I regret the serious lack of blogging over the past several weeks! But here’s one last preparatory blog entry; I hope that this will serve to enhance our last time together on Sunday morning.
I plan on spending a little time discussing a few questions to see how our discussions have impacted our view of godly wisdom. I’d then like to spend a while camped out on a few verses from Ephesians that discuss the wisdom of God (I don’t mean the wisdom that comes from God, but rather the wisdom that God shows and uses). Please take a few minutes to read and meditate on Ephesians 1:3-10 and 3:7-13 and think about the following questions:
- What, if anything, would you add to our definition of wisdom (discerning, knowing, and doing the will of God)? Why (what Scripture backs this up)?
- If you want to get wisdom, why?
- How have you combated worldly wisdom?
- How should the church display the “manifold wisdom of God”? Are we doing that?
It’s been a pleasure looking into godly wisdom with you. Lord willing, we’ll all meet together again this Sunday!
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Ian Laidlaw brought up an excellent question dealing with what does wisdom say when faced with two evils or, I might add, two goods as well. Ian’s full thoughts and questions can be read here.
Along those lines, I have often asked myself what I would do in a situation such as the one Steve Saint and his companions were put in (we can’t know exactly what happened). We are fairly certain that instead of fighting, they allowed themselves to be killed because they wanted to show the love of Christ to the natives, not kill them. This choice obviously did not seem responsible in terms of caring for their families? What would be wise for me to do if I were ever faced with persecution? Flee? Fight? or die?
What other questions do you have about walking in wisdom, what thoughts do you have on these questions and why?
If you would like to have any other questions or thoughts addressed on this next Sunday, please post your question by this Wednesday night.
“Walk with the King today, and be a blessing.”
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With all this talk of godly wisdom and worldly wisdom, I Corinthians 1-3 stands out as a shining star of a great place to apply what we’ve learned to understand wisdom even better. This is where we’ll spend the great majority of Sunday morning. Paul had a lot to say about godly wisdom, what it is, what it accomplishes, and how it contrasts with worldly wisdom. Please take a few minutes to read I Corinthians 1-3 and think about the following questions in preparation for our time together in God’s Word on Sunday:
- What thoughts/questions do you come away with from these chapters?
- Read through I Cor. 1:10-2:16 and substitute “godly wisdom” and “worldly wisdom” for the words “wisdom” and “folly” in the appropriate places. How does this help clarify what Paul is saying?
- What does Paul mean when he says that Christ is our wisdom (especially in light of our definition of wisdom: discerning, knowing, and doing the will of God)?
- If you were given an audience of non-believers and you were told to evangelize to them, where would you start? Where do you think Paul would start, given what he wrote in I Cor. 1-3?
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This past week, we discussed the differences between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom, mostly taken from James 3:13-4:6. (I’ve posted my class notes here here in case anyone’s interested.) We listed things that the world values, and things that God values. What we value dictates how we live and what we pursue. When we value what God values, we will pursue wisdom. When we value what the world values, we will pursue worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is seen in our lives by the extent to which we value what the world values. We saw that godly and worldly wisdom are completely antithetical to one another, opposites in every respect.
There are those people that don’t outwardly look like they’re pursuing the selfish ambition and bitter jealousy, but inwardly they are not motivated by following after the desires of God. II Timothy 3:1-5 was brought up to describe such people; they have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power. The appearance of godliness does anything but make them a good person.
We then saw from Scripture that it is impossible to be living by both godly and worldly wisdom simultaneously; friendship with the world is enmity toward God! Then, we looked at Solomon’s great downfall chronicled in I Kings 11:1-8. How did someone so wise do so many foolish things? It seems clear that a terrible exchange takes place in people’s lives. Worldly wisdom likes to disguise itself as godly wisdom and bit by bit substitute itself for true godly wisdom into a person’s life. If left unchecked, it doesn’t take too long before godly wisdom has been rooted out and been completely supplanted by worldly wisdom.
Let this be a warning to us! To what extent does worldly wisdom have a foothold in your life? In what ways do you value what the world values? How does worldly wisdom substitute itself into your life? Repent and turn from worldly wisdom to true godly wisdom!!
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In just 2 short weeks, we’d like to take time to answer any questions or address any thoughts you have about wisdom. This could be something on which you’d like clarification, something you’re confused about, or something you’d like to camp on for a bit longer. I haven’t had much success getting people to actually leave questions on a blog before, but I adjure you, I’m asking, I’m begging, please, take a little tiny risk and leave a question or two in the comments section of this entry 🙂 . It can only serve to benefit everyone! Thanks!
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If you’re like me, you’ve pondered how Solomon, the most wise man in the world (I Kings 4:29-31), could have subsequently fallen so far. It doesn’t seem that his later years would be characterized by the godly wisdom that we saw when we skimmed I Kings 3-10 last week. It would make sense to me that someone who was so wise would have enough wisdom to keep from losing that wisdom. This obviously wasn’t true of Solomon, however. The big question in my mind is this, what happened to Solomon?
We’ll spend some time on Sunday examining this question and what I think happened to this formerly wise man. It all comes down to the inherent similarities yet insidious differences between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. In preparation for our discussion this week, it would behoove us to spend some time studying I Kings 11 (Solomon’s downfall) and also James 3:13-4:12 and thinking about the following questions:
- What are the differences between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom?
- What are the similarities between the two?
- What was happening with Solomon’s wisdom in I Kings 11?
- To what extent is your godly wisdom influenced/superseded by worldly wisdom?
I’m looking forward to meeting together again on Sunday! Grace to you all in Christ Jesus.
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Yesterday, we addressed the question, “What does a wise life look like?”. We skimmed over Solomon’s life to see what about it was so wise. Amongst many things were the facts that he administered justice, was blessed by God for his covenant-keeping obedience, and his wisdom was known and spoken of and sought by others.
We then delved into a number of passages of Scripture to see just what characterizes the wise life. Check out the handout from Sunday to see a list of the verses and what characteristics of wisdom they demonstrate.
Lastly, we discussed the godly “resonance” spiral of wisdom. We see from Psalm 86:11 that a united heart brings a fear of the LORD. Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear of the LORD is the beginning (bedrock, foundation) of wisdom. James 3:17-4:6 then highlights the idea that to walk in godly wisdom requires a heart that does not befriend the world. In other words, it requires a united heart. This leads us back to Psalm 86:11 and on and on into an upward spiral of godly wisdom toward sanctification! A life lived in godly wisdom will see indwelling sin defeated at an increasing level. If you are not gaining victory over the sin in your life by the power of Jesus Christ, you are not living in wisdom. And if you’re not living in wisdom, the bottom line is that you don’t fear the LORD!! This is serious business.
I adjure you to spend some time looking at the characteristics of godly wisdom. How well does your life display these traits? Ask someone who knows you well what they think. Live a wise week and, LORD willing, we’ll reconvene next Sunday.
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