Godly Counsel vs Worldly Counsel

What type of counsel?

Godly Counsel vs Worldly Counsel
Discerning the Difference

coun•sel
noun
1.  advice; or instruction given upon request, for directing the judgment or conduct of another.
synonyms: advice, guidance, counseling, direction, information
2.  the lawyer or lawyers conducting a case.
synonyms: lawyer, advocate, attorney, counselor

Throughout the course of our daily living, we are continually faced with the process of decision-making. Some of these decisions seem minor and trivial, while others may have a broader range of consequences. The decisions we make, however big or small, will have an effect on ourselves, the people around us, and ultimately, the course of our lives.

I think we’ve all been in that situation where we’ve deliberated about a certain decision, and we pretty much have our minds made up as to the course we’re going to take, but then we run it by a few friends or family members in order to see if their opinions will agree with our own. We’re looking for the advice we want to hear.

As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to use discernment about what kinds of counsel we are receiving. About who we are sharing intimate details with and who we are allowing to speak into our lives.

The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.

-Proverbs 12:26

A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge is easy to him who understands. Leave the presence of a fool, for you will gain no knowledge from his speech.
-Proverbs 14:6-7

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.

-Psalm 1:1-2

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
-1 Corinthians 15:33

 
 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
-Colossians 2:8
 
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

-James 4:4

“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the LORD, “who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.”
-Isaiah 30:1

       The word of God explains that there are two types of wisdom- godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is any counsel, teaching, philosophy, or attitude that does not line up with the truth of God’s word. It is instead carnal, prideful, selfish, and deceitful. It is a mindset which places our own will ahead of God’s will. This type of advice appeals to our flesh, rather than to our spirit.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
-Proverbs 14:12

In the letter of James we see the contrasting nature of these two types of wisdom:

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior and deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy.
-James 3:13-17

     The apostle Paul writes of how the so-called wisdom of the world is actually foolishness to God:

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are worthless.”

-1 Corinthians 3:18-20

For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
-1 Corinthians 1:19-20

       When seeking guidance and direction for our lives, we do not need worldly wisdom, or the opinions of man, we need true biblically based wisdom. Therefore, the first step in decision making for the believer, should be bringing it before the Lord in humble submission. Seeking the Father’s counsel on the issue, through prayer and time in His word.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction
-Proverbs 1:7
 
For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding

-Proverbs 2:6

Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
-Proverbs 3:7

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”

-Psalm 32:8

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
-Psalm 37:4

This also comes from the LORD of hosts, He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.

-Isaiah 28:29

We are told that we should delight in the counsel of God’s word, and that it is to be the guide which illuminates the path of our lives.

Your testimonies are my delight and my counselors.
-Psalm 119:24

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

-Psalm 119:105
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus reveals what is to be the believer’s number one priority amongst the cares and needs of our daily lives:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
-Matthew 6:33
Secondly, we should seek wise counsel from other like-minded believers in the body of Christ. Those who are familiar with the word of God, and who care for our spiritual, as well as our physical well being.
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

-Psalm 37:30

Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety
-Proverbs 11:14

Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks uprightly. Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed. A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
-Proverbs 15:21-23

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.

-1 Timothy 6:20-21

For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

-2 Corinthians 1:12

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting
to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

-Hebrews 10:24-25

In closing, I’d also like to take the time to draw attention to the definition of the word ‘counsel’ found at the beginning of this article. Notice how one of the meanings is that of a legal representative, an ‘advocate’ or ‘counselor’. What is fascinating about this, is found in the descriptive title Jesus gives regarding the Holy Spirit.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

-John 14:26

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever”
-John 14:16
 
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me”

-John 15:26

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

-John 16:7

       The word translated as ‘Helper’(some translations use Advocate, Counselor, Comforter) here in each of these passages, is the Greek word parakletos.
Its definition is this:
a) called to one’s aid, summoned to come alongside

 b) one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, an advocate, legal assistant, defense       counselor, an intercessor

Jesus said it was to our advantage that He go, so that He may send the Holy Spirit to be our Helper, our Advocate and Counselor. As Jesus spoke these words to encourage His disciples, so may we too be encouraged by this amazing revelation.

       As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, born again to new life, we have this Spirit of truth, this Helper who will be with us forever. Who guides us in our spiritual walk, convicts us of righteousness and brings to our remembrance the testimony of Christ.

What is church?

what is church

What is church?

 Every time the word ‘church’ appears in the New Testament, it is translated from the Greek word ekklesia.

ekklesia 
ek•klay•see’•ah

this is a compound of ek (strong’s 1537) which means ‘out of’, ‘away from’
and kaleo (2564) which means ‘to call’

So the literal meaning translates ‘to call out of, or away from’

The word church appears for the first time in Matthew chapter 16, spoken of by Jesus Himself

 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
-Matthew 16:15-18

Notice how Jesus says “I will build My church”

So then, because church literally refers to those who are ‘called out of, or away from,’
we understand that the key principle here is a distinction, a separation of God’s people

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
-2 Corinthians 6:14

“Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.
-2 Corinthians 6:17-18

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues”
-Revelation 18:4

Jesus says His followers are not of the world just as He is not of the world

 “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own, but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
-John 15:19

“I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
-John 17:14

Another word used throughout scripture regarding believers, that illustrates this same idea of being set apart or separate, is the word sanctify.

sanc·ti·fy
to declare or set apart as holy; to consecrate

In John chapter 17, during His high priestly prayer, Jesus prays that we would be sanctified in the truth which is the word of God.

 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth, Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.”
-John 17:6-19

Jesus instructs His followers to be the salt and light of the world, so that men
may see their good works, and glorify God the Father

“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
-Matthew 5:13-16

In the book of Acts, the apostle Paul recounts his personal encounter with Christ,
and the words the Lord spoke to him

“But rise and stand on your feet, for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will show you, rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
-Acts 26:16-18

In Christ Jesus, we have been washed clean of our former lives, sanctified, and justified

 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
-1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who
are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness. Now in
a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of clay,
some for honorable use and some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from
these things, he will be a vessel for honorable use, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for
every good work.
-2 Timothy 2:19-21

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours
-1 Corinthians 1:2

Christ purchased His church with His own blood

 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
-Acts 20:28

The church is known as the body of Christ

Now you are the body of Christ, and individually members of it.
-1 Corinthians 12:27

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
-Ephesians 1:22-23

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ
-Ephesians 4:11-12

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
-Romans 12:4-5

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless.
-Ephesians 5:23-27

Therefore in closing, it’s important for us to realize that the church is not merely a building
or a location. But that we, as believers who are in Christ Jesus, are the Church.

“We don’t go to church, we are the church.”  –Canon Ernest Southcott, founder of the ‘home church’ movement in England