Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Counsel Are You Giving?

Everyone gives counsel. We counsel one another when someone asks us a question or for advice in a situation. The problem is that we often give each other counsel without recognizing whether or not it’s biblical.

We all know the Bible has answers, but sometimes don’t believe that we can truly find them in the Bible, or don’t know how the Bible answers specific issues. We must grasp how the Bible applies to daily life, and the only way we can do that is by immersing ourselves in Scripture.  

What does the Bible say about its sufficiency and application to life? 
  • The Scripture is without error, making it trustworthy. Psalm 19:7-8 says the Scripture is perfect, right, and pure. It brings revival, makes the simple wise and rejoices the heart. The Word then is trustworthy, and because it is trustworthy, we can turn to it for answers for all of life. It is through the Scripture that God opens the spiritual eyes of people. Unmistakably, we must take people to Scripture if we desire to see God open their eyes to the truth. Mere talk or a 12 step program will not solve the problem; only the Spirit of God enlightening the soul to the truth of God can produce long-term change.
  • The Scripture is clear. John MacArthur conveys, “Because of its absolute clarity, Scripture brings understanding where there is ignorance, order where there is confusion, and light where there is spiritual and moral darkness.” It is because of the clarity, hope, and wisdom of Scripture that we should desire to take people straight to it and not to other humanistic sources. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word pierces to the heart and discerns its thoughts and intents. This passage shows us that the Word of God, by the illumination of God, discerns far deeper than any person could—the Word reveals the thoughts and intents of the heart. If we fail to take people to Scripture, we are neglecting the primary source God uses to bring conviction.
  • The Scripture explains salvation and sanctification. 2 Tim. 3:15 tells us that the Scriptures are “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”. Verse 16 continues by explaining that the Scriptures "are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness". The reason that the Scriptures are sufficient is because they were written by the All-Sufficient One.  

We don’t take people to the Bible because it has a better system of living, more thorough rules or better results. We take them to Scripture because their only hope is in the gospel. If they merely needed a system or set of rules, we could create that. They don’t need rules or steps to follow, they need the hope found only in the Redeemer. And so the Scripture must be our first and primary source of hope, instruction, and counsel, and from that will flow the right results, a life transformed by the power of God.

If we don't understand how the Bible applies to our life, the problem lies not with the Scriptures, but with us. We must be faithful to point people to the hope found in Christ, as revealed in the sufficient Word of God.

Are you careful to point people back to the Word of God and give hope in Christ, or do you spout your own opinion?


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