Category: Handouts,Homework

(Approximately) 100 “Go to” Texts for Biblical Counseling

August 16, 2015

100 foundational texts that speak to a wide-range of common counseling scenarios. These texts are organized by topic and can be quickly referenced by a counselor.

Download Handout as PDF

General principles

  1. The Bible is infallible and sufficient for counseling. 2 Tim 3:16-17
  2. Apply the gospel specifically to every problem. Phil 4:12
  3. You and your counselee are totally dependent upon God for success. John 15:5

 Addressing various counseling problems

Conflict resolution

  1. Pursue peace. Matt 5:9
  2. Listen carefully and listen to both sides. Prov 18:13,17
  3. First address your own sin. Matt 7:3-5
  4. Confront your erring brother in love. Gal 6:1-2
  5. Be prepared to follow the steps of church discipline. Matt 18:15-20
  6. Christians should not sue other Christians in secular courts. 1 Cor 6:1f
  7. Even if you do all you can to seek resolution, you may not succeed. Rom 12:18


  1. Anger is murder. Matt 5:21-22
  2. The cause of conflict is sinful desire. Jas 4:1-6
  3. An angry person is dangerous. Prov 25:28


  1. Don’t take your own revenge. Trust God to do what is right. Rom 12:19-21
  2. Show love to your enemy. Matt 5:43-48

Helping people who have been hurt by others (abused)

  1. Bitterness is destructive. Heb 12:15
  2. Joseph trusted God and thereby forgave his abusers. Gen 50:19-20


  1. The tongue is a fire. Jas 3:6f
  2. Use your words to build up, not tear down. Don’t always say whatever is on your mind. Eph 4:29
  3. Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Jas 1:19-20
  4. Focus on understanding the other person rather than upon being understood. Phil 2:3-4
  5. A gentle answer turns away wrath. Prov 15:1

Resisting temptation

  1. God’s promise: you won’t be tempted beyond what you are able. 1 Cor 10:13
  2. Joseph’s example. Gen 39:7-10


  1. Lust in the heart is adultery. Matt 5:27-30
  2. Flee lust. 2 Tim 2:22
  3. You are responsible for what you think about. Phil 4:8-9 (also applies to fear, worry, depression, etc.)


  1. The fear of man brings a snare. Prov 29:25
  2. Trusting in people is idolatry and will ruin you. Jer 17:5-8


  1. Trust God to meet your needs. Matt 6:25-34
  2. Pray with thanksgiving. Phil 4:6-7


  1. Are you depressed because of your sin? Ps 32
  2. The key to overcoming depression is not a change in your circumstances, but an increase in your faith. Phil 4:11-13


  1. Addiction is seeking from some idol what God alone gives. Isa 55:1-2
  2. The root problem is that some love pleasure more than they love God. 2 Tim 3:4
  3. Substance abuse is sinful and destructive. Prov 23:29-35
  4. “Co-dependents” make the addict their idol. Jer 17:5-8

Facing trials and calamity

  1. God sovereignly works all things together for good. Rom 8:28
  2. God uses trials in your sanctification. Jas 1:2f
  3. Nothing can separate you from God’s love in Christ. Rom 8:31-39

Seeking forgiveness

  1. From God. 1 John 1:8-10
  2. From those you have wronged. Matt 5:23-24

Granting forgiveness

  1. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Eph 4:32
  2. The story of the unmerciful servant. Matt 18:21-35


  1. How can you tell if repentance is genuine? 2 Cor 7:9-11
  2. An example of true repentance. Ps 51

Presenting the gospel

  1. We are saved not by keeping the law, but by Christ’s atoning death. Rom 3:20-26
  2. Confess your sins. 1 John 1:8-2:2
  3. The substitution of the Lamb of God for sinners. Isa 53:4-6
  4. The thief on the cross as an example of salvation by grace. Luke 23:39-43
  5. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Eph 2:8-9

Assurance of salvation

  1. If you truly believe in the Lord Jesus, you have been born of God. 1 John 5:1
  2. If you are one of Christ’s sheep, He keeps you safe. John 10:28-29
  3. If you have no regard for God’s commandments you are still lost. 1 John 2:3-4
  4. If you have no love for the brethren, you have not been born of God. 1 John 4:8-9


  1. The converted sinner is no longer to be labeled by his old deeds. 1 Cor 6:9-11
  2. Consider your old nature dead and your new nature alive in Christ. Rom 6:11
  3. The believer is a new person with a new nature. 2 Cor 5:17
  4. God will work to sanctify you. Phil 1:6
  5. You are responsible to put forth effort in your sanctification. Phil 2:12-13
  6. Learn and apply the put off and put on dynamic. Eph 4:22-24
  7. Christ saved us that we might do good works. Titus 2:14

Church involvement

  1. Regular attendance is mandatory. Heb 10:25
  2. God wants you to commit (join), making yourself accountable to particular church leaders. Heb 13:17
  3. Each of us is to serve. 1 Pet 4:10-11
  4. Each of us is to give as God has prospered us. 1 Cor 16:2

Work and employment

  1. God’s design is that you work six days a week. Exod 20:9
  2. Don’t be a sluggard. Prov 6:6-11
  3. If someone refuses to work, he should not eat. 2 Thess 3:10
  4. Serve God through your vocation. Eph 6:5-9


  1. Planning (budgeting) is wise. Prov 21:5
  2. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty over your finances. Jas 4:13-17
  3. God gives you the ability to earn. Deut 8:18
  4. Avoid debt. Prov 22:7
  5. Don’t make an idol of money, but store up treasure in heaven. Matt 6:19-21
  6. The love of money leads to every other evil behavior. 1 Tim 6:10
  7. Be generous with those in need. 1 Tim 6:17-19
  8. Giving to the Lord’s work should be the first item in your budget. Prov 3:9
  9. Pay your taxes. Matt 22:17-21

Decision Making/Knowing God’s will

  1. Wholeheartedly seek wisdom from God. Jas 1:5 (also see Prov 1-9).
  2. Search for God’s moral will in the Bible. 2 Tim 3:16-17
  3. Seek godly counsel. Prov 15:22
  4. You can’t know God’s secret will. Deut 29:29
  5. Submit your plans to God’s sovereign will. Prov 16:9
  6. Trust God, that His way is best. Prov 3:5-6


  1. Simply tell the truth. Matt 5:37
  2. Lying destroys relationships. Eph 4:25

Family issues

Marriage is divinely instituted

  1. God’s design for marriage. Gen 2:18-23
  2. God’s directive for marriage. Gen 2:24

The role of the husband

  1. Eph 5:25-30
  2. 1 Pet 3:7
  3. John 13:1f

The role of the wife

  1. Eph 5:22-24
  2. Dealing with an unsaved husband. 1 Pet 3:1-6 (see context 2:21-25)


  1. All sex outside of marriage is wrong. Heb 13:4 (also see Gen. 2:24)
  2. God wants us to be fruitful (have kids). Gen 1:28
  3. Your sexuality belongs to your spouse. Don’t deprive him/her. 1 Cor 7:3-5
  4. God wants married people to enjoy sex. Prov 5:18-19 (also Song of Solomon)

Child training

  1. The duties of children. Eph 6:1-3
  2. The duties of parents. Eph 6:4
  3. The necessity of discipline. Prov 19:18


  1. God hates divorce. Mal 2:16
  2. What God has joined, let no man separate. Matt 19:5-6
  3. Adultery is a ground for divorce (the other person broke the covenant). Matt 19:9
  4. Abandonment by an unbeliever is a ground for divorce. 1 Cor 7:15
  5. Don’t leave your unbelieving spouse or drive him/her away.  1 Cor 7:12


  • IBCD
    The Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship exists to strengthen churches in one another care by offering training, counseling resources, events, and free resources that are helpful to anyone interested in learning how to better help others.
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