“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” – Romans 15:14
Biblical Counseling is a need in the local church. Paul writes above in Romans that he is completely convinced that the saints in the church are equipped to counsel one another. Counseling is a practice that must take place in the local church where believers build one another up in the faith, exhorting, encouraging and bringing one another to the Word of God when dealing with sin. Simply put, counsel is defined as, “advice given to someone” (Merriam Webster). The word that Paul uses for “counsel” is translated above as “admonish”. In the Greek, this word is noutheteo from which we get, Nouthetic Counseling. This word is used many times in the New Testament by Paul and each verse gives a greater glimpse into what exactly Nouthetic Counseling is. (See: Acts 20:31; Col. 1:28; Col. 3:16; 1 Thess. 5:14).
All Christians are competent to counsel biblically because all biblical counsel comes from the Word of God alone. We must be confident in the Word of God to be the source to the answers to sin in the life of a believer. We must believe with Paul that, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God’s Word alone is source for all Biblical Counseling. It alone is sufficient (Ps. 19:7-11).
Biblical Counseling involves the mentorship and discipleship of one believer to another, encouraging them to forsake sin, pursue Christ, and grow in godliness. The counselor in the church is not a professional, rather he is one who has been saved by God and indwelt with His Spirit. Galatians 6:1-2 describes the person in the church who is qualified to counsel others, and what their qualifications look like. Paul writes, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
The Saints in the church are to minister the Word of God to one another, admonishing each other when sinning and pointing one another to Christ. When this takes place, it must be done with an attitude of gentleness (See: Gal. 5:22-23), and seriousness. Each person must examine their own heart and if need be, remove the log from their own eye first (Matt. 7:3-5). Counseling also has the goal of bearing one another’s burdens. Often we struggle with sins, trials, and difficulties that leave us tempted, weak, or discouraged. What we are called to do as saints is care for one another. We must lift up our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. This brings glory to God.
If the church was active in ministering the basic needs of the saints, she would grow in leaps and bounds towards Christlikeness. The number one way for us to be active in this encouragement is for us to counsel one another. In the next few weeks, I hope to describe in greater detail what Biblical Counseling is and its importance in the local church. This article should just whet your appetite.
“We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
– Colossians 1:28