Appropriation

Classic Exchanged Life Counseling applies the cross-oriented deeper life message to strategic Discipleship Counseling. It deals primarily with the heart, so that behavior change and topical guidance are primarily addressed on the resurrection side of the cross (Gal. 2:20).

Handbook to Happiness and Handbook for Christ Centered Counseling by Dr. Charles Solomon have been foundational to this branch of Christian Counseling. Those familiar with Grace Fellowship’s edition of the “Wheel diagrams” recognize that the process boils down to the counselee reframing his/her journey from the self-life to the Christ Life (see F.B. Meyer’s book by this title).

This past year GFI has started to use a new diagram to assist people in understanding the process of how to appropriate Christ as Life (Col 3:1-4). Although our identification with Christ is a gift of God at the new birth (1 Cor. 1:30) our practical experience of this (in the soul and behavior) is conditional. How does one move from the defeat of Galatians 3:1-3 to the victory of Galatians 2:20;5:22-24?

Some (trying to avoid the mistake of self-effort in sanctification) say “there is no how to.” Others assume that the practical experience of victory is automatic if the exchanged life is interpreted in a psychologically comfortable way. Consider the following biblical, practical explanation.

The appropriation diagram has been helping counselees with a simple summary of the response God calls us to for the abundant life (John 10:10).

Notice the sample Scripture verses in the diagram that support the five “R”s:

  1. Repent (Admit errors of your natural way and align with God’s way.)
  2. Relinquish (Present yourself to God as a living sacrifice.)
  3. Recognize (Discern your co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ.)
  4. Reckon (Count on this revelation to be true personally.)
  5. Rest (Depend on Christ to live His Life through you.)

As the discipler cooperates with the Holy Spirit, he/she facilitates this process of appropriating Jesus Christ as Life. In this way the counselor serves like Joshua (Josh. 1-3), guiding the redeemed wanderer cross the Jordan River into Canaan.

Those who are involved in personal ministry are invited to study and share this appropriation diagram. We would appreciate your feedback about this appropriation tool.

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