Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible's teaching on why Christian counseling is important yields critical insight on what Christian counseling is faced with. But, be careful. The Bible’s portrayal of humanity is vastly different from that of the secular world.
Counseling therapies start off with a theory of personality. Freud did. Skinner did. Rogers did. Etc. Most start from the view that you and I come into this world in a blank neutral state, or are fundamentally pure, but turn to bad from our environment. From out of particular theories evolve respective therapies.
So…the same is true for Christian counseling. We start with the Bible’s description of the human condition. It’s different. Fasten your seat belt. It gets scary at first, but exciting in the end. And, there are some surprises along the way!
Beginning of Humanity
The Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is necessary starts in the Garden of Eden. God created humanity, the first two people being Adam and his wife, Eve (Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7, 18, 20-23; 3:2). The Lord Jesus Christ affirms this creation story (Matthew 19:3-6).
Our creation was preceded by Divine counsel within the Godhead (Genesis 1:26). We were made distinct from lower creation, which means we are different than animals and plants (Genesis 2:7). We were placed over God’s creation as His crowning achievement. From these originals came all the races and peoples of human history (Genesis 3:20). So far, so good.
Original Condition of Humanity
The Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is important has a surprise. We were in a state of untested holiness and probation. That is, Adam and Eve had a theoretical holy nature that over time and with right choices would have been confirmed in holiness. They had the freedom to choose evil.
Here is the surprise: humanity was good at the core, not evil, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Originally, we were free from sin, which is a terrible foreign agent to the human constitution. It is a hostile invader that does not belong there – like germs and disease.
The Construction of Humanity
The Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is needed is plain. We were created in the “image of God” (Genesis 1:26; Colossians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9; Ephesians 4:24).
Amazing! You and I actually correspond to the Divine original. Like God, we have the dimension of the soul: emotions, intellect, will, personality, and conscience.
We have a moral dimension: true knowledge and righteousness (Colossians 3:9, 10). Furthermore, we possess a spiritual dimension (John 4:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). It gets better! We have an immortal dimension: our existence extends to eternity (Revelation 20:10; 21:8; 22:5).
Finally, we have a body that will someday be glorified after the manner of Christ’s resurrected body (Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Philippians 2:6; Genesis 1:26). This is the really exciting part of the Bible teaching about the need for Christian counseling!
The Purpose of Humanity
Why in the world did God create us in the first place? This is a question frequently asked in
Christian counseling. The Bible teaching about this issue reveals our purpose was:
The Dark Side of Humanity
Evil happened in the Garden of Eden. Paradise was lost. God permitted sin to enter the world through Adam and Eve, initiated by the temptation of Satan (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 14).
Those two lived in a perfect environment and were without a sin nature. They were creative, brilliant, and had unhindered fellowship with God. God had forbidden them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Satan tempted and deceived Eve, causing her to doubt both the good character and work of God (2 Corinthians 11:3).
The Bible emphasizes why Christian counseling requires that we seriously consider the satanic nature of deception, hiding, and avoiding the truth (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). When trouble overtakes us, we hide from God, personal responsibility, and blame others.
The nature of humanity changed. Oh yes, we are still created in the image of God, but that image became scarred and corrupted. We became sinners with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5). Our entire being was corrupted. We lost the capacity and desire to please God (1 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 3:10-18).
Our hearts became springs of evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, envy, wickedness, deceit, slander, pride, and lies, according to Jesus (Mark 7:20-23). This is the dark and scary side.
Hope for Humanity
The Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is a must gives hope. Praise God!! For the Christian, God is restoring that image that was marred at the fall. He is conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:9). Theologically, this process is called, “progressive sanctification.” Click on the salvation (link) story click for more.
When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit gives us a new nature, indwells and empowers us (Romans 8:9). By using primarily the Bible and our obedience, He energizes the transformation. This is why Christian counseling comes in. We are part of that coordinated facilitating process of restoration (cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:28, 29).
Our resources in Christ are great (cf. Philippians 4:13). We need them, because a savage war rages that hinders our restoration. The world system opposes Christ (John 15:18, 19), because it places a higher priority on evil (John 3:19, 20). Our fallen nature rebels against the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Finally, Satan and his agents oppose us (Ephesians 6:10-18). Scary!
The Greatest Hope
The Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is necessary has a happy ending! The final scene on this dramatic saga of humanity is that Christians are saved, forgiven through Christ, will go to heaven, someday gain our resurrected body, and reign forever with Christ in a state of holiness, in a place without sin, or even the possibility of such. That is the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
In the Meantime
The Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is needed, sadly, discloses present day reality. We are still faced with the woes, trials, and struggles of this life. This includes psychological, emotional, and relationship afflictions. Bible teachers refer to “discipleship” as the process of producing Christian growth. Christian counseling is sometimes likened to “remedial discipleship.”
Christian counseling has its role, a very critical role. The Bible teaching about the need for Christian counseling gives us a baseline. It informs us of what we are dealing with.
And with this, Esmie and I wish you the very best as you become an agent in the process of bringing healing, hope, help, and happiness to those in your sphere of influence. May God richly bless you.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. Of the common views of humanity, which do you think is true:
we are born basically good and learn evil, we are born a neutral slate
upon which our lives are written, or we are born sinners? (cf. Psalm 51:5). Explain.
2. On the Bible teaching about why Christian counseling is needed, what is our original condition?
3. What are the hindrances to successful Christian counseling?
4. What role does the Holy Spirit have in Christian counseling?
5. Do you believe the need of Christian counseling is real? Explain.
6. What is the image of God, and how does it relate to Christian counseling?
7. What is the blessed hope? Does it have a place in Christian counseling? Explain.
8. How does Matthew 28:18-20 relate to why Christian counseling is necessary?
9. Name and explain three ways you can take what you have learned from this study and apply it to your Christian counseling – if you have that opportunity. If not, how could you apply it when given the opportunity?
10. What stands out to you the most in this study on the Bible teaching about the need for Christian counseling? Explain.
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