How should we appeal to pastors if they are not teaching the believer’s new identity in Christ?
We can convey is the importance of clarity, emphasis and dignity.
Clarity: We have a relative identity as people, male or female, Americans, etc. But
in Intensive Discipleship we clarify the essential identity of the believer…which is
based on their regenerated spirit.
Emphasis: The emphasis of the New Testament (especially after Pentecost) is on
the believer’s new, positive, unshakeable identity. This is grace-based, therefore it
Dignity: If we wallow in a relative identity based on our behavior, our past or our
conditioning, it will erode the sense of dignity that is part of a healthy self image. As
we gratefully accept our value and dignity as those created in the image of God,
redeemed by the blood of Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, it motivates us to
practical holiness, worship and love for others.
– John Woodward
In a sermon posted on February 13, 2018 Pastor Cymbala uses four scriptures as a starting point for this challenging message about experiencing real change in the Christian life (John 8:28-29; Romans 6:5; Romans 8:5; Galatians 2:19-20). The audio message can be heard online or downloaded here: https://www.brooklyntabernacle.org
At North Point in Atlanta, Andy Stanley preached a series that addresses some vital themes related to grace for Christian living and the believer’s new identity. It’s entitled “NU ME” and is available from their download store. North Point includes insights from “NU ME” in their Care Network’s “Re:New” one-on-one mentoring ministry.
Their team has produced an 8 lesson video-assisted small group study that incorporates the essential content used in North Point’s Re:New ministry. It’s titled Renovate. This resource has great potential to guide participants in spiritual renewal.
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:3,4).
[Lee LeFebre has made important contributions to this branch of the Biblical Counseling family tree. Here is a testimony about his spiritual journey. Used with his permission. – JBW]
Daily, I was asking God to be on the throne of my life. I didn’t understand that God would take me through a breaking process, and that Christ didn’t just want to be on the throne of my life, but wanted to be my life.
Throughout college, graduate school, and my work experience in social services, I saw tremendous inconsistencies between psychotherapy and Scripture. The more I analyzed psychotherapy, the less convinced I became that it held any real answers. I believed Christianity had an answer, but what? How could accepting Christ change the shattered lives of the street kids I worked with? I thought they needed Christ and therapy, so I tried to combine Christianity and secular theory for the “best of both worlds.”
I saw a series of contradictions in life. The Bible promised peace that passes all understanding, that keeps our hearts and minds by Christ Jesus; but Christians I knew in the 50’s and 60’s were having nervous breakdowns right and left. The Scripture also promised joy, yet my church was a sponsor of the largest Christian mental health hospital in the country.
I had been in church and Christian schools all my life. At the age of 27, I had received assurance of salvation through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. Yet in spite of all that, I struggled terribly with anxiety, my inability to conquer sin, and my efforts to reconcile psychotherapy and Biblical teaching.
To drive home the truth of my condition and the insufficiency of my efforts, in the early 70’s God showed me five things:
1. God promised peace that passes understanding, and I didn’t have it. I had peace with God, but not the peace of God. I had to confess that I couldn’t attain it. If I were to obtain that kind of peace, it would have to be a gift.
Bob Kellemen (Th.M., Ph.D.) compiled this list with its book summaries. He is Professor of Biblical Counseling at Faith Bible Seminary and was the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. The list is from the editorial perspective of the Coalition; their theology is primarily Reformed sanctification with a dichotomous view of man, and Nouthetic counseling methodology. Yet, because the authors are Protestant Christians with a conviction of the inspiration, authority, and relevance of the Holy Bible, most of the content is commendable and useful, especially on the resurrection side of the Cross (Gal. 2:20). – JBW
[Reposted from Biblical Counseling Coalition’s blog]
If you are a counselor, pastor, student, one-another minister, small group leader, or spiritual friend, you want to know the most helpful books about biblical counseling—using God’s Word for helping hurting people.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the top 17 books published in 2017 about biblical counseling, written by a biblical counselor about Christian living, or important to biblical counselors.
I’ve selected these books on the basis of their biblical depth, relevance to life, practicality for one-another ministry, faithfulness to the sufficiency of Scripture, application to progressive sanctification, and by surveying what leaders in the biblical counseling world are saying about them.
Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medication by Mike Emlet, New Growth Press
As Christians, how should we think about psychiatric diagnoses and their associated treatments? We can’t afford to isolate ourselves and simply dismiss these categories as unbiblical. Nor can we afford to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise at face value as though Scripture is irrelevant for these complex struggles. Instead, we need a balanced, biblically and scientifically-informed approach. In Descriptions and Prescriptions, biblical counselor and retired physician, Mike Emlet, gives readers a helpful way forward on these important issues as he guides lay and professional helpers through the thicket of mental health diagnoses and treatments. Descriptions and Prescriptions is a clear, thoughtful primer in which the Bible informs our understanding of psychiatric diagnoses and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels.
Continue reading the full article: https://www.biblicalcounselingcoalition.org/2017/12/29/the-17-top-biblical-counseling-books-of-2017/
Building a Church Counseling Ministry…without Killing the Pastor was written by Sue Nicewander of Biblical Counseling Ministries in Plover, Wisconsin.
“The concept of this book began with a couple of realizations. First, we have observed that pastors of small to average-sized local churches can use more help with the growing demands of counseling. Second, well-trained biblical counselors are coming out of our Bible colleges and seminaries to a silent job market. How might the two groups be brought together? We started applying the principles of this book with a small group of central Wisconsin Baptist pastors and lay- leaders from ordinary churches ranging in size from roughly 40 to 300 members. The five pastors who started on our advisory board were extremely busy men with multi-faceted ministries that included regular counseling. They all loved the thought of having such resources available, but they also agreed that they had neither the time nor the energy to take on such a project. But when I offered to do the legwork, their ears perked up and we began to discuss the possibilities. The concept that would have overwhelmed a single pastor actually energized the group. Now, ten years later, together we have built a uniquely effective model that supplies counseling resources through a trained biblical counselor for each of their churches as well as consultations, training, and/or referrals for nearly sixty others.”
Sue gives a brief description of Biblical Counseling Ministries at BiblicalCounseling.com.
Although she uses a Nouthetic Counseling approach (ACBC), the administrative aspects of this project are useful for biblical counselors who use other models.
The Two Lives of Marie Marshall is a video series of actual counseling sessions. Here Lee LeFebre demonstrates a typical Exchanged Life counseling process using the AELM diagrams. At the time, Lee was counselor and trainer at Exchanged Life Ministries of Colorado. This series is now offered as a digital download from TheLifeBookstore.com (for training purposes only).