Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about the Christian counseling objective is unique – and intriguing. What is the end result for people? To fulfill our potential as a human? To follow the Ten Commandments? To act like our favorite preacher? To get in touch with our emotions?
It gets confusing – until we look at Holy Scripture. Eureka! The ultimate aim is to be like Jesus Christ! Let me show you. Some of this gets a little technical, but I will try to keep it interesting.
My goal is to string together several biblical concepts and words, like luminous diamonds from Australia linked in a dazzling necklace. Taken together, they form a stunning, lucid picture of the goal of Christian counseling: to be like Jesus.
The Bible teaching about the Christian counseling objective is expressed in concrete, practical terms in the two great commandments, “and you shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30, 31; cf. Galatians 5:6, 13-15).
Christian Counseling Objective: Righteousness and Holiness
For the next principle in the Bible teaching the Christian counseling objective, we turn to another critical section of Scripture, “in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Paul tells us to “put off” (lay aside) certain things, “put on” other things, and that the process involves being “renewed” in the mind. The word for “renewed” comes from the compound “ananeoo,” which combines the prefix often meaning repetition, intensity, reversal, etc. with the second part that means fresh, new, or young.
Taken together, we conclude that with vigor and repetition we are to make our mind fresh and new – under the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. What is in your mind tumbles out in your behavior. Same with me.
Beginning of Humanity
The Bible teaching about the Christian counseling objective indicates the categories of human experience that need changed. You can pick out some of the things to “put off” in Ephesians 4:17-21. The verses describe minds of futility, darkened in understanding, and ignorant.
You see the unsaved are excluded from the life of God because of the darkness of mind and hardness of heart, and also they have undesirable patterns of moral behavior: sensuality, impurity, and greed. These actions also involve relationships with other people.
The verses following the “put on” verse of 24 suggest similar categories. Spiritual issues are also addressed as verse 27 informs you and I that we have opposition from the devil (cf. Ephesians 6:10-20). Paul inscribes other contrasting inventories. They include Galatians 5:16-26, and Colossians 3:1-14.
Beyond these and other lists, you can enter an exciting study of the life of Christ: His mind, behavior, relationships, perspective, spiritual life, etc. From Him you can identify and understand healthy patterns and dynamics of human experience.
The Areas of Change
What does the Bible teaches about the areas of change as they relate to the Christian counseling objective? The different areas of change can be summarized as mental, spiritual, behavioral, character, and relationships. It is in these areas that you can explore and probe with your client, to locate deficiencies, and bring healing, help, hope, encouragement, instruction, and correction.
As a final caveat, don’t overlook the biological causes of psychological disorders.
From this Bible teaching about the Christian counseling objective, Esmie and I sincerely pray for your continued success and enjoyment as you enter into the lives of other people to bring hope, changed perspectives, and new skills.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. Study Mark 7:20-23. What kinds of psychological disorders could you expect to see in people, based on what Jesus said? Explain.
2. Study Romans 12:9-21. According to the Bible teaching about the goal of Christian counseling, what principles do you find that will help people in their relationships? Explain.
3. Study Ephesians 6:10-20. What are some spiritual problems you could expect to see in people?
4. According to Ephesians 6:10-20, what are some principles you can see that will help people overcome any spiritual problems?
5. Study Colossians 3:1-17. In line with the Bible teaching about the goal of Christian counseling, list the negative things that are harmful to a person’s character. How do you think these qualities harm a person’s life experience?
6. According to Colossians 3:1-17, what are the positive qualities that offset the harmful qualities you listed in question six?
7. According to Romans 3:21-28, how does the teaching relate to a person’s feelings of guilt? (cf. Romans 8:1).
8. According to Romans 12:2, what is a major mechanism of bringing change in a person’s life?
9. Study Romans 8:9-11; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 5:18-21. What role do you think the Holy Spirit plays in a person’s growth and development?
10. What stood out to you the most from this Bible study?
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