Dluxe's World

Friday, April 11

Wisdom for the Weekend [6]

I have tried to sketch six spheres of Christian living in which the mind plays an essential part -- Christian worship, faith, holiness, guidance, evangelism and ministry. If these things are impossible without using our minds and acquiring some biblical knowledge, we must also recognize the corollary, that the acquisition of biblical knowledge must lead into these things and enrich our experience of them. Knowledge carries with it the solemn responsibility to act on the knowledge we have, to translate our knowledge into appropriate behavior. Let me enlarge on this.

First, knowledge should lead to worship. The true knowledge of God will result not in our being puffed up with conceit at how knowledgeable we are, but in our falling on our faces before God in sheer wonder and crying, "O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how unscrutable his ways!"

Secondly, knowledge should lead to faith. We have already seen that knowledge is the foundation of faith and makes faith reasonable. "Those who know thy name put their trust in thee," wrote the psalmist.

Thirdly, knowledge should lead to holiness. We have considered some ways in which our conduct could be transformed if only we knew more clearly both what we should be and what we already are. But now we have to see how the more our knowledge grows, the greater our responsibility to put it into practice. Psalm 119 is full of aspirations to know God's law. Why? In order the better to obey it.

Fourthly, knowledge should lead to love. The more we know, the more we should want to share what we know with others and use our knowledge in their service, whether in evangelism or in ministry. Sometimes, however, our love will restrain our knowledge. For by itself knowledge can be harsh; it needs the sensitivity which love can give it. This is what Paul meant when he wrote: "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up."

Knowledge is indispensable to the Christian life and service. If we do not use the mind which God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality and cut ourselves off from many of the riches of God's grace. At the same time, knowledge is given us to be used , to lead us to higher worship, greater faith, deeper holiness, better service. What we need is not less knowledge but more knowledge, so long as we act upon it.

John Stott, "The Mind in Christian Life"

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