Care and Discipleship Level 1 https://ibcd.org The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship Mon, 08 Jun 2020 19:11:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.4 The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship IBCD clean IBCD info@ibcd.org info@ibcd.org (IBCD) ℗ & © 2018 IBCD - Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship The Care & Discipleship Podcast discusses common topics in biblical counseling to help believers grow in their ability to care for one another with the word of God. Care and Discipleship Level 1 https://ibcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CDLevel1.jpg https://ibcd.org CDC1-18. Temptation 1 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-18-temptation-1-transcript/ Fri, 09 Mar 2018 21:03:35 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72127 David’s Catastrophic Sin.
  • 2 Sam 11:1-5

[Jim] I think what I’d like to do is have you turn to 2 Samuel chapter 11. And there’s an outline in your notes if you wanna follow what I’m doing on David’s catastrophic sin. Got a couple of outlines about David’s sin. We’re tempted by many different things. Some people are tempted. We’re gonna talk about substance abuse, drunkenness, drug use. Some people are tempted by sexual lust of different kinds. Some people are tempted to anger, outbursts of anger. Some people are tempted to covetousness and overspending and we’re even having a workshop this time on hoarding as a growing problem with the ease of shopping online.

Temptation tends to follow the same pattern no matter what the temptation is and it’s stated in James chapter 1, if you will actually keep your finger in 2 Samuel, James says in verse 13 of chapter 1, “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted by evil and He himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” And this example of David, and you could take many other examples, but this is the most famous and one of the most clear, illustrates how temptation happens and on one level it’s one of the saddest chapters in the entire Bible. Especially since, I’ve been going through 1 and 2 Samuel for quite a while in preaching and the people of Israel are looking for a leader, they’re looking for a great man of God to lead the nation. And Eli fails, especially because of his son. Samuel seems okay but then his sons are a failure. Saul becomes the king of the people but he fails. And David looks like he’s the real deal, David up until now just seems to do almost everything right and then David falls in the most awful way.

And yet I’m also thankful this is here and the Bible is honest about its heroes and you read about other men. Noah being drunk and Abraham putting his wife at risk, his marriage at risk, her purity at risk. Peter denying Jesus. It serves as a warning that back to 1 Corinthians 10:12, Be careful if you think you stand lest you fall. You say, “Well that could never happen to me.” And maybe not that particular sin will happen to you but sin can make tremendous end roads in the life of a real believer. And David was the real deal, he was really a believer who loved God. You read his psalms. He was an amazing guy, that it’s instructive of how we need to deal with temptation which is why I’m talking with you about it.

It also portrays sin accurately and along with its consequences. Hollywood portrays sexual sin very glamorously. This passage portrays it along with how ugly and what the consequences are. Of course, also, it gives hope. Sometimes a counselee comes in, she’s had an abortion. They’ve gone through a divorce and a remarriage that was un-biblical and were sexually immoral. No matter what you’ve done, there’s hope. If a murderer, adulterer, thief, and a liar can be saved then God can save anybody. God can forgive anybody. One other aspect that I think is important to mention is that in the context of 1 and 2 Samuel that the failure of David shows us that no mere human ruler is ever gonna do. David was given the covenant in 2 Samuel 7 where he was promised that there would be one of his sons who would sit on the throne forever and David’s not gonna be that guy. And you keep reading in 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings is that it’s gonna take a man of an entirely different nature from David to be the king the people of God need. Of course that points us to Christ. But looking at the passage I’m just gonna read the first five verses. Then it happened in the spring at the time when kings go out to battle that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing. And the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? David sent messengers and took her and when she came to him, he lay with her. And when she had purified herself from her uncleanness she returned to her house. The woman conceived and she sent and told David and said, I am pregnant.”

]]>
CDC1-16. Worry/Anxiety {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-16-worryanxiety-transcript/ Fri, 02 Mar 2018 20:58:26 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72125 Understanding Worry

We’re gonna talk about worry and anxiety. Worry is also a problem that’s incurring inside of us, in our soul, and the Bible teaches that there is a worry which is sin. In Philippians 4 verse six, we are commanded, “Be anxious for nothing.” So, if you are anxious, at least there’s a kind of anxiety which is a sinful anxiety. Likewise, Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Probably those come from the two passages I would use most in helping someone with worry, which is Matthew chapter six verses 25 to the end, and Philippians 4, you could really start in verses four and go through verse nine. When Jesus is talking to His disciples about worry, how we should not worry ultimately because God, Who is our Father, cares for us, He says in verse 30, “For if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, you of little faith?”

The implication there is, the real cause of worry, ultimately, is unbelief. They were not trusting in God. Oftentimes, the person who worries is desiring something in God’s place. They’re wanting their health. I had a person who was terrified of getting cancer, she doesn’t even have cancer, but she’s terrified of getting cancer. There are different issues going on. You could argue with her, well, statistically, it’s unlikely, you don’t have a lot of cancer in your family, you’re still fairly young. But can I tell her from the Bible, she’s not gonna get cancer? No, I can’t. Can I tell her she’s gonna live to see her children grown and married and grandchildren? No, I can’t make those promises. What can I tell her? I can tell her that God, Who is sovereign, has His plan, which is perfect for your life, and no matter what happens, whether He gives you cancer or not, that you can trust Him to do what is best, including taking care of your family. Some people, it’s financial security. They’re worried they’re gonna lose their house, they’re worried they can’t pay the bills.

And worry can become very life-dominating. That’s where all these things are together. A person who’s worried can get angry, when they’re threatened, they can become depressed. Worry can affect you physically. Laura talks about this, how when someone is really stressed on the inside, and they’re worried about a relationship, they’re worried about circumstances in their life, it’s going to affect you somehow, organically. Lack of sleep, tension in your stomach, digestive problems. Stress, worry, fear, all are related. And there are ways that we deal with worry sinfully when something concerns us.

One is by trying to control that which is beyond our control, in a sinful way. Manipulating people, manipulating circumstances. Okay, well I’m worried I’m gonna lose my job, so I’m gonna undermine my competitor in the layoff so that he’ll be the one to go. And some people deal with worry and stress by escaping. I will go to the bar and have a few beers and that will make me feel better, or using drugs, or for some people, their drug of choice is shopping. And I feel all stressed, so I’ll go to the mall and I’ll buy some new clothes, or I’ll go on the Internet and I’ll buy a gadget. And they feel better temporarily, but it, of course, makes things worse. While the Bible says that we shouldn’t worry, the Bible doesn’t say that we shouldn’t at all think about the future. Back to my beloved verse in Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead to advantage and everyone who is hasty comes to poverty.” Jesus says in Matthew 6, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for every day has enough trouble of its own.” And the point being, today, you shouldn’t be just one of these laid-back, I’m not worried at all, I’m not concerned at all, people. Use the energy God gives you to solve the problems of today instead of wasting your energy worrying about things you can’t do anything about tomorrow. So, it’s not that we should be utterly unconcerned. It’s valid to make plans, to have life insurance or health insurance, to prepare for possibilities in the future. But we have to leave the outcome to God. Proverbs 16:9: “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” He’s not saying it’s wrong for the man to plan his way and his mind, He’s just saying, no matter what you plan, God may have a different plan, you’d better be ready to accept that. Key passages, you might actually have outlines in your notes from when I’ve preached these passages.

]]>
CDC1-13. Grace When Things Are Hard {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-13-grace-when-things-are-hard-transcript/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 20:52:34 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72122 Introduction.
  • Heb 5:8-10

In this session we’re gonna talk about counseling people who are undergoing significant trials. It’s gonna be grace when things are hard. And this is an issue when you’re counseling someone that you can focus on one particular passage of Scripture. There are a few different options. And the one I’m choosing is James chapter one verses two through 18. And how the Scripture helps people who are undergoing trials. I think many people are unprepared for significant trials. Small children have fairytales and at the end of every fairytale they live happily ever after. I guess teenage girls read romance novels or Jane Austen books and same things, you know, the book ends with a wedding and it’s all gonna be wonderful and happy. But the reality of life is often very different from that. And people actually often come for counseling when they are facing a trial perhaps for which they were unprepared and actually sometimes what drives them to invite you into their private world and where they’re desperate for help is they face a trial they just do not know what to do. And so this is an opportunity for us to minister the Word of God to them and the sufficiency of Scripture prepares us. And the Bible tells us how to face our trials be it with our families, rebellious kids, difficulty in marriage, conflicts with in laws, be it trials of health or finances. The Word of God speaks to these issues. As a counselor, this is a time when you want to offer hope and show compassion. It’s not just time to give a dated dump of all the verses you know, but to apply these verses particularly to the counselee and to show compassion as Christ is a compassionate Savior. And as I said, one of the most well known passages on dealing with trials is in James chapter one. And in this passage, James is teaching us how God uses our trials to bring about our spiritual growth. Now this is not the way we would choose to become more mature. We would like God to zap us with instant maturity. But God uses trials in our life to make us more like Christ and it is a process and it can be a difficult process. But it’s actually one through which our Savior Himself went as well.

You Will Face Trials.

Hebrews five describes how, that He Himself was made perfect in his suffering and he learned obedience from the things he suffered. And so we too will learn through these trials. And I find it also is helpful to give a counselee a structure that they can remember. Perhaps even write down on a note card. In this passage, we’re gonna see four things that I think we need to remember in the midst of trials. First, one, you will face trials. Second, God uses your trials to mature you. Third, in the midst of your trials, ask God for wisdom. And then finally, trust in the goodness of God in the midst of your trials. So beginning in verse two, James says, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Trials are not unusual. Trials are the ordinary experience of believers as we live in a fallen world. James doesn’t say consider it all joy, my brethren, if you happen to encounter trials, it’s when you encounter trials. It’s going to happen. Jesus said in the world, you will have trouble. And we know here in the context the first verse is describing the readers of this book. We learn more about them as we read through the rest of the book. They were 12 tribes dispersed abroad. Later James is gonna describe how they’re being oppressed by their rich employers, how they’re being mistreated in court by powerful people. And so they were in the midst of trials. We are in the midst of trials.

And as you read in the Bible, trials are the ordinary experience of believers. People like in their families, people have these kind of idealized dreams of multigenerational peace and everybody’s on the same page. This isn’t what happens in Scripture. The very first couple, Adam and Eve, have one of their sons as a rebel against God who kills the other. And as you go through the rest of the people in Scripture, you have many, many trials. Abraham and Sarah where Abraham puts his wife’s purity at risk and then sleeps with her maid Hagar and there’s conflict in the home and Ishmael is kicked out with his mother. And on and on you go. In Jacob’s family, two wives and a brother beaten, tossed in, you know, Joseph tossed into a pit by his other brothers who were jealous and favoritism and on and on we go. In Ezekiel, you actually have an interesting chapter in chapter 18 where you have multiple generations. You have a believing generation followed by an unbelieving generation then another believing generation. The same thing happens in the books of the Kings where some righteous kings then they have wicked sons and vice versa. We’re going to have sometimes even in our own families. Jesus warned in Luke 12, From now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They’ll be divided father against son and son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, the daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. The Gospel itself will bring us, attract more trials of persecution. People have trials, as I said, so many of their trials are in their families.

I think it’s kind of funny how you see some of the titles of books on marriage like So What Did You Expect? Or Whose Dream? Or you know, When Sinners Say I Do. I’ve been shocked sometimes even counseling people in the first months of their marriage and the honeymoon isn’t over. The honeymoon almost never began. And there’s conflict between them. There’s conflict with in laws or conflict over finances. They wonder have I married the wrong person? People who’ve been married longer. Some end in divorce. Some deal with unfaithfulness. Some are married and many women are married but lonely because their husbands are off in their own worlds. And then likewise, with their children. Some can’t have kids. Other’s kids break their hearts. Some kids are born with down syndrome or have autism and other learning issues. And as we face these trials, it can be overwhelming. I think of a dear couple who came and they brought in their 20 year old daughter. This couple had just done everything for their kids. The mom had quit work, homeschooled them. They really, if anything, might have been somewhat of a child-centered home. But they bring their 20 year old daughter and she’s pregnant out of wedlock. And the mother is just weeping and mourning over this. Another couple and their 22 year old son. He was going to college and the couple kind of anticipating their kids are gonna be all grown. He’s the youngest. He has a brain injury. And now he can’t sequence events in his life and he may be living with them for the rest of their lives and they’ll have to worry about caring for him after that. We face tragedies. We face financial issues. We face health issues. And contrary to the health and prosperity teachers, James doesn’t say if you have a trial, just have enough faith and the trial will go away. He doesn’t tell us how to get out of the trials. He tells us how to benefit from the trials.

As you read the Scriptures again, and you read like the great hall of faith in Hebrews 11, these are people who demonstrated faith and who grew in their faith in the midst of great difficulty. So there’s no formula in life by which you can avoid trials. Not even in your own family. There’s not if you just raise your kids this way, everything will be fine. If you just eat this kind of food, you’ll never get sick. Trials are unavoidable. And in the language James uses here when it says when you encounter various trials, another way of translating, when they fall upon you. It’s the same word used in the parable of the good Samaritan where the traveler is going down the path, going down the road, and he fell among thieves. They came out of nowhere. There’s not trials that you can look on your Outlook or Google Calendar and say oh, yeah, there’s gonna be a trial next month. Trials come when life is going on like normal. You’re minding your own business and suddenly you get that call in the middle of the night. Suddenly you talk to one of your children and learn something that’s happened in their lives. You can’t plan for it when it’s going to happen but you can be sure it will happen. You don’t need to go looking for it. And God will bring these into your life. But then as we see, you will face trials.

]]>
CDC1-12. Peacemaking 3 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-12-peacemaking-3-transcript/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:34:44 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72121 Promote Peace by Confronting Sin Biblically.

Had some good questions people have raised. One question was raised in terms of address everyone involved and I had made the statement that if people were not affected by what you did, then you don’t need to approach them. There may be somebody you’ve wronged who has a right to know. They may not be aware they’ve been hurt. And the example being given, if one spouse has been unfaithful, I don’t think that’s something you can just settle between that spouse and the Lord, because they’ve broken their marriage vows and the other person has a right to know, to deal with it, and to forgive. So, you have to address everyone who has a right to know. Someone else said, well how much detail do you need to go into. And of course, sexual sin is where this is the most sensitive. General observation is the guilty party wants to reveal far too little, and the innocent wants to know far too much, that you need to admit in biblical terms what your sin is, but it’s not profitable to describe details which are inappropriate and unnecessary. The nature of the relationship which you’ve done. I mean there’s a difference between how far have you gone. There’s a difference between kissing somebody and having intercourse with somebody. But the other explicit details are harmful, hurtful, unprofitable, and sometimes the victim, because he or she is insecure, they wanna know what does this person have that I don’t have, what does this person look like, what do they weigh, what color hair do they have, what body features do they have or whatever else. It’s not the point. It was a sin against God and it was unfaithfulness to a promise in marriage. And these other details are harmful. In this section, we’re covering a lot of the topics that are important for us to cover in the main basics course that we’re gonna be talking along with peacemaking and this is also gonna bring us in this next hour into church discipline so there’s gonna be some overlap. We’re not gonna go separately through the entire church discipline outline ’cause a lot of it is overlapping with this. Also, we’ve been dealing with confessing of sin both to God and to others. As we seek to make peace, there will be barriers to peace.

Be willing to receive correction from others.

  • Prov 15:32

One thing I think each of us has to ask ourselves is that am I a person who receives correction well. We’re gonna talk about you need to go to your brother, your sister, when they are wrong, a lot in the proverbs about this, Chapter 15. Says he who listens to life giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. So are you correctable, that’s Chapter 15 verses 31 and 32 in the book of Proverbs.Pride destroys peacemaking. Instead we should be making efforts towards peace, being slow to anger, being humble.

Love sometimes requires you to go and show your brother his fault.

  • Rom 15:14; Lev 19:17

And then, the other side of peacemaking is to pursue peace by confronting sin in a biblical way. Jesus said first get the beam out of your own eye but it doesn’t end there does it? Once you have gotten the beam out of your own eye then you can get the spec, the splinter, out of your brothers eye. And in love, often requires that you go and show your brother his fault. You shall not hate your fellow countrymen in your heart, you may surely reprove your neighbor, Leviticus 19 verse 17. And every believer has this responsibility. It’s not just the job of the pastor or pastors or elders or officers of the church, all of us in the community of believers have this duty to one another. The verse we’ve quoted so many times in Romans 15, it’s the entire congregation which is full of goodness, full of all knowledge, able to admonish one another. Galatians 6, brother and even if anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restores such a one in a spirit of gentleness. So we can’t sit back and hope that someone else will do this. And this is the thing I think that we need to be teaching in our churches, that we have a responsibility in a positive way to be brother keepers and sister keepers when we see someone falling into sin. You can’t hang back and wait for them to come to you.

Now this is hard work. This is not easy or enjoyable sometimes and people don’t always like being confronted. It’s something you do in love and in faith. We’re gonna talk in Matthew 18 about how if your brother is sin go to your brother. And this needs to be said, you don’t send him a Facebook message. You don’t send him a text on his phone or an email. Ideally it’s face to face. At worst a telephone if you’re separated by many miles and can’t arrange a face to face meeting. But if you’re going to be confronting sin, so much miscommunication can take place. So many people have written emails, they’re mad and they let it fly, and you say things in an email you would’ve never said looking that other person in the eye. Or even if you tried to say it very well, looking eye to eye, expressing your care for this person, hugging this person, affirming the relationship can’t be done over phone wires very well and certainly not with emails or other electronic messages. So go in person, also gives you an opportunity to clarify any misunderstanding of what you may have said or written. Some people I’ll even say, okay, write it down, and then hand it to them and talk about it. If you feel like you have to write it down to get your thoughts together, but don’t just send it to them. I think that’s maybe our temptation, is I know I have to do this so here and then you run away. No, be a man, be a woman, and go face them in love.

Well which sins need to be confronted? Not every little thing. I think the bible gives us some guidance there. In 1 Corinthians 5, which is another important text on church discipline, it says, it’s actually reported among you that there is immorality among you and immorality of such a kind that does not even exist among the Gentiles. That someone has his fathers wife. And then later he says I actually wrote to you not to associate with any so called brother if he is an immoral person or covetous or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or a swindler, not even to eat with such a one. And so, the problem that Paul is addressing in 1 Corinthians 5 is that if a member of your church is acting in an immoral way or covetous, drunkard, swindler, idolater, that is reflecting on the entire community, which reflects on Christ. And we need to be concerned about His reputation.

He has a passion that His church be pure. A person who calls himself a Christian and is cheating people in his used car lot, or in his insurance or investment business, is troubling the reputation of the church to the entire community. I actually got a call one day from a pastor friend and he said one of my deacons is on the front page of the local paper today, but it’s not good, he’s been caught embezzling. The church has to take action as well. So sins which can damage the Lords reputation, sins which endanger the purity and unity of the church. Paul warns about those who cause dissensions. He also warns about a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough. So if you have someone in the church, and this can also be a doctrinal issue, we talked earlier about differences of eschatology but we actually had in our church at one time two people who claimed that Christ had already come and was not coming back. That was it. And people who believe nutty things like that wanna share it with everybody else. And we had to clamp down on it and finally tell them to leave and they were no longer welcome here to protect the church from their influence. In a moral instance, that if you have, it’s just sadly so common today, people from Christian homes, young people claiming to be Christians and they’re living in fornication. A man and a woman not married to each other, take a cruise together or a vacation together, they’re gonna be in the same room, or it’s known that they’re living together and the church has to take action. What’s gonna happen if you don’t intervene? It’s going to spread and other people think it must be okay. And so there has to be again, loving confrontation but if they will not repent, that’s where it begins, you have to say, this is not right, you cannot do this and be a member of a church.

Also, you’re concerned about the soul of the offender. James says if anyone among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. So you care about this person. You see that the direction they’re going in can ruin their own soul. College roommates and you see your roommate is cheating on exams, or that he’s looking at things he shouldn’t be looking at and you confront him because you don’t want him to go down the path of sin and destruction.

And then sin, which will effect your relationship with this other person that you’ve lost trust, you’ve lost respect, you’re tempted to bitterness and you can’t delay and give the devil an opportunity, it needs to be dealt with. And so first, Matthew 18, if you brother sins, go and show him his fault in private, if he listens to you, you have won your brother. So, you go to him, it says, first, before involving others. You don’t tell everybody else because ideally many situations can be resolved one on one.

First, practice personal peacemaking.

  • Matt 18:15; 5:23-24

In building a culture of peacemaking in a church, one thing we wanna teach others is that if someone improperly tells you the sin of another person, you say well, and what did he do when you confronted him? What did he have to say when you admonished him? You shouldn’t be telling me, you need to go talk to him about this before involving me and then tell me how it goes now that you’ve pulled me in. Now there is an exception to this however. There are some cases we see in the New Testament of public sin, which then is a addressed publicly sometimes skipping the first stage. When Peter refused to eat with the Gentiles, Paul rebuked him in front of everybody because everybody was a witness to what happened. Sometimes in church discipline something that’s happened is a public sin or a public scandal and has to be somehow addressed in front of everyone, sometimes even if the person is repentant just to show that the church has dealt with it. Just as an example that a young couple, been courting and she’s pregnant and they decide to get married, but that takes awhile so after they’ve been married for four and a half months, she has a nine pound baby boy. You don’t have to be a biologist, a doctor, obstetrician, or math expert to realize something happened that was inappropriate, and it’s more or less public, and even if they’re repentant it’s appropriate that they confess to the community of God’s people that we did wrong, it’s public in this way, and we are repentant and we’re being married.

So you go, also and how you go, you go gently and lovingly and humbly. It says do it in a spirit of gentleness. You’re not venting anger. Often there’s a conflict and people go and they’re giving you a piece of their mind, they think they’re on Jerry Springer or Oprah or something and they’re gonna tell you how much that you’ve hurt them. No it’s, the word here, I love the word there, it says restore. You’re going to restore. It’s the word used when the disciples were mending their nets, they were restoring their nets, the nets had holes in them, nets with holes in them don’t work. We wanna fix them so they’re useful again. So you’re going in love to restore this person. Jesus says it’s like eye surgery. You’re taking a splinter out of somebody’s eye. You don’t want somebody with two crowbars trying to get a splinter out of your eye, you want somebody with clean, sanitized hands, being very careful and gentle. And we’ve been confronted. Last night when I was exercising I was, for some reason it was coming to mind different times in my life when I’ve been strongly confronted and boy when you realize how that feels, you wanna be gentle as you do it. It’s not easy. Be prepared to take some time to go again and again even for awhile before going on to the next step.

And then if he repents, forgive. It’s over. If he listens to you, good. And nobody else may need to know. If somebody has a right to know, good. But if not, it can be over. And no one else needs to be involved. And this should be happening a lot in almost all relationships. It should be happening in a marriage, it should be happening in close friendships, on elder and deacon boards because we’re all sinners and we hurt each other sometimes, and we wrong sometimes, we wrong each other and we stray sometimes, and so if you repent, you rejoice, and it’s done.

Then, if necessary, seek help in making peace (assited peacemaking).

  • Matt 18:16

However, if necessary, if he doesn’t listen to you, you need to get help in making peace, but if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you so by the mouth of two of three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. Now on this second stage, I wanna bring out two types of scenarios. First is the scenario being described here, which is a case in which a person is clearly in sin, and the other witnesses are being brought in and it’s actually like in the Old Testament, he’s quoting from Deuteronomy, where you have multiple witnesses to a sin before you move on and bring the consequences in the next stage of discipline. And so the other person is coming and is bearing witness. I’ll give you a concrete example, about 19 years ago there was a situation in which a woman, a single woman in our church confided to her friend that she was having an affair with a married man. And the friend admonished her, repeatedly and she would not listen so the friend then arranged a meeting where two elders came to join her in confronting her friend, who was actually scheduled to depart on a cruise the next day with her married boyfriend. And there was no dispute over the fact of the affair, of the cruise being the next day. It was just a matter of whether this adulterous woman wanted to repent. And so here at this stage, you bring somebody else in and you’re ramping it up. And even then you’re hoping, we were hoping that day that she would say you know, thank you, I know this is wrong, I’m gonna call him and tell him it’s over, and I’m not going. That isn’t what happened which brought us to the next stage, but that’s what you’re hoping.

I’ll give you a personal example, now that you’ve at least seen my wife. There was an occasion, I would guess 16 years ago, I’m using old examples on purpose, 16 years ago, in which she did something that really upset me. I cannot tell you what it was, and I doubt if it was that important, but in my wicked sinful pride I became angry. When I get angry I don’t yell or scream, I just get real quiet. And so probably for two entire days, I hardly spoke to my wife, I was just very sullen, just kinda yes, no answers, and wouldn’t make eye contact, just kinda slinking around and acting miserable. And she being the Godly peacemaking woman she is, was pleading with me to talk with her, and she wanted to understand what she had done wrong, and why I was so upset, and then finally she said okay Jim, if you don’t start talking to me and working with me on this, I’m gonna call one of the elders over here, and he’s gonna make you talk. And that really sobered me up really quickly. I decided I didn’t really want that to happen, and I decided whatever it was I was upset about wasn’t as important as I had initially believed, and I think I can tell you that it’s never gotten to that point since then, but I’ll also tell you that in the back of my mind I know that if I go down that road, that’s where it’s gonna take me. So, that’s the purpose of it, to bring the person, and we’ve had other cases in the church where somebody’s into some kind of sin, and a friend or a spouse has talked to them and a couple of the elders come and that’s been what it took to get that person okay, I gotcha, I’m gonna take care of it.

There’s another scenario however that occurs, which is a little different, and that is sometimes what you have instead of one person clearly in sin being accused by someone who is trying to help him, you have two parties who are in conflict and they’re both accusing each other. You’ve got Pete and Sam, let’s say, and let’s say that Pete hired Sam to remodel his bathroom. And Sam says he did the work and that Pete hasn’t paid him, and Pete says, well that’s because the toilet leaks, and the countertop is off, and the tile has gaps in it, and they’re in this dispute and they’re on the verge of going to court against each other, and they’re both accusing, he’s accusing him of stealing by not paying, and he’s accusing him of shoddy workmanship, and ruining his bathroom, and sometimes a point comes where you’re kind of at the second stage where you’re having to come in and mediate, I would, by the way, advise more than one person getting in the middle of something like that and not coming alone. And your ambition of mediating, trying to help them reach a solution, that’s I think what Paul is talking about in Philippians 4, where these two women are not in harmony, he says indeed, true companion, I ask you to help these women. And that’s a lot of what counseling will be.

We do a lot of premarital counseling, my wife and I do, and one thing we will encourage the couple to do is to have kind of an unwritten prenup, a prenuptial agreement that if they ever find themselves in a conflict they can’t resolve on their own, to commit that if either one of them thinks they need help, that they get help, from a Godly couple, leaders in the church, so things don’t get worse, don’t let the sun go down on your anger. So sometimes, ordinarily at this stage there’s clearly a sin, you’re confronting the sin, sometimes they both say the other one’s sinning and you may need either mediation, which is where you try to get them to come to agreement, arbitration is where, like Paul is saying, is there not among you one wise man who would be able to decide between his brothers, and that’s where the two parties, if it’s a financial matter, with Pete, Al whoever they are, they could agree to let two of the elders of their church, or one elder from each church if they’re from different churches, come up with a solution, whatever the solution was they both would agree, whatever those guys came up with, they would follow it. This is something that peacemaker ministries does a lot of. They have training where they have a whole week of training and doing mediation, arbitration, dealing with conflicts as a peacemaker.

Finally, if necessary, take it to the church.

  • Matt. 18:17a

And then, finally, if necessary, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. So the woman who was going off on the cruise the next day, we warned her and said that if we don’t see you in church tomorrow morning, it was a Saturday, which was the same time the cruise left, we are going to publicly announce that you are under discipline and we’re gonna tell people what’s going on and we’re gonna tell them to admonish you when you get back. It even could be in the case of this arbitration, where the people look at it and say you know, that bathrooms okay, you go in there and yeah you can put a little more grouting in here but it really is okay and you need to pay him. And at this point if he refuses to pay, it can become a matter of church discipline, because he’s a thief. He’s trying to use an inadequate excuse to defraud his brother in Christ. So at this point, you tell it to the church.

Now, in the process of church discipline, this is important in terms of how it’s done. One is, since the church is to be lead by the elders, I don’t think this means that if two people in our church have an accusation that they can pop up in the middle of a Sunday morning and say we have this accusation, we want all of you to discipline him. Think the order of the church is to be maintained by the leadership and the leadership has to determine and make sure the process has been followed and there is a validity of the charge before making it public.

I also think it’s very important that when it’s presented to the congregation, that the case be presented clearly. The congregation is being asked to join in the discipline, which means they need to understand what the evidence is and what the proof is, it’s not the leadership getting up there and say trust us, this is a bad guy. Because there have been cases in which leaders of churches have abused their authority, like Deoctrifies, it talks about in one of John’s apostles who by his own authority kicks people out for no good reason. So then the greatest sin on earth isn’t a little bit of disloyalty to the senior pastor, although in some churches it is. What really happened, what proof do you have, what process have you gone through. Another reason why it’s important to lay out to the congregation exactly what your proof and it is what has happened, is you only get one chance to really do this well in front of the congregation, and oftentimes the guilty party mounts a defense and they put the leadership or whoever accused them on trial, you didn’t follow the process right, you weren’t loving, you weren’t fair, I didn’t really do much. There was a case of a well known pastor in Orange County who had been caught having an affair with a member of his staff, or the wife of a member of his staff, and the way it seemed to have been handled is the church initially kinda made well he’s had some problems relating to his qualifications so he’s gonna step down. And then he goes, oh poor me, I’ve been so harshly treated by these mean elders. And later on it kinda came out what he’d really done and they hadn’t… But you get one chance and if you’re wanting the congregation as they should be, to participate and at this stage they’re not even kicked out of the church yet, now this is the stage where those in the church who know this person are pleading with them along with the first two or three people that got involved, there’s still time to repent, turn to the Lord, before it is too late. So the other members of the church join in, and pleading with the sinner to repent.

]]>
CDC1-11. Peacemaking 2 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-11-peacemaking-2-transcript/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:19:03 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72120 Do All That Is in Your Power to Pursue Peace.
  • Matt 5:9
  • Heb 12:14

Don’t stir up strife.

  • Rom 16:17; Prov 6:19, 26:21, 18:21, 10:19; Titus 3:10; Eph 4:29; Jas 1:9, 3:1ff

Talked about the fact that conflict is inevitable. Conflict also can be very dangerous, but conflict brings opportunity for us, as believers, to bring glory to God. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” So, we want to do all that we can to pursue peace with all men. I have some counselees who are quarrelsome. There are a lot of verses in Proverbs about that. Some with anger, some just seem to argue all the time. So, we do not want to be the people who are spreading strife among brothers. “An angry man stirs up strife and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.” There are people you will meet that like to argue. Sometimes I’ll go to a conference, like a pastor’s conference or something, and you’ll meet somebody new, and you’ll want to find out, well, what do you believe about this, and what do you believe about that, and he’s trying to find something to disagree with you about so you could have a, I guess what he considers to be a good discussion. Proverbs says, “Like charcoals, hot embers, wood, fire, so is a contentious man to stir up strife, to kindle strife.” Many people need to be taught simply not to be quarrelsome, that, certainly there are times we have to speak because of conscience and say what we believe, but there’s some people who are just argumentative, and that needs to be admonished and identified. And it’s one thing, when you have the two people together, you see how they talk to each other. Here’s how you could have said this differently, or this wasn’t really helpful at all.

Our speech is very important. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. “Where there are many words, transgression is avoidable but he who restrains his lips is wise.” And then, another verse for your ever-thickening group of verses you use a lot, Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment that it will give grace to those who hear.” That is a great filter for people, when they’re having a discussion. If they can’t do it when they’re with you, in the counseling situation, you can imagine how bad things are when they are together alone. So, are you saying this because you’re trying to build up the other person? And you can build somebody up with a loving admonishment. It’s not that you’re always positive and patting people on the back. But was this said to build up or to tear down? And there’s a lot of speech that is just in its purpose to tear down. We should be slow to speak, slow to anger. We, also, we’re told, “Do not grumble,” 1 Corinthians 10:10: “as some of them did and were destroyed by the destroyer.”

Overlook minor offenses.

  • Rom 14:19; 1 Pet 4:8; Prov 10:12; 19:11, 20, 22; 25:28; 15:18; 14:19; Matt 5:39-40; Phil 2:5ff; 1 Cor 13:7

We need to be ready to overlook minor offenses. “Love covers a multitude of sins,” 1 Peter, chapter 4. “It’s hatred that stirs up strife, that love covers all transgressions.” So much in our day is people standing on their rights and fighting for what they think is theirs. I’ve been following the World Cup some, and one team, the teammates got offended and they refused to practice because they were mad at the coach. We should be people who bear up under insults and mistreatment, who are not thin-skinned but thick-skinned. “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook a transgression. A fool always loses his temper. A wise man holds it back.” So it’s very, very important that we be patient and there are often times when we will be wronged and the best thing to do, rather than making an issue of it is simply to let it pass. I like Proverbs 25:28: “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Another verse that I use a lot in counseling, in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 7, it says, “Love hopes all things. Love believes all things.” And to paraphrase, love assumes the best. If somebody does something that may appear to you to be offensive, try to think of some way you can take it in the best way, rather than the worst way.

Be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of peace.

  • 1 Cor 6:7; Prov 17:14

We should be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of peace. Paul tells the Corinthians, “It is better for you to be wronged than to go to court before the unbelievers.” So we pursue the things that make for peace and the building up of one another. “Abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.” There are a lot of times you should just walk away, if it’s simply a matter of pride.

Trust God to defend your interests.

  • 1 Pet 2:23

And ultimately we have to trust God to defend our interests and not to feel like we have to always speak up for ourselves. Thinking of our Lord Jesus, “While being reviled, he did not revile in return. “While suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously.” Jesus did not stand up for his rights and as we trust God and trust, as Jesus did, that ultimately God is the one who cares for us, protects us. There are times you’re tempted. You hear somebody says something about you, and you feel tempted to blast back or to go tell everybody else how bad they are, and how good you are. There’s times just to be quiet. So part of peacemaking is not to make a big issue over everything that happens. We’re gonna talk about how to confront sin, but you don’t necessarily confront every sin. If the wife squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube, or the husband, you know, leaves the toilet seat up or something, you really don’t need to be calling in the elders in all these situations. I had one time, it’s actually a lady I had tried to counsel when she had been having kind of an emotional affair with somebody and by God’s grace, she repented of that, and two or three weeks later, she calls me and says, I want to divorce my husband. Well, why? Well, we were in this store and a pretty girl walked by and I noticed him looking at her, and so, we need counseling and, you know. I don’t think we, as men, should be looking inappropriately at pretty girls, but, that’s, from what she described, wasn’t a matter to pull in the elders, especially in light of the forest in her own eye, which brings us to the next point.

]]>
CDC1-10. Peacemaking 1 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-10-peacemaking-1-transcript/ Fri, 09 Feb 2018 20:11:46 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72119 God Tells You How to Make Peace.

We’re gonna talk about peacemaking. And you have a handout on that in your syllabus. Also, you should’ve been given these folders which I hope you’ll look at. We’re going through this talk. We buy these by the hundred. I keep them in my Bible. I keep them on my desk. I keep them at home. There’s no counseling tool I use more than this little brochure, Which summarizes these principles. If you really wanna get down on what’s in here however, I would encourage you to go further into the peacemaking material. The place to begin would be to read The Peacemaker by Ken Sande, who was our speaker at our annual conference last year. They now have a lot of other material, Peacemaking for Families, Peacemaking for Women, Peacemaking for Children with comic books, Church Peacemaking, small group studies, so it’s just expanded all over the place. But it’s great biblically based material. I think for me, having read the book and having taught the material, this is just such an excellent summary of the most important parts of the material, something you can hand to the counselee. And I’ll do that along with our audio, which is really what you’re about to hear live on peacemaking, as a homework assignment. And this is material that I have seen the Lord use often and effectively. It’s really a large percentage of counseling is gonna involve peacemaking. Obviously, working with couples will most always involve peacemaking. But usually, even when you’re counseling an individual, anger is because of conflict, depression is because of relationships. So, this is really, really important stuff.

The Bible talks about the nature of peace in two ways. Heb 12:14

Now, peace is kind of a funny thing because everybody says he’s in favor of peace, right? Even the President of Iran will say he’s in favor of peace and yet peace is hard to come by. We live in a world full of conflict, among nations, throughout the world. There are wars, there are revolutions, there are divisions. And among individuals, our courts are full of lawsuits, divorces, people in neighborhoods fighting, couples fighting, abuse taking place, shouting, hitting. Churches have divisions. Conflict sometimes over important doctrine and sometimes over the color to paint a room or the addition of another musical instrument that some people don’t agree with or a different kind of worship. Pair church organizations often have a lot of trouble with divisions that can take place there. Actually, one of our missionaries, I was checking during a break, and he’s teaching in a seminary abroad, and he’s concerned that the seminary, which has been there for many decades, may dissolve because of a conflict taking place right now among the leadership of the seminary. And he’s been teaching there for some years and he may have to go find another place of ministry.

Well, if you think about peace, think about the nature of peace, and there are two different senses in which we can think of peace. One is more objective. Romans 5:1. Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. That’s talking about a status, doesn’t it? You can say in a sense that we’re at peace with our neighbors North and South of us, meaning that we’re not fighting a war. We may not be getting along great, but there’s at least a lack of hostility, kind of a status of peace.

But also the word uses peace in a more subjective way of wellbeing. What’s the Hebrew word for peace? Shalom. That’s like one of three Hebrew words some of us remember from seminary 20 years ago. Shalom. And that goes beyond just a lack of conflict. It’s talking about a sense of wellbeing that all is doing well, all is great. The good news, biblically, is that God tells us how to have peace. A couple of summary verses that deal with that. One is Romans chapter 12, verse 18. It says, “if possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Another verse that’s kind of a summary verse, is Hebrews 12:14. It says “Pursue peace with all men “and the sanctification without which “no one will see the Lord.” What kind of sanctification is that? Progressive, yeah.

Christ is the Prince of Peace who has come on a mission of peace.

So, God tells us to have peace, but he also tells us how to have peace. And first, you think of Christ, that Christ has come on a mission of peace. He is the Prince of Peace. He makes peace between God and man. And even he makes peace among men. In Ephesians two, beginning verse 11 it describes how he is even among Jews and Gentiles made peace in his body, breaking down the division, the dividing wall that once separated Jew and Gentile. So he is the Prince of Peace, he is the ultimate peacemaker. Through him we have peace with God.

Our peacemaking flows out of Christ.

And our peacemaking flows out of Christ’s. And in biblical peacemaking, as much as anything else we talk about, is founded on the gospel. And as God has made peace with us, we make peace with one another. And God’s peace is a gracious peace. The effort came on his side, not our side. It was also a costly peace. So if you’re gonna deal with conflict, you’re gonna spend a lot of time talking about the gospel. So, again, everybody agrees that peace is a good idea. They might even appreciate that God likes peace. He’s a God of peace, Christ is the Prince of Peace, but the bible also teaches us how, in terms of method, to be peacemakers. Now, for some believers this may be review. Although, for many of us, in a group this size, I imagine some of us right now are involved in conflicts, unresolved conflicts. And it’s amazing to me how, even though many Christians know what the Bible says about this, that we’re failing to put it into practice. Just like we know the Gospel, but we’re not living the Gospel. You see the kinds of divisions that take place among churches, within churches, within families who claim to be Christian. It is shocking and grieving how Christians fail to follow these principles. I’ve even known people who have taught seven hours in sessions on peacemaking, and then when they get into a conflict, they resort to the flesh and their depravity in how they deal with that. So, these principles will apply in virtually every human relationship. You’ll find it’s in the home, it’s in the church, it’s with family, in a school situation, in a work situation. It’s really valuable. First though, you cannot completely avoid conflict. Romans 12:18 reminds us this. If possible, so far as it depends on you.

]]>
CDC1-08. How Do People Change? 2 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-08-how-do-people-change-2-transcript/ Fri, 02 Feb 2018 20:02:42 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72117 We and Our Counselees Are Responsible to Exert Effort Towards Change.

We’ve been talking about the biblical doctrine of sanctification or how people change. The change we seek is not merely an external change which could be motivated selfishly, but we seek a change of heart to the glory of God and we begin by saying that biblically, the key to change is the gospel. It’s understanding who we are in Christ. Understanding what it means to abide in Christ. Understanding applying the gospel to every situation and to see that Christ himself is more desirable than all else. And so so much of our counseling needs to be about the gospel, and not to skip it over too quickly, not just assume, well, they’re a Christian. Now we need to go to the law. Still the gospel is important, but along with that, we and our counselees are responsible, biblically, to exert effort towards change.

Some wrongfully stop with the indicative, declaring what God has done for us in Christ, while neglecting the imperatives of what God calls us to do.

There are some people who would have stopped this talk after the first half and just said, “Great, just look to Christ, believe in him, and don’t do anything else.” And that is not a biblical perspective either. And there’s some who seem to break out in hives if someone uses the imperative and uses a command even though the Bible is full of these commands as well, including commands to believers. And they’re so fearful of what they call molism that they, I think, shy away from the biblical imperatives. They will even say, both in preaching and in counseling, just tell people what Christ has done for them, not what they should do for Christ. Well, it’s not either or, it’s both and. Tell them what Christ has done for them. Don’t neglect that. Even if they’re already Christians, keep telling them. But then because of what Christ has done for them, they need to respond. An example of I think the wrong kind of counseling. This is an actual case that happened to me. A couple came in and the husband was enslaved to pornography of a very perverse type. He was neglecting his wife sexually and they went to their pastor and the pastor who had this mentality said, “All I can tell you is look to Christ.” And the wife said, “Well, do we need to like, “cut off the Internet, or put a filter on, “does my husband need some accountability?” “Just look to Christ.” Now, I think we should tell the guy to look to Christ but I think the Bible says a lot more than that as well, like flee youthful lust, if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. In the same way… I heard one time, again, someone of this mentality preaching through the Book of Ephesians. And as he came to the section, very practical section in four and five, he took a really big chunk. Immorality, impurity or greed should not be named among you, no filthiness or silly talk, let no one deceive you, don’t be a partaker of darkness, don’t participate unfruitful deeds of darkness. And he’s going through all of these commands that Paul is making, and he said, “All you need to know is that Christ has fulfilled this for you.” Now I would agree with the guy that it’s important for us to know when we proclaim the law that Christ has fulfilled the law for us or we’d be in despair because we fall short. But I don’t think Paul would have agreed that’s all we need to say about that passage.

What is the use of biblical imperatives (God’s law)?

I think Paul really meant that the should work at controlling their tongues and speech and being careful how they actually live and walk. John Murray writes, “The pilgrimage to perfection, the eternal state, is not one of quiescence and inactivity. It’s not let go and let God. The journey proceeds apace with the most intense exercise on our part. Our working is not suspended because God works and God’s working is not suspended because we work. They’re complimentary. Our working is grounded in God’s working. Our working receives its urge, strength, incentive, and cause from God’s working in us.” Now, I’ve referenced first Thessalonians 5:14 before about how we need to understand people and how we treat them. Admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak. Different types of folk will require different emphases in our counseling. Something that I’ve observed. I talked earlier about women who have been tempted to perfectionism and maybe comparing themselves with others or comparing themselves with their image of the perfect wife and mom. And there are many believers who, having a wrong idea of sanctification, not understanding how the gospel and justification relates to sanctification, after living for years under law, and really a kind of moralism where they had in their mind that God is only pleased with me according to how well I’m doing at making my own clothes and baking my own bread and keeping my husband happy and my kids being polite. And when these women come to understand that God is satisfied with you even if you didn’t break your own bread, even if you aren’t the perfect mom and the perfect wife. And that God is satisfied with you because of Christ and he could never be more satisfied with you than he is in Christ. Because Christ is the satisfaction and it’s his righteousness, not your righteousness, that makes God pleased with you. God can’t be more pleased. Some women, and it can be men too, but I’ve found that… It’s like, this is wonderful, and they’re so happy and they’re so thankful. But then in kind of reaction against their own self-imposed legalism of the past, they don’t wanna hear the commands of scripture anymore. And that, although I sympathize with them, is wrong. The Bible uses the law of God. And you said how is the law of God used? It’s used in at least a few different ways.

God’s law shows us our need for Christ who alone meets God’s standard and provides the righteousness we lack. Gal 3:23; 2:16; Phil 3:9

 

One use of God’s law is to show us our need of Christ. Galatians 3:24, it says, “The law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ so that we may be justified by faith.” So the law shows us our inability to meet God’s standards. The law rightly understood not merely as not actually committing murder but not even being angry, not merely actually committing adultery but even having lust. When we see our inability, and this happens at conversion, it’s the law of God to love God with all of your heart, to love your neighbor as yourself. And you see your utter failure that says, “I need grace!” It drives you to the cross, it drives you to faith, and turns you to Christ. And that’s beautiful. But even that use of the law is not over after you become a Christian. When we see what the Bible says and we are rightly trying to obey what the Bible says, the law keeps reminding us that we don’t measure up. Now I’m a believer, now I’m trying to be a good husband, I’m trying to be a good father, I’m trying to be patient with the people with whom I work. I still fall short. Which brings me back to the gospel again. As I fail to measure up, not to be in despair, but to remember yet again, I need Christ today as much as I did 35 years ago when I became a Christian. And thanks be to God for the gospel. So the law shows us our need for Christ who alone meets God’s standard.

God’s law also shows us how He desires His redeemed people to live. 1 Thess 4:1; Eph 5:10; John 14:15

 

But the law also shows how this desire we have to please God can be lived out. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Paul writes to the Thessalonians in chapter four verse one, he says, “as you receive from us instruction as how you ought to walk and please God, just as you actually do walk, that you may excel still more.” And so we as believers have been given God’s law. If you’ve been genuinely converted, if you’ve gotten the gospel and you know the love of God and Christ, you want to please him. And the law, the rules, the commands of scripture tell you how you can please him. In their book Counsel from the Cross, Dennis Johnson and Elyse Fitzpatrick write, “Since we cannot be made any more perfect in God’s eyes than we already are, we are now free to make the law serve us. It will serve us by making us more thankful for Christ when we see how we fail to obey it, and it will serve us by showing us how to love God and our neighbor as we long to. Rather than viewing the law as our enemy, we’ll learn to say along with our savior, I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.”

Biblical Examples

So the law for us, God’s commands, and the Bible is full of these commands, informs us how to live in a way to please him whom we love. And we see this pattern throughout the Bible. I talked about it earlier, that in Romans after Paul has explained the gospel and explained our union with Christ and told us to think of ourselves as dead to sin but alive to God, then does say, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lust. Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” And he’s writing to believers. These warnings are repeated throughout scripture, and the warnings are even though you do have this new identity, even though the gospel is real to you, you still can fall into these old sins. You can still listen to the voice of your old slave master. You can still live as if you are dead though you’re alive. You can live as if you were in your old way. And you need to strive in your life not to give into these appetites of your flesh and of your old nature and your old identity.

In John 15, Jesus talks abiding in him, which we went through a little while ago. He explains in the passage what we can do. He doesn’t just say in the abstract, “just abide in me,” he describes how we as we abide in him it’s when we have his word in ourselves. Abide in me and my word abides in you. Ask what you will. So we’re praying and he even goes further to say, in the same context we’ve been talking about abiding in him, “If you keep my commandments you abide in my love.” John writes in first John two, “The one who says he abides in him ought himself to walk in the same manner as he walked.” So there is action on our part of obedience involved in abiding in him. A particular example, then, he gives as the commandment. “This is my commandment,” back to John 15, and this says, “that you love one another as I have loved you.” So abiding and loving involves doing.

And these patterns we’ve talked about in Ephesians, Colossians, elsewhere in the New Testament is as they begin with the indicative of what God has done for us, Paul especially will continue with writing to believers, continue with the imperative and the commands that are grounded on that. Again, I’ll emphasize the gospel in it. He doesn’t assume because they’re believers he can skip over the gospel part. He tells them that gospel and he intersperses it with the commands. But he does get to the point of commanding them. In Philippians 2, well known passage, we have both our responsibility and God’s work side by side. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who is at work in you. Both to will and to work according to His good pleasure. So we have the duty to live out. An explanation of that would be, like, if a couple was married, the preacher might say now go live out your marriage. By saying “I do” you entered into this relationship, now for the next 50 or 60 years, work it out, live it out. Work out your salvation. That’s gonna involve effort and obedience. But then knowing it’s God working in you by his spirit in this gospel that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

And the New Testament is filled with these specific exertations to fight sin. In Matthew 5, if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. In Ephesians 4, there are the put offs and put ons. I earlier said don’t rush to them, talk about our identity in Christ, but we’re told don’t be angry, don’t lie, don’t speak unwholesome words, don’t let bitterness and wrath and clamor be a part of you. And then put on righteousness. The one who steals shall steal no longer but work hard with his hands and have something to share with others. Instead of lying, speak the truth. Instead of being bitter, forgive and show grace as you’ve received grace. And even in the teaching of Jesus, and I think, again, is significant for this when you read the Sermon on the Mount… Actually, one part of the Sermon on the Mount that impresses me, in the third chapter in Matthew 7, where he’s going into the third chapter in our Bibles of the Sermon, when he says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be open to you, for everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds. Him who knocks will be opened.” I think part of the insight in there is by the time you’ve listened to the Beatitudes and you’ve listened to what real religion is in terms of praying and fasting and giving and not worrying, the things you’re asking for aren’t mansions and yachts. It’s, Lord, help me to live this way. Help me to live this pure, holy life you’re describing. To live out these Beatitudes.

And as he comes to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount in verse 24 our Lord says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them may be compared to the wise man who builds his house on the rock and the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and slammed against that house and yet it did not fall for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew and slammed against that house and it fell and great was its fall.” Our Lord is saying that if you’ve just listened to the Sermon on the Mount, it’s not, like James says, don’t just be a hearer but be a doer of the word, he says by their fruits you shall know them, and it’s to know their nature. Those who have this new nature that the gospel gives are diligent to put the word into practice. And then we do this, and this goes back to motive. We don’t obey so that God will be pleased with us. God is already pleased with you because of Christ. We don’t do it so we can feel good about ourselves, that I did the good thing and I’m a good boy. I’m no good. I need God’s grace as much the best day I ever lived as I did the worst day I ever lived. But it’s out of love for him, out of gratitude to him.

I’m gonna give an illustration of this. A couple of years ago when we were coming up to Valentine’s Day, my dear wife came up to me and said, “I really don’t think you should get me a gift for Valentine’s Day. You got me a lot for Christmas  and you don’t need to give me anything else, I’m perfectly content, I don’t think I need anything.” Now, different husbands would have to analyze that statement in different ways. For some men that might be this is a test, and you understand your wife and you realize that you still need to do something. But in my case, I knew she meant it. She wasn’t manipulating me. I knew that if I let that day pass and just said happy Valentine’s Day and gave her a kiss, she would love me just as much as if I went out and got her something. That I’m completely and fully accepted. I even knew that if I went out and got her a gift it would not make her love me more. She already loves me as much as she can. As I thought about this it was actually kind of stunning and that’s where a good marriage really helps you understand the gospel, that she loves me because she loves me, she loves me ’cause we’re husband and wife, and it’s really a reflection of God’s grace and that work of giving a gift isn’t gonna change it. But then as I thought about it I said, well, that’s exactly how it is in relation to God. It’s that I can’t make God love me any more by obeying him. He loves me as much as he can love me. He accepts me as much as I can possibly be accepted because of Christ. But then how does that affect me? I can tell you, with my wife the effect wasn’t oh good, now I don’t have to do anything anymore. Now I don’t have to try. Instead the effect was, I wanna get her something really nice now. A love like that makes me want to love in return. Even though I knew I wouldn’t get an upgrade in how I was treated or my status with her by giving the gift. In the same way, when we understand how we’re loved in Christ that is gonna motivate us all the more to show love.

So to summarize where we’ve been so far, we wanna change to the glory of God and that change begins with the gospel and the gospel isn’t needed just at the beginning of one’s Christian life. We need the gospel in our lives and our hearts everyday. It’s understanding who we are in Christ and meditating upon this gospel and all that God has done for us that is the key to change. But we don’t leave it at merely thinking about the gospel and looking to Christ, the indicative what God has done for us. The imperative is also important biblically. We love him and we want to obey his commands and so as we live our own lives and as we counsel others, building the foundation of the gospel we boldly preach the imperatives of the Bible, the put offs, the put ons, hoping that they will be, because of the new nature the believer has, lived out in that way.

]]> CDC1-07. How Do People Change? 1 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-07-how-do-people-change-1-transcript/ Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:17:52 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72116 Introduction

Counseling is about helping people to change.

In this session, we’re gonna talk about sanctification. And sanctification is change, it’s transformation into holiness. And the outline in the syllabus, on which you can follow along is entitled How People Change. We all do want to change, not just wanting to change other people, but we, ourselves. Each of us has an area or more in his own life, we would desire more fruit, more discipline, maybe eating less, exercising more, some of you it may be to complete NANC exams you’ve been putting off, more time in the word, doing family devotion, more control of your tongue, or your anger. And then, of course, counseling itself is about helping people to change, to be sanctified. There are actually a stack of books I could bring out that have the word change in them, How You Can Change, You Can Change, How People Change. And the people who come in, they come in wanting to change, and sometimes very frustrated. The young man who is really addicted to pornography, he keeps trying, but he goes a few days and he fails again, he’s very discouraged. The middle-aged woman who periodically binges on alcohol, the single woman living in fear, they’ve diagnosed her OCD, she’s afraid to leave her house, lest she catch a disease in a bathroom, or a mother who can’t sleep because she’s worried about her kids, the empty nester, her kids are gone, she’s home alone, and she spends the day on the Internet shopping and buying stuff, thinking that’s gonna make her happy, her house is full of unopened boxes. She is a hoarder ready for the TV program. Or parents who see the fruit of their own inconsistency and impatience, and anger, they say their children are disobedient and disrespectful, the person who is obese who wants to lose weight, but can’t, or the brother sister embarrassed that when they come to church people can smell the tobacco, smell the smoke on them, they’ve tried to quit and they can’t. Or the couple, and there’s no abuse, there’s no hatred, but their marriage is just mediocre, they’re just kinda cooperating, but there’s no friendship, no love. Or the man who periodically has outbursts of anger, which destroys relationships. And so many people come and they’ve tried to change. Sometimes when they come to us and they will put in their form, intake forms, that, “I’ve tried everything, I’ve gone here, I’ve done this, I’ve done that, you’re my last hope.” Well, what can we do for them?

The change we as biblical counselors seek is unique. Col. 1:28; 1 Tim. 1:5

The change we, as Biblical counselors, seek to make in the lives of people is unique. It’s not a man-centered change where somebody says, “Well, I wanna be happy, I wanna be comfortable, I wanna think better of myself as slim, handsome, popular.” It’s not about man, it’s a God-centered change. As Paul writes, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart. We desire to present every man complete in Christ.” And so we wanna help people to live lives for the glory of God, but that will involve changing things in their lives as well.

Unbiblical approaches to change (sanctification) will impede your spiritual growth.

There are many un-Biblical methods of change, of sanctification, that’ll actually impede the spiritual growth, either of your own spiritual growth, or of your counselee. Some are mystics, and they hope for change listening for the voice of God, waiting for a feeling, waiting for God to deduce something. Sometimes it’s a person who’s struggling, saying, “I’m just waiting for God to kinda zap me with diligence or purity.” Oftentimes folks are looking for some kind of second blessing, some grand experience. Someone in, actually many of these un-Biblical methods have this in common, some quick and easy path to spirituality, some prophet to come into town, and I’ve seen cases in churches, where some visitor comes in and he claims to have the answer, and he lays hands on people, and now they think their problems are gonna be solved. Well, when you look at what the Bible says about living well and living wisely, for example, the book of Proverbs, God doesn’t just zap you with a quick fix that wisdom is obtained through discipline, through a lifelong pursuit.

Others look to deliverance ministries. When I was in Nigeria not long ago, and talking about counseling and the sufficiency of scripture. The problem in that culture wasn’t psychology or psychiatry to which people were turning, but and even the churches there, every problem anybody had was boiled down to some kind of demon, a demon of lust, a demon of fear, a demon of alcoholism, or some demon from the past that’s– Family demon, or something cursed from the past. And the answer would be to identify the demon and cast it out. And there are also, in North America, people who try to identify demons and cast out demons, writing whole books about it. The Bible does not teach this is the answer. When you read the New Testament about how to overcome sin, and how to live a righteous life, what these people are saying is not the methodology described in the Bible. Now, you say, “Well, how do you know if there is a demon?” Typically, when I’ve run into cases and I’ve wondered whether there might be something demonic, but I don’t need to know. With the sufficiency of scripture, if I needed a detailed manual for identifying, naming and casting out demons, it would be in the Bible. All I need to do is tell the counselee, “Whatever your problem is, call upon God, seek after Him in Christ and the word of God, and God will help you.” And, again, the problem with the deliverance ministry methodology, it actually prevents the person from taking responsibility for their sin. There was a comedian in the 60s and 70s who had a routine, and it would be that always, “The devil made me do.” And so, well, if the devil made you do it, then it’s not your fault. Somebody needs to talk to the devil, not you. And, again, expecting instant easy change.

Another methodology, an un-Biblical methodology of sanctification, which many people turn, are various self-improvement formulas, to find within yourself the resources to change, and to make yourself a better person. “I’m gonna quit smoking, I’m gonna lose weight, I’m gonna read the book by the latest guy I saw on TV, and he’s gonna teach me how I have within myself the power to be a better person.” Well, that is a me focus, not a God focus.

And then another, related to that, is pure moralism, and that is rule-keeping. We all actually are kinda born natural Pharisees, by nature, that we want to find a standard we can keep so that we can feel good about ourselves. So, you know, what are the rules I need to follow? What do I need to do to succeed. And some people are very good at working programs and they can jump through the hoops and work the program, but as soon as the program is over, they fall into sin again. Paul says to the Romans, “What the law could not do, weak as it was to the flesh, God did in sending His own son, to the likeness of sinful flesh, as an offering for sin.” That the law couldn’t set us free, and the law, by itself, will not produce holiness. Other things which people turn, some do turn to psychology, or especially psychiatry, and my problem with fear or worry isn’t that I’m not trusting God, but is the easy way to take a pill, it’s all going to be fine? That’s not what the Bible teaches as a solution for those problems.

Other people reacting kind of against the moralism, and then the law and the working, are more passive. They say, “Well, look, God is the one who’s gonna change me, and I just have to wait for Him to change me.” I’ve had husbands basically say that, “Well, it’s God work to sanctify me, and I’m not gonna be a very good husband until He does. I’m just kinda waiting for God to do something.” That’s also a very un-Biblical approach. And then the recovery movement kinda combines several of these. There’s an element of mysticism. It’s obviously a self-improvement formula, and typically it’s also moralistic where you work the program as well. My understanding is the Bible itself sets forth a true, Biblical, wonderful perspective on how change works in us, how God works change in us. And, as I describe it, first the change begins with the gospel, but also that we have responsibility as believers.

]]>
CDC1-17. Fear {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-17-fear-transcript/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:30:20 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72126 Understanding Fear

Fear, very closely, related to worry. And depression. Fear is not necessarily sinful. We’re to fear God. When somebody, for example, starts talking about saying they’re mad at God they should fear God. And fear what just came out of their mouth. And repent. And Isaiah chapter six, when Isaiah has the vision of the Lord in His glory, he falls down. God is awesome and we should reverence him. Fear is also a reasonable and helpful response to danger. Some of our youth were talking about going to Yosemite and climbing Half Dome. That’s something I’ve done twice. And I have a built-in fear of heights. I think most people have some, I have a lot. But that fear is helpful, especially, I don’t know if you’ve ever done Half Dome, but the end of Half Dome you basically have cables you hold on to while you’re going up, and it seems like you’re going up a sheer, but it’s you have 45 degrees or something, and you’re going up this thing, and it’s sheer granite. And if you let go and you fall down, you’re gonna bounce a few times, you’re gonna land in the valley thousands of feet below and you’re going to be dead. And fear helps me to hold on really, really tight. And the people who have died are people who didn’t really have fear. There have been people who have been high when they’ve gone up there. And so they’re dancing around, they’re making jokes, they don’t have a sense of the fear, and they’ve slipped and there’s a whole book of all the people who’ve died at Yosemite and all the different ways it happened. There was one guy, a tourist, I think, from Japan, not long ago. And again, you see all these people going up and down these cables the last hundreds of yards up the top of Half Dome and, I guess they think it’s like they’re in Disneyland and it’s safe, and so a guy is hanging off the edge of the cable, posing for the camera, he loses his grip, and he falls and dies. That’s never gonna happen to me. My hands probably still have the impress of those chains in them from the two times I’ve gone up, and then down is even worse than up, cause you’re looking at what’s happening. So fear is a reasonable and helpful response to danger.

But it’s also a reasonable and helpful response to spiritual danger. First Corinthians, 10, 12, Paul says be careful if you think you stand lest you fall. And I’ve been going through second Samuel lately and preaching, and when I read what happened to David, who was a good man, a godly man, I see that happen to him, I’m afraid, it could happen me. I’m not paralyzed by fear but it means I don’t counsel women alone, and I’m cultivating my relationship with my wife, it’s like hanging on those chains going up Half Dome, is I don’t wanna ruin my life that way. We should be fearful of the sin that we are capable of in our own wicked hearts. When I counsel couples who have had conflict and now they’re hateful to each other, and they’re on the verge of divorce, and there’s bitterness built up over years, and then when have a little spat with my wife, I realize, this is the beginning of what they got into. And I should be afraid, not to let the sun, do not want to let the sun go down on my anger. I use this in counseling. The man who has been looking where his eyes should not go, or the woman who’s been flirtatious at work, and is kind of enjoying the attention of a man there, that she has let go of the rope. And she’s in grave danger, he’s in grave danger, of a fall they would never really intend.
Like anger, fear can have physical manifestations. We see this especially in some of the Hebrew and how it’s portrayed in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy, two, 25, the Lord says I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere and to the Heavens, when they hear the report of you, they will tremble and be in anguish because of you. So, most of us have trembled at one time or another, maybe public speaking does it for some of us. Exodus, 15, 16, terror and dread shall fall upon them by the greatness of your arm. They are motionless, as stone. So frozen, and you’ve got people quaking. Some people get rashes when they’re fearful.

Fear can also be paralyzing and damaging. Proverbs 22, 13, The sluggard says there’s a lion outside, I will be killed in the streets. Okay, he’s afraid to go outside, he’s afraid, afraid of work is what he’s afraid of, but his alleged fear of the danger outside makes him lazy and worthless. The wicked flee when no one is pursuing. There are disorders, so called by psychologists, one would be obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD. There’s a very helpful pamphlet that CCF has on OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. And I’ve counseled people with this, and they have fears, which are improper, which prevent them from functioning. I have a woman who, when she was in college, contracted some kind of disease from a toilet seat, and when that happened, because it’s disease which can also be sexually transmitted, it was extremely upsetting to her. She was among Christians, in a Christian college, I think, and she got blamed for something that she swears she did not do. But now, she does not want to ever leave the safety of her parents’ house where the toilets are under her complete and total control, and so she, 20 years later, can’t get a job, can’t have relationships, can’t be out of the house more than three hours, because she is controlled by the fear of public toilet seats. I met a young man, college student, and he is afraid of lots of different things, one of which is that he’s afraid he’s gonna wear clothes that God doesn’t want him to wear. And so, when he’s about to go to work, or about to go to school, he’ll put on a shirt and think, well maybe God wouldn’t like that, so he takes that one off and he puts on another one and he might spend an hour and a half in his closet, trying, putting on clothes, and not putting on clothes, meanwhile, he misses class, he misses work, he loses his job. When I showed you on the first day, that stop it video, remember what the doctor was doing at the beginning, you know, he was washing his hands, and when the patient says, well I’m always, oh that’s okay, there are lots of germs out there. Well, there are people, that can be kind of a halo date, where you see at counseling, comes in, and the hands are rubbed raw from washing, cause they fear diseases. They’re thinking like Howard Hughes, if you’ve seen movies about him, or heard about him, and was so fearful of germs that he ruined his life. So fear can be debilitating. Some people have panic attacks in which they’re so consumed by a certain fear it can affect them physically, they’re shaking, they’re delirious. I had a seminary student, one time, who would have a panic attack if he even thought too seriously about getting on an airplane. Interestingly, when there was a girl across the country, that he was courting, he was able to overcome that. Which will get to my point later.

So fear is damaging and the damage can be that if you’re so afraid, you’re not going out and doing your job, or you’re having some fear, whatever the fear may be, it’s preventing you from doing your duty to God and to others. And that’s actually one major basis on which I will attack these kinds of problems. So fear becomes sinful when you fear men more than God, Proverbs 29, 25, the fear of man brings a snare. That’s another kind of fear. But the one who trusts in God will be exalted. Fear becomes sinful when you fail to trust God. God has said He wants you to work. And so, even though there are germs out there, you have to trust that it’s better to go face the risk of getting a germ, catching a cold or the flu, or whatever you’re afraid of, than to fail to fulfill your responsibility and stay at home. Fear becomes sinful when you want control and certainty which belongs to God alone. That’s a big issue for people with OCD, it’s I want complete control and complete safety. That was the bizarre stuff with Howard Hughes. Well, that’s you trying to be God again. You’re not God. You can’t create perfect safety for yourself. Good news is, you’re a child of God and He can make it safe or, if He doesn’t, then He has a reason for it. But a fearful person, especially an OCD type person, they’re wanting to have complete certainty of safety that God does not promise. It can be another lady, she’s afraid to drive a car. Fearful of accidents, fearful of something going wrong. But if that keeps her from caring for her kids, caring for her family, doing her job, that is sinful, but part of the answer is to realize I have trust God rather than feeling like I have to be the one who is in control.

Keys to overcoming fear, most of all, is fearing God and then realizing that the thing you really have to fear, Jesus said don’t fear those who destroy the body but those who destroy body and soul in Hell. Thanks be to God that what we have most to fear, which is death, has been removed in its sting, by Christ. There are things to be afraid of and it’s to stand before God and your sin. Hebrews two, speaking of the work of Christ, verse 14, since children share in flesh and blood, He, Himself, likewise also partook of the same. That through death, He might render powerless him who had the power over death, that is, the Devil. And might free those who walk through fear of death who were subject to slavery all their lives. So Christ, by his work, has set us free from the real fear. That we should have. And instead, we need to learn to trust God is your shepherd.

Psalm 23 is a good verse for fearing people, I’ve got an outline on that in your notes, I’ve got audios on that, to learn to trust God. That He cares for you as a shepherd. He’s the one who protects you. You can’t ultimately protect yourself. Those who are trusting God are characterized by boldness. Proverbs 28, the wicked flee when no one coming, pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. And when facing fears, especially OCD type fears, the critical question is what would God have me to do? I can’t, quite frankly, if God wants you out working, it’s safer to get out of the house than to be in defiance of God, watching TV all day. That safety is found in doing God’s will. There’s famous quotes by Stonewall Jackson, who said I feel as safe on the battlefield as I felt on my own bed. Now, there may have been a bit of unbiblical fatalism in some of what Stonewall Jackson said, but there’s also some truth in the sense that he had this trust in God that, for him, he was doing his duty. And if he’s doing his duty, he’s as safe as a man could be. Not to mention the fact that when the bullet finds me I’ll be with the Lord anyway. So safety is in doing the will of God.

Some people are fearful because of fear of imperfection. I may mess up, so I won’t even try. Yeah, you’re gonna mess up. Only God is perfect. You have to trust Him. Only God possesses certainty. Only God has absolute control. He is to be trusted. And that means you need to stop trusting in yourself. The Scripture says as we look to Him, then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid. When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear, nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. That’s Proverbs, chapter three, verses 23 to 26.

Review of Previous Segment

Yesterday, we were talking about the subject of fear and we talked about the fact that fear isn’t all bad. There is an appropriate fear of the Lord. Also, the Lord has designed us when there is danger to have a sense, like climbing up a mountain, or something, you know, to be careful, in danger and even spiritual danger, be careful if you think you stand lest you fall, Paul warns the Corinthians. There are a few different types of fear. When we talked about the kinds of fears which can be debilitating, those who have panic attacks, those who have obsessive, what’s called obsessive, labeled obsessive compulsive disorder. And how do you help people like that? And the focus has to be on fearing God and not man. Trusting Him as our shepherd. And along with that, as well, to acknowledge that He is in control and He is one who keeps us safe. People who are very fearful, including OCD, want to be in control, they want to be completely safe, and they need to realize that God is the one who is ultimately in control. And He is the one who will keep us safe, or if He allows us into a trial, He will be with us in the midst of that trial. And it’s safer to be doing what He wants us to do than trying to keep ourselves safe in a sinful way.

]]> CDC1-03. What is Biblical Counseling? 3 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-03-what-is-biblical-counseling-3-transcript/ Mon, 06 Mar 2017 14:00:25 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72112 The Bible is a fully sufficient textbook for counseling.

These three, first three lectures have been entitled ‘What is Biblical Counseling.’ And now we’re going to finally get to what is biblical counseling. I guess, initially, we’ve been saying what it’s not. Biblical counseling is not just psychology because in secular psychology there are world view problems that does not understand who man is, what our soul really is, what our problem really is, and who God is and how we’re in relation to God. Nor is it an attempt to mix together psychology and the Bible, and that’s because in biblical counseling we believe the Bible is our sole and sufficient authority in counseling, for helping people with the problems of the soul. II Timothy 3:16 “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.”

Now, in the last generation, this passage has been used for the inerrancy and the infallibility of scripture, that the Bible being God breathed is perfect and without error. But also this passage teaches that sufficiency of scripture that the Bible is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. It equips us for every good work. But the Bible is not a textbook in architecture of how to build a building, or medicine how to do a heart transplant. Physically, the Bible though is a textbook for the soul. It tells us who God is, who we are, why we have problems of the soul, and how in relation to God these can be cured. And the perspective of some other Christians, that the Bible is somehow inadequate and we need to add to the Bible the insights concerning the soul and psychology brings seems to be contradictory to this passage. It is contradictory, in my opinion. If you want to know how to help people with their spiritual problems, you need to know the Bible. And the answers are in this book. You don’t need to go outside of the Bible for the answers. The Bible is sufficient.

David Powlison writes, “Faith itself teaches a distinctive psychology subordinating competing theories and competing professional structures.” There are no new problems. And that’s one of the things the psychologists will try to oh yeah well life is so complicated now we need psychology to explain how complicated life is. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to man.” The problems people have now are the problems they had thousands of years ago. People had worry, they had conflict, they had fear, they had anger. The spiritual problems, of course, being rooted really in disobedience or alienation from God are the same. They may be giving some of them different labels now, but the Bible speaks to these.

2nd Peter chapter one verse three Peter writes, “His divine power is granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence.” So again, God has given us a sufficient resource to help people with the problems of the soul in his word, by his spirit, working for the counselor and the counselee. God has not left us dependent upon something outside of his word to understand people and help people. Hebrews chapter four, I’ll just give one other reference, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, and piercing as far as division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” So again, it’s the Bible, and it’s describing the power and the effectiveness of scripture to pierce the inner person to judge the intentions and thoughts of the heart to diagnose, if you will, the spiritual causes of so many of our problems.

The goal of biblical counseling is to give instruction from the Bible so that the counselee can achieve God’s goals in his/her life

And so, our goal in biblical counseling is to give people instruction from the Bible so that the counselee can achieve God goals in his or her life. Paul writes in first Timothy, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscious and a sincere faith.” He writes to the Colossians in chapter one that, “we proclaim him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose, also I labor, striving according to his power, which mightily works within me.” Our goal is to help people to grow in Christ, to be mature in Christ.

]]>
CDC1-02. What is Biblical Counseling? 2 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-02-what-is-biblical-counseling-2-transcript/ Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:30:28 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72111 In our first session, we talked about really why we think biblical counseling is necessary and that’s because psychology, at least secular psychology, does not have the answers, that secular psychology is built on a worldview which is contrary to the word of God and is not really equipped to help people with the problems of the soul. That doesn’t mean that everything they say is completely worthless, they have observations of human behavior, of human nature, there can be real medical issues for which people need medical treatment or can benefit from medical treatment if those are available, but the view of psychology in not understanding who man is in relation to God and our problems, our greatest problems are spiritual and that there are spiritual cures, if you will, in scripture and particularly the redemption provided in Christ in the gospel. Those being excluded makes psychology ill-equipped to help people with their real problems.

Then the next question comes is, well what about Christians who are psychologists or Christian psychology? There are many, many people who would be, personally, professing to be Christians and yet have studied psychology, practice as family therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and what about them? And there are people who are writing books from these perspectives and kind of how you can combine, in various ways, the insights of scripture and the insights of psychology or trying to divide up and saying, well, yeah, maybe the Bible can help you with these things, but psychology helps with those things. And there have been a few different people who have recognized there’s kind of a spectrum of views and I’m gonna go through the part of the spectrum with which I have some disagreement, first, before I get to what I think is the right view, which is biblical counseling.

And actually these views, there’ve been books where this has been addressed. Many years ago, probably 30 years ago, 25 years ago, Larry Crabb wrote a book where he described different views from simply practicing psychology, to psychology with some Christianity, to lots of biblical perspective, but a little psychology and then, finally, the purely biblical method. There’s also been, in recent years, Eric Johnson has edited five views of Christianity and psychology or psychiatry, psychology I believe, and he has different Christians representing each of the views in the spectrum. Originally it was four views, then he added a fifth view, but in each case, there’s kind of a spectrum from something that’s very, very psychological to something that’s really excluding psychology. I know sometimes in life, the middle seems just the right place to be, I’m not in the middle, I’m over here ’cause I think that’s what the Bible teaches. On the other hand, I want to be gracious. I think there are real believers with whom I disagree on some of these things and some of them well-intentioned, and so I want to interact respectfully with these differences of opinion, but also show why I believe in the sufficiency of scripture to help you with their problems and even, there are some real dangers of trying to integrate Christianity and the Bible, Christianity and psychology.

Radical separation: the pastor and psychologist are professions working in different realms.

Pastors refer cases dealing with emotional problems to qualified counselors

The first perspective, which is on this far side, heavy on psychology, light on Bible, is a perspective of radical separation where, yeah, the Christian pastors or Christians help each other with kind of the basic spiritual problems of life, how do you get saved? How do you prepare for baptism? How do you pray? But that the severe emotional problems in life, you need a qualified professional to help and so it looks at the pastor has this little narrow realm in which he operates and then the psychologist has this realm of helping people with their emotional problems and, as I said, the realm for the pastor is a very narrow one. There are seminaries that would teach pastors that, after you’ve tried to counsel somebody once or twice, if it’s not getting better right away, then you need to refer them to a trained professional who can really help them, because you’ve not really been equipped to do this, ’cause you’ve not been trained in psychology. Even insurance companies who insure churches are very eager to encourage us to refer certain kinds of cases to professionals who can help them. There was a famous court case, over 20 years ago, in which a church was sued because a person who was receiving counseling by the church wound up taking his own life and the family was saying that they should have referred this person to professionals who could’ve really helped him. And thankfully, at that time, the church ultimately prevailed in the lawsuit and one point would be, lots of people who’ve been to psychologists also take their lives. I can’t promise you if you do biblical counseling no one you know will ever commit suicide, but that’s the mentality.

Next: Psychology and biblical c\Christianity address the same human problems from different viewpoints. (Page 2)

]]>
CDC1-01. What is Biblical Counseling? 1 {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-01-what-is-biblical-counseling-1-transcript/ Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:01:03 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=72110 Introduction and Review

This is the first lecture or talk on, in our Care and Discipleship training, and this for people who may wanna be certified from IBCD and Care and Discipleship. It also counts towards NANC certification for those of you who are going in that direction, and maybe some of you just want to learn about biblical counseling. And this first talk is called What Is Biblical Counseling? And we’re really gonna be contrasting biblical counseling with other approaches people take to counseling in this first talk. As we go through this series, we’ll go through a methodology of counseling, and how to apply the scriptures to different situations, as well.

A breakdown in society – the religion of secular humanism.

And you might have said, “Why do we need biblical counseling? We’ve already got psychology.” And psychology is something actually that’s relatively new in terms of people thinking of it as a science to help people with their problems. 100 years ago, 150 years ago typically, if someone had a problem, if they were feeling discouraged, or depressed, or if there was a conflict in relationships, or they were struggling with worry, with fear, or with temptation, if they were Christian, they would probably go to a pastor, or to elders to get help, to get wisdom. Perhaps even to family members. And then with the coming of Freud, and psychoanalysis, and psychology, there’s been a huge shift in not just western culture, but really the whole world in which psychology has replaced theology as the basis by which people understand themselves.

There’s also sociology, another one of the social sciences. Through this people go to psychologists, to licensed counselors, psychotherapies when they have problems. And, of course, something more, in our day, is even going to their general practice family doctor and wanting pills to help them with the very problems that in the past people sought help from, spiritual help, and Christians would seek spiritual help from the scriptures.

The failure of the church

As this has been happening, and something that’s been very disappointing in the last few generations is the church has failed really to carry on its work. Something we’re gonna emphasize in this course is that pastors and leaders in the church are to shepherds God’s flock, care for people with their personal needs. That older women are to help younger women, and that the very problems that we understand from the scriptures that God has given, that the Bible addresses, and that we as believers should be helping each other, especially leaders in the church.

That many churches have kind of abnegated their responsibilities, and have either farmed people out to psychologists who may not be Christians at all, or even now in many seminaries, Bible colleges, psychology is taught almost uncritically as the methodology by which people should be helped. And, yet, our perspective would be that in the same way that Darwinism has changed many of the sciences, and replacing the Biblical creation story with evolution, and then many implications that have been untrue and harmful. With the coming of Freud, the understanding of who man is, and how to help man has been a radical change not for the good. Thomas Szasz who is a professor of psychiatry, I don’t if he was a believer or not, but he writes how, “With the decline of religion and the growth of science in the 18th century, the cure of sinful souls, which had been an integral part of Christian religions, was recast as the cure of sick minds, and became an integral part of medical science.” And in our understanding and our concern is that as, in the name of psychology and the name which sounds very scientific, that really the role of the church and the role of Christians helping other Christians has been taken over. And we’re gonna see there’s a place for helping people who have a genuine illness such as schizophrenia, where their brain is deteriorating.

So, many of the cases of people having problems, and the cases for which people today maybe going to doctors for medicine, or getting counseling that may not be at all from a Biblical perspective. So, many of these are addressed by the scriptures, and, of course, we wanna train you to address those. But, as I said, something that is very sad is really up until about the late 1960s, the churches in general were almost uncritically accepting psychology as being the new way to help people, and they did not recognize the contradictions between much of what psychology says and what the Bible teaches about how to help people with their problems.

The emergence of the biblical counseling movement. Jay Adams: 1970’s Competent to Counsel.

And the Biblical Counseling Movement of which we are a part, really began to emerge late 1960s, early 1970s, with the Jay Adams who ultimately published his landmark book Competent to Counsel. And in the Biblical Counseling Movement, this is a kind of like a reformation. It’s like when Luther nailed the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, declaring that the church at the time was going in a wrong and unbiblical way, and was making a challenge. In this way Jay Adams, also, in this book declared his belief that what the Bible teaches about man and how to help people is contrary to what was going on in secular psychology, and even much of what’s called many Christians who were practicing psychology.

And through that, there emerged a movement in which there’s been an effort to study the Bible, to understand the scriptures, to help people with their problems, developing, as we’ll see in this course, a methodology that’s rooted in scripture, to address specific problems as the Bible addresses them, and to be wary of some of the solutions that those who don’t have a Biblical perspective have proposed. In the last, now it’s been a generation, it’s been over 40 years, as I’m making this video. It’s been over 40 years that this movement has been going on, and it’s been something very encouraging. Initially there was a training center, CCEF, Christian counseling and Education Foundation at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. Since then there’s been many other colleges, universities, such as Master’s College, Southern Seminary, and more who have been returning to the scriptures as the way to help people with their spiritual problems.

Many more churches are getting involved, and really the passion of IBCD is to train people to use the Bible to help one another with their spiritual problems in the local church. And I have been involved in Christian counseling now for over 20 years. Actually I was convinced of this in the early stages, even in the Biblical counseling Movement in the late 70s, early 80s, but have been working with what is now The Institute for Biblical counseling and Discipleship, which began as CCEF West and got a new name in the 90s. But it’s been my privilege both to counsel and to train people using the scriptures. And my testimony is that it’s been a great encouragement.

Most preachers, and that’s my main job, most preachers take Mondays off; and for the last 20, or so, years, I’ve been spending my Mondays counseling for several hours. And the reason I choose to do this is I see God doing great things. And through the course I’ll talk about many specific cases, obviously changing names where appropriate, but we’ve seen God work in great ways, and even more importantly that we’ve seen as churches engage with this, and as training takes place, that we see entire churches more or less converted to biblical counseling, getting people trained, and helping one another with the scriptures, doing biblical peacemaking in the scriptures. Having women helping women within the church using the Bible. And that’s something for which we have a great passion, and about which we’re very excited. And our belief is that God has given us sufficient resources in his word, by his spirit, and in the church to help people with their spiritual problems.

]]>
CDC1-15. Depression {Transcript} https://ibcd.org/cdc1-15-depression-transcript/ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:49:20 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=829878 In this session, we’re going to talk about counselling depressed people. And, dealing with depression is one of the most common issues for which people come for counseling. It’s also something which many of us as counselors have dealt with personally in our own lives, our own families. It’s also one of the most difficult aspects of counseling. I really enjoy peace-making cases where through the Gospel, people see their sin, they repent of their sin, they forgive. And sometimes you see rapid progress, even in one hour things are turned around. That’s very exciting. Depressed people are kind of hard to talk to, and when there is progress, it often is very gradual. And we need to be very patient with depressed people.

What is depression?

Well, how do we understand depression? What is depression? Depression isn’t one of those emotions that you can– you know when you’re depressed, but it’s hard to put a verbal definition to it. It’s more than just feeling a bit down. Everybody gets down now and then, everybody, most people have some emotional ups and downs more than others. Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit “of a man can endure his sickness, “but it’s for a broken spirit, who can bear it?” Sometimes, depressed people themselves have a hard time putting their thoughts, their feelings into words. It’s a pain, they’ll call it pain, but it doesn’t hurt physically. Loss of energy, loss of motivation, being unable to enjoy the pleasures of life. Some have described it like the whole world is kind of black and white instead of color, all food tastes like cardboard, kind of a dull pain. Robert Burton, writing in the 1600s writes, “If there is hell on Earth, it is to be found “in a melancholy heart.” Others have called it the dark night of the soul. People who are depressed or affected, sometimes they’re not able to function normally in their lives. It can affect the people around them. Sometimes, it just causes them to operate at a very slow level. And, speaking personally, until about 12 years ago, in my own life, I thought I knew what depression was, and then I went through, in my case, trials, which brought me into a level of by far the most serious depression I’d ever experienced, and that experience has given me a lot more sympathy with those who are depressed.

A major depressive disorder includes five or more of the following symptoms (DSM IV):

  1. Depressed mood most of the day.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities.
  3. Significant weight loss or weight gain.
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia.
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive/inappropriate guilt.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate. Indecisiveness.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation without a specific plan.

Now, the diagnostic statistic manual that psychologists use defines a major depressive order including five or more of certain symptoms. Now, as I’ve said before, I don’t think the DSM does a good job of prescribing how to solve problems, but I think they often can do a good job of describing the problems people face. And so, their list includes feelings of hopelessness and depressed mood most of the day, diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities, weight loss or gain, too much or too little sleep, fatigue, loss of energy, feeling worthless, excessive guilt, diminished ability to think or concentrate, unable to make decisions, and even thoughts of suicide or death.

Depression is widespread in society and among Christians

Depression is very wide-spread and it’s both Christians and non-Christians. Some have estimated that about one in four adults in a lifetime have a significant depressive episode. Women are more likely than men to be depressed. In church history, looking back on many of the great fathers of the faith like Luther, Calvin and Spurgeon wrestled with the dark night of the soul from time to time. In your congregation, there are probably many people who are right now struggling with depression. I think some people are more prone to this than others, almost like some are more prone to fear, some are more prone to temptation to substance abuse, some are more prone to worry, or lust, anger. This is an issue, for some people, this is their big issue.

Cases of depression need to be handled with compassion.

Among believers, there can sometimes be a lack of understanding, a lack of compassion. Proverbs 25, Verse 20 says, “Like one “who takes off a garment on a cold day, “or like vinegar on soda, is he who sings songs “to a troubled heart.” I think sometimes they’re actually, “Oh, just be happy, don’t worry, “just rejoice in the Lord, everything will be fine.” Well, a person who is overwhelmingly depressed will not be cheered up by such happy talk. Some people have patterns in their life also, that of being low for a period of time, followed by high energy. That’s been called manic-depressive or bipolar. What the causes, whether it’s spiritual or physical is up to debate, but the fact that people go through these cycles, and certain people more than others, is evidence.

In psychology, they talk about different types of depression. Major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, meaning people living in the Northern regions, not seeing Sun and they get affected by that, all kinds of different labels. The labels may describe the experience of the person, or even try to guess to the cause, but they really do little in terms of a cure. And even less, likewise, about the ultimate cause, which is spiritual.

]]>
CDC1-20. Understanding the Influences of Nature and Nurture https://ibcd.org/cdc1-20-understanding-the-influences-of-nature-and-nurture/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:15:54 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2129

Stream or Download Now

To what extent does our body (nature) and relationships (nurture) affect our hearts? We are embodied creatures. However, both our inner and outer person have been affected by the fall. While we reject both genetic determinism and social determinism, we recognize that the Bible teaches that both body and social environment influence the inner person.

Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


 

Supplemental Resources

Books

  • Welch, Ed, Blame It on the Brain
  • Emlet, Michael, Journal of Biblical Counseling
  • Fitzpatrick, Elyse and Hendrickson, Laura, Will Medicine Stop the Pain?
  • ]]>
    To what extent does our body (nature) and relationships (nurture) affect our hearts? We are embodied creatures. However, both our inner and outer person have been affected by the fall. While we reject both genetic determinism and social determinism, Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 40:16 20
    CDC1-19. Temptation 2 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-19-temptation-2/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:15:54 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2128

    Stream or Download Now

    What is the difference for an unbeliever and a believer who are confronted with temptation? How is idolatry connected with temptation? This session walks through some specific issues involved with temptation such as substance abuse. How can a drunkard or an addict find help to overcome his sin?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    What is the difference for an unbeliever and a believer who are confronted with temptation? How is idolatry connected with temptation? This session walks through some specific issues involved with temptation such as substance abuse. Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 59:53 19
    CDC1-18. Temptation 1 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-18-temptation-1/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:10 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2127

    Stream or Download Now

    This session looks at David’s catastrophic sin of adultery in 2 Sam 11:1-5. This passage shows that the Bible is honest about its heroes and serves as a warning to us against sin and presumption. How does David’s sin point us to Christ? What are some practical ways to guard ourselves from temptation?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    Audios

  • Newheiser, Jim, The Pain of Porn
  • Outlines

  • Newheiser, Jim, The Pain of Porn
  • ]]>
    This session looks at David's catastrophic sin of adultery in 2 Sam 11:1-5. This passage shows that the Bible is honest about its heroes and serves as a warning to us against sin and presumption. How does David’s sin point us to Christ? Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 34:03 18
    CDC1-17. Fear https://ibcd.org/cdc1-17-fear/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:10 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2126

    Stream or Download Now

    The Bible says we are to fear God. Fear can also be an appropriate response to real potential dangers. Fear becomes sinful when we fear men more than God and we fail to trust God. What are some proper and healthy manifestations of fear? What are indications that fear has become sinful?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    The Bible says we are to fear God. Fear can also be an appropriate response to real potential dangers. Fear becomes sinful when we fear men more than God and we fail to trust God. What are some proper and healthy manifestations of fear? Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 46:49 17
    CDC1-16. Worry/Anxiety https://ibcd.org/cdc1-16-worryanxiety/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:10 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2125

    Stream or Download Now

    Worry is a problem of the mind and can become life dominating. Worry, stress, and fear are closely related and often dealt with sinfully. How can we help counselees think about their lives in light of biblical truth? How might someone misunderstand or abuse God’s promises to care for them?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    Worry is a problem of the mind and can become life dominating. Worry, stress, and fear are closely related and often dealt with sinfully. How can we help counselees think about their lives in light of biblical truth? Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 26:59 16
    CDC1-15. Depression https://ibcd.org/cdc1-15-depression/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:10 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2124

    Stream or Download Now

    What is depression and how are we to understand it? Many secular psychologists see mankind as merely physical and therefore tend to see depression as a physical problem with a chemical solution. Christians recognize the dual nature of mankind – body and soul. What are some important things for biblical counselors to keep in mind when handling cases of depression?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    Articles

    Audios

  • Newheiser, Jim,
  • ]]>
    What is depression and how are we to understand it? Many secular psychologists see mankind as merely physical and therefore tend to see depression as a physical problem with a chemical solution. Christians recognize the dual nature of mankind – body an... Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 50:47 15
    CDC1-14. Anger/Abuse https://ibcd.org/cdc1-14-angerabuse/ Thu, 14 Jan 2016 08:00:00 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2123

    Stream or Download Now

    Anger is a problem both in the world and in the church. Anger is very deceptive and dangerous. It is usually murderous by nature and leads to many other sins. What are some ways that people try to justify their anger? Where does anger come from? How do we go about uprooting anger from the heart?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    Anger is a problem both in the world and in the church. Anger is very deceptive and dangerous. It is usually murderous by nature and leads to many other sins. What are some ways that people try to justify their anger? Where does anger come from? Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 56:40 14
    CDC1-13. Grace When Things Are Hard https://ibcd.org/cdc1-13-grace-when-things-are-hard/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:11 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2122

    Stream or Download Now

    Trials are the ordinary experience of believers living in a fallen world. Believers in the Bible suffered great trials and we will continue to endure significant trials. Why do Christians tend to be so surprised by trials when the Bible speaks so often about them? How does God work in our trials and use them to mature us?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    ]]>
    Trials are the ordinary experience of believers living in a fallen world. Believers in the Bible suffered great trials and we will continue to endure significant trials. Why do Christians tend to be so surprised by trials when the Bible speaks so often... ]]> IBCD clean 50:40 13
    CDC1-12. Peacemaking 3 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-12-peacemaking-3/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:11 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2121

    Stream or Download Now

    This session completes the Peacemaking series of the curriculum. It lays out important things to consider before attempting to confront someone’s sin and describes the peacemaking process. Church discipline is also explored along with how church structure and membership is related to peacemaking.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    ]]>
    This session completes the Peacemaking series of the curriculum. It lays out important things to consider before attempting to confront someone's sin and describes the peacemaking process. Church discipline is also explored along with how church struct... ]]> IBCD clean 48:42 12
    CDC1-11. Peacemaking 2 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-11-peacemaking-2/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:11 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2120

    Stream or Download Now

    As Christians, we ought to do all that is in our power to pursue peace. How can we seek forgiveness biblically? How does the gospel empower us to forgive? Why is it important to go though a thorough process of confession?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF

    Supplemental Resources

    Booklets

    ]]>
    As Christians, we ought to do all that is in our power to pursue peace. How can we seek forgiveness biblically? How does the gospel empower us to forgive? Why is it important to go though a thorough process of confession? ]]> IBCD 56:48 11
    CDC1-10. Peacemaking 1 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-10-peacemaking-1/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:12 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2119

    Stream or Download Now

    Biblical peacemaking is founded on the gospel. Christ came to make peace between God and man. All conflict is the result of sin. Conflict is very dangerous but brings great opportunity: to glorify God, to be more like Christ, to serve others, and to bear witness to a watching world.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF

    Supplemental Resources

    Books

    Booklets

    Audios

    ]]>
    Biblical peacemaking is founded on the gospel. Christ came to make peace between God and man. All conflict is the result of sin. Conflict is very dangerous but brings great opportunity: to glorify God, to be more like Christ, to serve others, ]]> IBCD 33:00 10
    CDC1-09. Theology and Biblical Counseling https://ibcd.org/cdc1-09-theology-and-biblical-counseling/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:12 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2118

    Stream or Download Now

    This session covers the fundamental theological concepts involved in biblical counseling. It explores the IBCD and NANC understanding of the Bible’s authority, the Trinity, anthropology, Christology, soteriology, pneumatology, and ecclesiology.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF

    Supplemental Resources

    Books

    ]]>
    This session covers the fundamental theological concepts involved in biblical counseling. It explores the IBCD and NANC understanding of the Bible's authority, the Trinity, anthropology, Christology, soteriology, pneumatology, and ecclesiology. ]]> IBCD clean 56:58 9
    CDC1-08. How Do People Change? 2 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-08-how-do-people-change-2/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:12 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2117

    Stream or Download Now

    We and our counselees are responsible to exert effort towards change. Immediately after telling us to consider our identity in Christ, Paul exhorts us to take action against the lusts of the flesh. What is the proper use of biblical indicatives and imperatives? What should our motive be for obedience?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    Books

  • Newheiser, Jim, Help! I Want to Change.
  • ]]>
    We and our counselees are responsible to exert effort towards change. Immediately after telling us to consider our identity in Christ, Paul exhorts us to take action against the lusts of the flesh. What is the proper use of biblical indicatives and imp... Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 34:35 8
    CDC1-07. How Do People Change? 1 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-07-how-do-people-change-1/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:13 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2116

    Stream or Download Now

    Counseling is about helping people to change. The change biblical counselors seek is unique and unbiblical approaches to change will impede spiritual growth. This session explores how change begins by understanding and applying the Gospel. Understanding our union with Christ is the key to growth in holiness.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    Books

  • Newheiser, Jim, Help! I Want to Change.
  • ]]>
    Counseling is about helping people to change. The change biblical counselors seek is unique and unbiblical approaches to change will impede spiritual growth. This session explores how change begins by understanding and applying the Gospel. Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 45:06 7
    CDC1-06. General Principles of Biblical Counseling 3 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-06-general-principles-of-biblical-counseling-3/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:13 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2115

    Stream or Download Now

    Counseling is more than instruction and the greatest progress in counseling is made between sessions. What are some ways we can prepare our counselees for growth between sessions? Why is concrete homework important? This session completes outlining the key elements of biblical counseling.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    Counseling is more than instruction and the greatest progress in counseling is made between sessions. What are some ways we can prepare our counselees for growth between sessions? Why is concrete homework important? Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 35:42 6
    CDC1-05. General Principles of Biblical Counseling 2 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-05-general-principles-of-biblical-counseling-2/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:13 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2114

    Stream or Download Now

    This session continues exploring the key questions involved in biblical counseling. Why is investigation a crucial part of the counseling process? What is the goal of asking good questions? Why is it important to give biblical labels to our counselee’s problems? How much sin be dealt with?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    This session continues exploring the key questions involved in biblical counseling. Why is investigation a crucial part of the counseling process? What is the goal of asking good questions? Why is it important to give biblical labels to our counselee's... Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 57:19 5
    CDC1-04. General Principles of Biblical Counseling 1 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-04-general-principles-of-biblical-counseling-1/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:13 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2113

    Stream or Download Now

    The fundamental assumptions that shape biblical counseling are reviewed and key elements expanded upon. Building hope in God’s promises from the earliest stages of counseling is critical. What are some ways we can seek to build hope?

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    Books

    ]]>
    The fundamental assumptions that shape biblical counseling are reviewed and key elements expanded upon. Building hope in God's promises from the earliest stages of counseling is critical. What are some ways we can seek to build hope? Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 56:34 4
    CDC1-03. What is Biblical Counseling? 3 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-03-what-is-biblical-counseling-3/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:14 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2112

    Stream or Download Now

    How is the biblical counseling approach different from all other Christian approaches? What are some key texts for defending the sufficiency of the Scriptures for counseling? IBCD’s position of biblical counseling (the Bible as the sole and sufficient authority) is outlined and its key concepts explained.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    How is the biblical counseling approach different from all other Christian approaches? What are some key texts for defending the sufficiency of the Scriptures for counseling? IBCD's position of biblical counseling (the Bible as the sole and sufficient ... ]]> IBCD clean 43:20 3
    CDC1-02. What is Biblical Counseling? 2 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-02-what-is-biblical-counseling-2/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:14 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2111

    Stream or Download Now

    What are some common Christian approaches to counseling in our day? Why might it be useful to learn about psychology? This session explores several Christian approaches to counseling including integration and synergism.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    What are some common Christian approaches to counseling in our day? Why might it be useful to learn about psychology? This session explores several Christian approaches to counseling including integration and synergism. Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 39:41 2
    CDC1-01. What is Biblical Counseling? 1 https://ibcd.org/cdc1-01-what-is-biblical-counseling-1/ Fri, 01 Jan 2016 19:16:14 +0000 https://ibcd.org/?p=2110

    Stream or Download Now

    Psychology and theology both deal with the same fundamental issues of meaning and value. Many modern approaches have unscriptural presuppositions and practices. This opening session introduces biblical counseling and the importance of approaching these issues from a Christian perspective.

    Download MP3 Audio | Download Outline Notes as PDF


     

    Supplemental Resources

    ]]>
    Psychology and theology both deal with the same fundamental issues of meaning and value. Many modern approaches have unscriptural presuppositions and practices. This opening session introduces biblical counseling and the importance of approaching these... Supplemental Resources
    ]]>
    IBCD clean 53:06 1