“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” – Colossians 1:17-18
Over the past several weeks, we have been looking at many necessary elements of Biblical Counseling and how they work together. We laid the foundation by looking at the need for counsel in the local church, and upon that foundation planted the immovable pillar of the sufficiency of the Word of God. Since then we have gone on to decorate these pillars with the necessary elements of counseling such as the gospel, prayer, love, and confession. These capstones have adorned the building of Biblical Counseling, but they are not yet complete. There is a centerpiece, a most glorious cap-stone that has not been mentioned yet. This centerpiece rises above all the rest; it is the centrality of our glorious God and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
For Biblical Counseling to truly be Biblical it must have a great and glorious emphasis placed on the Lord Jesus Christ. It must be centered on His glory and His majestic Name. Because Christ is our Saviour and because Christlikeness is the goal in counseling, He must be the ultimate center-piece. Christ is not only the center-piece to counseling, but to all of life this is why it is so essential to hold forth His name. We who are brothers and sisters in Christ therefore can confidently pursue Him together, as we counsel one another to become more and more like Him! In today’s post, I want to wrap up our Introduction to Biblical Counseling by taking a look at our great Saviour; Jesus Christ. I want to show how He is not only necessary, but also essential to all Biblical Counseling.
(I) Christ is Counselor: When we speak of the Lord Jesus Christ as being necessary and essential for Biblical Counseling, my mind first goes to the character of Christ. I am reminded that He indeed is the, “Wonderful Counselor!” (Is. 9:6). As the perfect, sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ is the one who gives us all the counsel that we will ever need by providing it to us in His Word. Christ Himself is this very Word and as the Word of God (John 1:1ff.) He, “…became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). As the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ lived upon this earth for 33 years giving us an absolutely perfect example of a life to follow and imitate. Perhaps the greatest encouragement that Christ gave to us through His life was the fact that He, as a man, was tempted in all things, yet did not sin (Heb. 4:15). The fact that Christ could and did endure even the severest forms of temptation speaks volumes of hope and encouragement to us. He can sympathize with our weaknesses and therefore He is the perfect counselor because He not only knows what we are going through, but He knows exactly how to help us in whatever struggle we face. As counselor, Christ is the one who relates to us perfectly, understanding our struggle, and calling us to become more and more like Him.
(II) Christ is Saviour: Not only is Christ the great and mighty Counselor who can help us face our sins and temptations, He also is our Saviour. As Saviour He does not merely give us the ability to put off sin, or to flee from it, He also has given us the power to put sin to death in our lives. One of the greatest sources of hope you can offer to a believer who is struggling in sin is the fact that they are dead to it, it has no power over them because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross (Rom. 6)! Christ has paid the price and made us dead to sin and alive to Him. Because He has saved us we now walk in newness of life. Our old self is done away with, we are completely new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). He has made us new in Him and replaced our sins with His perfect righteousness. Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Therefore Christ is absolutely necessary to Biblical counseling because without Him there can be no righteous living and no hope of change.
(III) Christ is Central: The fact that Christ is front and center in all Biblical Counseling demands His necessity to the very practice itself. The whole entire goal of Biblical Counseling is change and transformation into the image of Christ, therefore Christ is the great cap-stone that adorns the building of Biblical Counseling. He is the glorious one to whom all things point to. When the apostle Paul sought to describe to us the glory of our Saviour in Colossians 1:17-18 he said, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, to that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” Christ is the head of His church, and because Biblical Counseling is a ministry that is so vital and so connected to the local church, Christ is naturally the head and authority of all Biblical Counseling. He is the one that both counselee and counselor are striving to please. Therefore Biblical Counseling must be done only in the way that Christ commands.
The fact that Christ is Counselor, Saviour, and Sovereign over all things demands that He is front and center in all counseling. It is fitting to conclude our introduction to counseling by looking at Christ, for as we begin a new section we are going to see what it actually looks like to be transformed into His image, day by day, moment by moment, for His honour and His glory alone.