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Andy Bustanoby
(C) 2007

Christians who are involved in counseling are confronted with a variety of
ideas as to what "Christian counseling" actually is.

In the last century, the idea of "Christian" counseling was relatively new.
Pastors would counsel the best they knew how, but there was no philosophy
of Christian counseling that I know of until the 60's or 70's.

The first that I became aware of it was when I was doing my graduate work
in marriage and family therapy in California.  A friend introduced me to
Jay Adams' book Nouthetic Counseling.  Though your dictionary probably
doesn't carry this word, a website on Nouthetic Counseling says this:

     Nouthetic comes from the Greek word nouthesia, which implies
Scriptural direction.  In Nouthetic counseling God's word is used as a
Standard guide-line, not any secular textbook or Christian textbook with
the author's opinion.  Neither the use of Psychotherapy, nor the personal
point of view of the counselor (sic.).

Christian antipathy toward the science of psychology has grown to the point
that numerous websites use the expression "psycho-babble" to demean the
science of psychology.  Certainly, much psychology needs to be scrutinized,
just as much biblical interpretation needs to be scrutinized.

I haven't kept up with all of the variations that Adams' book has spawned
over the past thirty-five years, but one of the variations that is popular
today is called "The Sufficiency of Scripture."

Given the plethora of ideas that go by this name, I certainly won't address
them all in this paper.  But I am convinced of this:  the Scripture
certainly is sufficient to give us God's view of what counselors need
to know about the revelation of His person and work.

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If we are to be truly biblical in our counseling, at least two important
theological truths must be considered:

     1)  The Importance of Naturalistic Theism and Biblical Theism
     2)  A Proper Understanding of 2 Timothy 3:16-17

                  The Importance of Naturalistic Theism
                           and Biblical Theism

The study of theism (God, His person and work) falls into the systematic
theology category of Theology Proper.  God has revealed His person and work
to man.  How has He done this?

Biblical theism properly states that God has revealed Himself to modern man
in what we call the Bible.  Arguments as to the reliability of the Bible
are a separate subject to be debated elsewhere.  Christians are content to
accept reliable translations of the Bible from the original languages as
the Word of God.

The problem arises when the Christian maintains that the Bible is the only
source of the revelation of God to modern man.  But this ignores the
important biblical truth of naturalistic theism--God's revelation of
Himself in Creation.  Three passages of Scripture speak of it.

The first is in the Psalms:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his
hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they
display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is
not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends
of the world (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV).

The NIV has a misleading footnote in verses 3&4.  It says that verse 3
should be translated, "they have no speech, there are no words; no sound
is heard from them."  It says verse 4 should be translated, "their line
[not voice] goes out into all the earth."

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While the footnote is a literal translation of the Hebrew, it doesn't
explain what is being said.  In fact, it sounds just the opposite of the
English translation.  The word translated "line" is the Hebrew word qav
meaning, "a rope" or "string."  The line, in this case, has reference to a
harp string that sounds forth the message of creation.  This is why it
is translated "voice," which is not a translation of qav ("line") but an
interpretation-though a justified interpretation. (See Gesenius' Hebrew and
Chaldee Lexicon on qav.)

The second passage of Scripture is in Romans:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness
and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since
what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain
to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities --
his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being
understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse
(Romans 1:18-20).

Here, the Apostle alludes to Psalm 19.  God has spoken through creation to
all men, unbelieving men included -- even speaking of His eternal power and
divine nature.

The third passage that has a bearing on naturalistic theism, the revelation
of God in creation, apart from the Bible, is in Acts 17:16-34, the Apostle
Paul's sermon on Mars Hill.  Because this passage is so long, I'll only quote
the relevant parts.

In this passage Paul calls the attention of the Greeks on Mars Hill to
their altar "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD."  Paul tells them that whom they worship,
the "unknown God," he, Paul, will proclaim to them.

. . . the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven
and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.  And he is not
served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives
all men life and breath and

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everything else.  From one man he made every nation of men, that they
should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them
and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men
would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not
far from each one of us.  'For in him we live and move and have our being.'
As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring' (Acts 17:24-28).

Paul is speaking here of the evidence of God in His creation.  This is
naturalistic theism.  An "effect," creation, demands an explanation of its
"cause," Jehovah, God.

The result of this sermon was the conversion of some of the Greeks, even
Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, the supreme tribunal of Athens, which
met on Mars Hill.

The three Scriptures quoted above in the Psalms, Romans and Acts speak of a
naturalistic theism-the revelation of God's person and work through nature,
His creation.

Lewis Sperry Chafer has an excellent statement on this in his systematic
theology under Theology Proper:

. . . there are two distinct fields of theistic research-(a) that which is
within those facts which obtain in the sphere of creation, or nature, and
is subject to human reason; and (b) that which, though incorporating all
that is disclosed in nature, is extended to include the limitless,
absolute, and all-satisfying revelation set forth in the Scriptures of
Truth.  The former investigation is rightly designated naturalistic theism,
and the latter Biblical theism.

Theology Proper enters every field from which any truth may be gained
relative to the existence and character of God, or the 

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mode of His Being.  However, in view of the basic twofold division of the
human family into saved and unsaved with their varying, attending abilities
to comprehend divine truth there is peculiar advantage in a division of
the general subject of theism into that which is naturalistic and that
which is Biblical.

The unsaved, natural man, though unable to receive the things of God, is,
nevertheless, everywhere confronted with effects which connote a Cause and
with design which connotes a Designer.  To such a one, naturalistic theism
with its restricted appeal to creation and reason is peculiarly adapted.
To the devout student who, being saved, is able to receive the "deep things
of God," there is none of the ultimate or consummating satisfaction in
naturalistic theism that he experiences in Biblical theism.  He should,
notwithstanding, neglect no part of the divine revelation.  All that
belongs to naturalistic theism is part of the divine revelation.  All that
belongs to naturalistic theism is of vital importance to the theological
student in view of the fact that, to a limited degree, God is revealed in
His creation (Ps. 19:1-6; Rom. 1:19-20), and in view of the fact that
unregenerate men, especially the educated, are groping in the sphere of
those truths which being in the circumscribed realm of naturalistic
theism.  To discover, exhibit, and defend all that reason affirms and that
revelation discloses relative to that which may be known concerning God, is
a task which Systematic Theology assumes.  It is the function of
naturalistic theism to adduce such arguments and to reach such conclusion
as are within the range of reason; while it is the function of Biblical
theism to recognize, classify, and exhibit the truth set forth by
revelation.  These two fundamental sources of erudition, though wholly
dissimilar as to the method they employ and the material they utilize, do,
nevertheless, coalesce as the essential parts of the one grand theme--
Theology Proper.

In the following discussions the author assumes no originality in the
presentation of rational argument or in the discovery of revelation.  Much
of that presented has been the contention of writers on these subjects from
the earliest times.  In fact, so

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general are many of these lines of thought, that to quote an original
author would be difficult indeed, if not impossible.  Since reason is
native to man and revelation is largely an acquisition without which the
majority of man have had to live and labor, it is proper that the findings
of reason should be weighed before those of revelation.
The book of nature is as much God's book as the Book of revelation.  The
universe is His work and therefore must attest His Being, and as far as it
can advance, unfold His ways.  The voice of nature and voice of revelation
proceeding from the same source must harmonize; nor can either be slighted
with impunity.  It is not contended that the book of nature is comparable
in extent, exactness, or elucidation, with the Book of revelation.  Pious
minds, wholly satisfied with the Scriptures of Truth, should not be
indifferent to the testimony of nature; nor should the superficial and
profane disregard the pleadings of reason.  The sincere student of truth
will hardly do so.  He will not avert his eye from the light of God.  As
their names denote, philosophy is "the love of wisdom" and science is "the
interpretation of nature"; therefore, no worthy philosopher will ignore the
Source of all truth and no sincere scientist will shrink from the
investigation or right evaluation of the claims of naturalistic theism.
(Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, pp. 139-40).

A Proper Understanding of 2 Timothy 3:16

An important biblical truth, often misunderstood, is stated in 2 Timothy:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correction and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be
thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16).

This passage is often used by those who teach "the sufficiency of
Scripture," to prove their point that the Bible is sufficient for the

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Christian counselor.  But a careful examination of the passage says
something else.

First, notice the person who is becoming "thoroughly equipped."  It is "the
man of God ."  The man of God is not merely a believer.  He is a believer
who is walking in the Spirit!

There are two kinds of believers--carnal and spiritual.  The carnal
believer is unmoved by God's word, which is why he is carnal, or worldly.

Paul had this problem with the Corinthian Church.  He told them that he
could not speak to them as spiritual people but as carnal.  They were
worldly, which showed in their factionalism (1 Cor. 3:1-4).

Further proof that "the man of God" is a Spirit filled Christian, not just
a carnal believer, is borne out by use of this phrase in the Bible.  "Man
of God" appears in the Old Testament 77 times in 71 verses, and is applied
to twelve godly individuals -- Moses, David, Elijah and Elisha being some
of them.

In the New Testament, "man of God" is used by Paul of Timothy (1 Tim.
6:11). There he is contrasted with "those who have wandered from the
faith," carnal believers.

The very grammar of the expression, "the man of God," ho tou theou
anthropos (Greek text), makes this clear.  "Of God" is in the genitive
case.   This is literally, "the godly man."

This distinction between the godly man and the carnal man is important
because most Christian counseling is done either with unbelievers or carnal

In twenty-five years of Christian counseling, I had very few godly
clients. The godly clients I did see had problems with an ungodly spouse or
family member.  With them, I was able to use Scripture to deal with the
problem because they were responsive to it.

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Once, again, Chafer has a helpful statement:

That within the Christian which lusts against the Holy Spirit, creating
various problems, is termed in the New Testament the flesh.  Careless
Christians are not concerned with the Person and work of the Holy Spirit,
or with the exact distinctions which condition true spirituality; but these
distinctions and  truths do appeal to those who really desire a life that is
well-pleasing to God.  Satan has pitfalls and counterfeit doctrines in the
realm of the deepest spiritual realities.  The majority of these false
teachings are based on a misapprehension of the Bible teaching about sin,
especially the sin question as this is related to the believer.  The
Scripture is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect
(full-grown), thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17);
accordingly in the same epistle believers are urged to the end that they
might "study" and "rightly divide" the Word of Truth.  It should be noted
that two of four of the values of the Scripture in the life of the "man of
God," as recorded in the above passage, are "reproof" and "correction";
yet how few, especially of these who are holding an error, are of teachable
spirit!  It seems to be one of the characteristics of all satanic errors
that those who have embraced them seem never inclined honestly to
reconsider their ground.  They read only their sectarian or misleading
literature and often carefully avoid hearing any correcting teaching from
the Word of God.  This difficulty is greatly increased when their error has
led them to assume some unwarranted position regarding a supposed
deliverance from sin, or personal attainments in holiness.   A "correction"
or "reproof," to such seems to be a suggestion toward "backsliding," and no
zealously minded person would easily choose such a course as that.  Much
error is thriving along these lines with no other dynamic than human zeal,
and the Word of God is persistently distorted to maintain human theories.
Many of these errors are reproved and corrected when the fundamental
distinction is recognized between the Christian's position in Christ and
his experience in daily life.  Whatever

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God has done for believers in Christ is perfect and complete; but such
perfection should not be confused with the imperfect conduct of daily life
(Chafer, Systematic Theology, VI,  pp. 265-66).

Another observation in 2 Tim 3 is important.  Biblical theism (the person
and work of God revealed in Scripture) is offered to the godly to
thoroughly equip them, not to exclusively equip them.  If both naturalistic
theism and biblical theism are correct, then we can learn from the Bible
and the sciences.

I had my Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary before I took my M.A. in
marriage and family therapy in a secular setting.  I was amazed how, in
some cases, the psychological approaches they taught harmonized with
Scripture. It was an excellent example of how some psychologists, studying
God's creation, advanced psychological principles that worked.
Naturalistic theism must harmonize with biblical theism.

This was not always the case, however.  But it happened often enough that I
silently praised God because unbelievers were learning something from God's


I encourage the reader to embrace what Chafer says about the truth of
naturalistic theism, and biblical theism.  Then, perhaps, we will truly
become thoroughly equipped for every good work.

                                   # # #

Click here to read the second essay on nouthetic counselling: What Does It Mean? the Hermeneutics of Natural Theology

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   My two essays on nouthetic counseling (The Sufficiency of Scripture and
   WHAT DOES IT MEAN:  The Hermeneutics of Natural Revelation) generated
   some feedback that deserves a response.

   1) 2 Peter 1:3-9 was quoted by one reader as evidence of the nouthetic
   counselor's position on "The Sufficiency of Scripture."  Though I agree
   with what Peter says, I don't find support for nouthetic counseling's
   denial of natural theology as part of the counseling process.  

   Peter's word for "life" (NIV) is zoe, defined by The Theological
   Dictionary of the New Testament (TTDNT), "life animated by God" or "a
   godly life."  I couldn't agree more with Peter.  But the nouthetic
   counselor has the same problem here as he does with 2 Timothy 2:16-17
   where Paul speaks of Scripture thoroughly equipping "the man of God" or
   "the godly man."

   There are only three classes of humans in the world:  the unsaved who
   have never accepted Jesus as Savior, the saved who don't understand
   their position in Christ as dead to sin and as a consequence don't walk
   by faith in their position by the power of the Spirit, and finally, the
   saved who are not only positionally dead to sin, but by faith walk in
   that truth by the power of the Spirit.

   When the Apostle Paul speaks of Scripture sufficient for the man of God
   or the godly man, he is speaking of those believers who by faith rest in
   their position in Christ, as dead to sin, and experience holiness in
   their walk by faith and not by works.  In the case of the unsaved or the
   saved who are running their own lives, the Scripture has nothing to
   offer them because they are not experiencing the power of the Holy

   Because of this the nouthetic counselor has no ministry to the first two
   classes of men.  It is the godly man, or the man living a life animated
   by God, who experiences the power of God's written word.

   It is for this reason that Paul's sermon on Mars Hill (Acts 17) is so
   important for the Christian counselor to understand.  Paul uses natural
   revelation to introduce the Greeks to the "unknown god" who shows His
   grace not only in nature but in much more.  Natural revelation doesn't
   save.  It points to the gracious God who saves by the gift of Christ on
   the cross.

Page 2

   One other observation I would like to make about natural revelation is
   the fact that our Father, God, not mother, nature, is the One who
   supplies us with our human needs.  Though much of the world is occupied
   with unproved scientific theories such as evolution to account for our
   human needs being met, let us be vigilant in the claim that Paul made in
   his sermon on Mars Hill.  In our Father, God, we live and move and have
   our being and are provided with everything necessary for human

   2)  Feedback from the same reader was sent without comment.  It was a
   quotation of Psalm 19:7-11.  It was probably to offset what I had to say
   about verses 1-6, and their testimony to natural revelation.

   All I can say about that is that it just proves what L. S. Chafer says
   about natural and biblical revelation:  "The book of nature is as much
   God's book as is the Book of revelation (see the complete quote at the
   beginning of WHAT DOES IT MEAN).

   3)  I didn't do a good job in explaining what I meant in my essay on
   hermeneutic  rules for natural revelation.  At first glance, rules three
   and four sound the same.  In rule three, the emphasis is on the
   unbeliever's understanding of natural revelation, hence, the emphasis on

   Romans 1:20 leaves no doubt about this.  The invisible qualities of God,
   His eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen, being understood
   from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  The argument
   of Romans 1 is that the unbeliever can't say to God at judgment day, I
   didn't understand, or, I just had a vague knowledge of the unknown God
   (Acts 17).

   In rule four, I said that natural revelation is self-interpreting, which
   is why I emphasized it.  Not only does Romans 1:20 tell us that God is
   clearly seen and understood in natural revelation, I wish to emphasize
   the fact that this must also mean that it is self-interpreting.  We need
   no book of hermeneutic rules to understand it.

   Man by wisdom does not know the God of saving grace in Jesus Christ.
   But man can see and understand what natural revelation teaches--that
   there is a gracious God.  This is the God who has yet more grace to
   offer in the saving work of Jesus Christ.  Two people in Acts 17
   responded to that sermon by Paul.

   4)  The "voice" of the Holy Spirit was another objection to my second
   essay--the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to the unbeliever.
   I thought it interesting that the founder of Dallas Theological
   Seminary, Lewis Sperry Chafer and one of my favorite Dallas professors,
   Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost,  disagree on the subject.

   Page 3

   Chafer, in his Doctrinal Summarization on conscience says, "It seems to
   be something inborn and universal rather than an acquired faculty, and
   to be a voice of human origin rather than the voice of God" (see his
   Systematic Theology).

   Pentecost, on the other hand, in his book The Divine Comforter, has an
   excellent chapter on the Holy Spirit's "Ministry To the World."  He
   says, "No one has ever been able to define conscience.  Philosophers and
   psychologists try unsuccessfully to define it in terms of one's culture
   or mores.  We suggest conscience is the voice of the Holy Spirit, the
   omnipresent One who restrains, reproves, rebukes and convicts men of
   their sin.  Conscience is the universal witness of the Holy Spirit in
   the discharge of His ministry as a restrainer" (p. 74).

                                      # # #

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From Grant M., January 15, 2007
Subject: Re: The Sufficiency of Scripture


I appreciated the sharing of your essay. However, my particular issue with
your paper is the use of the NIV, and, in particular its mistranslation of
"sarkos, carnal/fleshly" by "world" in 1 Corinthians 3. I believe such a
translation totally confuses the issues involving the three spiritual
enemies of the believer and thus how to deal with an appropriate response to
attack by each. The appeal of the world, if accepted, doubtless will result
in carnality, however, its appeal and defense against differ from that of
the internal enemy, the flesh. Yes, they are both defeated in our
recognition of our position and possessions "in Christ", but it is important
to understand the difference in order to effectively maintain our spiritual

Below are quotes from Pastor David K. Spurbeck, Sr.'s book which offers
some support to this view.

     (from "The Christian 'In Christ'": In Christ Truth pp62-66, 69-71)

Victory Over Spiritual Enemies in Christ's Death. Three spiritual
enemies confront the Christian in his life: the world, the flesh and
the devil. Christ's death dealt with each of these enemies. Each
approaches the believer in a different way. Satan attacks the
believer with his external forces. The flesh or sin nature is an
appetite within the believer that can prevent him from living in his
new nature. Attempting to draw the believer's attention from what
he is in Christ, the world system appeals for him to direct his love
and attention to its elements. While the flesh itself cannot take a
believer from his spirituality, Satan, demons and the world
system can move him into a life in his sin nature. Because the
believer is identified as having participated in the cross work of
Christ, he positively has triumphed over his enemies in his
position. If he lives in his position in Christ, he is living in the
sphere of spiritual victory. His defense against his enemies is
completely built upon his position in Christ.


     The World System. Christ was victorious over the world system in
His cross work. It is an orderly system (_kosmos)
organized by Satan at the death of Abel (Lu. 11:50, 51) to put
restraints upon the sin nature of mankind. Every part of the
system provides an opportunity for an expression of the sin
nature within the bounds established by the system as proper.
Failure to live within those bounds brings a reaction from people
in the system. One's attention is held by components of the world
system and it is a threat to the spiritual believer. The love
produced by the Spirit of God may be misdirected toward the
system and the believer can easily fall into fleshly behavior
because his attention is taken from God the Father. The Christian
sits in his position in Christ next to God the Father. He sits with
Christ who was triumphant over the world system.
     "Since it is a fact that you died together with Christ from the
elements (i.e. basic components) of the world system, why as
living in the world are you subject to its dogmas; Do not touch for
yourselves, do not taste for yourselves nor handle, which things
are all for corruption in the using, down from the injunctions and
doctrines from men? Which things indeed are having a word of
wisdom in self devised worship and humility and severity of the
body, not in any honor for the satisfaction of the flesh (Col.
2:20-22)." The reason for including all of the remaining verses in the
chapter is that they give a description of what the world system
can do to the individual. Every phase of the system places
limitations upon the individual human being whether it is human
religion, human government, human commerce, industry,
senseless warfare, secular education or entertainment. Work is
demanded. Conformity is encouraged. Pressure is exerted.
Injunctions and instructions are carefully devised and followed.
     "But may it not be for me to boast except in the cross (work) of
our Lord Jesus Christ, through the instrumentality of whom to me
the world system has been crucified and I to the world system
(Gal. 6:14)." Joseph Thayer neatly describes the situation in his
lexicon. "I have been crucified to something and it has been
crucified to me, so that we are dead to each other, all fellowship
and intercourse between us has ceased (Lexicon, p. 586)." So
much for the world system when the believer is living in his
position in Christ. The world may appeal to him as a spiritual
believer. It attempts to turn his _agape love  from its
heavenly direction and to turn it toward the system and the things
that are in it (cf. 1 Jn. 2:15, 16). All the spiritual believer needs to
do is to "Stop loving the world system and the things in the world
system (1 Jn. 2:15)." His love is misdirected from God the Father
and toward the system. A worldly appeal is the most subtle
approach of all of the enemies. Before the spiritual Christian
knows what has happened, his love is directed to an improper
object or set of objects.
     The believer is made acceptable to God by Christ's work of
propitiation. God the Father was perfectly satisfied in relation to
the accomplishments of the work of Christ. The Father's
satisfaction makes the believer acceptable providing a freedom
from the attractions and affiliations with the world system. By the
death of Christ and the believer's imputed participation in it, the
Father is satisfied concerning the sin nature and its controlling
system, the world.

     The Flesh or Sin Nature. Romans six clearly sees the believer as
having died to the sin principle or nature in the work of Christ. In
fact, the way he maintains a spiritual life free from the power of
the sin nature is by appropriating his position in Christ counting it
to be a fact. He is dead to the sin nature and alive to God in
Christ. More will be said about Romans six in section three.

... Every believer has the potential to count his position to be as
God counts it to be. "I am dead to the sin nature in Christ and have
been raised from the dead ones. I am no longer counted to be
alive to the flesh but am alive to God and therefore am dead to
the sin nature in my position. I count it to be true because God
has counted it to be true. He says so in His Word. I then yield my
members alive to God as instruments of righteousness." This
kills the internal fire. God counts my sin nature to be dead and so
do I. I am alive with resurrection life so why should I go and
function in the decaying old grave plot of the sin nature?"

     Satan and Demons.  . . .

Without an understanding of "in Christ" truth, the believer is
incapable of putting on the armor of God. When one has his loins
gird about with truth, he sees all that he is in Christ as it really is
so that Satan's lies will not dissuade him from living in his
position. The helmet of salvation involves that which the believer
has received in Christ at his salvation. Appropriating his
righteousness in Christ, he puts on the breastplate of righteousness.
In Christ is peace with God and so the preparation of the
feet. Having the shield of the faith involves the body of revelation
concerning the victory the believer has over his spiritual enemies
when he is seen in Christ. Every fiery dart of the wicked one is
ineffective when the believer puts his position in Christ forth as a
defense. How can a defeated foe defeat a victor who is living in
his triumph? The sword of the Spirit is identified as the utterance
of God. These are specific utterances from God that will defend
the believer against specific lusts that Satan uses in his attacks.
Essentially, defense against Satan is accomplished when the
believer mentally appropriates his position in Christ and lives in it
using it as a defense. Satan's attacks on the believer become
attacks on Christ and because of this he is doomed to failure and
defeat. When the Christian fails to appropriate his position
against Satanic lusts, he will be defeated and cease to emanate
the things of the Spirit and begin to emanate the things of the
flesh. A natural result of defeat is that he commits acts of sin as a
result of the temptation.
     All three enemies of the believer were defeated at Calvary.
Jesus Christ was perfectly victorious. In Him every believer is a
co-participant in that victory. If the saint appropriates the victory
he has in Christ, he too has victory over his spiritual enemies.
Each enemy is treated in a different way. All of the believer's
defense against his spiritual enemies is mental. He stops
directing his love toward the world system by mentally redirecting
it toward the Father. He mentally appropriates his position as
dead to the sin nature and alive to God by counting it to be so
(reckoning) in defeating the flesh, yielding his members to God
for righteousness. He puts on the armor of God when Satan
attacks, mentally appropriating his position as victorious over
Satan in Christ. Ignorance of one's position in Christ brings
spiritual defeat because the believer's defense is in Christ. How
can a person appropriate that which he has if he doesn't know
about it? He can't! "in Christ I died and by His death all of my
spiritual enemies have been defeated. When I live in my position
appropriating it for myself, I triumph in Him and the approach of
the enemy is ineffective. Since my mind is reflecting on things in
the heavenlies, I see myself as my heavenly Father does. I have
glorious victory. I dare not change my thinking for when I do, I am
instantly vulnerable to defeat from any and all of my spiritual
enemies. I can live in my position and therefore in His victory or I
can live as though I was still in fallen Adam and in my own
defeat." Without the resurrection of Christ, human beings would
have little idea of the true victory that was accomplished in His
death. This carries directly to the way the Christian will be
thinking while living in his position in Christ.
     These concepts will be developed further in the third section of
this book where the participation of the believer is viewed from
within the Body of Christ as he relates to other Christians and
Christ his Head. This brief discussion is necessary here because
the believer is resurrected in Christ. Where there is no death,
there is no need for resurrection--the person is still alive in
whatever area of his existence he has life. If he is spiritually
dead, being separated from God, he needs to be raised from the
dead. If he is physically dead, he needs physical resurrection to
return to the land of the living. One cannot be raised in Christ if
God has not imputed him to be dead in Christ's death. Jesus
Christ's substitution is perfect. He died as a substitute and was
raised as a substitute.

=end quote=

Seated in the heavenlies in Christ!


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