Psalm 32:1-5: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
Sinful thinking and actions produce “out of control” emotions to bring the person to their knees in repentance. Sadly, if all that is addressed are the symptoms of emotions by a secularist, then the person will remain undiagnosed as an “unbeliever” and fail to repent resulting in NO forgiveness of sins.
I John 1:8-10 states: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
My point with all of these blog entries is that often we misdiagnose sin OR even worse, we fail to diagnose it all. A key first step in biblical counseling is diagnosing sin accurately so we can deal with the heart. Is the person a Christian or not? Then, we desire to lead the counselee to the cross of Christ for forgiveness and the remission of sins. Next, we teach how practically the Bible speaks to overcoming the problem through the power of Christ.
If the counselee is a believer already, he/she will most often want to repent.
If the counselee is an unbeliever, then he/she will only want to repent if the Holy Spirit works in his/her heart to bring conviction.
It is up to the biblical counselor to be a “fruit inspector” to judge the fruit produced (or lack thereof) in the life of the counselee (not the HEART) and to honestly assess what is being said and done by the counselee that is sinful according to biblical standards and not personal standards.
If the counselee repents of his/her sin, then all rejoice. If not, then the counselee leaves unchanged and if an unbeliever, bound for an eternal destination of destruction. Often, the biblical counselor is heart-broken that the counselee failed to repent and may end up more sad than the counselee, believe it or not!
Our desire is to see people come face-to-face with Christ, to repent for sins, and to receive the AWESOME gift of forgiveness. They will then be able to learn how to replace sinful thoughts, words, and actions with godly thoughts, words, and actions that are pleasing to Christ.
-Mark (wanting all we serve at TIL to come to the knowledge of the Gospel to receive the gift of forgiveness)
all verses excerpted from The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (electronic ed.). Good News Publishers: Wheaton.