The Use of The Bible
Christian Counseling


Rev. Philip B. Roland, MA
Pastoral Counselor


Using the Bible in Christian Counseling
Basic Christian Counselor Training
I n t e g r a t i o n
Clyde Narramore of the Narramore Foundation, Rosemead, California is the first Christian Psychologist to make popular the mixing (integration) of psychology and the Bible. Simply stated, where the Bible and psychology agree, we embrace. Where they disagree, we walk away. They produce an excellent journal, "The Journal of Pastoral Psychology" in which both father and son (Bruce) edit and produce.
Larry Crabb, Christian Cognitive therapist, refers to integration as “raiding the Egyptians.” When the descendants of Joseph left Egypt, they took the gold and silver, flocks and wealth with them. So we, as the children of Israel, take with us only what is valuable in psychology. We remember that God is the author of all wisdom. Ultimately we must acknowledge that even secular minds can receive Godly wisdom and insight.
Other strong minds on the subject of integration are Jerry and Barbara Cook. In His book, Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness Jerry relates, “Where truth kisses truth, we agree. God is the author of all truth. That truth is found in His Word. If these two do not agree, there is no truth and no kiss.”
Finally, there is the radical use of scripture in Christian Counseling proposed by Jay E. Adams. He refers to it as "Nouthetic Counseling." The word, "nouthetic" is the Koine Greek word translated, "admonish" in the King James Translation Bible. The word, according to Adams, means confronting a sinner Biblically about the error of his ways. Wrong behaviors, attitudes and values are the result, says Adams of conforming to non-biblical standards. All the counselee has to do is line up their lives by the standards of God's word, and therefore they will be healed.
Adams is overtly critical of secular psychology, but covertly uses their methods and integrates their ideas into his own. Caution is urged to a beginning Christian counselor getting over-involved with neuthetic counseling before rapport building and confidence building with a client. There are no short-cuts to relationship building with a client before any type of confrontation occurs.

Humanism, Cosmology and the Scripture
When applying scripture to the human situation, another problem that complicates the interpretation and application is the problem of humanism. Our culture is basically humanistic, and even though Christians may have a Christian World-View, they view the world relative to its humanistic setting. That's why I have included Abraham Maslow and his “Hierarchy of Human Needs” as a way of interpreting worldly, humanistic clients.

Erik Erikson's Eight Psycho Social Stages:
All of the secular, humanistic psychologists agree that Erik Erikson has a valid model to describe HOW we mature emotionally and socially. Nothing in Erikson's model contradicts scripture. I include the model with this material because it will help us to identify and specify approximately the ages and stages in which a person has been wounded in earlier life. The use of scripture with a client, I believe, is strongly affected by where a person is in their emotional development.

The Scale of Evangelism:
Also, I include an Engle's/Wagner/Wimber/Roland adapted scale to aid you in finding a client's level of development and spiritual understanding. If a person is a "God-Fearer" you must use care in your use of scripture in counseling. If a person, however, is close to "Conversion," or growing in grace after making a commitment to Christ more advanced scripture may be employed in the counseling process.

Courtesy of Rev. Philip B. Roland, MA - 724-981-5683




1. BASIC TRUST vs. MISTRUST - Birth to First Year
TRUST is developed by consistent maternal care.
When trust happens the infant develops trust,
optimism and warmth.
MISTRUST happens through maternal negligence, and the
irregular satisfaction of the infant's needs.
Resolution of this crisis leads to H O P E.

2. AUTONOMY vs. SHAME / DOUBT - Second Year
AUTONOMY is developed as the child begins assertiveness
and physical self-control. When autonomy develops
the child takes on the pride of personal accomplishment.
SHAME / DOUBT happens when the child becomes overly
dependent on parents and is unable to be assertive.
Resolution of this crisis leads the child to a W I L L.

3. INITIATIVE vs. GUILT - Third to Fifth Year
INITIATIVE is developed as the child begins exploratory
behavior and self-initiated activities. In the
INITIATIVE stage the development of conscience
begins, along with a sense of self-worth and self
GUILT occurs when the developing child is restrained by fearfulness and self-doubt.
Resolution of this crisis gives the child PURPOSE.

4. INDUSTRY vs. INFERIORITY - Sixth Year to Puberty
INDUSTRY occurs as the child develops cooperation
and the ability to compete with others. The child
learns competence, mastery of skills and self-
INFERIORITY occurs when the child is stopped by fear
of failing and feelings of inadequacy.
Resolution of this crisis gives the child COMPETENCY.

5. IDENTITY vs. ROLE CONFUSION - Adolescence
IDENTITY occurs when the child integrates his/her identity
by recognizing a sense of continuity with one's past,
present and future, resulting in a healthy sense of
ROLE CONFUSION happens when the adolescent becomes
lost in the expectations of others and fails to develop
a positive identity.
Resolution of this crisis gives the adolescent FIDELITY.
(Fidelity is "faithfulness, loyalty and a conformity to truth.")

6. INTIMACY vs. ISOLATION - Early Adulthood
INTIMACY is developed as the person is able to experience
emotional vulnerability and develop the ability to care
deeply for another person. The young adult will develop
the ability to form stable commitments and close
ISOLATION occurs when the person only forms shallow inter-
personal relationships and has a strong fear of commit-
ment to others.
Resolution of this crisis leads to the ability to LOVE.

7. GENERATIVITY vs. STAGNATION - Middle Adulthood
GENERATIVITY happens as a person develops a need to be
needed and has a desire to contribute to the welfare
of others. The healthy middle adult will be productive,
creative and have a concern for the world and future
STAGNATION happens when a middle adult becomes self-
absorbed and develops early invalidism.
Resolution of this crisis leads to the ability to CARE.

INTEGRITY occurs as the aging person takes on a life of
reflection and evaluation, finding the purpose and
meaning to their lives. They grow to accept their
mortality and the human life cycle. They develop
sense of peace.
DESPAIR happens as the aging adult lives with regret of
their past life and lives with a strong fear of death.
Resolution of this crisis leads to WISDOM.
Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA
Rev. Philip B. Roland, MA, Founder

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Humanistic Psychology

A. Physiological / Biological Needs
1. Hunger
2. Thirst
3. Sexual Drives
B. Safety Needs
1. Security
2. Stability
3. Structure

A. Belongingness and Love
B. Acceptance
1. Warm Relationships
2. Personal Affirmation
C. Personal Esteem
1. Achievement
2. Competence
3. Approval
4. Recognition

III. SELF ACTUALIZATION (The Spiritually Maturing Self)
(Trait List)
1. Realistically Oriented
2. Accepts Self, Others and the Natural World as it is
3. Allows for Spontaneity
4. In Conflict becomes Problem-Centered, not Self-Centered
5. Maintains an air of Detachment/Has a Need for Privacy
6. Autonomous and Independent
7. Appreciates People and Things (Fresh, Not Stereotyped)
8. Has had profound Mystical/spiritual experiences
9. Identifies with All Mankind
10. Has intimate relationships with specific people (No shallow, superficial relationships)
11. Values and Attitude are Democratic
12. Philosophical sense of Humor (Not Hostile)
13. Possess a great fund of Creativeness
14. Resists Conformity to Culture
15. Able to Transcend Environment, not just cope with it
Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA


The Process of Evangelism
(How Christian Conversion Occurs)

GENERAL -10 Awareness of the Supernatural Revelation -9 No Effective Knowledge/of Christianity

PRESENCE -8 Initial Awareness of Christianity -7 Interest In Christianity

PROCLAMATION -6 Awareness Basic Facts of Gospel -5 Grasp of Implications of the Gospel

PERSUASION -4 Positive Attitude to the Gospel

POWER -3 Awareness of Personal Need

DECISION -2 Challenge and Decision to Act

RELATIONAL -1 Repentance and faith

*** A NEW DISCIPLE IS BORN Matt. 28:19-20 ***

+1 Evaluation of Decision

+2 Initiation into the Church

+3 Joins in Process of Making Other Disciples

+4 Growth Understanding and Faith

+5 Growth in Christian Character

+6 Discovery and Use of Gifts

+7 Christian Life-style

+8 Stewardship of Resources

+9 Prayer

+10 Openness to Others (Transparency)

This Engles Scale of Evangelism paradigm has been adapted by Dr. C. Peter Wagner and Phil Roland.



The Use of Scriptures in Christian Counseling
Suggested Scripture Passages For The Counselor

Before Any Medical Procedure:
I Tim. 1:12 Phil. 4:13 Ps. 91:1, 11 Isa.30:15b
Matt. 28:20 Ps. 46:1

Confidence in God:
Ps. 23 Ps. 46:1 Ps. 27:1-3 Eph. 3:20
Rom. 8:38-39 Heb. 13:5b

The Purpose of Suffering:
John 9:1-3 John 11:3,4 Ps. 66:10 Heb. 12:6,11
Job. 1:8-12 Job. 42:5,6 II Cor. 1:3-5

Sense of Guilt or Failure:
Ps. 51:1;7-10 Isa. 1:18 Ps. 103:8 John 6:37
Luke 15:7 I John 1:9

A n x i e t y
Ps. 26:3 Isa. 30:15 Phil. 4:7,8 Matt. 6:34
Ps. 42:1-5

P a t i e n c e
Rom. 5:3,4 Ps. 46:10a Job 42:10 James 5:10,11
Phil. 4:13

Discouragement and Disappointment:
Ps. 37:7 Ps. 138:8 Matt. 11:28 Rom. 8:28
Isa. 40:31 Ps. 6

Aged Persons:
Ps. 16:5-11 Ps. 71:16-24 Luke 2:29-32 II Tim. 4:7-8

S l e e p l e s s n e s s:
Ps. 4:8 Ps. 30:5b Ps. 46:10a I Peter 5:7
I John 4:18

F e a r o f D e a t h:
Ps. 23:4 Rom. 8:37-39 John 14:1 Isa. 12:2
Ps. 46:1-4 Isa. 41:10

Hope at the Time of Death:
Ps. 23 John 14:1-3 II Cor. 5:1 I Cor.15:57
Rev. 21:4,5 Rev. 22:3-5 John 5:24

T h a n k s g i v i n g:
Ps. 103:1-4 Ps. 118:5;17,18 Ps. 138:1-3 Ps. 22:23-25
Ps. 28:7 Ps. 40:2-5

C h i l d b i r t h:
Ps. 116:1-5 Ps. 127:3-5a John 16:21-22 James 1:17
Mark 10:14-16 Deut. 6:7 Prov. 22:6 II Cor.12:9

A b o r t i o n:
Ps. 138:13-18 Ex. 21:22

A n g e r:
Prov. 14:17 Prov. 15:1 Prov. 22:24 Prov. 25:28
Eph. 4:26 Col. 3:8,9 James 1:19

R e t a l i a t i o n :
Matt. 5:38-44 Rom. 12:17-19 I Thes. 5:15

Personal Accountability:
Luke 12:45-48 Matt. 22:11-13
Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland

W h y S h o u l d I?

1. Why should I say, “I can't,” when the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me Strength (Phil 4:13)?”

2. Why should I lack anything when I know that “God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19)?”

3. Why should I fear when the Bible says, “God has not given me spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)?

4. Why should I lack faith to fulfill my calling knowing that God has allotted to me a measure of faith (Rom 12:3)?

5. Why should I be weak when the Bible says that the Lord is the strength of my life and that I will display strength and take action because I know God (Psa 27:1; Dan 11:32)?

6. Why should I allow Satan's supremacy over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)?

7. Why should I lack wisdom when Christ became wisdom to me from God and God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask Him for it (1 Cor. 1:30, James 1:5)?

8. Why should I accept defeat when the Bible says that God always lead
me in triumph (2 Cor. 2:14)?

9. Why should I be depressed when I can recall to mind God's lovingkindness, compassion, and faithfulness and have hope (Lam. 3:21-23)?

10. Why should I worry and fret when I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me (1 Pet 5:7)?

11. Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is (Gal 5:1)?

12. Why should I feel condemned when the Bible says I am not condemned because I am in Christ (Rom 8:1)?

13. Why should I feel alone when Jesus said He is with me always and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Matt 28:20, Heb 13:5)?

14. Why should I feel accursed or that I am the victim of bad luck when the Bible says that Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law that I might receive the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:13,14)?

15. Why should I be discontented when I, like Paul, can learn to be content in all my circumstances (Phil 4:11)?

16. Why should I feel worthless when Christ became sin on my behalf that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21)?

17. Why should I have a persecution complex knowing that nobody can be against me when God is for me (Rom 8:31)?

18. Why should I be confused when God is the author of peace and He gives me knowledge through His in dwelling Spirit (1 Cor. 14:33, 2:12)?

19. Why should I feel like a failure when I am a conqueror in all things
through Christ (Rom 8:37)?

20. Why should I let the pressures of life bother me when I can take courage knowing that Jesus has overcome the world and its tribulations (John 16:33)?


When in sorrow...................................………………………..call John 14When men fail you...............................……………………...call Psalm 27When you have sinned............................……………………call Psalm 51When you worry...........................………………….call Matthew 6:19-34When you are in danger..........................…………………...call Psalm 91When God seems far away........................………………..call Psalm 139When your faith needs stirring................……………….call Hebrews 11When you are lonely and fearful.................………………..call Psalm 23When you grow bitter and critical.......……………call 1 Corinthians 13When you feel down and out...................……………...call Romans 8:31When you want peace and rest............………….call Matthew 11:25-30When the world seems bigger than God............………….call Psalm 90When you want Christian assurance..........………...call Romans 8:1-30When you leave home for labor or travel........…………..call Psalm 121When your prayers grow narrow or selfish.......………….call Psalm 67When you want courage for a task................………………call Joshua 1When you think of investments and returns........…………call Mark 10If you are depressed............................………………………call Psalm 27If your pocketbook is empty.....................………………….call Psalm 37If you are losing confidence in people..…………..call 1 Corinthians 13If people seem unkind............................……………………..call John 15If discouraged about your work.................……………….call Psalm 126If self pride/greatness takes hold..............………………….call Psalm 19If you want to be fruitful.......................………………………call John 15For understanding of Christianity.…………..call 2 Corinthians 5:15-19For a great invention/opportunity..............………………...call Isaiah 55For how to get along with fellow men...........…………...call Romans 12For Paul's secret to happiness........……………..call Colossians 3:12-17ALTERNATE NUMBERSFor dealing with fear..........................…………………….call Psalm 34:7For security.................................………………………….call Psalm 121:3For assurance..................................………………………call Mark 8:35For reassurance.............................……………………...call Psalm 145:18
PLEASE NOTE:Emergency numbers may be dialed direct. No operator assistance is necessary.
All lines to Heaven are open 24 hours a day!
Feed your FAITH, and DOUBT will starve to death!

Basic Christian Counselor Training
Matthew 18:19,20
19“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Jeremiah 33:3
3‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Matthew 18:18
18“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 5
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45that you may be sons (and daughters) of your Father in heaven. NIV

43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: KJV

Matthew 18:32-35
32“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Hebrews 12:15
15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Matthew 7:1,2
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

James 1:5
5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. NIV

Jeremiah 17:9
9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:
who can know it? KJV
1 John 1:9
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. NIV

Romans 5:5b
5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. NIV
1 Cor. 13
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

Ephesians 4:26,27
26“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27and do not give the devil a foothold. NIV

Matt. 5:22
22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. NIV

Proverbs 23:7
7 “For as he (a man) thinks in his heart, so he is. . .”

Philippians 4:4-9
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Proverbs 3:5,6
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Galatians 5:22
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23gentleness and self-control.

Galatians 6:6
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

1 John 1:7
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Matthew 5:48
48Be perfect, (TEL-IOS = Complete, Full grown, Mature) therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

1 Cor. 13:11
11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23
23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:8,9,10
8But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
9That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Psalm 139:13-16
13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 1:4,5
4The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 29:11
11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
14I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.

John 1:26
26“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know.
27He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

John 1:32-34
32Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”
34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

Acts 1:8
8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Luke 24:49
49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. KJV

Luke 11:9-13
9 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Matthew 28:18-20
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. KJV

Proverbs 11:14b
“. . .in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Proverbs 20:5
“Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”

Proverbs 15:22
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many counselors they succeed.”



The Use of the Bible in Christian Counseling

1. ADAMS, Jay E., Competent to Counsel, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1970/73.

2. ADAMS, Jay E., The Use of the Scriptures in Counseling, Baker Book House, 1975.

3. NARRAMORE, Clyde M., The Psychology of Counseling, Zondervan Publishing House, (Chapter 31), 1960.

4. OATES, Wayne E., The Bible in Pastoral Care, Philadelphia Press, 1974.

5. PINK, A.W., Profiting From the Word, The Chapel Library, 1971.

6. TURNBULL, Ralph G. Ed., Baker's Dictionary of Practical Theology, Baker Book House, 1974.