Returning Counseling to the Church, Part Two

by Scott Stephens, Pastor of Biblical Counseling

The sufficiency of Scripture means that the Bible contains all the words of God that He intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains all of the words of God we need for salvation, for trusting Him perfectly, and for obeying Him perfectly.[1] The Word of God contains all that we need to know His will and live a life pleasing to Him.[2]

The London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 states that even though the works of creation and providence manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, they are not sufficient to give the knowledge of God and His plan of salvation to His people. God in His goodness determined to reveal Himself to His creation in writing. By doing so, God has provided all things that are necessary to communicate His own glory, the need and means for man’s salvation, how to have faith, and live a life that glorifies Him.[3] We see Jesus emphasize this truth as He was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness. In a response to one of the temptations, He rebuked the devil by quoting the words from Deuteronomy 8:3, “man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4).[4] The words that have been provided for man to live a God-pleasing life are found in His special revelation, the Bible.

The sufficiency of Scripture is the foundation of all biblical counseling because true biblical counseling is Bible-based. From the Bible we understand who man is, the nature of his problems, why he has these problems, and what must be done to solve them. For counseling to be worthy of the name of Christ, the counselor must be conscientiously and comprehensively committed to the sufficiency of the Scriptures.[5] Scripture is completely sufficient for understanding human nature and the necessary processes of change that are essential for wise and effective biblical counsel. The Scriptures are the whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, and faith and life.[6] It is for this reason that we must boldly proclaim the sufficiency of the Scriptures and prove to those who are misinformed that ministering from the Word of God is more than adequate for helping those who are suffering and have spiritual problems.

[1] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, 127.

[2] Heath Lambert, A Theology of Biblical CounselingThe Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry. 37.

[3] Hanserd Knollys, William Kiffin, William Collins, and Benjamin Keach, The London Baptist Confession of 1689, Chapter 1. Kindle;   “G.I Williamson, The Westminster Confession of Faith For Study Classes (Phillipsburg NJ: P&R Publishing), 1.

[4] RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (Wheaton IL: Tyndale House),15.

[5] Heath Lambert, Sufficiency: Historic Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture, 17.

[6] John M. Frame, The Doctrine of the Word of God, 221. Quote from the Westminster Confession of Faith.

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