The Bible teaches in 2 Timothy 3:16, that all scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true (doctrine). It also helps us identify what is wrong in our lives (reproof, conviction) and then corrects us when we are wrong (correction). Lastly, it teaches us how to do what is right. God then uses this to prepare and equip the follower of Jesus Christ to do good works.
In Galatians 6:1, we read, "dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other's burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ."
One of the responsibilities of a biblical counselor is to correct any misconceptions a counselee may have regarding God and the scriptures so that they grow in the relationship with the Lord. One of the most misunderstood doctrines is that of sanctification. Many do not understand the difference between positional sanctification and progressive sanctification.
Positional sanctification comes about the moment a person trusts Jesus as their Savior (John 3:16). The position of a believer is based on the finished work at Calvary and does not change based on the believer's performance or lack thereof in living the Christian life. Progressive sanctification is the process by which a believer matures and becomes more like Jesus. Just as human works and keeping the law has no role in justification likewise human works and keeping the law do not sanctify us.
Progressive sanctification does not come about by trying in our own strength ("white-knuckling") to adhere to the Sermon on the Mount, disciplining ourselves to change habits or attempting to replace poor behavior with good behavior. Progressive sanctification comes about by abiding in Christ and yielding to the Holy Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Understand, I am not suggesting as some teach "let go...let God." In fact, there is a clear actionable mandate in the Bible, believers are to WALK in the Spirit. Believers are to ABIDE in Christ; we are branches and He is the vine. Believers are to REALIZE that they are dead to sin, alive to Christ, and RECKON it to be so. Believers, when given a choice to sin or not, should YIELD to the Holy Spirit and be obedient. Ultimately, the believer has a choice, sin, or obey.
The elephant in the room is how do believers walk in the Spirit and abide in Christ? What does that look like? To start off, believers MUST understand that Jesus not only died as their substitute on the cross but also as their representative. Believers are identified with Christ. When Jesus died on the cross the believer also died on the cross. When Jesus rose up to new life the believer also rose up to new life. These are the teachings of Romans 6-8.
When believers walk in the Spirit, abide in Christ, and yield to the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will express Jesus in their lives. This progressive sanctification will manifest itself as the "...fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (CONTROL): against such there is no law."
In summary, the ultimate goal of CWCM whether it be for pre-marital, marital, or addiction discipleship and counseling is that the follower of Jesus Christ understands their identity in Christ and for them to live the truth of Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Cleanwaters Counseling Ministries provides biblical discipleship and counseling for married couples and those with addictions.