Summary of Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands
Paul D. Tripp authored a work that promotes the world of biblical counseling that is not bound to a professional clinical model but incorporates the daily ministry lifestyle founded on the Scriptures. Tripp emphasizes the gospel of Jesus Christ as the hope for those who have lost hope. The moment when sin entered the world through Adam’s fall brought forth guilt, fear, and shame became the standard. In a few pages, Tripp wrote the story of the Fall and the implications of sin towards the human race. The disconnect between God and mankind became prevalent; He sent His only son to save the world and provide a gift that would keep those faithful to Him: hope. Jesus Christ, the Son of God has set the paradigm of which His followers must imitate because He has masterfully counseled those who were suffering and sick. As Christ reflected this model in several ways, Tripp also elaborates on the importance of actively empathizing while being involved in the midst of the person’s suffering. Personal ministry is a challenging field of work that will require sacrifice and delving into people’s mess just as Jesus loved his church, Paul’s ministry and discipleship to the churches of his time, and more that can be found in the Bible. There is also an emphasis on the integrity of the spiritual life of the counselor being kept accountable at all times; the heart issue of man has to be cautioned against and examined deeply because from it all things come forth. The counselor must not only treat the symptoms but also get to the root of the issue; the connection between roots and fruit (the heart or cause of evil, such as money or idols, and the behavior) indicates that counselors' goal must be heart change. This approach to counseling has provided resources in equipping the biblical counselor to seek and identify the true problem he/she must address. Tripp’s main thesis revolves around the central idea of the heart being the target in any counseling situation; the focus is placed on an individual's heart tendencies and the object of his worship rather than on the sinful habits and behavior. From a biblical view, a person’s walk with God is positioned in one of two directions: towards God or becoming distant from God. True healing and transformation occurs when the heart is changed by the gospel. A four-tier model is introduced in the book; a model that looks into the principles for dealing with the heart: Love, Know, Speak, and Do. God commands Christians to love one another as equally as themselves. Often, the self-sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated everyday is lacking in the body of Christ.
Tripp writes, “I am deeply persuaded that the foundation for people-transforming ministry is not sound theology; it is love”(Tripp, 2002). The love that Tripp is referring to is not eros (sexual love) or phileo (general love) but to agape; the very love that Jesus poured out to those whom he ministered. “Agape...