Without an infallible Bible we have no authority to counsel people regarding what they must believe and do, or how God expects us to change. However, because we possess the infallible Word of God, we also possess divinely delegated authority to counsel according to its precepts and principles. We can and must say to others, “Thus saith the Lord,” and “this is what God requires of you.”
Scripture alone provides power and authority for counseling and soul care since it is the Word of the living God who created and redeems us. There is nothing we may experience which God does not directly or indirectly address in His Word. The Bible truly is sufficient to minister to the soul as we deal with the manifold problems men, women, and children face in our broken world because Scripture is the revelation of the living God (Psalm 19:7-11). Therefore, let’s reflect on three characteristics of Scripture that build our confidence in its unique ability to heal and transform us from the inside out.
Scripture Sanctifies Us
The Word of God confronts us when we get off the right path and shows us how to get back on, and it trains us to live godly lives so that we mature and become equipped to serve God: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Because the Word of God is a living book, it has the power to expose our motives and transform the inner man—the heart—which consequently changes our behavior; that is, it produces righteous living (Hebrews 4:12). According to Jesus, Scripture is the Spirit’s primary tool in the process of sanctification (John 17:17). Therefore, we should test every truth claim made by any person by the standard of Scripture, which is the mind of God in written form (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). This does not mean we cannot benefit from extra-biblical (not un-biblical) knowledge that, when filtered through the Word, may amplify our awareness of human suffering. However, its help is always subordinate—never equal—to the authority of God in Scripture. We must interpret any knowledge we gain through general revelation or common grace by using the flawless lens of Scripture.