glad that Jesus is the One to counsel and we are His instruments; His hand and feet, His mouth. I have encountered that situation many times where people are not doing their homework. I encouraged them to do their homework, but I am firm about it and reminded them that this is for their good, if they want changes in their lives.

  • Thanks Pastor Jeff for this unique Podcast (on ‘what counseling is from a Biblical perspective’; the Lord as Counselor); stating the basics – the foundation of counseling God’s way because everything builds upon and rests upon this foundational truth (the Lord Himself is the Counselor – not any of us nor the trained psychotherapist nor the psychologist nor those that are educated). God built into the body of Christ, His people (even though some of us may be educated; but ultimately, He’s the ultimate Counselor).
    Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    From this prophetic Scripture, Jesus is called the Wonderful Counselor – it’s good to let God tell us what counseling is because men have all kinds of ideas. The Scripture tells us that the Lord is to be our counselor, and this is quite important to know that the Lord is the expert counselor.
    How Wonderful is the Lord Jesus? We know that He’s Wonderful (Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.).
    People seek for counsel/ help/ advice/ guidance/ direction, they are looking for ‘wisdom and knowledge’ and it’s all hidden in our Wonderful Counselor, the Lord Jesus (Colossians 2:3).
    When we counsel people, ultimately, it’s the Lord Jesus Himself that’s the counselor while we are instruments of His counsel and we want to bring such people to the Word of God and to the Lord Jesus; giving them homework (referring them to read/ meditate on specific Scriptures) to set them up with an appointment with the true Counselor before meeting with them at a later date because they don’t always know it right away but learn after a while (sometimes, after listening to them, praying with/ for them, doing some exposition of Scripture with them, investigating things about them, working with them in a relational atmosphere with the leading of the Holy Spirit and then send them off with Scriptures to read/ meditate on and return again to discuss their encounter with God as they meditated on the Scriptures and this will be the starting point for the next meeting). If they didn’t do their homework, they have to go back and complete the homework before next discussion commences because we are not the experts in this matter, but we are to point them to the Lord Jesus, the ultimate Counselor. As they meet with the Wonderful Counselor though the Word of God, they come back enriched with wisdom/ knowledge after hearing from the One that could empower them to walk in the wisdom that He has given them
    My takeaway from this week’s Podcast is that, walking with the Lord Jesus Christ; abiding in His presence; having an abiding relationship with Him gives us a renewed mind even though we live in a troubled world. We don’t need any twitter/ blog/ social media/ etc. to proffer solutions to the challenges of life but we have our answers in Christ guaranteeing our peace, hence we are not overwhelmed by the challenges of life (not going outside of Scripture but embracing the sufficiency/ inerrancy of Scripture; willingly study the Scripture and get solutions for the issues of life).
    In line with Scriptures, I agree with Pastor Jeff’s declaration that the more we study the Word, the more we will be convinced of its sufficiency, that we don’t need to integrate/ add on to the Word of God with the wisdom of man (Isaiah 9:6; Colossians 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Timothy 2:15).

    • I find this so encouraging, Esther, because I am totally inadequate in myself to counsel anyone! But in Christ I am adequate, because He makes me adequate through the Holy Spirit. I am only responsible for seeking God and walking in obedience to Him; He is responsible to do the work in a counselee’s heart. Of course I want to be faithful to do the best I can in counseling, but I am thankful that the pressure isn’t on me. He is the true counselor.

  • Pastor Jeff, I really liked how you brought up the book of Isiah chapter 9 verse 6, and how Jesus is prophesied in this specific scripture. I’ve had conversations with unbelievers and the question of Jesus being in the old testament always comes up, and this particular verse is my go-to scripture. Those who are willing to learn ask you questions and you send them out with a scripture, and for them to meet up with the ultimate counselor is something I do also, so that they won’t take my word for it but that they can see and research for themselves. I myself was sent to read Isiah 9 verse 6 and from that day forward, it has been a platform scripture for me.
    Which God and His word should always be a platform and foundational behind every conversation we have, each and every day. Speaking God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge and staying away from what the media and other people’s philosophy’s and what non-believers teach which we call humanism is something that we should always stay away from. We need to hold steadfast with Gods word that it is God-breathed as it says in 2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 16-17. God’s word is authoritative and I truly believe this to be true, and that’s why when I speak, I do my best to always reference the bible one way or another. I really like when he said, We integrate our wisdom with the wisdom of God, and people who do this try to justify their ways of thinking or their lifestyle and to condition the word of God to fit them and their practices for as we all know we cannot add no subtract to the word of God.

    • Thanks for your post Johan. I agree with you that ‘God and His Word should always be a platform and foundation behind every conversation/ counseling we have, each and every day; speaking God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and staying away from what the social media, and other people’s philosophies and what unbelievers teach (Humanism).’
      Colossians 2:2-3 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    • I believe that maturity has a lot to do with how people see scriptures and how they integrate man’s wisdom with God’s wisdom. This is why it is so important as you said to bring the word of God to all situations and at all times. We need to encourage people to read the Word of God because it is where they will find what it is needed to live a fulfilling life in Christ Jesus our Lord, our Wonderful Counselor. I also remembered reading for the first time Isaiah 9:6 and it was impactful to me. It is interesting how I have mentioned that Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, but I can’t remember if I ever have given the whole passage to people. Thank you Johan for the reminder; I will make sure to do that!

  • I found this podcast especially helpful as I consider how to discuss biblical counseling with others. Since psychological theory is so pervasive today, many people do not stop to consider whether it is appropriate. I sometimes wonder how to open the conversation on the sufficiency of Scripture, but here Pastor Jeff has laid the foundation for how to approach it. It can be as simple as inviting someone to discuss Colossians 2. As a person’s heart is genuine to seek the Lord, He will reveal His truth to them. I don’t have to try to argue or convince anyone, but I do have a responsibility to raise the issue of deception among the body when I am made aware of it.

    • Thanks for your post Athena and I agree with you particularly for highlighting the fact that ‘the psychological theory is so pervasive today and many people do not stop to consider whether it is appropriate’. In line with Pastor Jeff’s teaching, I agree with you that we must embrace the sufficiency/ inerrancy of Scripture; willingly study the Scripture and get genuine solutions for the issues of life.
      2 Timothy 2:15-16 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

    • I have had the same issue in my discipleship opportunities. Colossians 2 has been the go to passage for me as well. Just simple exegesis of the chapter gives us a great chance to explain the sufficiency.
      Another option for you might be the historical approach. If you can get into a discussion on the progressive revelation of scripture (that God was slowly revealing what was needed), you might be able to get to how the canon of Scripture is closed. After hundreds and hundreds of years of God revealing to us theological and practical lessons, He stops. Why? Why would God stop giving Scripture? The answer isn’t that man would take over from there. It wasn’t that He had given up on us. It was that He had given everything that was needed.

  • Thank you Pastor Jeff. We can never be reminded enough of the foundation of Biblical Counseling. It is our Wonderful Counselor. He is the anchor truth. He has all answers to all problems. We are his instruments. What a privilege. Jesus Christ is our Wonderful Counselor. The Wonderful Counselor provides us a vast treasury that is available to us in helping others. In him, through him, we can provide answers to people’s problems who come to us. Through him we have all the treasury of wisdom and knowledge to provide people answers (Col. 2:3). We are Christ’s ambassadors. Through the treasury of the Wonderful Counselor we are his instruments in bringing others to the Lord Jesus himself, immersing them in him, and they hear from him. Jesus counsels into discipleship and that is how we should counsel others. Imitating our Savior. Teaching, baptizing and educating in righteousness. The Wonderful Counselor is the counselor to all humanity.

    • It is so amazing that God allows us to be His ambassadors; what an honor that is! It is truly a privilege as you said, Jerry. I believe that I have good work ethics and as we have good work ethics to what our boss has given us, then how much important it is to be incredible excellent of the things of God; to use the amazing treasures that is available to us to help others, it is so good. What a job we have! and what an honor it is to be part of changing lives because of our obedience to God’s calling into our lives; to not only be hearers of the word, but doers, and to counsel into discipleship as Jesus did. Thank you Jerry again for your post.

    • Jerry, you are right, we need this kind of reminder to keep us humble and centered on Christ. It can be tempting to give man’s wisdom when we haven’t mined the Word of God for the answers hidden therein. As you stated, “We are Christ’s ambassadors”, which means that we are not only spokespersons, we are clients of the same truth we dispense. This keeps the counselor honest and dependent upon Christ for change to come. In this way, biblical counselors should be able to counsel relatively stress-free.

  • Thank you pastor Jeff for another great message! It is such a great reminder that the Lord is our great counselor. It really is encouraging to know that we can find anything that we need pertaining to life and Godliness in the Word of God. This massage reminded me of that because even when we are struggling with this or that in our lives, we know that God has graciously given us His Word to direct us in the way we should go.

    • Thanks for your input on the pod cast I agree with you that it is encouraging to know we can find guidance for anything in the scripture The Bible is the book of life it gives us direction and instruction on everything pertaining to life. the more we get into the Word the more we will see God’s truth in the scriptures.

  • I was really blessed by the opening idea that “God builds into his church” people gifted in counseling for the “building of his church.”
    It made me realize that it is a gift of God and a gracious work of God to provide people who are gifted in counseling to the church. However, when we remember that the Lord is the Counselor Himself, then we can rightly say that all can counsel as He leads us in it.
    I would rather not believe that some people are gifted for it, and the rest of us need to leave it to the professionals. This only causes us to do less than what God is calling us all to do.
    I was also blessed by the reminder in Col 2:3. This verse is so powerful, and when rightly applied people will realize that they need to step into a deeper relationship with Christ.

    • I agree with your response Alejandro and I must say that this Podcast (what counseling is from a Biblical perspective) also blessed me; knowing that if Colossians 2:3 is rightly applied; it makes us to realize our need to step into a deeper relationship with Christ; our Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). When people seek for counsel/ help/ advice/ guidance/ direction, they are looking for ‘wisdom and knowledge’ and it’s all hidden in our Wonderful Counselor, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we counsel people, ultimately, it’s the Lord Jesus Christ Himself that’s the Counselor while we are instruments of His counsel and we bring such people that are in need of counsel to the Word of God.

    • I think a lot of believers today are intimidated by the idea of counseling one another. We have been deceived to think that offering counsel requires certain qualifications, and, like you said, we “need to leave it to the professionals.” This is unfortunate, but I also think that those of us who are called to counsel can edify the body and shed light on this subject, encouraging others not to be afraid to offer counsel. When they see “ordinary” people like us stepping up to counsel, perhaps they will see that it is truly a ministry and not something to be afraid of.

  • When we allow ourselves regular access with the Lord, in the good times and the bad times, we will always have the answer to be hopeful and be encouraged that God is always in control and has a purpose in the trial and temptation. James says. “Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

    Just like Pastor Jeff says, when we allow ourselves to be enriched by the Word of God regularly we ourselves the benefit of receiving the richest and purest wisdom and knowledge according to Colossians 2:3.

    • Thanks Josiah I loved your comment, the counselor needs to have a personal relationship with Christ and to be in constant communion with the saviour, daily to be enabled by God to receive guidance and a word for the counselsee. Without Christ we have nothing to give. (John 15:5.) Also the comfort we receive from God can be shared with others.

  • A great reminder that it is not us it is Him through us. I cannot and will not have the necessary wisdom and power to change anyone into anything or something. God’s transforming power works through humans by obedience, faith, and sanctification. I love that Jesus told us of this power but was also connected to the power and He made sure we heard and read about it.
    Thank you again for a christ centered away from legalism podcast Pastor

    • Pablo, it is definitely not us. The wisdom (application of knowledge) and knowledge (vital information) we need is hidden in Christ. This makes Him the source of the answers, yet we are tasked with digging and living lives that testify to that reality. Pastor Jeff’s conclusion that counseling is “living a godly life and passing that life to others” reinforced the principle that counseling is in service of discipleship. This discipleship is the calling of both counselors and counselees.

    • Amen Pablo, it is in Christ alone that we are enabled to do any work for God. If I try to do anything on my own, in my own strength I fail. As we go deeper into Christ in love and obedience and humbly submitting to the word of God, God will give us insight in the counseling, care of others. And all the glory goes to Christ.

  • Thanks Jeff was really blessed by your podcast tonight especially when you talked about the sufficiency of scripture for all counseling issues. I do believe with all my heart that the word is fully sufficiency without error and inspired by God. It has authority and clarity. My life was transformed by studying the scriptures and I thank God daily for his word.

    I do believe that in Christ all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge exist and are accessible as we abide in that love relationship with God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

    I thank God that Jesus is the wonderful counselor Isaiah 9:6 and in my life there were and still are countless times I poured out my problems to God and he gave a fresh revelation, a fresh touch that brought peace and comfort and closeness.
    And listening to your podcast tonight I feel I want more of that closeness.

    And is it sad that people don’t want to spend time developing that practice of the presence of God, that abiding in Christ, that day by day contact with Christ. That they prefer a quick fix then knowing the wonderful person of Christ.

    A few years ago I was studying theology and we studied the person of Christ and during the lectures my heart was pounding, it was powerful. We can have that passionate love for him that overrides all fear and doubt that brings joy and peace.

    So even though the world is getting crazier and crazier I have peace in my little room studying the scriptures.

  • I was so encouraged by Colossians 2:3 “In Christ are all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” The Lord is the counselor and in Him is found wisdom and knowledge. We as biblical counselors are His instruments to be used in the lives of others. An important element is to give them homework to look up scripture and for them to spend time in God’s word. That is the most valuable counseling we can give people to teach them to hear from the Lord through His word. It is important to help them to make those investments to find the hidden treasures.

    • Thanks for your input on the pod cast Kristie. Colossians 2:3 is a good scripture to help me remember Christ holds all the wisdom and knowledge I will ever need. I agree accountability in holding ourselves and others to spend time in God’s Word growing in Christ is the best thing we could do to help ourselves and others to learn that He is all we need and in spending time in God’s Word we can learn to trust that He holds all the answers and He is enough we don’t need to look any where else for answers and guidance

  • Thanks for another great pod cast Pastor Jeff. Thank you for the reminder that the Lord is the wonderful counselor, we are the instruments he uses, It is so easy to get distracted and forget that ultimately we aren’t the counselor, The Lord is sufficient for our all needs for guidance and wisdom. I have noticed lately I can get distracted very easy when I am not seeking God for the guidance I need and looking to other people or even myself for the wisdom only God can give me. The more time i spend in building my relationship with the Lord and being in the Word the more I am learning that is all I need he supplies my every need but it’s not something I can just go to when I’m seeking answers its something I need to do every single day.

    • I agree it is so easy to be distracted and to get our eyes off the Lord and look to others for answers. It really takes time and discipline to spend time with the Lord and to hear from Him, but that is the only place we will find true wisdom and peace.

  • This week’s podcast re-emphasized the importance of the Lord as Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). While I have heard this before, it is always good to be refreshed on the basic foundations of biblical counseling. This is important because in the midst of an especially difficult counseling session, it can be tempting to add some basic human principles to the authoritative word of God. This is incorrect on two counts, (1) It is foolish to consider man’s wisdom in the same stratosphere as the Bible, and (2) Since man’s wisdom is inferior and insufficient to God’s word, you will inevitably dilute the pure milk of the Word. Colossians 2:3 reminded us to consider Jesus as the source of “ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. When we maintain that Christ is the Wonderful Counselor, we are relieved of the burden to change people, but given the much easier burden of digging into the treasury of His Word for counsel.

    • It is so true that it can be tempting for us to give people our opinions when counseling with them, but we need to know and trust that God’s word does a greater work than we can imagine. Jesus is the wonderful counselor and we want to make sure that is what we our giving the people.

  • What I think is awesome about the Lord being our Counselor is that we get the amazing and ultimate example of Jesus. Jesus through his life practices shows us how to find comfort in God the father. The issue I have a lot is vague saying about comfort with no real practice or homework like Mr. Christianson said. Jesus gave us many examples of how to do practical life while seeking the Lord for comfort and counsel. We see so many times Jesus withdrew from the crowds to seek the Lord in silence and in meditation. Jesus was seeking the counsel of the Lord.

    So many people look else where for counsel when a lot of what Jesus says to do is take the time to slow down, get to silence and be glad in the Lord. A lot of times we don’t take the time needed to slow down because of the business of life, but the Lord is calling us to him for comfort and love. Let us strive to sit in the presence of the Lord, withdrawing momentarily like Jesus not succumbing to the business of life so that we can meet with the our counselor.

  • 61- PODCAST


    I greatly appreciate the way Pastor Jeff clearly articulates and biblically defends his position, our position, about biblical counseling. “The Lord is the counselor, not anyone else.”

    He begins by quoting Isaiah 9:6, a prophetic verse which tells us Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. Pastor Jeff then succinctly describes Biblical counseling as living a godly, Christ centered life, and passing that on to others.

    The way Pastor Jeff differentiates between biblical counseling and secular counseling leaves little if any room for question. In a nutshell, secular counseling is a sinful fallen man counseling sinful fallen man, whereas in biblical counseling it is perfect holy God who is counseling sinful, fallen man.

    In an explanation of how great our Wonderful Counselor is, Pastor Jeff refers to Colossians 2:3. It is there we are introduced to the fact that in Him is hidden all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge. This means that all we will ever need in regards to knowledge and wisdom is available in Jesus. There is literally no reason to go any place else. The only requirement made upon us is to sincerely seek them out in Him.

    God is the only true counselor and we are merely the instruments of His counsel. Because this is true we use the Word of God as the sole source of reference.  Such is our confidence in God’s Word that we have the one being counseled read scriptures specific and pertinent to their situation. In so doing we pray and believe the Holy Spirit will answer their questions with the information, knowledge, and wisdom they gleaned from the scriptures. The scriptures are essential to Biblical counseling. If someone refuses to be disciplined in this respect they will have great difficulty in understanding just how God would have them respond to the trials of life. They will have forfeited His peace.

    Our effectiveness as counselors is directly proportionate to the depth of personal intimacy we have with Jesus and the level of understanding we have of His Word.

    Something I found interesting was Padtor Jeff’s observation that the proncipal reason people object to the sufficiency of scripture is simply because they are unwilling to study the scripture for themselves.

    I am so grateful the Word of God is clear and concise. That it needs no outside help to make its knowledge more practical or its wisdom more understandable. That it needs no human intervention or integration to be more effective.

    In a word, God’s Word is sufficient. So, to integrate flawed human wisdom with God’s perfect wisdom is to undermine the authority of God’s Word, the Bible.

    Remember, if you’re a follower of Jesus, biblical counseling always has as its goal to make you a better disciple. However, if you’re not a follower of Jesus the goal of biblical counseling is to introduce you to the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus, and give you an opportunity to become a disciple of Jesus.

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