Pillar 8. Make Godly Decisions
a. FMC is committed to taking our next steps towards Christ together by seeking God’s counsel for all decisions
b. FMC has a healthy fear of the Lord, the first step to wisdom and knowledge; it’s a call to submit to God in humility
c. FMC confesses that Jesus is the head of FMC; we endeavor to move at His pace, in His direction, and by His power
d. FMC seeks a Holy Spirit inspired knowledge of Scripture as a pillar of Bible-based discernment, counseling, and advising
e. FMC professes that God is the source of our strength, the substance of our work, and the object of our endeavors
f. FMC promotes confession, contrition, repentance, & fasting as necessary conditions for this talent to manifest itself
g. FMC interprets the events of the world through the lens of Scripture empowered by the Holy Spirit
h. FMC cultivates counseling/advising capabilities across all aspects of life: behavioral, parenting, marriage, financial, etc
The clearest declaration of God’s glory is found in His Word, both incarnate and written. The Son eternally proceeds from the Father as His Word, the full expression of the Father’s nature, and since in the incarnation the Word became flesh all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are offered to His disciples.
The written Word grants us those treasures, proclaims the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, and graciously teaches all that is necessary for faith and life.
We glorify God by recognizing and receiving His authoritative self- revelation, both in the infallible Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments and also in the incarnation of God the Son. We affirm that the same Holy Spirit who overshadowed the virgin Mary also inspired the writing and preservation of the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit testifies to the authority of God’s Word and illumines our hearts and minds so that we might receive both the Scriptures and Christ Himself aright.
Jesus prays that His followers will all be one, and so we both pray and work for the union of the church throughout the world. Even where institutional unity does not seem possible, we are bound to other Christians as our brothers and sisters. In Christ the dividing wall of hostility created by nationality, ethnicity, gender, race, and language differences is brought down.
God created people so that the rich variety of His wisdom might be reflected in the rich variety of human beings, and the church must already now begin to reflect the eschatological reality of people from every tribe, and tongue, and nation bringing the treasures of their kingdoms into the new city of God.
God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.
Q. 159. How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
A. They that are called to labor in the ministry of the Word are to preach sound doctrine, diligently, in season, and out of season, plainly, not in the enticing word of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers; zealously, with fervent love to God, and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming at his glory, and their conversion, edification, and salvation.
While this may sound like meagre authority, after all any of us can reject advice or guidance, let us consider it from a biblical point of view. Consider the authority of wisdom in the Bible. The Book of Proverbs is a guidance document (Prov 1:2–6), not a list of guaranteed formulas or rules. Passing on the teaching (torah) and instruction (mitzvah) of the wise from generation to generation is the way of wisdom (Prov 3:1), as is passing on the law (torah) and commandments (mitzvah) of God (Deut 6:2).
The authority of wisdom sometimes must be questioned, as in Job and Ecclesiastes, as we grow up and find the limits of received wisdom. We encounter new situations, new challenges, and revised ways of thinking. Some wisdom is timeless, but other wisdom only fits for a season. We must consider that our allegiance is to the source of wisdom, Jesus himself, not to the later wise men and women. Indeed, Jesus was himself the great teacher of wisdom, a Rabbi, with wisdom greater than that of Solomon (Lk 11:31). His great commission is that his disciples or students would themselves make disciples and train new followers of Jesus to follow the torah, mitzvah, and mishpat of Jesus (Matt 28:20, see the LXX of Deut 6 for similar Greek vocabulary to the NT).
The authority of wisdom is not communicated by the words of wisdom alone, but by the wise one who delivered them. The wisdom of Jesus is dependent upon the character of Jesus, and it is the duty of those who follow Jesus to not only teach wisdom, but also to embody it. In this way, a tree is known by its fruit. The great first Psalm, speaks of the wise person as a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and prospers. Our Confessional Standards are one stream of water that feeds the wise woman or man.
Venues to Implement this Pillar
1. Serve as a consultant to the Session and Staff.
2. Apply Biblical counseling to help families deal with marriage and childrearing issues
3. Apply Biblical counseling to deal with addictions and conflict resolution
4. Develop a rigorous premarital counseling program and administer it
5. Develop a rigorous child-rearing counseling program and administer it
Platforms & Exercises to Develop this Pillar
Look up the many ways God describes wisdom in the Bible.
Read Ecclesiastes and have a group discussion about Solomon's Wisdom.
Study the character of Solomon from Scripture.
Locate examples of where God used people in the New Testament to convey Godly Wisdom.
Study Elijah and Elisha - what can we learn from the Godly Wisdom that they prophesied.
Study Isaiah and Jeremiah - what can we learn from the Godly Wisdom that they prophesied
Receive training on Biblical counseling
Read ECO Tenets, The Heidelberg Catechism, and the Westminster Catechism.