God’s wisdom is spiritual wisdom

by Mike Ratliff

6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (NKJV) 

When we are pressured in our circumstances to compromise and respond via the flesh, i.e. the way of the world, we are actually employing worldly wisdom. That wisdom says to, “Look out for number one!” It says to, “Never allow yourself to be taken advantage of.” It says to, “If attacked, respond in kind.” When Christians react this way then they are actually utilizing values that are part of a system that does not know God, cannot know God, and sees truth as relative. Those who hold to relativism appear to the unregenerate as the most enlightened and, obviously, more fair minded. However, when the disciples of relativism come head to head with those who will not compromise  God’s truth, their response can be quite brutal.

You see, the Purpose Driven Paradigm conforms to our relativistic culture. It has to in order to be “seeker-sensitive.” Several years ago a Rick Warren apologist threatened to sue the internet provider, at that time, for Christian Research Network and Apprising Ministries. Why? The lawsuit claimed that there was an article on Apprising Ministries written by Ken Silva critical of that apologist that was slanderous against him. The goal of all that was not to protect the shaky career of this guy, but to remove the highly critical voice of Apprising Ministries and CRN which was exposing the unbiblical nature of the Purpose Driven Paradigm, Rick Warren’s ministries, and the seeker sensitive methodologies as a whole. This fellow thought he succeeded when the internet provider panicked and pulled the plug on Ken’s servers. Of course God is good and we were able to find a better internet solution that could not be taken down like that.

However, we learned a great deal going through all that. What we saw in that sorry incident is that the apologists for Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven Paradigm will not allow anyone to criticize either. They descend like locusts and use any methodology available to silence those who speak out. Why else would such a large portion of the book The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren be devoted to dealing with resisters. Only God knows how many Christians have been forced out of their churches because they stood up to those who were bringing the Purpose Driven Church model in through the back door. In this model they must be excluded and told to leave so they will not be able to sow dissension with the truth of what is really happening. The implementation of the Purpose Driven Church model into a church is never done straight up and above board. No, it is always done secretly so that it can take root and not be withstood until it is too late to do anything about it. That my brethren is deception, which is not how God deals with His Church.

In the following passage we read of our Lord instructing His disciples as He sent them out to witness for the Kingdom of God.

11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. 12 And when you go into a household, greet it. 13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Matthew 10:11-20 (NKJV) 

In our ministries we will encounter the worthy and the unworthy. The worthy are those who are of the Kingdom of God. The unworthy are of the kingdom of Satan and are of the world. We are to speak the truth of the Kingdom to all. Some will believe by God’s grace, but the rest will not. Some of them will become hostile, belligerent, and try to silence us. Our Lord tells us that those who are His are being sent into the world as sheep surrounded by wolves. Therefore, are we to hire lawyers or buy a gun or try to censure those who are attacking us? No, He tell us to to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. This wisdom is God’s wisdom and through it we are to beware of those who mean us harm. They will do their worst to us, but we are not to strike back. We may be in a position to flee and that is okay, but God’s will may be for us to stand in the flames and proclaim His truth as a witness against those who are persecuting us.

To be able to do this requires wisdom that is not of this world. The wisdom God gives His people has no root in Man or the world at all. No, it is spiritual wisdom.

6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (NKJV) 

The Greek word translated as “mature” in this passage is τελειοις or teleios. The King James Version translates teleios as “perfect.” Some have taken this and other passages in the Bible and misinterpreted this to teach that Christians are divided into two groups, the carnal and the mature. Through this teaching have sprung various “perfectionism” heresies. Is this what Paul is talking about here? Are there mature and carnal Christians? My understanding of this is that there are baby Christians and maturing Christians, but even the newest Christian is viewed as “perfect” in God’s eyes because He imputed Christ’s righteousness to them when they believed. Paul is using teleios here to refer to genuine believers who have been saved by Christ. So, who is to receive, hear, and grasp this wisdom that Paul is imparting here? All genuine believers are to hear or read it and understand it because each of them have been regenerated, have faith, and the Holy Spirit.

Who are the rulers of this age? These would be all in authority of some kind who are in position between the time of Christ’s ascension and His second coming. In other words, they are in power of some kind outside of the Kingdom of God in this age we are in right now. This spiritual wisdom is not related in any way to the wisdom of these rulers. Notice that Paul tells us that these rulers are among those who are perishing. That is referring to the fact that they are outside of God’s Kingdom. They are not genuine Christians. Their power is based in the world and the ways of this world and its wisdom.

What is the nature of this spiritual wisdom? It is the wisdom of God hidden in a mystery. Paul is referring to truth known to God before time which He has kept secret until the appropriate time.

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— 2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: Ephesians 3:1-5 (NKJV) 

The mystery or secret of Christ was not made known to anyone by God except to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery would also include what Paul shared in Ephesians 1.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. Ephesians 1:3-10 (NKJV) 

All in Christ were chosen before the foundation of the world. They were chosen to be holy and blameless before Him. Now, do you see who the “perfect” or “mature” are? They are those whom God has regenerated. They are new creations who can now know Him and obtain His wisdom, spiritual wisdom. Why? Because they are no longer of this world. The contrast between those in the Kingdom of God and those still in their sins is marked by a great divide. Those in the Kingdom of God see the truth because they have God’s wisdom. They know their Lord, their Kurios and recognize that they are His slaves, His douloi They are His sheep and know their shepherd because they recognize His voice. However, the contrast with the those on the other side of the divide is more than striking. They did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah and crucified Him.

This Spiritual wisdom is only for the regenerate my brethren. Sadly, it is often neglected as Christians operate in the flesh. However, if we deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily and follow Christ, respond to trials as obedient slaves, submit to others, then we become spirit-filled believers who are operating within God’s spiritual wisdom. This wisdom is not knowable or understood by the unregenerate.

9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NKJV) 

The depth and awesomeness of God’s spiritual wisdom which He imparts to His people was prepared for them. It is beyond the understanding of the unregenerate. This is why they cannot understand how Christians can willingly be martyred or how they can pray for those who abuse them. This wisdom is of the deep things of God and He has revealed these things to us by the Spirit.

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:11-16 (NKJV) 

Carefully read this passage my brethren. Now, when we use scripture correctly as we rightly divide it to show professing Christians that what they are doing is not of God and is not right yet they reject our counsel and even threaten us with censure, what does this tell us? Only genuine Christians can discern the wisdom of God. These truths are spiritually discerned. Genuine Christians attain the mind of Christ more and more as they mature. They must line up with His will in all they do, say, and think. This means that they are obedient to their Lord and this will cause conflict between them and those in darkness. This is inevitable. Therefore, we should not be surprised when professing Christians who are part of ungodly enterprises respond like the world with threats and persecution. They will not tolerate the truth of God shining its light into the darkness they love.

My brethren, take some time to thank the Lord for imparting His spiritual wisdom to you. Worship Him and seek to submit your will to His in all things. Do not use the wisdom of this world to make decisions. Reject it out of hand as you respond to your circumstances entirely within God’s Spiritual Wisdom. It may appear to fleshly eyes that you are losing or being taken advantage of, however, as we operate in His wisdom and reject the wisdom of this world, He is actively building up good treasure in our hearts and building up eternal treasure in Heaven. That is far superior to anything this world has to offer.

Soli Deo Gloria!