Counseling One Another

Helping you grow in God's all-sufficient truth and grace

Counseling One Another

April 16, 2014
by Paul Tautges

NUGGETS – Family Matters [4/16/14]

Growing Up Gothard – I’m not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I saw this coming when first exposed to homeschool guru Bill Gothard in Kansas City almost three decades ago.

8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do – Here’s a few habits to avoid in order to keep marriages healthy and growing.

The Porn-Free Family Plan – Tim Challies gives excellent counsel in this follow-up article. Be sure to read Part 1 as well.

7 Truths for a Christ-Centered Marriage – John Henderson counsels husbands and wives about their bodies from 1 Corinthians 6.

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband – Here’s an older article from Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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April 15, 2014
by Paul Tautges

Stop Stopping at the Disney World Sign

Followers of Jesus Christ (myself included) have the habit of taking our eyes off of Him and, specifically, our identity in Christ and the beauty that is ours by virtue of our union with Him. In his book, A Shelter in the Time of Storm, Paul Tripp encourages us to remember that all the beauty that we see in the created world is “sign beauty,” that is, it is there to direct us to worship the One who created it. He writes, “All of the beautiful things that we see, touch, taste, and hear every day were designed to be signs that would point to the ultimate beauty that can be found only in the One who created them.” Tripp then makes this application by means of illustration:

So when you are looking at the beauty that surrounds you in the physical world that is your present home, require yourself to look beyond the signs to the stunning beauty of the God to whom each sign points. Only his beauty can give you hope, strength, and peace. Only his beauty can give you life. Don’t be like the family that saved for a year to experience the glories of Disney World, packed the car in anticipation, drove hundreds of miles, and stopped at the first Disney World sign and had their vacation.

When we look to our husband or our wife for our identity, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When we look to our job for our meaning and purpose, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When the acceptance and respect of friends is what gets us up in the morning, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When we look to material possessions to give our hearts peace and rest, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When we look to theological knowledge and ministry skill to satisfy our hearts, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When we look to our children to fulfill us, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When in moments of pain, we turn to food, alcohol, TV, or the Web, we are stopping at the Disney World sign. When a day in nature means more to us than a half-hour in personal worship and prayer, we are stopping at the Disney World sign.

Perhaps our hearts feel empty and our souls are dissatisfied because we have tried to get from sign beauty what only ultimate beauty can give us. Look beyond the orchid, the lightning, the bird, and the leaf and see the Lord. In him you will find true beauty, the kind that really does satisfy.

[Get your own copy of A Shelter in the Time of Storm here.]

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April 8, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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Fatherhood of God: Forgiveness

“But You are a God of forgiveness,” the Levites prayed on behalf of the repentant people of God (Nehemiah 9:17). What a marvelous declaration! The spiritual leaders continued to describe their covenant-keeping God: “Gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” This is our God!

In the first part of this series on the fatherhood of God we thought about His great love toward us in Christ; the love that saved us and adopted us into His family. Today, let’s think about the forgiving nature of the heavenly Father.

The Description of God’s Forgiveness

When those who belong to God rebel against Him and His laws, He pursues them and brings them to repentance. Why? His desire is to forgive and restore them. The psalmist testifies of God’s restoring work on behalf of His people: “Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath” (Ps 78:38). The reason God can restore His rebellious children is because He atones for their sin in order to release them—forgive them—from their debt. He does this because “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Ps 103:8). When a person is truly redeemed by the forgiving grace of God he cannot help but declare “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love” (Micah 7:18).

But how do we experience God’s forgiveness? We are forgiven by God when we repent and believe in Christ as our Sin-bearing Savior and Lord. When we repent, we turn; we turn from sin toward God. We turn away from our rebellion and toward submission to Christ as Lord. We repent of trusting in our own supposed righteousness and instead receive the righteousness of Christ as a gift from God (2 Cor 5:21). A New Testament testimony of this truth is the apostle Paul’s confession:  “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (Phil 3:8-9).

When we are forgiven by God we are released from the debt we owe to Him for the multitude ways in which we have sinned against Him. He no longer holds these sins against us, nor does He hold grudges. “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” (Romans 4:7-8). Tim Jackson, in a publication from Radio Bible Class, explains, “Throughout the Bible, forgiveness carries the idea of `release,’ `sending away,’ or `letting go.’  The Greek word often translated `forgiveness’ was used to indicate release from an office, marriage, obligation, debt, or punishment. The idea of a debt or something owed is inherent to the concept of forgiveness. In biblical terms, therefore, forgiveness is the loving, voluntary cancellation of a debt.”

Our forgiveness is not based upon our goodness. It is based upon the blood of Christ that was shed for us on the cross. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:7; see also Col 2:13-14 and Hebrews 9:22-28). God’s goal in forgiveness is reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19-20).

The Demonstration of God’s Forgiveness

What has our heavenly Father done with our sins? “You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin” (Psalm 85:2); “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:12). It is the redeemed who testify, “Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back” (Isa 38:17). It is God who testifies, “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isa 43:25).

We often hear the phrase, “forgive and forget.”  When the Bible says that God remembers our sins no more, it does not mean He erases His memory, but that He no longer holds our sin against us.  With the psalmist we pray, “Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low” (Ps 79:8). When we repent of our sin and confess Jesus Christ as Lord, our slate is wiped clean by God’s forgiveness. This results in an eternal relationship with the heavenly Father that cannot be taken away from us. However, when a believer sins, his fellowship with God is broken. Therefore, we are called to a lifestyle of repentance and confession and assured of the promise that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “Confess” means, “to say the same thing.”  It means to agree with God that what I have thought, said, or done is sin. Psalm 51 is an illustration of confession and divine forgiveness.

Here’s two Bible study suggestions:

1. Read Psalm 51.

  • List the essential ingredients in David’s confession (vv. 1-6).
  • How is God’s forgiveness described? (vv. 7-9)
  • What were the results of his confession? (vv. 10-12)

2. Read Matthew 18:21-35.

  • In His teaching on forgiveness Jesus told a parable concerning the indebtedness of two slaves. What was the condition of the first slave? (vv. 23-27)
  • What was the condition of the second slave? (vv. 28-30)
  • What was the expected behavior of the first slave? (vv. 33)
  • How does God describe the slave who refused to forgive? (vv. 32)
  • How serious is the refusal to forgive? What does it reveal about the true condition of the heart?
  • See also Matthew 6:14-15.  What are the consequences we must face if we behave like the first slave?

Someone once said, “He who cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself.” If we have truly experienced the forgiving grace of God in Christ then it will lead to a different manner of treating others who sin against us. Those who have not received God’s grace are unable to give grace to others. Meditate on the following Scriptures and ask yourself if you truly are a forgiven person:Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:12-13.

Forgiven people forgive. Why? Because those who are truly forgiven are the only true children of God and every true child of God wants to be like his or her heavenly Father. He is the father who forgives.

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April 3, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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3 Suggested Uses for My Depression Interview

A year-and-a-half ago, David Murray and his film-making team drove from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan to our home in Plymouth, Wisconsin. The purpose of their trip was to spend two days with my family and me, and interview me on the subject of depression, specifically how a pastor and biblical counselor fights his ongoing battle with anxiety and depressive tendencies. The interview was skillfully developed into a mini-documentary (1 of 4), which David has now made available to the Christian public at no charge through his HeadHeartHand blog and film ministry.

Watch the video here, first. Then return here for three suggestions as to how you can benefit from the interview and use it to strengthen your own counseling-one-another ministries.

Okay, now that you have watched the film. Here are three suggested uses:

FOR YOURSELF: Personal Study, Reflection, and Self-Evaluation

Use the three-page study guide composed and provided by Dr. Murray. Spend time in your own personal meditation of the Psalms that were mentioned in the film. Begin journaling your thoughts and how God uses His Word to minister to your heart and renew your mind. Begin learning to pray as the psalmists prayed in their times of depression. Pray these psalms back to God.

FOR YOUR PASTOR(S): Prayer and Encouragement

The statistics concerning depression among pastors are nothing short of staggering. After viewing the video, compose a list of the ways you can pray for your pastor(s) more effectively. If you don’t know where to start then check out this great resource from Life Action Ministries (and ask your elders if you may purchase enough for your entire church).

Consider giving your financial resources to send your pastor to this important, upcoming conference, Restoration: Redeeming Ministry.

Read the following articles from the Association of Biblical Counselors.

Also (I know I’ve already given you enough to do!), don’t forget your pastor’s wife and look for gracious ways to minister to her. Here’s a recent post that my friend Brian Croft permitted me to publish from his recent book on the pastor’s family.

FOR YOUR SMALL GROUP: Watch Film and Discuss Study Questions

Use the film in your small group and spend time in discussion. Use the study guide as a starting point. I suggest you spend a few meetings on the topic, meditating on the Scriptures mentioned, together.

Allow me to also recommend John Piper’s outstanding counsel in a short sermon entitled, Battling the Unbelief of Despondency.

As I already stated, I realize I have given you many suggestions. However, if you take them, you will find your own heart and soul enriched and your ministry of encouragement to others greatly strengthened. Who benefits from that? Everyone in your church!

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March 31, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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The Fatherhood of God: Love

A few weeks ago, I ran a series of posts on the major areas of theology and how they should impact our personal ministry of the Word to one another. Astutely, one regular reader emailed me to inquire why there is a separate, dedicated category of systematic theology covering the Son of God (Christology) and the Spirit of God (Pneumatology), but none for the head of the Trinity, the Father. I thanked him for his question and assured him that I would give some time to the topic of the fatherhood of God. For lack of a better word (one that actually exists), let’s call it Paternalogy. Today begins that series. One of the greatest Scriptural proclamations concerning the fatherhood of God toward believers in Christ is 1 John 3:1, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” Through repentant faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, a sinner is rescued from the family of the devil and adopted into the family of God (1 John 3:10). An Everlasting Love How is God’s love described in the Bible? It is everlasting toward those whom He has chosen to have a covenant relationship with; “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jer 31:3). God’s love is great: “ButGod, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved “ (Eph 2:4). Surely, our heart affirms the prophet Micah’s declaration: “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love” (Micah 7:18). Not Based Upon our ‘Love-able-ness’ God’s love is not based upon man’s attractiveness (love-able-ness). When God affirmed His love for Israel, He made that abundantly clear. Moses preached, “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deu 7:7-8). Though spoken directly to the nation of Israel these words teach us much about the love of God toward us as well. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote, “God’s love to us is not controlled by us–not by what we do or think or say, nor by our attitude towards Him. It is something, if I may use the expression with reverence, that wells up in His eternal heart of love.” Romans 5:8 affirms this clearly: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” As sinners who are born with the rebellious nature of Adam there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love. It is freely bestowed upon us in Jesus Christ. J. I. Packer writes, “God’s love is an exercise of His goodness towards sinners. It is an outgoing of God in kindness which not merely is undeserved, but is actually contrary to desert; for the objects of God’s love are rational creatures who have broken God’s law, whose nature is corrupt in God’s sight, and who merit only condemnation and final banishment from His presence.  It is staggering that God should love sinners; yet it is true.  God loves creatures who have become unlovely and (one would have thought) unlovable.  There was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it forth; nothing in man could attract or prompt it.  Love among men is awakened by something in the beloved, but the love of God is free, spontaneous, unevoked, uncaused. God loves men because He has chosen to love them…” The Ultimate Demonstration The world tries to convince us that love is a warm feeling we have toward others. God’s Word, however, teaches that genuine love is not a feeling, but an action. What did God’s love cause Him to do? God’s love for sinners moved Him to send His only begotten Son into the world to save them (John 3:16). What great love! God “did He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” (Rom 8:32). The heavenly Father loved us so much that He was poured out His wrath (His righteous anger against our sin and all unrighteousness) on His own Son—in our place—so that we could receive the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21).This is love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:9-10). Biblical love does what is best for the one being loved. It involves sacrifice. We must thank God for doing what was best for us; sending His only Son to be our Savior; rescuing us from eternal punishment. This was the supreme demonstration of the heavenly Father’s love toward us as persons. A. W. Tozer wrote, “God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.” The Dependability of God’s Love Romans 8:35-39 may be the greatest passage concerning the love of God in all of Scripture. Take a moment to read it. According to these verses, what things in life tempt you to question or doubt God’s love? Can any of these cause God’s love toward you to change? Why? (v. 37). In order to experience the Father’s love, what must be true about you? (v. 39)

Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.

[F. M. Lehman, verse 3 of the hymn, “The Love of God”]

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March 25, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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5 Assurances Charles Spurgeon was Saved

This morning, while reading a chapter in Wayne and Joshua Mack’s newest book, God’s Solutions to Life’s Problems (P&R, 2014), I was blessed by a wonderful excerpt from one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, “The Priest Dispensed With,” preached sometime in the late 1800s. This excerpt includes five assurances that answered, for Spurgeon, the question: “How do I know I am a believer?” He uses them to encourage and challenge those who also profess to know and love Christ.

  1. Because of the remarkable change which I underwent when I believed“for when a man believes in Jesus Christ there is such a change wrought in him that he must be aware of it. As in the case of the blind man when his eyes were opened he said, ‘One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see…’”
  2. Because our affections are so altered“The believer can say that the things he once loved he now hates, and the things he hated he now loves; that which gave him pleasure now causes him pain, and things which were irksome and unpleasant have now become delightful to him.”
  3. Because very far from perfect, we love holiness and strive after purity“You that have believed in Jesus, do you not now pant after holiness? Do you not endeavor to do that which is right, and when you are conscious that you have failed does not conscience prick you?”
  4. Because now we have communion with God – “we are in the habit of speaking with God in prayer, and hearing the Lord speak with us when we read His word. Some of us have spoken with our Lord Jesus so often that we have grown to be near and dear friends, and whatsoever we ask in prayer he grants us.”
  5. Because we have, over and above all, a secret something, indescribable to others, but well-known to ourselvesFrom the witness of the Holy Spirit (as mentioned in Romans 8:16), “there comes a stealing over the soul sometimes a peace, a joy, a perfect rest, a heavenly deliciousness, a supreme content, in which though no voice is heard, yet are we conscious that there is rushing through our souls, like a strain of heaven’s own music.”

It is not uncommon for believers to experience times of doubt and trials of faith. God’s Word contains many promises and assurances to us that the Spirit of God is at work in our hearts conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-29). May our hearts and minds receive these gracious assurances as gifts from the heavenly Father!

However, at the same time, Scripture warns us of the power and possibility of self-deception. If our hearts are not strengthened with these assurances then we must test ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). Here’s another, related, post that may be of additional help: 10 Tests of Genuine Faith.

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March 20, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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Setting Believers Free from the Prisons of the Mind

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the “warfare” in which believers in Christ are involved is a well-thought-out “campaign.” The word he uses is strateia, from which we get “strategy.” Specifically, the devil’s battle against Christ-centered wisdom is not an accident. Satan specializes in disguising himself as “an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Therefore, the invasion of man-centered counseling philosophy into the church is a well-planned and well-executed war against the sufficiency of Christ and His Word and the transforming power of His gospel.

The weapons of this war are “not of the flesh.” In other words, the war is spiritual, not physical or earthly (Eph. 6:10–17). It is not against men, but against the wisdom of men; “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” Our weapons in this realm are “divinely powerful”; that is, they are empowered by God for the purpose of pulling down “fortresses.” These fortresses are strongholds of the mind, built by the bricks of false philosophy which are “raised up against” Christ. As mental prisons, they hold people captive.

Consequently, the war exists in the realm of ideas that become doctrines, which may then be taught to men as if they were the truth. Colossians 2:8 warns, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” How are people deceived and held captive? Through false doctrines, as the wisdom of man devalues Jesus Christ and diminishes the power of His gospel.

Unfortunately, much of the pop-counseling philosophy sold to Christians today is in reality Christ-diminishing doctrine disguised as self-help formulas for “successful living,” to which far too many believers have been taken captive. As we counsel one another with biblical truth we must carefully identify and attack the mental prisons and, like the wise man who “scales the city of the mighty,” we must “[bring] down the stronghold in which they trust” (Prov. 21:22). The truth of the gospel will set men and women free from the prison of self-serving ideas that dominate our world.

Featured Resource: Counsel One Another: A Theology of Personal Discipleship

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March 18, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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Theological Primer for Counselors: The Return of Christ

Today, we finish our brief series covering the ten basic categories of theology and relating them to our walk with the Lord and to our personal ministry of the Word of God to one another. Today, let’s think about the doctrine of end times (eschatology), specifically the return of Christ as a proper motivation toward godliness.

The Return of Jesus Christ

Relative to counseling, the future return of Christ is a motivation toward godliness. The Apostle Peter includes the hope of Christ’s return as an essential part of the believer’s thinking, which must be disciplined in order to be sanctified. We are called to fix our “hope completely” on the fullness of “the grace to be brought” to us (1 Peter 1:13). This is a perfect hope that focuses our attention on Jesus and the promise of His full revelation at His coming. The phrase “grace to be brought” is originally in the present tense, which means it is a grace that is being brought to us, that is, grace that is coming and is now within our grasp. According to Titus 2:11–13, this empowering grace compels us to live godly while we look for His coming: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” Notice the past, present, and future grace mentioned in these verses. The past grace of God has already appeared and has brought salvation to mankind. Future grace will be fully revealed when the Lord Jesus returns. However, sandwiched between the past and the future, God also supplies present grace. This present grace is constantly “instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.” In other words, biblical grace does not lead us toward licentiousness. Instead, it sanctifies. It leads us away from sin and toward righteousness. This present grace is a foretaste of the consummation of our salvation, which will take place when Jesus returns. To be holy, we must renew our minds with this “blessed hope.”

Merrill Unger defines hope as the “expectation of good … a joyful and contented expectation of eternal salvation.” It is a confident expectation that is based on the truth of the gospel and the promises of God in Christ Jesus. He Himself “is our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1) and God the Father “has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). He raised Jesus “from the dead and gave Him glory, so that [our] faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:21). And since we are “heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7), we must, necessarily, gird our minds for action; “everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). As followers of Christ who continue to pursue holiness, we can be confident of the final completion of our sanctification that will take place when we see Jesus face to face. “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

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March 17, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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Theological Primer for Counselors: The Local Church

We continue our brief series covering the ten basic categories of theology and relating them to our walk with the Lord and to our personal ministry of the Word of God to one another. Today, let’s think about the doctrine of the church, specifically the priority of the local church and its ministry of the word, one member to another.

The local church is the intended and ideal environment that God has provided for counseling and experiencing biblical change. In fact, a local church that teaches the normalcy of growth and change into the image of Christ is sure to see an effective counseling ministry develop. It is not an accident the commands to exhort and counsel one another are found in letters to local churches. The apostles always assumed that every believer would be a faithful member of a local body of Christ and the New Testament never even entertains the idea of a Christian not being accountable to a group of fellow believers. The book of Hebrews, written to a local body of Jewish believers, stresses the immense value of this relationship. “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25). The ministry of biblical counseling (intensely-focused discipleship), is part of the disciple-making mandate given to the church.

The New Testament teaches that the responsibilities of pastor-elders are educational, administrative, and pastoral. Educationally, pastor-elders are to faithfully preach and teach the whole counsel of God from His Word (2 Timothy 4:1-5; 1 Timothy 5:17) and to defend sound doctrine and refute false teachings (Titus 1:9). Administrative responsibilities include protecting and ruling God’s flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17). Pastoral responsibilities then include caring for God’s flock (voluntarily, not under compulsion) motivated by a desire to do God’s will with eagerness, while at the same time setting a godly example for believers to follow (1 Peter 5:1-4). I say all this to emphasize that intense biblical admonishment and discipleship (i.e. counseling) is an integral part of the disciple-making process and must not be shirked by church shepherds. Other believers can and should be involved in the counseling ministry of the local church, but shepherds must lead. The responsibility for biblical change, however, does not fall on the leaders. That is, when individual believers are counseled from God’s Word by church shepherds, the sheep have a responsibility to submit to that counsel and obey their church leaders in the Lord (Hebrews 13:17). For this reason, it is wise for a local church’s counseling ministry to require counselees to regularly attend at least one of their church services where the Word is consistently preached and taught and what is taught in the counseling room is reinforced from the pulpit.

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March 15, 2014
by Paul Tautges
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NUGGETS for Pastors and Other Leaders [3/15/14]

If you are a pastor or any other leader then you will find these articles interesting, convicting, and perhaps affirming in some ways. If you are a church member then these articles will make you a more effective prayer warrior for your pastor.

7 Ways the Lord Uses Depression in the Life of a Minister – I can really relate to this article by Mike Leake. I too “am one of those ministers that battles seasons of deep depression. These ‘fits of melancholy’ can be quite confusing to the pastor.”

Ranking the 9 Toughest Leadership Roles – This Forbes magazine article begins, “While spending a quarter-century dabbling across the worlds of education, business, media, politics, religion and nonprofits, it gradually became clear to me that leaders who flourish in one realm may fizzle or even fail spectacularly in another one.”

Ten Teaching Tips from Derek Thomas – David Murray, pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church, shares what he learned from a Ligonier video he is taking his adult Sunday school class through.

Upcoming ABC Annual Conference: Helping and Loving Our Pastors -  Check out this conference on restoring ministry and restoring marriage.

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