III. The Presuppositions as They Relate to the COUNSEL GIVEN
A. We must have a conviction concerning the PRIMACY AND SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE as the major source material for Pastoral Counseling.
2 Tim. 3:16-17
Jay E. Adams, A Theology of Christian Counseling: More Than Redemption, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979), pp. xiii-xiv.
B. We must possess a conviction concerning the reality, function, and indispensability of GENERAL REVELATION AND COMMON GRACE in Pastoral Counseling.
Everett F. Harrison, Baker’s Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1973), p. 131.
David Murray, Christians Get Depressed Too, (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010), pp. 107-109.
Is. 38:1-7, 21
2 Kgs. 20:6-7
1 Kgs. 19:4-9
1 Tim. 5:23
Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. 3, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980), p. 296.
Iain H Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2008), p. 267.
C. We must possess a conviction respecting the difference between AUTHORITATIVE COUNSEL based on the Word of God and general revelation, and wise PERSONAL ADVICE based upon a combination of other factors.
1 Cor. 7:25-8
1 Cor. 16:12
2 Thes. 3:6
London Baptist Confession of Faith – Chapter 21, paragraph 2: “God alone is Lord of the conscience, and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it. So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience; and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also. (Jas. 4:12; Rom. 14:4; Acts 4:19, 29; 1 Cor. 7:23; Mt. 15:9; Col. 2:20, 22, 23; 1Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 1:24)”
IV. The Overarching Presupposition: We must have a biblically based and constantly active conviction regarding the PLACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S MINISTRY in effective Pastoral Counseling.
A. The necessity of the Spirit’s ministry
1. Necessity demonstrated
Gal. 5:16, 22-23
2 Cor. 5:14
Gal. 4: 6
2. Necessity applied
a. We will be careful not to undertake a counseling session while knowingly grieving the Holy Spirit.
b. We will be careful to come to our counseling sessions in a prayerful attitude.
c. We will consciously seek to create a climate of dependence upon the Holy Spirit in the counseling session itself.
B. The nature of the Spirit’s ministry
1. Nature demonstrated
a. He works by us and with us as rational human beings.
b. He does not work against us or without us.
c. In the light of these things we will engage all of the faculties of our redeemed humanity.
2. Nature applied
C. The sovereignty of the Spirit’s ministry
1. Sovereignty demonstrated
1 Cor. 3:6-7
2. Sovereignty applied
a. We should not be surprised if our results are uneven.
b. We will not cut people off prematurely.
c. We will not keep on inordinately.
d. We will not take credit to ourselves.