Leaders in the church must exhibit ‘refined leadership’ if they expect the people who follow them to be transformed into the image of Christ. To be refined is to be free from impurity and extraneous matter; having coarseness and vulgarity polished away. The Greek word puroomai is used to mean something is heated to such a high temperature that all impurity is burned away and that which is left is pure, as in refined metals. A second Greek word used in the new testament is katakaio meaning to ‘burn utterly or completely.’
With this post I begin a series encouraging ‘refined leadership’ for business and the church. Hebrews 12: 28-29 says ‘Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire!’ When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we receive a unshakable kingdom into our spirit-man. Our spirit is totally transformed into the image of God by the consuming fire of God. Everything that was old is passed away (2 Cor. 5:17). That which was passed away was impure, coarse, and contaminated with extraneous stuff of the world. So it is when we accept Christ as Lord and Savior and receive the unshakable kingdom.
Our spirit-man, that inner core of our being, is completely refined by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. So, why does the church and its leaders struggle with the old; with what was supposed to be passed away? It is because our outer man (body) and our middle man (soul) has yet to be transformed and come into agreement with what God has done to our spirit-man. The real person, the creation of God, the life of God, and the identity of Christ is in our spirit. Our struggle, then, is allowing God’s refining fire to burn in our soul to the point we think, act and even look like the refined inner man. . .the brand new creation, the image of Christ.
Watch for the next post as I encourage you through this refining fire on The Crossfire Minute.