81: The Freely Given Things by God


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What You'll Discover in this Episode:


The Freely Given Things by God


We Christians have the spirit of God living in our lives. We have received, "not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God."


We started out with the spirit that was of the world, the spirit of man, the spirit of self, the spirit that creates counseling needs, the spirit of the world, driven by self for self. That's what we were - past tense.


Now, we've received a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who is from God. Now, we’ve received the Spirit who is from God for this purpose: “...that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”


In this podcast, Pastor Jeff talks more about these freely given things by God and what our attitude towards them should be as Christians. 


What are the freely given things of God?


  1. They’re the things you can’t ever deserve, but you need. 
  2. You can’t deserve them, but you need them. 
  3. You can’t ever earn them. 
  4. They’re priceless. They’re not for sale. 
  5. You can’t manufacture them on your own. 
  6. They have to come from God. 
  7. They’re the freely given things of God.  
  • Scroll down and leave your comment below!
  • “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.  These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 

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  • KEVIN THATCHER says:

    Right On Pastor Jeff; could be the best for last Pod-Cast? As the early church exploded upon and in the world, they relied on three things, the Power of the Holy Spirit, Unity, and Prayer. Through the power of the Holy Spirit Peter was able to bring forth God’s word, which cut to the heart of the Jewish religious leader of the day. Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

    I think it speaks volumes about what Pastor Jeff was trying to relate through this teaching. Reliance must be upon the word of God when dealing with spiritual problems. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, He will bring all things back to remembrance. Through the Holy Spirit’s power, Peter was able to bring forth the word of God with so much boldness it caught the attention of the religious leader of the time. So much, they point out that they were untrained and uneducated men; however, with God, all things are possible. 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty. In Biblical counseling, the Holy Spirit must be relied upon, for man’s wisdom is useless in dealing with humanity’s problems. The Book of Proverbs is full of examples.

    To receive the free things from the Lord, one must be Born Again. This eliminates the spirit of a natural man and replaces it with the Spirit of God. Romans chapter six, Ephesian 2:1-22 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, and Colossian 2: As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, so what good is world counsel when the word of God declares we are to walk in Him, we are dead to self and made alive in him.

    In counseling with God’s people, it is essential to utilize the word of God because His word is alive able to cut to the marrow, Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Peter said Lord, where can we go you have the words of eternal life. Counseling man’s way is trying to revive a dead man by giving mouth to mouth resuscitation. According to God’s word, counseling will breathe new life into those dead man bones, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

    Pastor Jeff, you hit the nail on the head when you discussed the different kinds of vocabulary used by the world and God’s word. Mixing the natural world’s wisdom and God’s wisdom is like mixing oil and water; there will always be a separation. God’s word cuts to the quick. He calls sin, sin. The world sugar coats sin blames everyone else except the sinner. The natural worldly counsel puts a Band-Aid; it masks over the problem and helps you deal with your problem; however, God’s counselor makes one overcomer, conquerors in and through Jesus Christ. We are overcomers, not maintainers!

    • harry e innerst says:

      Kevin, I love your thoughts from Peter. Where in the world else can we go for wisdom. Many of us spent some time in the world before salvation, and realize how bankrupt the wisdom of man is. Peter stayed connected to the vine and so we must do the same.

  • harry innerst says:

    God has given us “all things that pertain to life and Godliness.”(2 Pet. 1:3), and it is free. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things. He also said that we could do nothing without Him. Counseling with man’s wisdom is limited and shallow. It often leads to change on the surface, but never gets to the root problem. We do not want to just modify the behavior of the flesh. We need to starve the old flesh and strengthen the new nature. This can only come from the wisdom found in the Holy Spirit. Human effort causes problems that only the wisdom of the Spirit of God can fix. We don’t mix the wisdom of the Spirit with the wisdom of man. We study the scripture and let the scripture interpret the scripture. This is how we find God’s wisdom.

    • David Bowman says:

      Harry, I agree with your perspective and insight on this episode. I agree that many adopt the terminology and tactics of the world because we are impatient to see “results”. We should be more focused on being faithful and committed to the teachings of Scripture, but the temptation is always present to take the surface-level changes over an actual renewing of the mind.

  • Audra Downs says:

    I am so grateful that you have addressed the usage of words that the world uses which the church has so readily adopted into it’s vocabulary. I think the reason people in general and unfortunately Christians also, latch onto words like co-dependent, dysfunctional and victimization is because labels are like nice little boxes that problems can be put into. In the past, I have used these words and I cringe that I did so. I am at a place now where I am discipling some younger ladies and I am pointing them to the Word of God and not using the world’s language or solutions for what are spiritual problems.
    Our problem is sin and the answer is Jesus, our Savior. By listening to the worlds ideas and incorporating those ideas into the church, we are devaluing the Word of God and seriously dumbing down the gospel of Jesus Christ. He came to set the captives free! The church at large has been deceived. I really appreciate this message Pastor Jeff and pray that it reaches many in the church who need to hear this word.

    • harry e innerst says:

      Good words Audra. Today’s society has come up with a ton of words to describe all sorts of phobias. We have now all these words to attach to those that we disagree with. Sin is our problem. It always has been. We in the church cannot adopt this approach. We must use God’s words if we are to help people.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      It is so marvelous that you are discipling the younger generation! I find it so crucial to reach out to our youth since they are our future and the ones exposed to so much more craziness than I ever was in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Having 3 young ones of my own, I want to say thank you for doing the wonderful work of God.

      • Audra Downs says:

        Thank you Erika! My heart goes out to our youth living in today’s culture. They are being bombarded with lies constantly through social media and their peers. I thank God for the Power and Truth of His Word. Isn’t it mind blowing to think that throughout the centuries, God’s Love and the Truths that we cling to in scripture have been the sustenance that mankind has needed regardless of the culture, time period or circumstances? He is the same; yesterday, today and forever. What a mighty God we serve!

  • Jason Corbett says:

    I love the idea that the things that we need and others need are freely given by God. It begs the question of why we settle for, pay for, and then dispense to others things that are not from God and not free? Paul said in Romans that…”He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things.” This verse perhaps talking about our future but Peter says that in the present…”His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” The verb in Peters verse (has given) is in the perfect tense. This means it happened at a definite point in the past, continues into the present and will continue into the future. We have indeed been given what we need to live this life and to help others as God sees fit for us to do so.

    Having said that many in the church don’t see these verses as actually saying what they actually say and look other places for what they need. It is hard to talk to people about the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling ministry because most will agree that the Bible is sufficient in Word but then reject premises like the one Pastor Jeff discussed today. The Biblical counselor has his or her work cut out for them but thankfully it is not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of the living God.

    • Ericka Tapia says:

      I very much appreciate you bring up those two scriptures that completely bring even more to life what Pastor Jeff spoke on. I especially love the analogy of Peter, it is that vocabulary that is so important to emphasis in a world that feels like God has abandoned them when things are good but #blessed all the material things in life.

    • David Bowman says:

      Jason, you are so right about this statement, “The Biblical counselor has his or her work cut out for them but thankfully it is not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of the living God.”

      When Pastor Jeff mentioned that the same amount of time given to sermon prep should be given to our preparations for counseling sessions, I was convicted. I have not given hours to the preparation before sessions. I would definitely pray, prepare some materials, and have a homework assignment, but as we heard in this episode, there is more that should be done. Diligence is needed in this ministry and it deserves nothing less than our best efforts and prayers.

      • Michelle R says:

        Hi David, I to was convicted as well. This really challenge to step it up and get serious about my devotional time and bible study time. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

  • David Bowman says:

    This episode has definitely come at an interesting time in my life. Recently, I have started to read a new text concerning healing from life-dominating sins. The author is a Christian and doesn’t seem to be opposed to what Pastor Jeff has stated in this episode. However, I have noticed a willingness to use terminology that the psychological world uses. I flipped to the back cover and noticed where the author went to school and it gives me a subtle indication of what may be to come.

    Words today have so much more meaning and scrutiny than in times past. The words we use convey certain meanings and associations. When we choose to use biblical terminology instead of the common jargon of the day, we make our stance clear upon the foundation of the Scriptures. I pray for the courage to stick to the Scriptures and not give in to intimidation due to situations that seem large to me. We serve an awesome God, for whom everything is equally easy to perform. Lord grant us the strength to utilize what we have been given freely through His Spirit.

    • KEVIN THATCHER says:

      David, taking this course has opened my eyes, our classmate’s eyes and I believe yours as well to the subtle migration of the world into the church’s domain. We need to have total reliance upon God’s word for His word is absolute truth. There is a warning in Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. We need to keep focus on Jesus in order not to drift away from His truth.

      • Melinda Evans says:

        Amen, this one course has equipped And encouraged me to rely on God’s word alone. We’ve all been called to disciple and am looking forward to see the Holy Spirit working In and through me. 1 Peter 3:15 is a verse heavy on my heart through this journey of learning, “be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” Blessings.

    • Michelle R says:

      Im in agreement with you, my spirit has definitely been more sensitive to the things of psychology and the terminology’s that come with it. Since I have been taking the biblical course it has made more aware of there terms and theories of psychology. Thanks for sharing.

  • Caleb Franks says:

    Pastor Jeff is doing awesome fighting this battle against psychology. I ponder about the statistic that 90% of Christian circles refer people to psychologists. Psychology, at its face value, has the positive intention of resolving the metaphysical and complex issues of man’s soul. This would seem (emphasis on “seem”) to line up with the purpose of Christianity. I think that this is why so many evangelicals are enticed by the false system. The problem is quickly revealed when Pastor Jeff exposes all of the false doctrine and terminology that theoreticians espouse. Man–the spirit of man–has a very limited understanding of spiritual things as they truly are. The Holy Spirit understands all things perfectly, and His purpose in our lives is to reveal to men the TRUE remedies for our problems. I think this demonstrates why the words we use are so important. When a believer uses psychological vocabulary, he is mixing darkness with light, lies with truth.
    I know that in my own life, I see the appeal of the esoteric intellectualism found in psychology. It has a magnetism to my pride. Thank God for showing me that all of that is a lie. The truth is that the freely given things of God–truth, forgiveness, hope, love–are not only supremely effective, but also they are endless. The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom. God’s revealed word is so much more expansive and fulfilling than the writings of the great philosophers and psychologists. There is a great war set before us as biblical counselors. We have to tear down the lies so pervasive in our society today. Victimized, dysfunctional, addictive personality, alcoholic tendencies, and disorder are only some of the terms that blind people from the liberating truth of God’s word. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

    • KEVIN THATCHER says:

      Caleb my brother right on, excellent observation on Pastor’s Jeff Pod-Cast. I like your point about mixing the two natures of humanity. The natural man’s spirit and God’s Holy Spirit, cannot and will not co-exist, which ever one is fed the most will win in the end. Could this be one of the reasons why the church is so anemic today they are walking out their Christianity in the flesh? They are not getting off the milk of the word and going on to the meat of the word?

  • Ericka Tapia says:

    Thank you for teaching this so detailed. So much of what God gives us freely is either taken for granted or completely ignored this day in age. So many of peoples problems do come from unforgiveness, yet it is the one thing Jesus died a horrible death for us to obtain. Hope is so easily lost or consumed by the things of this world that people no longer see it as something given to us by God. A new life in Christ Jesus is something that is received daily. I love that you said this. So often in the body of Christ we forget that a new life isn’t something we obtain once at salvation and that’s it. A new life in Christ is a gift we receive every single day we wake up, like most gifts you decide what to do with it, toss it, put it in a corner and let it collect dust or be grateful and put it to good use. I have to make sure that I am valuing daily these things God gives to me freely so I can live by example. Thank you again Pastor.

    • Michelle R says:

      I love how say “so I can live by example” this something that is often forgotten in our walk with the Lord. It is a great reminder that the world is watching us disciples of Jesus Christ and how we live our life. But, when we remember “what God has ]freely given us” 1Cor. 2:12 we can trust God and be fearful how the world responds to us. Thanks sharing!

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hello Ericka, I think it’s a great point you make about gifts being what you make of them. If we take them for granted then we don’t really experience their full benefits. The more we focus on these gifts that God has given us, the more we elevate them, the more we will experience their effectiveness.

    • Audra Downs says:

      Erika, I too was encouraged with Pastor Jeff’s reminder that our new life in Christ is a daily gift that we are to receive as we embark on each day we are given. What a treasured gift we have in Jesus!

    • Margaret Deherrera says:

      I agree with you Ericka, to many times the gifts God gives us freely get taken for granted or completely ignored because we tend to live in self mode, or concentrate on things of this world. I need to remind myself daily about who I am in Christ, and be thankful for everything He has blessed me with, to many times I tend to let my situation or what I’m going through get in the way of those things. then seems like every time something or someone reminds me of who I am, and the blessing that God gives me daily.

  • Rebekah Gasparovich says:

    The words that we use are so important. There should be a clear distinction between the world’s counseling and God’s counseling. We should never let the world’s labels define who we are or how we counsel one another. Like Pastor Jeff was saying, we should choose instead to focus on the free gifts that God has given us. Whenever someone would come to me for counsel who was in a particularly hard situation I always reminded them of who God is, what He has done for us, and who we are in light of that. I couldn’t fix their situation but I could point them to the One who is able to heal all things.

    • Kyle Fox says:

      Hello Rebekah, this point you make about worldly labels is very important. It is surprising how many people, even in the church, adopt all these different labels about themselves that are completely contrary to what the Bible says about them. As you point out, it is is important to remind people who God is, and who we are in Him.

    • Abigail G Burt says:

      The Gospel is so simple. People keep trying to make it more and more complicated, like they need to find a hip new way to share God’s Word. Sometimes we take for granted how straightforward the Scripture is. God wrote one book to all mankind of every generation, culture, level of intelligence, etc… Sometimes a simple reminder of who God is, is all a person needs; to put God back in perspective and remember where He stands in their life.

  • Michelle R says:

    I really enjoyed learning about Man’s Vocabulary and God’s Vocabulary. Just knowing the difference opened my eyes and hears to these words and how often I have heard them in the church. These words appear very innocent but carrying a wisdom or theory that should not be used in Biblical counseling. It has challenged me to been more diligent and discerning when counseling or just talking with someone about life, family, or things of God. Will definitely be asking God in prayer for a new awareness when speaking.

    • Melinda Evans says:

      Me too, I had never thought about the distinction of man’s word verses God’s words. I will go back and seek to study in light of counseling what does God say. Prior to this course I had unfortunately did not feel adequate to “counsel” anyone, now I know I had the tools I just didn’t know how to use them.
      Blessings.

  • Kyle Fox says:

    Unforgiveness is likely at the root of the majority of reasons that people seek counseling. When we chose not to forgive others, or others choose not to forgive us, this creates a root of bitterness, it destroys relationships and makes reconciliation nearly impossible. It is a massive problem that the world really has no real answer to. Worldly counseling can give us some mechanisms to help us cope with unforgiveness, or ways to consider the benefits of forgiving others, but only the gospel has the actual answers. We can forgive others because we have been forgiven. For this reason alone, we can then go and forgive others. Add to this the command that we must forgive others, just as we re forgiven in Christ, and the issue of unforgiveness is all but resolved. This is a gift that has been freely given. It is not possible for us to earn it, we certainly do not deserve it, but it has been given to us freely.
    Rather than spending time sharing philosophies and opinions, I would much rather consider these amazing aspects of God’s grace. The fact that He loves us independent of our actions, is something we could spend years reflecting on. I would much rather consider these gifts that we have been given, such as justification, than any philosophies of man.

  • Margaret Deherrera says:

    Thanks for another great pod cast Pastor Jeff and the reminder of the free gifts that God gives us, and all we have to do is accept them. Many times people choose to look at their situations or their circumstances, and want to stay in the self mode, and choose to overlook the things that God gives us freely. Its’ easier to stay where we are then it is to look at who God is, what He has given us. Pastor Jeff was talking about forgiveness and many times for me it was easier to stay angry and look to myself and not forgive others, it would eat up at my heart and started causing bitterness, resentment and lots of ugly feelings. God finally put people in my life that reminded me of the free gifts God has given me, and reminded me in scripture i should forgive as I have been forgiven. I am learning more and more every day of the free gifts God has given me, I know remind others and show them the same things I have learned and what the Holy Spirit reminds me of. It’s basically a choice we have to make to accept the gifts or not to accept them and let our lives turn to khaos, and be filled with anxiety and other negative things.

    • Abigail G Burt says:

      People are always using their circumstances as an excuse for the way they behave, but that is not Biblical. God gives us no excuse. We hear all the time about people rising from difficult circumstance all the time so I know it is not impossible. Is it easy? No, but God gives us the strength. If we remember who God is to us, suddenly mountains begin to move easily to the side and Oceans split before us.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      This is an awesome comment Margaret. I like your contrast of looking to ourselves (our lack of gifts) instead of being grateful and paying attention to the free gifts God has given us. I also struggle with bitterness, and I am acutely aware of the “I” mentality that shrouds my mind when I have those thoughts. “My life is so hard” or “I don’t need to forgive that person” and “why me” are all the selfish thoughts that exclude the goodness and forgiveness that God has given to me. Like you said, it is a choice to accept or reject the freely given gifts.

  • Abigail G Burt says:

    “Man can never become an expert on man.” We live in an age that believes humanity has reached its peak. Things couldn’t be better, we couldn’t be smarter, there is nothing else to learn. We often feel as though we understand everything, and if there is something we’ve forgotten, there is always Google! Right? No, wrong! “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11. Our understanding is limited. We don’t even know ourselves as well as God does. “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Corinthians 1:25. It is because of our lack of understanding that we need to rely on the One who knows all things. We need to lean on the Holy Spirits guidance, because only He knows what that person needs to hear. We need to study and become well equipped with Scripture, because His Word never returns void. We need God’s strength and courage to speak when necessary. It is only by God’s perfect wisdom that we can accomplish any lasting repentance or effect in another’s life. Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have a rich understanding. His praise endures forever!” Scripture is very clear. With a deep reverence and desire to be close to God, follows wisdom and other fruits of the Spirit.

    • Caleb Franks says:

      I like your mention of the popular outlook on life, enhanced by the technological era, that man has truly become educated and illuminated in the recent decades. That attitude the world has is really just ignorant pride, and it is sad to see that mentality wiggle its way into the church. Your scripture references made me think of Solomon; how he simply asked God for wisdom and God gave him wisdom. We need more of that humility and reliance upon God today.

  • Kayla Tracy says:

    “Opinionizing” is definitely something I do. Thank you for bringing that up and helping me be aware of my personalized thinking. Knowing that I can simply tell them of the great, free gifts of God, is something I want to remember always. Forgiveness and New Life is the most encouraging thing I received from Jesus, and I am excited to share with others that all their needs can be found in Christ, Whose grace is sufficient for us.

    “Man can’t see the heart” that hits hard. Knowing that God has made know His ability to see all of our hearts, makes me realize just how powerful He is and how small and limited I am. And praise God for that, I can rely on Him to know the right things to say, instead of trying to come up with solutions.

    • Jocelyn Padilla says:

      I think opinions are big this modern age. You flip on the news, Facebook, etc you hear or read people’s opinions. We can take that in many points of life and even in counseling. This generation is a lover of self where sentences start with “I feel…” or “I think…”Denying our self start with the word of God says. Fact are backed by the source and our source is Jesus.

  • Jocelyn Padilla says:

    “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” – Proverbs 18:21

    The word of God is the source to life. If we pull from worldly wisdom that is not from God, the wages of the sin or the world is death. Speaking life into a situation is speaking the word of God. God has the power of salvation through Jesus.

    The world has a lot of opinions especially in these times, that are not the truth or the facts. Most opinions are based on feelings.

    God warns us many times in this word not to be deceived:

    “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” – 1 Corinthians 2:13

    “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8

    “O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you” – 1 Timothy 6:20-21

    God gives us the Holy Spirit to disciple others to the truth of Jesus. Our value, our worth, our identity in hidden in Christ. All grace and mercy is in Jesus.

  • Jocelyn Padilla says:

    Hello Kevin,

    Our root cause to our problem is a spiritual problem. Our sin also is like a ripple in the water that also affects others. Sin leaves problems death without life. Jesus is the only one that can save a wretched man. I love how you said “The world sugar coats sin blames everyone else except the sinner.” So true! The worlds tells your sin is okay and Jesus is like “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed”

  • Melinda Evans says:

    As the counselor to be, I cannot come into any session as I have all the right answers for this person’s problem. I have to be prayed up, studied up and submitted to the Holy Spirit to lead me to give me the words, grace and comfort to the counseled. I cannot just tell the person you need to forgive when in the flesh they can not. Only the Holy Spirit can soften the hearts to forgive.
    These last few months I was hurt by the decision of many brothers and sisters in Christ to leave the church. Just this weekend the Lord healed my heart to move forward. I tried to personally manufacture what I knew I needed to do and that was forgive, but with every word or picture I saw every tear and wound was brought back to life. God, time and continuously surrendering the open wound has healed my heart. This sounds easy, but it was not. I do know God will require me to act on this forgiveness I have given, but I know He will give me the love to give each of them if and or when I see them.
    These verses will be marked, highlighted and embedded in my heart to remind me it’s a God that does the work and not me. Thank you for Pastor Jeff for the course of biblical counseling.

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