And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)
Monday, January 23, 2012
An Overview of Essentials in Biblical Counseling Part 8 The Role of The Church
The role of the church and worship in counseling
The Christian life is not to be lived in isolation. Scripture makes it clear that believers love to be with other believers. The church gathers to worship together and to encourage one another. In the book of 1 Corinthians we see a strong teaching to publically address sin. In its sequel we find a strong acceptance of those who have repented of their sins. In essence, the church ought to be a place in which the counselee works through a cycle of discipleship. One of the strengths of the church is that believers whom have overcome sin in their lives can testify and help others in their struggles.
Biblical counseling walks a person through a cycle of growth. As the counselee is putting off their sins they need to express worship of God, both privately and corporately. A typical cycle goes from counseling to homework to worship to counseling.
All this is to promote God centered living. The focus of counseling is not just for the counselee’s comfort, but for the glory of God.
Not only is the counselee to take part in expressing worship in a corporate setting, the counselee needs to hear the word of God preached. In the church body the counselee must weekly participate in hearing the sermons that her pastor has labored to serve. Though there is much to be said regarding the benefits of a weekly sermon, let it suffice to say that good biblical preaching will help the counselee to deepen their knowledge and awe of God that will profit their soul.
Essentially, the counselee needs to be active in a God centered, bible expositing, and encouraging church.
Biblical counseling is both complex and yet simplistic. It is complex as sin is a powerful enemy to defeat. It manifests itself in many camouflaged ways. The world has helped to equip sinners to ignore, shift blame, and even love our sin. Sin has a way of enticing us. It also lays dormant until the most inconvenient or unsuspecting time. But Biblical counseling is also simple in that Christ is the single answer for help. It is Christ who both cleanses and empowers the sinner to become a new creation in Him.
Thus the biblical counselor is an ambassador of God who shares the love and liberality of Christ with fellow sinners for the discipline of discipleship. This doctrinal process of sanctification is ever showing the sufficiency of Christ. Biblical counseling and discipleship aim and not just changing the symptoms of a condition shown by behavior, they seek to change the causes of the problem at their source, the heart. Such counseling is grounded in the word of God and not of the opinion of man. It holds the sinner to the mirror of the bible to both see their need and yet the completeness of Christ. It brings hope and restoration.
Counselors are to be humble teachers in the image of Christ. They, like Christ, are involved in the wok of redemption. They are to point out not only the sinner’s sin but the solutions afforded by the cross and spelled out in scripture. The counselee is to take personal responsibility. This is seen by accepting blame and working in constructive means to change their habits and character. Both counselor and counselee aim to glorify God by allowing the Holy Spirit to change the person’s heart.