Competent to Counsel: 10 Quotes by Jay Adams (1929–2020)

Jay Adams as of last Saturday (November 14, 2020), has entered in the presence of our Lord into eternity.

I remember reading his material starting in Bible college and intrigued my mind as I was early on learning about pastoral counseling and soul care ministry. I am never the same person with the impact through his writing and teaching.

Jay Adam is known as the one who began the resurgence and championing the biblical counseling movement. His book, “Competent to Counsel” published in 1970 have revolutionized the way I approach counseling with the supremacy of God’s Word (Scripture alone).

Here are 10 quotes from Jay Adams who forever influenced and transformed the way I approach pastoral soul care ministry.


  1. “I don’t care what problem you face; it has no power to defeat the cross of Christ.” ― Jay E. Adams


  1. “Christians never should fear change. They must believe in change so long as the change is oriented toward godliness. The Christian life is a life of continual change.” ― Jay E. Adams


  1. “Man was created as a being whose very existence is derived from and dependent upon a Creator whom he must acknowledge as such and from whom he must obtain wisdom and knowledge through revelation. The purpose and meaning of his life, as well as his very existence, is derived and dependent. He can find none of this in himself. Man is not autonomous.”―Jay E. Adams


  1. “The best way to be a good father to your children is to be a good husband to their mother.” ―Jay E. Adams


  1. “Evil is powerful, but good is more powerful. In fact, evil is so powerful that only good has the power to overcome evil. Darkness can be driven away only by light.” ―Jay E. Adams


  1. “Every change that God promises is possible. Every quality that God requires in His redeemed children can be attained. Every resource that is needed God has supplied.”―Jay E. Adams


  1. “If love has grown cold in your family, husband, you must do something about it.  If you are going to emulate the love of Jesus Christ for His church, it is up to you to initiate love… Jesus loved us when we had no love for Him.  You are the head of your home.  If there is little or no love in that home, it is your fault.  God holds you responsible to introduce love.  You must do that by giving.” .”―Jay E. Adams


  1. The negative calls attention to itself, so it is easier to focus on the negative… [Parents] must not forget the times when the kids did obey and did do the right things… It takes effort to commend the good – much more than it does to condemn the bad. ―Jay E. Adams


  1. In mercy, even though homosexuality is a sinful way of life, and not a genetic problem, Paul makes it clear that it is possible for a homosexual to be “washed” form his defilement through the saving grace of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 6:9-12).―Jay E. Adams


  1. Today, one of the greatest threats to evangelical preaching comes from the invasion of the church by Adler-Maslow, etc., self-image, self-worth dogmas.  Passage after passage in the Bible has been distorted in order to conform to these teachings, with the result that you end up preaching man and his supposed worth rather than Christ.  Sometimes that “worth” has been seen as intrinsic, sometimes it has been considered to be the result of salvation. ―Jay E. Adams



What other quotes would you add to this list?

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