Biblical Counseling

To counsel and direct, by the Word of God, those who face problems in their lives in order to bring to them the comfort, healing, wisdom and grace offered by their Creator. To promote in our conselees, through the work of the Holy Spirit, “love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5)

Grace Family Church of RI is recognized by the International Association of Biblical Counselors as a counseling center and an affiliate ministry, and accredited as a training center for certification by the association (see: IABC Training Centers).

Biblical counseling, in its essence, is the application of the Word of God (the Bible) to the concerns and the problems we face in our life. As such, it is as old as human history, as it began with God speaking to His people. We find it in Genesis, as God addressed the first humans, and throughout the ages as it was implemented and established by kings, prophets and priests, who applied His Word to specific circumstances. Practiced by all sorts of people, formally as well as informally, it is destined to continue throughout all generations to come. (Welch, Edward T. “What Is Biblical Counseling, Anyway.” Journal of Biblical Counseling 16, no 1 (1997): 2-5.) It is part friendship, part discipleship, part mentoring, but all based on the Holy Bible: God’s instruction manual for the humans He created. In Scripture, He has revealed all we need to know about Him and about our human nature, and especially about our life as it was intended to be (2 Peter 1:3). It is a broad revelation, addressing the human problem and its manifestations in just about every area of life. Although it is certainly not arranged like an encyclopedia, the Bible contains precious insight on all the issues we encounter in life, if we are willing to meditate on it and receive its teachings. People have found in Scripture more than just a “fix” to their problems. Many have found true godliness and great power in it: power to free them not just from a problem, but from the deadly consequences of sin through the grace of God in Jesus Christ, who is the living Word.

Biblical Counseling

Contrary to what some people think, the Bible is actually quite a contemporary book, as it speaks to the heart of our problems today as it did centuries ago. Problems that beset our modern society like depression, anxiety, mania, compulsive behavior, and many others are spoken about in the Word of God. Of course, it does not do so in a “clinical” way, mentioning them by name and providing a list of signs and symptoms for a differential diagnosis. Nor does the Bible prescribe specific remedies like a pharmacological encyclopedia. Rather, it offers teachings, examples and principles that share with us God’s own wisdom on the matter at hand. If we are willing to listen, to receive help and guidance from one another, and especially to submit to the will of God in our own life, we will find in His Word a profound source of help in every matter pertaining to our life. It is for a reason that Scripture has been defined as God’s instruction manual for humanity. Embedded in the awesome grace of God as it was embodied in our Savior Jesus Christ, the Bible can be a source of freedom from most modern problems, leading us toward a sound mind, fully equipped for every good work.

Its variety of applications, however, is not the only characteristic of Scripture. It is also uniquely deep and profoundly insightful in the human nature and what makes it work the way it does. It addresses the human problem at its root, reaching into the deepest and most secret recesses of our soul. After all, what you find in Scripture is not just another collection of writings about human wisdom. Rather, you find the wisdom of the almighty and all knowing God, the One who created us, and certainly knows what we need to function well. His Word is capable of reaching the deepest thoughts and the most hidden secrets of the heart (Hebrews 4:12), which is something human wisdom or philosophy can never accomplish.

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