The Christ as Counselor
George Welsh Tyler
San Diego, California
Of the approximately 175 Scriptural titles applied to Christ, "Counselor" is one that stands out. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." What a remarkable setting for this term "Counselor!" How much easier it is for men and even nations to accept Him as Savior and Redeemer than it is to accept and listen to Him as Counselor! It is that phase of Christ's manifold character that we wish to present at this time.
Studying the teachings of Christ we find they are packed with counsel for the saved and the unsaved, for young and old, for the rich and the poor, for the learned and the unlearned. I think it would be very interesting to tabulate the total recorded teachings of Christ to find out just how great a proportion is wise, kindly counsel. "Enter ye in at the straight gate." "Be not wise in your own conceits." "Be not anxious about the morrow," "Work while it is day." "Watch." "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." "No man can serve two masters." "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." "Judge not that ye be not judged." "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." We have given a few examples to those who are out of the fold and to those who are within the fold. We might group Christ's words as follows: (1) statements of facts, such as, "No one cometh unto the Father but by me;" (2) commands, such as, "Go ye into all the world," etc.; (3) counsel, such as cited above; (4) promises, such as, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;" (5) warnings, such as, "Beware of false prophets."
We must bear in mind that neither God nor Christ will ever force any man to obey even a positive command, much less follow counsel. Both are given, however, as I understand it, as guideposts, pointing the only way to safety and salvation! As the Son of the living God, Christ's counsel cannot and dare not be ignored or overlooked. He stated the truth that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one could come to God but by Him. This being true, His counsel cannot be ignored and must be followed by all men who would be saved, because it is the divine and authoritative pointing out of the Way, the Truth and the Life. To a lot of people it seems somewhat easier to recognize the necessity of obeying a positive command than for hearing arid heeding Christ's counsel, yet both are given for exactly the same purpose; that is, as guides to the way, and only that way alone can lead to forgiveness, eternal life and heaven.
The Christian has two duties relative to the counsel of Christ. One is to lay this counsel before every possible misguided wanderer who is not in Christ. The other duty is to remember that Christ is not only Redeemer, but Counselor for every day and every relation in life. When Christians make use of the Christ as Counselor not only in moral decisions, but in business, in the home, in success and defeat, in marriage and in contemplated marriage, in pleasures and sorrows and even in their efforts to serve in Christian work, the sad errors which have pursued Christian lives and afflicted the church will mostly have been done away. Christ as Counselor in the home means the end of most heartbreaks and wrecks. Christ as Counselor, if permitted, would solve all church problems without heat, enmity and disruption.
We close with a word that needs to be strongly emphasized thousands of times in sermons and editorials. Oh, how the nations need Christ as Counselor when men shall sit down to determine their future and their multiplied millions of inhabitants! How can those who hold the lives of all the living and unborn generations in their hands be prevailed upon to seek the tender but sure-guiding hand of Christ, the Son of the living God? Christians, one and all, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, can pray earnestly every day that the chosen representatives of the nations shall choose to be willing and actually will seek the counsel and guidance of Him whose name is "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Truth Magazine XIX: 56, p. 893