“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
As we continue to take a look at Biblical counseling, we are now beginning a series on how we can use the Word of God to solve problems biblically. Because Biblical Counseling is Christ-centered and gospel-centered, we must begin our discussion with sin. Without sin, there would be no need to counsel anyone. Sin is the starting place of all problems, trials, difficulties, and hardships that come across our path and the path of those whom we counsel. In order for us to know how to accurately and biblically deal with sin, we must understand its origin, nature, and roots.
(I) The Origin of Sin: All evils in this world can be traced back to the fall of mankind and the entrance of sin into this world. In the beginning, all was created good. In fact at the conclusion of creation Genesis records for us that, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…” Creation was originally very good, but it was not long before it would be corrupted by evil. While in the Garden of Eden, both Adam and Eve were given the privilege to eat from any tree and the command not to eat from one tree (Gen. 2:16-17). Through Satan though, Eve was tempted, and giving in to the lusts of her flesh ate from the tree she was commanded not to. Her husband Adam who was with her also ate (Gen. 3:7). In that moment sin entered the world and from then on would rest upon all mankind for all eternity.
In the book of Romans Paul talks about the entrance of sin into the world. He explains it this way, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” Because of Adam’s fall, all men are born with a sin nature (Ps. 51:5). They are all subject to its power and dominion over their lives and therefore (apart from God) it is completely impossible for mankind to live for and serve Him. Sin therefore is the root of our problems. In Biblical Counseling this is essential to recognize. The reason we sin, the reason we need counsel it not because of what someone else has done, what our past is, what our upbringing was, or how we were once treated. Both counselors and counselee’s must realize that every problem is found first in one’s own sin, and surprisingly this should give us great hope (Rom. 5:18-21)!
(II) The Nature of Sin: We know that sin’s origin was at the fall of mankind and since then it has spread from generation to generation down to this present day. Sin is something that marks the life of every single person. Even the person who is saved by God is marked by sin because they still live here on earth in the flesh. It is important to note that the redeemed man is not marked by the power of sin in his life, but the presence of sin is still there. Sin will never stop plaguing us until the day we die and it only has one goal: our eternal death and destruction. This is why we must fight against sin with all our might. It has been well said, “Be busy at killing sin, or sin will be busy killing you.”
It is the nature of sin to kill. Although sin does bring passing pleasures for a moment (Heb. 11:25), its end result is death (Rom. 6:23). James, the brother of Jesus writes concerning the deadly progression of sin in his epistle saying, “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” The nature and end result of sin will always be death. In counseling, it is therefore vital to use the Word of God to expose sin (Eph. 5:11-14) as though it were a cancer. It is therefore the role of the counselor and the Holy Spirit working in a believer’s life to carefully and expertly remove the sin with the blade of the Word (Heb. 4:12). Only once the sin nature is laid bear can it be dealt with, therefore one must get to the root of sin in order to bring a person hope from the Word of God.
(III) The Root of Sin: Where does this root of sin stem from, that Biblical Counselors talk so often about? Well, all sin is rooted and grounded in the heart of man. Jeremiah gives us an amazingly accurate description of the heart of man saying, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Our heart is the real us, the part of us from which our desires and actions flow. If our heart is not right before God, nothing is right before Him. David writes in the Psalms that only, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart…he shall receive a blessing from the LORD.” (Ps. 24:4-5). Christ Himself said in Mathew 5:8, “Blessed in the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” This automatically implies then that, every heart is naturally impure and therefore needs purification.
Biblical Counseling is like open-heart surgery. It uses the word of God to expose the desires and intentions of the heart (Prov. 20:5) and brings them to the surface. One the sinful and selfish desires are exposed (Heb. 4:13) the heart is then informed with the correct way to worship and honour the Lord. The old is done away with, and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17), one’s desires are re-programmed to please the Lord instead of self. He now walks in the way of the Lord (Ps. 1; 1 John 2:3-6). The heart has laid aside the old self and put on the new self which day by day become more and more transformed into the image of Christ, for His glory (Eph. 4:22-24).
Sin therefore is clearly the beginning of problems in the life of every human being on this earth. It originated in Adam, it’s root is in the heart of man, and its end result is always and only eternal death and damnation. Therefore in the next several posts we are going to examine how to biblically deal with sin so that we can help others become transformed into the image of Christ.