We are people who need help and we know this is the case in our honest moments. We are all in need of help. Scripture looks at human beings from three angles: Creation, Fall, and Redemption.
He begins with Creation to note that man was created upright with identity and purpose and dependent on God’s help even then. He states, first, that man was created to be revelation receivers. He next notes that they were created to be interpreters , that is they were created to think and to interpret the facts around us. We interpret situations, relationships, and ourselves. Our thinking conditions our emotions, our sense of identity, our view of others, our agenda for the solution of our problems, and our willingness to receive counsel from others. The third thing that distinguishes mankind is that he was created to be a worshiper. What men do and the way they do it expresses their desire to serve something. Because we are worshipers by nature we are always (1) giving proper worship to God, (2) serving something else, or (3) worshiping ourselves, demanding to be the center of our own universe.
Tripp then goes on to describe the “entrance of another counselor” as Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin and plunge them into sin and misery. He notes that this is essentially Adam and Even living a lie outside their design and pretending they can even exist in the constructed reality of the lie of sin. Foolishness is not stupidity but a deadly combination of ignorance and arrogance. He draws several principles from Gen 3: (1) Thoughts, opinions, advice, and relationships are always agenda setting; (2) Advice is always moral; (3) We should hunger fro the humble dependence of Gen 1; (4) The voices of the world appeal to a core delusion in sinful hearts; (5) We need the Word of God to make sense out of life.
He next turns his attention to the battle of indwelling sin and why believers need to be counseled (i.e. encouraged). He highlights the pattern of Hebrews: sinful ->turning away->hardened hearts and the need to remain vigilant. We have Christ in us (Rom 6) and the power of sin to enslave is destroyed but sin still has some power. Consequently, we each have spiritual blindspots and need one another.
He summarizes with this: (1) We were created with the need for truth outside ourselves to live life properly; (2) Many interpretive voices compete with God’s Word for our hearts’ attention; (3) The power of sin has been broken, but the blinding presence of sin remains. Therefore, we need humble, honest community where personal ministry is part of the daily culture.