6 Min Read

As Christians, we have access to the very wisdom of God. We have the mind of Christ. Christians must be on guard to have their thinking and decision-making shaped not by the secular world but by the mind of Christ. This is often a weak point even for godly, devout, zealous, and committed Christians, earnest in their desire to be authentic servants of Christ. Every one of us, no matter how thoroughly trained we are in biblical Christianity or theology, is infected by thought patterns that come to us from the secular world. We are born and raised in a secular culture. We are exposed to secular values day in and day out. It’s difficult for us to grow in maturity to have the wisdom of God. But that’s precisely what’s at our disposal as Christians—to be able to make value judgments and decisions not in light of secular values but in light of the gospel of Christ.

This means that if we’re going to be responsible Christian leaders, we must be conversant with the Scriptures because the Scriptures are radically different in their perspective concerning the meaning and significance of mankind. The directives, admonitions, and teachings of the New Testament are practical. Not only do we gain knowledge about God, which is suitable for our devotion and our salvation, but the Bible gives us the finest, most accurate, most incredible insight into human behavior that we can find anywhere.

No psychologist, sociologist, or anthropologist will ever improve on the Bible because there we find the wisdom of God Himself—the One who has made us and who understands our frame inside and out. He knows what is good for us; He knows what is bad for us. When God tells us to do something, He doesn’t do it just for abstract theological reasons. He’s practical. He loves us. As Christian leaders, we are called to communicate that wisdom of God.

The most solemn responsibility for those in a position of Christian leadership is to accurately speak the truth of God. That means leaders must know the Scriptures. They must read so that their minds are transformed. As we begin to embrace the value structures that come to us through Christ, our lives will change, albeit gradually.

I can remember working at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati and experiencing the frustrations of evangelism. And my frustration in evangelism was this: How could I get these people to understand the radical difference between Jesus’ value system and approach to mankind and his environment and that which they receive in the secular community? How could I do that in one sermon? How could I make them understand who Christ is? I was thinking primarily of evangelism inside the church, not outside the church—speaking to those who joined the congregation but had no real inner commitment to Christ. They’d never really understood the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but they were there out of habit or convention.

So, I started a Bible study for women. About eighty women met every Monday. I was absolutely amazed at what happened to those women after a year in this study. At the end of the year, somebody asked me, “Is there any way to heaven besides through Jesus?” In other words, is Jesus the only way to heaven? Does a person have to believe in Jesus to get to heaven? My answer to that question is the New Testament answer. There is no other name under heaven through which men can be saved. Jesus Christ is the only way.

If I said that to the average American, what would their reaction be? They have been told from a young age that there are many roads to heaven. It doesn’t matter what they believe as long as they’re sincere. In other words, the humanistic culture has certainly said no to the uniqueness of Christ. It’s almost a truism in America that there are many ways to God, and that’s secular through and through. It’s not what the New Testament teaches.

The world is dying of confusion from human opinion. We must not add to the chaos of our society.

That question came to me a year after these women had been studying the gospel of Luke. I answered, “No, there’s only one way.” Not one person reacted to my answer with hostility, and I couldn’t believe it. I know that if I’d gone into that room on the first day and said, “Ladies, the first thing that I want you to know is there’s only one way to heaven,” I’d have had a revolution on my hands right there. They certainly would have been violently angry if they were like any
other group that I’ve had to deal with in the church from time to time.

After they had spent a year listening to Jesus by studying the gospel of Luke, however, they could sense the uniqueness of Christ. If I had initially told them that there was only one way to heaven, it would have sounded arrogant and narrow-minded. Yet when they began to see that it wasn’t my idea but Jesus’ idea, old values began to drop away and new values began to replace them. They gained new insights and perspectives that changed daily, weekly, and monthly from their repeated exposure to the teaching of Jesus.

To be a Christian means that we follow Christ, and to be a Christian leader means that we lead in the name of Christ. We are not free as Christian leaders to teach our own gospel. We are not free to throw away the teachings of Jesus and replace them with our wisdom. The world has plenty of human wisdom—too much of it—and it doesn’t need ours. The world is dying of confusion from human opinion. We must not add to the chaos of our society.

The world desperately needs the message of Christ. As Christian leaders, that’s what we are commissioned with. We are not God, and we have no right to seek to improve on the message of Jesus. We are ambassadors of Christ, and an ambassador is a message bearer, not a message creator. I therefore urge and implore Christian leaders to strive to speak and teach and advise according to the wisdom of God, that people may reflect the mind of Christ and not the mind of the secular community in which we live.

Paul went on to say, “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9–10).

Here we see God’s revelation versus the wisdom of this world. If we have Christ, if we have the Spirit, if we have the Scriptures, we have revelation through the Spirit. This does not refer to some kind of psychic experience or mystical intuition. Paul was saying that through the Spirit, God speaks to us in the Scriptures: “For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor. 2:10). What human has searched the depths of God? No one. Even if someone has sixteen Ph.D.s, he hasn’t searched the depths of God. Yet the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:11–16)

Christian leadership means ministering by the power of the Spirit, by the mind of Christ, and with the wisdom of God. This is a tall order, but with the order comes the equipment. God does not call us to do something that is beyond our capacity. He has given us His Spirit. He has given us His Word. He has given us His Son. He has given us a commission.