The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
+ Knowing How +
The Bible speaks often of godly wisdom. It is the most needed thing in our Christian life. In Scripture, there are two kinds of wisdom: heavenly and earthly. In the New Testament, in a number of places, the Bible speaks of the wise man and the foolish man. According to I Corinthians 12:7-8, wisdom is a gift from God. Godly wisdom should be every Christian’s heart desire and prayer. We should seek wisdom with all our might and pursue wisdom all the days of our life. The wisdom of God is our salvation and our peace. Amen.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7
In this article we will consider the meaning, the importance, and the fruit of wisdom. May we approach this subject with much prayer and consideration.
The Meaning of Wisdom
Wisdom is the right use or exercise of knowledge. In Colossian 1:9, there are three important words linked together, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” These words (knowledge, understanding, and wisdom) are different and yet cannot be separated, and are often spoken of together in the Holy Scripture. They are joined together as rungs on a ladder with wisdom being the highest. Knowledge means to know, and understanding is the correct organization or ordering of the things we know. But wisdom means knowing how, that is, applying what we know to be true. It is the practical application of God’s Word in our lives. It is truth acted upon and the ability to see matters as the Lord sees them. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
According to Colossians 2:3, true godly wisdom is found only in Christ, “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” He is our true source of wisdom and it will save us from the worldly wisdom as in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” In I Corinthians 1:30, there is a positional wisdom that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” For, God hath made unto us wisdom in Christ Jesus, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. In order to receive this wisdom we have to be saved from our own wisdom. As stated by another author, “Man needs to be saved from his own wisdom as much as from his own righteousness, for they both produce one and the same corruption.”
In the context of I Corinthians 1:17-31, there is a contrast between the wisdom of the world which is foolishness, and the wisdom of God which is heavenly and superior. Human wisdom has always been a threat to Revelation. Many societies have been built on the love of philosophy which is in direct opposition to the wisdom of God. In our text, vs. 31, is a quote from Jeremiah 9:23-24, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” In I Corinthians 2:7, the wisdom of God (gospel) is God’s eternal plan of redemption, worked out through the ages. Let us not forget the words of I Corinthians 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”
The Importance of Wisdom
According to Proverbs 4:7, wisdom is an invaluable gift of God, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” The principle thing is that which is chief, highest in rank, or that which takes the lead. In other words, it is the foundation of all other things. The book of Proverbs is a wisdom book for life and filled with practical things and warnings to those who refuse it. Whole chapters are devoted to wisdom in Proverbs, for it covers every area of life (chapter 1, 8, 9). In Proverbs 1:7, we are told, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This introduction sets the theme for the entire book and in chapter 3:13, we have these words: “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” Wisdom is more precious than gold and silver and it will preserve our life and bring safety (chapters 2:4; 8:11, 18-19; 16:16). Let us value the book of Proverbs for it will help us understand righteousness, justice and mercy. The entire Bible is a book of godly wisdom and every believer is admonished to seek it with the whole heart (Ephesians 1:3, 15-23; 5:15-18; Philippians 1:9-10, Colossians 1:9-11; James 1:5-8, 3:13-18). The Bible also speaks of a fool which is the opposite of one who is wise (Proverbs 26). Again, let us be diligent in our pursuit of God’s wisdom so that we may be pleasing to our Lord, walking in His perfect will.
The Fruit of Wisdom
Godly wisdom always brings good results. The Bible in James chapter three speaks in reference to testing the tongue (vv. 9-12) and true wisdom (vv. 13-18). In verses 13-18, there is a clear contrast between heavenly and earthly wisdom, revealing their origin, nature, and fruit. The characteristics of worldly wisdom are seen in vv. 13-16, which are bitter envy, strife, lies, and are earthly, sensual, and devilish. In verse 16, this wisdom produces turmoil and disorder. On the other hand, verses 17-18, show us the characteristics of godly wisdom. This wisdom produces meekness, purity, peace, gentleness, righteousness and is full of mercy and good works. It is without partiality and hypocrisy. The wise man in vs. 13, who is endued with godly wisdom and knowledge, is meek in his words and works. In James 3:18, righteousness can only grow in a climate of peace, not of bitterness, envy, and strife, “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” A harvest will happen, it will either be good or bad. The choice is up to us.
In James 1:5, wisdom comes from God and is promised to all who seek it, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” It will be given to all who desire it but those who reject it will be double minded and unstable (vv 6-8). Godly wisdom is to be sought, loved, cherished, and not forsaken, for it is God’s will that we have it. Amen.
“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” Proverbs 16:16
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523