My subject today is concerned with the authority of the Bible, and the use of it for Biblical counselling. Many years ago, a minister in taking up a new appointment, was inducted to ‘the cure of souls’. It’s a strange expression by today’s terminology, but it did, in fact, define his calling with a greater accuracy than many of us realize. ‘The cure’ meant the care, treatment and nursing back to full health. By the ‘soul’ of course, was meant ‘the whole man’. As medicine can restore health, surgery can remove a cancer; discovery can satisfy curiosity, and music can relax the mind. It takes more than these things to bring a rebellious sinner into fellowship with a Holy GOD, and that is what was meant by the ‘cure of the souls’. There was only one Authority under heaven that performs a cure of this kind. It is the Spirit of GOD activating the Word of GOD in the human heart. One of the greatest privileges a follower of Messiah can have this side of heaven, is to share with others what GOD has said. Quite simply, this is what is meant by using the Bible in counselling.
First and foremost, we must accept the authority of the Bible in counselling, and use it, as it were, to cure the soul. The way that some Believers use, or don’t use the Bible, is a sad comment on their personal trust and confidence in It. Why is it that when we come to witness for the LORD, or try to share with another our need of Messiah, we resort to argument and giving out of personal opinion? When we come to think of it, who gives a hoot about our opinion anyway? Everyone is far more interested in their own opinion! It’s rather like our using a pea shooter to try and bring down an enemy aircraft, when we can use a ground to air guided missile.
Every child of GOD can trust every Word of the Bible with complete confidence, for
All Scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine; for reproof; for correction; for instruction in righteousness that the man [or woman] of GOD may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2nd Timothy 16 and 17.) The Book of Common Prayer in the Anglican Church reminds us that the Holy Scriptures contain everything that is necessary for salvation, so that whatever is not read in Them, or can be proved by Them, is not needed by any man; that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought essential, or necessary, for salvation. We know the Bible can be trusted and is worthy of our complete confidence because of the fulfilled prophecies; especially concerning our LORD’s birth, life, His ministry, His death, and His resurrection. History and archeological discoveries have also confirmed much in unearthing the events of the past.
Therefore we must not only have a firm confidence in Its authority, it is GOD-given, and the only GOD-given revelation, but also in Its power. Unquestionably, GOD can do, through His Word, that which seems impossible in our own finite minds. The Word of the LORD has Divine power, and we must learn from It and use It efficiently; not that we might personally benefit in any way, but, that prayerfully, those who are in need, may receive of Him, through His Word, a complete healing. Listen to His Words. It’s like a sword that pierces; like a seed that bursts into life; like a lamp that shows us our way; like a washbasin that helps us to get clean; like a mirror that shows us what we really are; a treasure that can enrich us more than we could ever realize. The Bible is like a food that can make us strong in Messiah. It is like honey that can attract and sweeten us! It’s even like a fire that burns out the dross and purifies. The Word of the LORD has Divine power. Let us learn to use It!
We sometimes speak as if the Scriptures only apply to Believing people. Whilst it is true that we cannot not expect non-Believers to fully appreciate Its spiritual connotations, it would be un-Scriptural not to try and bring the essence of the Scriptures in a form and manner that they would understand. The enemy of our souls has led many Believers to do the contrary, and not to speak the Word that promises to bring Life to the hearer, and, as a result, many are reluctant to use their Bible in counselling; preferring other forms of reference which tends to pervert and cause suffering, rather than healing. Satan loves it. The LORD is grieved, and many who could otherwise be helped, go away empty! At times, we hear it said, that they don’t believe the Bible, so what’s the use of quoting anything from It? If that were true, none of us who have salvation through Messiah YESHUA, JESUS, would be here able to witness of Him. Therefore, take with you then, as you witness day by day, the great and glorious Truths of Holy Scriptures. Do not just say, ‘Yes’ to the Bible, but begin to use It. Tell of the warnings of the oncoming judgments of GOD; the clear pronouncements of the state of Mankind; the awesome Holiness of a Righteous GOD; and the end of sinners in an unrighteous world.
Take with you the precious Promises concerning a Saviour and His Promises of forgiveness and a new start! Take with you the Command of GOD; the call to repentance and personal faith in a Living GOD and His Messiah. Emphasize the fact that He, YESHUA, JESUS laid down His life for His people; that they, who believe in Him, might receive eternal life because He did not stay in the grave, but arose on the third day and is now interceding for us at the Throne of Grace!
Therefore in all things, He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD to make propitiation for the sins of the people;
for that He, Himself, has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2, verses 17 and 18). We must not forget that we have an adversary who is stronger than we are in the natural, in our humanity. But we have on our side, an Advocate in the Person of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the LORD, and the Spirit of the Father.
If GOD is for us, who can be against us?
Let us come ever closer to Him daily! Using the Bible in counselling, may be likened in some ways, with David’s victory over Goliath. Here was a great and powerful opponent. Certainly young David was no match for that giant of a soldier in the normal way. The result would have been a forgone conclusion. But the GOD of Israel had other plans. David’s resources seemed weak to say the least of it, and totally inadequate. Nevertheless, he did what he could do. He carefully selected his five smooth stones. The interesting thing was that he only needed one! Ah well, I expect he thought the preparation time was important, and he was as well to have some stones he might not need.
It’s something like this when using the Bible in counselling. The preparation time is very important. We may not use all we have gathered so carefully, but it gives that extra confidence to be well prepared. What a privilege is our’s then, to say ‘Yes’ to the Bible; to take time to let It speak to our own hearts; to expose ourselves to the Truths therein and then, day by day, as we have opportunity, to share these Truths with others? That’s using the Bible in counselling! That’s the ‘cure of souls’! Shalom.