THE APOSTLE JOHN AS A BIBLICAL THERAPIST

In Biblical Therapy, we deal with the lies people believe. These lies provide the dynamics for their addictions and life-controlling problems. It is a lie-versus-truth process. The lie-versus-truth problem is skilfully outlined in 1 John 1:5-10:

 

“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive (lie) 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 of all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

SELF-LIES VERSUS TRUTH

 

First, we lie to ourselves and stop practising the truth (vs. 6). Once we start lying to ourselves, then we lost the truth (vs. 8). Finally, we begin lying to God and make Him a liar. As a result, we lose His word (vs. 10). Look at some of the lies we believe about ourselves and the truth from God’s Word which refutes them:

 

SELF-LIES TRUTH
Self-reliant lie: “I have to

take care of myself.”

God wants us to take responsibility for

ourselves. But He also wants us to rely on

Him as our ultimate source (Matthew 6:33; Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 28:26).

Self-rights lie: “I am free. I

do what I want.”

Apart from God, we are slaves (Romans 6:16; Luke 9:23-24; Romans 13:1; Hebrews 13:17).
Self-uniqueness lie: “No

one can understand my

problems.”

Your problems are common to all people (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Self-assurance lie: “I am in charge of my life.” You are not your own source (Deuteronomy:11-18).
Self-assertive lie: ”I have to

make it happen.”

Do not trust in yourself (Psalm 60:11-12;

73:26; Jeremiah 9:23-24; 17:5-8; Romans 7:14-8:8; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Philippians 3:3).

Self-righteous lie: “I am

always right.”

We have no righteousness apart from Christ (Psalm 14:2-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10-12; Titus 3:5).
Self-exaltation lie: “If you

do not blow your own

horn, no one will.

Psalm 10:4; 66:7; 94:4; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 1:31, 2 Corinthians10:12, 18; 11:30; 12:9

 

CONTRASTING LIES WITH THE TRUTH

 

John continued with his contrast of lies versus the truth in 1 John 2, in order to establish that there is a difference. In verse four, he gave us an example of truth versus lie:

 

“He that saith, ‘I know Him,’ and keeps not His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him.”

 

In verse 21, he established the purity of the truth:

 

“I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”

 

In verse 27, he told us that the truth only comes through sacred, divine appointment, an unction from the Holy One:

 

“But the anointing which ye have received of Him abide in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but that as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.”

 

GOD’S LIGHT OF TRUTH

 

This is the reason we teach in Biblical Therapy that until God shines His light of truth into the darkness of a lie, no change will take place. Truth comes by divine appointment. Dr. Archibald Hart, in his book, Habits of the Mind: Ten Exercises to Renew Your Thinking, says:

 

“You cannot control your feelings directly, only individually through your thoughts. I speak as a psychotherapist. And my estimate is that 75 percent of the psychotherapy

delivered across the country is of little value, precisely because it focuses too much on past hurts, unmerited self- aggrandizement, and a culture of anger enhancement. It would be a lot more effective if it focused on the present, and what a troubled person can do to change unhappy circumstances. In short, change your thoughts first, and the desired feelings will follow. Feelings are the consequences, not the cause, of our emotional problems. This truth opens up a whole new world of freedom and control for us.”

 

DR KRIGE AND HOUSE REGENERATION

 

This adapted content was extracted from A Biblical Approach to Psychotherapy authored by Dr Ado Krige, the Founding Director of House Regeneration, a South African drug rehabilitation centre offering a comprehensive discipleship training program. By applying principles of Biblical Therapy, using the Scriptures to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, House Regeneration counsellors show anyone who has suffered from addiction how to fully understand why they do what they do and how to bring their belief systems in line with the Word of God.

 

 

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