Select Page

Two New Courses From The Biblical Counseling Department!!

The mission statement of Calvary University is as follows: “[to prepare] Christians to live and serve in the church and the world according to a biblical worldview…” The Biblical Counseling Department’s goal for our students has always been to keep our courses engaging, and challenging, so that wherever they go they will be able to rightly handle God’s word, and be fully equipped to think critically about the issues in our ever-changing world, and glorify God where He leads them.

In keeping with this objective at Calvary University the Biblical Counseling Department is proud to announce two NEW courses we will be offering for Spring 2018 that will highlight, and strengthen this mission: Ethics in Biblical Counseling and Theological Foundations of Biblical Counseling.

Ethics in Biblical Counseling will explore some of the following questions: Why is it important to have a Biblical counseling ethic? What types of problems does it create when one does not consider an ethic when they are serving their counselees? How do the Scriptures relate to what the Biblical counselor does in the session, such as informed consent, and confidentiality? These questions, and more, will be answered in this course. Students will be confident that not they are not only acting ethically, but biblically, in how they serve their counselees as a Biblical counselor.

Theological Foundations of Biblical Counseling will examine the theological foundations of Scripture in contrast to worldview of Secular-Humanism and Postmodernism. This course will not only make the case that the Biblical theological foundation is incompatible to the Secular-Humanistic foundation in the area of counseling, but why it is incompatible. In addition, this course will also explore the similarities and differences between counseling from a Dispensational system and a Reformed system. At the end of this course the student will be able to examine other worldviews in light of God’s word, and observe how having a biblical theology is essential to not only how the student is to counsel biblically, but why the student is to counsel biblically.

If you would like to know more about these courses, or any other classes that are in our program, please contact us! We are excited about offering these two new courses to our students at Calvary; as we desire to serve our students, and for the glory of God!

The Problem with the Biblical/Christian Counseling Distinction

The Problem with the Biblical/Christian Counseling Distinction

In the counseling world amongst American Evangelicals there are two types of counseling that are prominent: “Christian” counseling and “Biblical” counseling. “Christian” counseling is defined generally by a website as follows:

As a general rule…Christian counseling…[desires] to help people overcome their problems, find meaning and joy in life, and become healthy and well-adjusted individuals, both mentally and emotionally.

In contrast to “Christian” counseling  there is “Biblical” counseling, which is defined below:

Biblical Counseling is the process where the Bible, God’s Word, is related individually to a person or persons who are struggling under the weight of personal sin and/or the difficulties with suffering, so that he or she might genuinely change in the inner person to be pleasing to God.

Biblical counseling (also coined as “Nouthetic counseling”) works in three areas: confrontation (where the counselor instructs and guides the counselee from the Scriptures), concern (Where the counseling is always done for the benefit of the counselee), and change (where counseling is done because there is something in the counselee’s life that fails to meet the standards of Scripture, and prevents them from glorifying god in their life).


Biblical counselors often express concern in the way “Christian” counselors conduct counseling with their counselees, and often mention the lack of Scriptures in their counseling. John MacArthur and Wayne Mack mention five specific concerns of “Christian” counselors:

  • Christian counselors look at the Bible as an “inspirational resource,” but the techniques they use come from secular resources.

  • Christian counselors ignore many of the attributes of God such as His holiness, righteousness, sovereignty, and instead focus more on His love.

  • Christian counselors promote some “need” the counselee has to fulfill, rather than dealing with sin in a person, and their desire for God and His will for them. Ultimately, this will give the most satisfaction.

  • Christian counselors see Jesus, and the gospel, as the tool to heal wounds and hurts of the mind, and rather than as the Savior who forgives sins.

  • Christian counselors do not see the church as essential in counseling. Instead they see themselves as professionals who are the only ones qualified to serve counselees in this manner.

Each of John MacArthur and Wayne Mack’s observation of “Christian” counselors may be examined in the future. The point of this topic is to discuss something that those of us who hold to a Biblical worldview should be very cautious of when explaining this distinction to people around us.


As those who hold to a Biblical worldview we must consider ending distinctions between the term “Biblical” counselor/counseling and “Christian” counselor/counseling.


In fact,  this author is convinced that to be a “Biblical” counselor is to be a “Christian” counselor.


There are several reasons why those who hold to a Biblical worldview should think of these terms as synonymous:


  • The plain meaining of the word “Christian”: The word “Christian” comes from the Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos). The root of this word is Χριστός (Christos), which means “Anointed One.” The idea is a person who is a “Christian” is a follower of the Anointed One (i.e., Jesus  Christ). They follow Him in terms of His instruction (Matt. 28:18-20), and they seek to please Him in all things (2 Cor. 5:9). A “Christian” by definition follows the teachings of Christ.

  • The word “Christian” is used in Scripture: The word “Christian” is what people used to describe those who believed that Christ was the Messiah. Those who followed Christ, and His teachings, were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). King Agrippa said that Paul’s testimony was attempting King Agrippa to be persuaded to become a Christian (Acts 26:28). Peter encouraged the saints that if anyone suffered as a Christian, they should glorify God because they have not suffered in vain (1 Pet. 4:16).  The word “Christian” defines who a person is, and this is a descriptor one should use with humility, and without reservation.

  • The word “Christian” carries with it Biblical beliefs: If a person is a Christian they hold (or should hold) to certain Biblical beliefs, which among them are: The inspiration of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16), the inerrancy of Scripture (Ps. 18:30), the Triunity of God (Deut. 6:4; Isa.48:12-16), the divinity of Christ (Jn. 1:1-3, 14-16; 8:58), the virgin birth (Isa. 7:14 Matt. 1:18-23), the penal-substitutionary atonement of Christ (Isa. 53:1-10), the resurrection of Christ (Isa. 53:10; Jn. 2:19-20), etc. These are beliefs Jesus Himself taught,  that are revealed in Scripture, and a Christian should teach and confess these beliefs.

  • The “Christian” Counselor uses the truth of the Bible: Because a Christian believes the truth of God mentioned above, this affects how one lives in the world. If a person is a Christian/Biblical counselor they understand the word of God is described as truth (Ps. 119:43, 142, 151, 160). To the Christian, counseling from the truth of God’s word is essential to guiding their counselees. The source of how to observe problems, and the solutions for them, must be observed from a Biblical perspective.  

The main problems are when a person contrasts these two adjectives (“Christian” vs. “Biblical”) they are doing three things: 1) A person, perhaps unintentionally, has made the word “Christian” in this context a pejorative. As a result, this promotes disdain for the word “Christian” when coupled with the word “counselor.” Additionally, when a person uses the word “Christian” in this manner, the person is changing the meaning of the word “Christian” from its original meaning of “follower of the Anointed One,” to mean, “a type of counseling that should be avoided or rejected.” This is something that the Bible does not teach when the word “Christian” is used. 2) A person creates a false distinction that the Bible does not make concerning the words “Christian” and “Biblical.” This, in effect, creates confusion among people when using these two words against each other. 3) A person when using the word “Christian” in this way are attaching presuppositions that may, or may not, be indicative of these types of counselors. Consequently, this places assumptions in people’s mind about how one counsels just by the descriptor they have. This is also something Scripture does not endorse when the word “Christian” is used.


The question remains: what do we call Christian/ Biblical counselors who embrace a Secular-Humanistic worldview?  This is a topic that I will  approach at a later time. However, this much is clear: The title“Christian” counselor, or “Christian” counseling, should not be viewed with disdain or disgust. Nor should be it used in opposition to the word “Biblical.” Words have meaning, and we as Biblical counselors (and believers of Christ in general) should be aware of how we are using these words in describing not just our approach to counseling, but other’s approaches as well.  Let us as break down the dividing wall between these two terms, and use the terms “Christian” and “Biblical” interchangeably. In doing so we will be consistent with our Biblical worldview.


Until Next Time…

Soli Deo Gloria!


Dr. L.S.

The Area Both Secular and Biblical Counselors Use In Counseling

The Area Both Secular and Biblical Counselors Use In Counseling

There is much contention between those who work as secular counselors and those who work as biblical counselors. However, what is the area both secular counselor and biblical counselors recognize and use? In addition, what is the fundamental reason for the contention between secular counselors and biblical Counselors? Before these questions are answered there are two terms that must be defined: natural (or general) revelation, and special revelation.

Natural revelation is the doctrine that God has revealed Himself, in creation. Matt Slick, gives a more detailed explanation described below:

[Natural] revelation is the knowledge of God, as well as the knowledge of right and wrong, that can be obtained through nature. This general revelation of God’s existence and basic morality is known by everyone. Retrieved from:

When it comes to natural revelation there are three areas that are specifically distinguished:


  • Nature: God reveals Himself generally through His work all over creation (Rom. 1:18-20).
  • Conscience: God is also revealed through the fact that all creation knows there is a difference between right from wrong, since man has been created with a conscience (Rom. 2:14-16).
  • Providence: God also reveals Himself through the work of His providence. God is in control of all things, and provides for His creation (Isa. 45:7; Deut. 32:39; Matt. 6:26).

The area where secular counselors and biblical counselors agree is in natural revelation. When a secular counselor works with a married couple on how to communicate better, and uses counseling exercises to assist the couple with this goal, the secular counselor, whether they are aware of it or not, is using exercises that originate from natural revelation. When a biblical counselor uses counseling exercises to assist people in working through their feelings of distress, they are using tools that highlight natural revelation. When a secular counselor, or a biblical counselor, teaches on how the human brain works in relation to emotions and behavior, both are instructing from natural revelation. When a secular counselor, or a Biblical counselor, looks at human behavior and how it impacts interactions in relationships they are observing the natural revelation of God. Where the secular counselor, and the biblical counselor strongly disagree is in the source of where the natural revelation originates. The secular counselor works from a philosophy that is antithetical to a biblical worldview. Therefore the conclusions they both come to concerning the origin of human beings, and their respective behaviors, will be in conflict with one another.


James Kalat, a professor of Psychology in North Carolina State University wrote this about the origin of human beings:


Every gene is subject to evolution by natural selection. Evolution is a change over generations in the frequencies of various genes in the population…we must distinguish two questions about evolution: How did species evolve, and how do species evolve? To ask how species did evolve is to ask what evolved from what, basing our answers in inferences from fossils and comparisons of living species. For example, biologists find that humans are more similar to chimpanzees than to other species. These similarities point to the probability of a common ancestor from which both humans and chimpanzees inherited most of their genes. Similarly, humans and chimpanzees together have some striking resemblances to monkeys and presumably shared a common ancestor with monkeys in the remoter past.
Biological Psychology. 8th edition. Thomson Wadsworth. 2003. Emphasis mine.


Dr. Kalat would have no trouble agreeing that humans are complex creatures by plain or scientific observation (natural revelation). The issue Dr. Kalat has is the in the conclusions he makes concerning the origin of human beings, which derives from an evolutionary perspective. The biblical counselor would assert that God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1), and the creatures God created bring forth after their own kind (Gen. 1:21, 24-25). The reason the Biblical counselors come to these conclusions is they observe natural revelation from special revelation. A website defines special revelation in this manner:


Special revelation refers to the more specific truths that can be known about God through the supernatural.


Got Retrieved from:


God has chosen to reveal Himself is His word (2 Tim. 3:16), which was supernaturally given to man to know (2 Pet. 1:19-20). Therefore there are the two revelations a biblical counselor stands on (natural and special revelation). By contrast, the two revelations the secular counselor stands on is natural revelation and speculative revelation due to their corrupted nature (Rom. 1:18-23; Rom. 8:6-8; 1 Cor. 2:14). While the secular counselor may employ techniques for the counselee to be a good member of society (moralism), touch some aspect of the “divine spark” in the counselee (spiritualism), work with the counselee to be “one” with the essence of the universe (pantheism/mysticism), or to have the counselee tap into their “innate goodness” to solve their problems (humanism), the biblical counselor employs techniques so a counselee, through guidance, reflects the glory of God, and does good works for their neighbor (Eph. 2:8-10; 1 Cor. 10:31). The distinct difference is not the techniques the secular counselor and biblical counselor uses, but the philosophical rationale behind why each person employs them.


Take for example breathing techniques. A secular counselor and biblical counselor may use the same breathing techniques to assist their counselees with anger. As a result of using these techniques the counselee decreases their anger (natural revelation). The secular counselor could conclude, based on their worldview, the counselee tapped into their “innate goodness” to change their attitude (speculative revelation). However, the biblical counselor, employing the same technique, recognizes this is a tool God has given (natural revelation), which is used to assist the counselee in their progressive sanctification (special revelation). The biblical counselor is convinced this activity will assist in managing their anger in a way that glorifies God, and serves their neighbor.


When it comes to natural revelation both the secular counselor and the biblical counselor employ techniques and tools from this area. However, while the secular counselor uses speculative revelation as the worldview they endorse in light of these techniques, the biblical counselor understands the importance of special revelation, knowing the tools that are used in counseling are given by God to assist in the progressive sanctification of a person.



Until next time…


Soli Deo Gloria


Dr. L.S.



If you would like to read other articles relating to theology, counseling, and current events, from a Biblical worldview please visit my personal blog page, which can be found here.

Are The Means of Grace Biblical?

Are The Means of Grace Biblical?


Reformed Theology teaches what are known as the “means of grace.” What are the means of grace? A website defines the means of grace in this manner:

[The] Means of grace are instruments that God uses to convert and bless people, like the reading and preaching of the word, prayer, singing (psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; Acts 16:25; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, baptism, and the Lord’s supper.

Means of Grace. Retrieved from:

The means of grace are described in Q & A 64 and 65 of the Heidelberg Catechism; a confession that is used in most Reformed churches all over the world:

Q&A 65

It is through faith alone
that we share in Christ and all his benefits:
where then does that faith come from?
A. The Holy Spirit produces it in our hearts
by the preaching of the holy gospel,
and confirms it
by the use of the holy sacraments.


Q&A 66

What are sacraments?
A. Sacraments are visible, holy signs and seals.
They were instituted by God so that
by our use of them
he might make us understand more clearly
the promise of the gospel,
and seal that promise.
And this is God’s gospel promise:
to grant us forgiveness of sins and eternal life
by grace
because of Christ’s one sacrifice
accomplished on the cross.

The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that the Holy Spirit produces faith in a person, and the sacraments (specifically the Lord’s Supper and baptism) “confirm” the faith of the Christian. Although it is helpful, and indeed true, the Lord’s Supper and baptism highlight the reality of what Christ has done, I respectfully disagree with my Reformed brothers in this area. The Lord’s Supper and Baptism are not means of grace, but rather they point to the mean of grace, which is Christ. There are three reasons for why this is the proper way of observing these sacraments.


  • In Reformed Theology there is confusion as to what the means of grace are: When it comes to the means of grace there are many perspectives as to how many means there are.  For example, the Westminster Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism mention two means of grace (Lord’s supper and baptism). Yet in the definition above, given by Theopedia, there are six means of grace mentioned (i.e., preaching, prayer, singing, enjoying God’s creation, baptism, and the Lord’s supper). In the song titled, “Means of Grace” written by Timothy Brindle and Shai Linne, two prominent Reformed Hip-Hop artists they mention four means: the apostles teaching (the word of God), the breaking of bread, the fellowship, and the prayers (Acts 2:42). John Piper, mentions the Christian who guides another believer in a small group is a mean of grace. He even says that neglecting this particular mean could be “dangerous for your soul” when he writes:

I do not say that you can’t be saved without belonging to an organized small group. But I do say, and I believe it is the word of God, that if you have no such cluster of comrades in the faith, then you are neglecting one of the means appointed by God for your preservation and endurance in faith. And to neglect the means of grace is very dangerous for your soul.

John Piper. Stregthen Each Others Hands In God. Retrieved from:

When it comes to the means of grace it appears there is variation on what the means of grace are. Some who adhere to Reformed theology say the means are baptism and the Lord’s Supper, while others say it is fellowship and enjoying the creation of God.


  • In Reformed Theology there is a conflict in how God works through the means of grace: Not only is there indecision as to how many means there are, but there seems to be confusion as to how God works through them. The Westminster Confession states the Holy Spirit works within these sacraments (specifically the Lord’s supper and baptism). However as to how the Holy Spirit works through these means is somewhat of a mystery, as Ligonier notes:

The sacraments are mysteries in that we cannot explain fully what God accomplishes through them.

Means of Grace. from:

For example, in the song “Means of Grace,” Pastor Lance Lewis says this about God’s work in the means of grace:

There are not many roads, or paths  for God’s people to grow. God has used one. His ordinary means, or method, of grace, used in the past to build His people, and now through the church to grow his people. The ordinary means of grace, they focus us on Jesus Christ, and they are ordinary, in that everyone can make use of them, and yet God will do extraordinary things through them in the lives of His people.

Pastor Lance Lewis, “Means of Grace.” The Restoration.

Reformed Theology confesses that God works through these means. They also know that God’s working through these means are extraordinary. However, how God works through these means concerning His people, is somewhat of a mystery. This brings me to my third point of examining the means of grace below.


  • In Reformed Theology arguments supporting the means of grace come primarily from the Reformed confessions: When Reformed Theology attempts to make a case for these means being other than a memorial, they offer an explanation from the confessions rather than Scripture. Ligonier comments:

The sacraments are mysteries in that we cannot explain fully what God accomplishes through them. We do know, however, that they are more than memorial observations. They become effectual means of grace to those with faith by the working of the Holy Spirit (WLC , Q. 161).

Means of Grace. from:

The author mentions they are means the Holy Spirit works through those who believe. However the reference the author gives is not Scripture, but the Westminster Larger Catechism (WLC) as proof God works through these means. In addition, the Scriptures that are provided as evidence for these means (i.e., Acts 8:18, 23; 1 Cor. 3:6-7; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:21) have nothing to do with the means of grace when read in context. For example, take the verse from 1 Cor. 12:13:

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (NASB).

There is mention of the Holy Spirit in this verse. There is also mention that all people, Jews and Greeks who trust in Christ, have the Holy Spirit. Yet, there is no mention of the means of grace anywhere in this passage.  In fact, the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians explains gifts that were given by the Spirit (vs. 4-11), how the church is one body (vs. 12-13), and how the church, with the picture of the body, was supposed to function with the gifts the Holy Spirit distributed (vs. 14-31). It seems the defense for these means are found in the pages of the Westminster Confession, and not within Scripture.


There are things Scripture describes that give grace to the believer in an objective manner.  For example, the word of God is described as “the word of His grace” (Acts. 20:32), because it has been given to us by God Himself  (v. 32b), it is able to build up the Christian (v. 32b), and it is able to give the Christian an inheritance among the saints (v. 32b). The Holy Spirit is known as the “Spirit of grace” (Heb 10:29) because this is an undeserved gift that has been given to the saint for their sanctification. A Christian can come to the “throne of grace” approaching Christ with cares and struggles of this life, because He is able to sympathize with the Christian (Heb. 4:16). The abilities that Christ gave to men, to lay the foundation of the church, to equip the saints for the work of service, and expand the church across the world were also described as “grace” (Eph. 4:7). Yet there is not one Scripture where the Lord’s supper and baptism are described in such terms.


However, These things the Lord has instituted point the believer to Christ and His gracious work for the Christian. When a Christian partakes of the Lord’s supper they proclaim Christ’s death until He appears (1 Cor. 11:26). When a person is baptized they identify with Christ being their Messiah (Acts 8:25-38). The Lord’s supper and baptism, point to the mean of grace, which is Christ Himself, whom through His death, burial, and resurrection has dispensed grace to the Christian (Jn. 1:17). All other works that a believer does (prayer, observing God’s creation, fellowship, etc) are not done as a method, or mean, of grace. They are done because a person has already received grace, and this grace that a believer has received is expressed in the good works a Christian does to the glory of God (Eph. 2:8-10).


Reformed theology desires to honor the things that were given by God. Reformed theology also desires to keep believer’s eyes, and consciences, fixed on Christ. However, when it comes to the means of grace there are many variations as to what these means are, a mystery as to how God works through these means, and the explanation for these means come from teachings of the Reformed Theology, rather than a plain reading of Scripture. There are things have been given by God  that give grace to the Christian, however the Lord’s supper, and baptism are not mentioned as means of grace; however they are acts that a believer because they have received grace from God.  Let us, as Christians continue to stand in a Biblical worldview rather than trusting in statements of man-made confessions.

Until next time…

Soli Deo Gloria!

   Dr. L.S.


If you would like to read other articles relating to theology, counseling, and current events, from a Biblical worldview please visit my personal blog page, which can be found here.

The Christian Identity and Behavior

The Christian Identity and Behavior

When it comes to Biblical counselors there is an aspect of our counseling that deals with identity in connection to behavior. However, what is identity? The word identity comes from the 14th century Medieval Latin root idem, which means “the same.” A more formal definition of identity is found below:

“[Identity is] the condition of being oneself or itself; and not another.”

identity. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed: March 13, 2017).

Identity is not just found in a physical attributes, but it is also highlighted by one’s behavior as well.  

Paul writing to the church of Corinth addressed the issue of saints taking lawsuits to one another before unbelievers to solve them. Paul then expressed due to their behavior they defraud, and mistreat, one another. Then Paul, admonishing the churches of Corinth says this:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God…

1 Cor. 6:9-11 NASB

Paul highlighted the churches in Corinth were not to act this way to one another. After naming all of the types of people who would not inherit the kingdom of God, Paul reminded the Corinthians that some of them were this way (1 Cor. 6:11a). In other words, they formerly bore this identity, and behaved in such a way that would have disqualified their inheritance from the kingdom of God. However, due to the mercy of God they were washed and justified by the Lord Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11b). The Corinthian saints were not to act this way any longer because that was not who they were any longer. They had been washed and redeemed by the Lord Jesus, and they have been sanctified by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in them. They now, by the sacrifice of Christ, and the Holy Spirit, had a completely different identity.

What does identity have to do with behavior? One acts (or should act) according to who they are. A person who identifies as a homosexual, will behave in such a way that affirms, or highlights, their identity. When one identifies with being a con-artist, their behavior reflects their identity. Who they are is connected with how they behave.

When a Christian struggles with how they behave there are four things Biblical counselors can do to assist their counselees in session:

1. Remind them of how they are justified in the Lord Jesus Christ: Paul, reminded the church of Corinth they were washed of their sin by the forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice redeemed man from sin, reconciling man to God (1 Cor. 6:11). When a believers struggles with their identity they can look to the sacrifice of Christ, who took on the sin of mankind, and was punished as if His identity was one of those who did not deserve to inherit the kingdom of God. At the same time God clothed us with the righteousness of Christ, giving the Christian a new identity.

2. Remind them that having a new identity is a work (and gift) of God: The new identity that one receives is exclusively a work of God (Eph. 2:8-10). The new identity of God is also a gift of God in Christ Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11a). One does not have to “feel” they have a new identity or behave in such a way in order to have, and keep, the new identity that Christ has given to the Christian. A Christian struggling with their identity can be reminded that the Christian does good works because they realize their new identity has been given to them as a gift by Christ Himself.

3. Remind them of their present state in the Body of Christ: Paul mentioned the Holy Spirit as he addressed the churches in Corinth. They were sanctified (i.e., set apart) by the Holy Spirit for the Master’s use (1 Cor. 6:11). This is also in relation to an individual being a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:16-17). To be a new creation is associated with having a completely new identity. With this new identity comes new affections, new convictions, and new behaviors. In addition, this reality is also not dependent on how one feels. If one is in Christ, and has received the Holy Spirit of God, they are a new creation, and because of this new reality they are to express these new behaviors, and affections, even if they do not sense, or “feel” it.

4. Remind them of their future state in glorification and Rewards: There are many passages found in Scripture that state our behavior should also be governed by the glorification of the saints at the appearing of Christ, and future rewards (2 Cor. 5:10). Christians have an expectation of the great appearing of the Lord and Master because of the redemption of their bodies (Rom. 8:22-23; 1 Thess. 4:17). With the complete redemption of the body will come the complete redemption of the mind, will, and emotions. This ultimate glorification will be so radical, and so extreme, that one could also receive a new name (Rev. 2:17). In addition, there is also mention of eternal rewards, which Jesus will give when the Christian goes before Jesus to be examined. This reward judgment is based on the works the believer has done in accordance with this new identity (2 Cor. 5:9-10). The present state of a Christian’s progressive sanctification will be realized in the future glorification, and distribution of eternal rewards by Jesus Christ.

A Christian’s behavior is connected to his/her new identity, and God works in the Christian to make their identity the “same as Christ” (i.e., Christlike) in their mind, will, emotions, and behavior. A Christian can stand confident knowing their identity is not found in how they described themselves in their former life, but is found in Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit. It is through Christ, and His work (which included Jesus Christ sending the Holy Spirit) that one receives a new identity. This identity is not due to a Christian’s own effort and work, but by the sovereign and gracious work of God. Now that a believer has a new identity, the Christian is to continually behave according to their new identity. It is the Christian’s hope one day their identity in Christ will be realized in its fullness when Christ appears, and gathers, those who are a new creation to Himself to be forever glorified. Amen.

Until Next Time…

Soli Deo Gloria!

Dr. L.S.


If you would like to read other articles relating to theology, counseling, and current events, from a Biblical worldview please visit my personal blog page, which can be found here.