What Makes Biblical Counseling Truly Biblical?: In 25-Words-or-Less

I’m teaching a one-week biblical counseling small group lab class (BC 611) at Faith Bible Seminary. I asked my students to craft a 25-word-or-less response to the question:

What makes biblical counseling truly biblical? 

With their permission, I share their responses for your edification (in no particular order):

Response #1 

Truly biblical counseling is when the Scriptures are the primary method of diagnosing, treating and developing a perspective that addresses man’s need to glorify God and exalt Him forever.

Response #2 

Biblical counseling is biblical when the purpose is to glorify God, the goal is sanctification, Christ is central, and the Scriptures are sufficient and authoritative.

Response #3 (Notice the Acronym “Counseling”) 

Christians with

One another,

Understanding the

Nuanced ministry of

Scripture and


Leading to

Intentional, Incarnational ministry,

New life in Christ, and

Growth in grace

Response #4

Biblical counseling is truly biblical when it emerges from Scripture, interweaves the person’s story with God’s story for sanctification, one-anothering with truth and love.

Response #5

Biblical counseling involves lovingly journeying with one another as we relate the whole gospel story to the whole person’s whole story.

Response #6

BC embraces the pain of the sufferer; provides hope using Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s work; who then embrace the forgiveness and growth toward Christlikeness-subsequently encouraging the church family.

Response #7

Biblical counseling is biblical when the counselor, counselee, and the church are committed to growing in their love and obedience to the two greatest commandments.

Response #8

Biblical counseling uses Scripture to show the beauty of God’s redemptive story through Jesus Christ, who redeems His broken brothers and sisters by the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, to live their lives for His glory and not their own.

Response #9

Biblical counseling is biblical when it recognizes Christ, the gospel and the Scriptures as authoritative and sufficient to address all of man’s non-physical problems.

Response #10 

Counseling that uses biblical principles to not only help sufferers to heal, but also helps them reconcile to God and grow spiritually for God’s glory. 

Response #11

Authentic believers ministering to others as they encounter sin and suffering with the love and truth of God for His glory and their eternal good.

Response #12

Foundation of solutions/causes (Bible)
Diagnosis of root issue (Sinful heart)
Motivation of man (Please God)
Method of change (Holy Spirit)
View of God

Response #13

The use of Scripture, and its principles to help the whole person, connecting their life with the gospel story to bring wholeness into their life.

Response #14

Biblical counseling recognizes that it is the Word of God united with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that truly changes a needy soul.

Response #15 

Using the biblical story of redemption the Savior, and gospel promises to fulfill the mission of filling up what was lacking by incarnating Christ for the church.

Join the Conversation 

If you had 25-words-or-less, how would you answer the question: What makes biblical counseling truly biblical?

Bob Kellemen
Bob Kellemen, Th.M., Ph.D.: Dr. Kellemen is VP of Strategic Development and Academic Dean at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Bob is also the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries through which he speaks, writes, and consults on biblical counseling and Christian living. Dr. Kellemen served as the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. For seventeen years, Bob was the founding Chairman of and Professor in the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. Bob has pastored four churches and equipped biblical counselors in each church. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have been married for thirty-eight years; they have two adult children, Josh and Marie, one daughter-in-law, Andi, and three granddaughters. Dr. Kellemen is the author of eighteen books including Equipping Counselors for Your Church, Gospel-Centered Counseling, and Gospel Conversations.