4th study in the series on the ‘Names of Christ’ adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 7 Sep 2007

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Depression, mental conflicts, frustration and worries, frayed nerves, disappointment and anger, fights and quarrels, misunderstanding, obstinacy, etc… these things do not sound very Christian. They appear to be of the world. They are things that Christians are often afraid or ashamed to talk about.

We all know that these are all realities in the life of the Christian and the Church. But we somehow feel that God frowns on these things, and the only thing we should do when we are confronted with these things is to repent of them. We somehow feel that God has no patience or sympathy for such nonsense in our lives as individuals and as a church. The Christian must be joyous and positive at all times because God is sovereign and faithful. Therefore, any feeling or action contrary to joy, love, peace and hope is sinful and cannot expect sympathy from the Lord.

But is that true? I would put it to you that it is far from the truth. The truth is that God knows and God cares when we fall into such evil situations of distress and conflicts.

In fact God cares so much that He has appointed the second person of the Godhead to take our flesh not only to die for us, but also to empathise with us.

This, I believe, is the basis of the name of Christ, ‘Counsellor.’

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Here are 5 names of Christ: (1) Wonderful, (2) Counsellor, (3) The mighty God, (4) The everlasting Father, and (5) The Prince of Peace.

Some commentators put wonderful and counsellor together so that the name is ‘wonderful counsellor’ rather than wonderful and counsellor. But I believe that it is better to see them separately as is reflected in our translation.

Christ is wonderful in His person and His works. A lifetime of study and meditation will not give us a full comprehension of who He is and what He has done.

But Christ is also Counsellor in a very unique way. He is THE Counsellor. Tonight we want to consider this special name of Christ.

First, let us ask:

1. How is Christ the

The Hebrew word translated ‘counsellor’ (ya’ats) is a participle noun. It may be literally translated ‘he who counsels’ or ‘he who gives advice’.

Christ is He who counsels. He is not just the King of kings. He is the Counsellor. He does not just rule. He counsels.

What does it mean to counsel? To counsel is to advise or to bring a point of view to encourage or to guide. A counsellor is a person who listens to a problem and he seeks to help by giving sound advice to correct wrong thinking and to motivate right actions.

Christ is the Counsellor.

a. Whom does He counsel? He does not counsel God, for God has no need of counsel. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counseller hath taught him?” (Isa 40:13). There is a sense in which Christ brings to the Godhead the feelings and emotions of His people; but that is not to counsel God. Rather, He bears these things in His heart that He might be a sympathetic high priest to intercede on our behalf. So Christ does not counsel God.

Who then does He counsel? He counsels, no doubt, His people. He counsels us. He is our Counsellor.

b. What is the content of His counsels? The world may counsel based on limited and subjective wisdom. But Christ’s counsel is founded upon perfect, unchanging wisdom.

He counsels by revealing to us the mind of God. For as the second person of the Trinity, He is intimately acquainted with the mind of God from eternity.

It is by Him that God gives us counsel. He is the wisdom of the Father. He is appointed the Logos unto us.

The counsel of Christ is absolute. It is always right. Mere human counsellors may make mistakes. But not Christ, for He knows the mind of God; He sees all things that affect us; He sees the future; and most of all He sees our heart.

So the content of His counsel is the perfect and unerring will of God.


c. What is the manner of His counsel?

Christ counsels by gentle commands. He is not like a human counsellor who tries to make the counselee feel better about Himself. No, no; Christ counsels by reminding us of the right things to do.

But He does so gently as one who was tempted at all points like as we are and yet without sin.

As the King, Christ has the right to command. And He does exercise this right, especially when it comes to the irrational part of His realm; or when it comes to hardened sinners.

But apart from that, Christ rules as the Counsellor, He does not dictate. He rules and counsel by gentle commands or entreaties.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:28-30).

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Lk 13:34).

“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Rev 3:18).

Christ is our Counsellor. He counsels by gentle commands that are applied to our particular situations.


d. How does Christ counsel us?

Well, Christ does not counsel us directly today as He is ascended to heaven. How then does He counsel us?

· He counsels us through His revealed Word.

· He counsels by His Spirit, the other Comforter or Counsellor (Jn 14:16), bringing to remembrance His word and illuminating our hearts and minds.

· He counsels by His ministers and undershepherds and other godly brethren in whom dwells the Holy Spirit.

Christ is our counsellor.

But now…

2. What is Christ as 
Counsellor to Us?

If Christ is the Counsellor and our Counsellor, what is that to us?

Well, let me suggest 3 applications.

a. First, if Christ is our Counsellor, we must learn to go to Him whenever we feel depressed or distressed. If all of us will learn to turn to Christ first before reacting to our feelings, we shall all have a much happier Christian walk.

Let us, therefore, beloved brethren, remember that we have a perfect Counsellor who is always available. Let us turn to Him in prayer. He does answer our prayers. He does so through His Word and through His providential hands.

But let us not hesitate also to seek counsels, especially, from those who are appointed as undershepherds of Christ, for Christ also counsels us in this way.

b. But secondly, if Christ is the Counsellor, then let those of us who have the opportunity to counsel, seek never to supplant His counsel.

Whatever method or model of counselling we may apply, let us never forget the counsel of Christ. The word of God must figure prominently in any counselling situation. We must never be afraid to bring up the Word of God in counselling whether believers or unbelievers because He is THE Counsellor.

Dr Jay Adams has a method of counselling known as nouthetic counselling, or the counselling of the mind rather than the emotions. I believe this is fundamentally correct, though we must not fail in counselling to lead the counsellee to Christ—whether to salvation or to assurance of faith. It is no point telling our counselees what to do if he would not do it for Christ.

But when the counsellee is taught or reminded of the love of Christ, then the motivation to think right and do right is much stronger and lasting than if we merely tell him what to do.

Christ is the Counsellor. Let us not forget Him when we are called to counsel.

c. But finally, if Christ is our Counsellor, then all of us must seek to imitate Him and seek to be meek and gentle in our counsel and communications with one another.

Our Lord says:

“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:13-14).

Our Lord is speaking especially to the leaders of the church. The leaders of the world may lord over their charge. The leaders of the church must be servants. They must, like Christ, rule by counsel or by gentle commands.

The apostle says:

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Tim 2:24-25).

All who would serve the Lord must imitate the Lord. We must be meek and gentle unto all men. This means not retaliating with mean words or actions even when we are reviled, for…

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: …Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23)

This is what the leaders of the church must be. They must be counsellors as Christ is the Counsellor. They are not to be Commanders, for Christ alone may command, but He commands His people by counsels.

This is also what every believer must be, for are we not all servants of the Lord in some sense? May the Lord help us therefore that we may all be counsellors rather than judges and commanders of one another, for Christ is the Counsellor and our Counsellor.


Christ is the Counsellor! What is that to you, beloved brothers and sisters and children?

It is to me a very instructive truth. For it reminds me how I ought to conduct myself as a Christian and an undershepherd in the church.

It is to me a very comforting truth. For it reminds me that when I am discouraged and distress, I can always turn to Christ even when I can’t turn to anyone else. I can pour out my heart to Him without any fear of being misunderstood or being hurt further.

But most of all it is a very reassuring truth to me. For it reminds me that Christ understands and sympathises with my struggles.

He knows that I will fail and fall. He knows that I will make mistakes. He knows that I can be hurt. He knows that I need counsel like anyone else. He does not chase me away like the unjust judge. He never grows tired of me like human counsellors. He is always there for me. He is my Counsellor. Amen.

—JJ Lim