You might say “Well of course we can”. Or “sure, if the issue isn’t too severe”. Or “maybe, if God’s given me the ability”. Or “no, only professionals should delve into that field”.
I have been amazed at the contemporary church’s lack of assurance in the power of the scriptures to change lives, not the soul’s eternal destiny but the power to “renew the inner self day by day.” The church today has invited the lost into the doors of our local houses of worship to address their need for a Savior but then turns them out the same doors to a world which scoffs at the God of creation for advice and counsel for struggles pertaining to daily living. What makes us think that the God who saves eternally can’t equip us to live victoriously in a fallen world? Is He and His word sufficient or not? 2 Tim 3:16,17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
The Bible also teaches that we as Spirit indwelt believers can discern the word of God and encourage and instruct each other in it. It isn’t left up to ‘professionals’ or seminary trained Pastors only. As Jay Adams has written, we are ‘Competent to Counsel’. The Apostle Paul wrote “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”
With this said, I am excited about a new series that we will be starting in the next several weeks. ‘How People Change’, a book written by Paul David Tripp and Tim Lane, will lead us to understand that we can change. That we are fallen creatures living in a fallen world but that God has redeemed His people to live as a people of hope in the midst of a thorn infested environment. We will be announcing the start very soon for 12 weeks on Wednesday nights at the church. Come and join us and see that you and those you encourage (counsel) can ‘bear fresh fruit through real heart change’.