Why People Come for Counseling
- Marriage and Family Problems
- Divorce and remarriage
- Fear and panic
- Grief and suffering
- Drug and alcohol addiction
- Homosexuality / Lesbianism
- Attempted suicide
- Financial problems
- Other life-dominating problems
Goals of Biblical Counseling
Biblical counseling has many goals, but our primary goal is to help you develop a whole-hearted love for God and others. Strange as it may sound today, our purpose is not to simply help you “feel better” or “find happiness,” but to help you grow in personal holiness and spiritual maturity for service in the body of Christ. Another goal of biblical counseling is to help you meet the various challenges of life in a way that will always please and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
Uniqueness of Biblical Counseling
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to your most basic problems. The Bible is the counselor’s main tool. The Holy Spirit imparts gifts to the counselor to guide and give hope through the Scripture. Prayer and dependence upon God are essential parts of biblical counseling.
Biblical counselors have resources for helping you that unbelievers do not have—resources that are unique, sufficient, and superior to anything the world has to offer.
Biblical counseling is comprehensive in that it recognizes the importance of the past, the present, and the future in your life. Both walking with God in this life and knowing Him in eternity are our concern for you.
Using the Scripture in counseling requires understanding your problems from a biblical perspective and then applying step-by-step biblical solutions to those problems. The counselors who serve in the Biblical Counseling Ministry of the Center For Biblical Counseling know how to bring the Word of God to bear on sinful and hopeless situations. Hope can be found and change can be accomplished as the Word of God is ministered in the power and working of the Holy Spirit.
The Sufficiency of Scripture
The Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testaments are authoritative and sufficient for all the issues facing you in life. Many people say they believe in the authority of Scripture, but their practice denies its sufficiency to meet their needs. For example, “Christian psychology” attempts to integrate various psychological theories and humanistic philosophies with the Scriptures because it lacks confidence in the Word of God to deal with a person’s “real” problems.
Biblical counseling on the other hand, both in its message and method, is conducted with a commitment to the absolute sufficiency of Scripture as the means by which a Christian’s spiritual problems must be addressed and solved. Christ taught that learning and applying Scripture is the starting point of change in our lives. Jesus prayed to his Father, “Sanctify them in the Truth; Your Word is Truth” (John 17: 17).
Attempting to integrate secular psychology and Scripture is a rejection of the Bible’s claim to be sufficient for us! This approach to counseling only leads to confusion by blurring the lines between humanistic behavior modification and genuine spiritual sanctification.
To claim that the Scripture is sufficient, though, does not mean that reading the Bible is all that is needed. For example, working with a physician is certainly sensible and wise whenever there is a possibility of physical or organic causes relating or contributing to your problems.
Referring to the Scripture, the apostle Peter said, “His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him Who called us” (2 Peter 1 :3).
Your circumstances are not the cause of your problems, rather they are tests which reveal the condition of your heart and which purify your obedience to God. It is only through an accurate biblical understanding of who and what you are that the true nature of your problems and their appropriate solutions can be known.
Biblical change first takes place in your mind. Your thinking must be brought into alignment with the Word of God. Biblical counseling focuses on genuine heart change; not merely changing your circumstances or behavior.
The Holy Spirit is the One who works in all areas of sanctification. He can change your thinking, attitudes, and behaviors, ultimately bringing you into complete conformity to Christ.
You as a believer in Christ have the ability and necessary resources to glorify God and to live pleasing to Him. Counseling, when blessed by the Holy Spirit, helps you to become pure in heart, to have a peaceful conscience, and to sincerely trust God in order to live for His glory.
Counseling is a Ministry of the Church
The church is the means by which Christ has ordained to help believers grow into His likeness. Biblical counseling is not to be an optional ministry of the church. Preaching, teaching, evangelism, discipleship, and counseling are all vital parts of the church’s ministry.
Counseling is most effective when incorporated as part of the local church. You need the help of all combined church ministries. You need to hear the preaching and teaching of God’s Word to motivate growth and change. You need the love and fellowship of other believers for relationships that will assist and encourage you. You need godly leaders who themselves are growing and changing to teach you by their example.
The church encourages, motivates, and challenges believers to “love and good works” (Heb. 10:24). A counseling ministry provides practical, relevant help based upon sound biblical principles that enable you to be adequately equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3: 17)