Sun, Jul 21, 2013

Admonishing the Heart

An Introduction to Nouthetic Counselling
Duration:1 hr 0 mins 14 secs

ADMONISHING THE HEART: Introducing Nouthetic Counselling

Types of Counselling

Secular Counselling

(so-called) “Christian” Counselling

Nouthetic Counselling (also known as Biblical Counselling)

Two Presuppositions

That we believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture
Psalm 19:7-8

That we believe in the Lordship of Christ
Luke 6:46

Main Text: Acts 20:17-36 (NASB)

17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them,
“You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, 21 solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
25 “And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face. 26 Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
36 When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
Focus on v.31
“Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.”

Admonish (English) is “noutheteo” in biblical Greek
Meaning “warn, admonish, instruct”
When you admonish someone, you are advising them, warning them; internal threat more than external
From NOUS meaning “mind / understanding” and TITHEMI meaning “to put or to place”

A problem with two sources

As such, it implies the admonishing of a problem with two sources that a Christian faces;

non-organic (will, choices, behaviour, etc which are a reaction to an event, action, etc) and
organic (which have been medically diagnosed, not merely speculative, and the reaction to this biological problem, which is due to the sin  that affected all of nature in Eden)

“Noutheteo” appears also…

Job 4:3
Romans 15:14
1 Corinthians 4:14
Colossians 1:28
Colossians 3:16
1 Thessalonians 5:14
2 Thessalonians 3:15
Collaboration with Holy Spirit
“Spirit of Truth”
John 16:13

“Spirit of Christ”
Romans 8:9

Based on God’s Truth and
points towards Christ

Admonishing… the Heart!
According to Scripture, without God’s restorative hand:

The heart is the source of our (non-organic) problems
Genesis 3
2. The heart is deceitful and desperately sick
Jeremiah 17:9
3. The heart has evil things proceed from within and defile the man
Mark 7:21-23
The heart is without morality
Psalm 10:4, 53:1 and 1 Corinthians 2:14
The heart is full of secrets
Psalm 44:21 and 1 Corinthians 14:25

The heart is not able to wholly love God (which is its purpose
Matthew 22:37-39 and Proverbs 3:5
The heart needs to be purified due to its impurities
Malachi 3:3 and 1 Peter 1:6-7
The heart is hated and wicked
Proverbs 6:18
The heart can be targeted by Satan
Matthew 13:19
The heart is the source of all the world’s problems
Romans 1:18-25

Nouthetic Counselling: A Definition

““Nouthetic counselling is a type of counselling that takes places beneath the lordship of Christ, based on the sufficiency of Scripture and in collaboration with the Holy Spirit, dealing with problems of the heart by taking into consideration non-organic (sinful behaviour, choices and will) or organic (medically, not speculatively, diagnosed) data. Its focus is not primarily on an action, event or medical diagnosis, but rather, the reaction to these by the counselled individual and whether they have dealt with it in a biblical manner. By not doing so, a biblical response must be initiated in order to continue the progress of sanctification”.

Ten Major Points about Nouthetic Counselling

Counselling can only be founded on Scripture, not the philosophies or traditions of men and women
Colossians 2:8

2. Reactions are the focus, not the actions. We must take
responsibility for we know trials and tribulations will come
Proverbs 13:16

3. Symptoms are not the issue, what caused the symptoms
e.g. Deuteronomy 21:20 and Galatians 5:23

4. God’s Truth, not experience, is most effective
Hebrews 11:30-40

Can be conducted with nonbelievers, once they come to
know Christ and are moral according to God’s morality
Psalm 10:4 and 14:1

6. Scripture speaks of organic and non-organic
Matthew 4:24 and James 5:13-15

7. Non-organic problems, can lead to organic
problems; sin can make people sick
Psalm 38:3

8. It is important to note though, God can heal all these
Matthew 4:23 and Psalm 147:3

9. Biblical terminology is important
Proverbs 30:5

10. The doctrine of Hope
Hebrews 11:1; Romans 8:24-25 and Colossians 1:3-5
Absence of hope leads to sickness
Proverbs 13:12 and Lamentations 3:18
What is being counselled are allowed as part of our Sanctification

God causes all things [not just “good”, but trials, tribulations, organic and non-organic sourced problems] to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:28-29)

Recommend for Further Reading

Jay E. Adams’ Competent to Counsel

Jay E. Adams’ The Christian Counselor’s Manual

John MacArthur’s Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically

Faith Biblical Counseling & Training Center

Biblical Counseling Institute

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