THE NATURE AND SOURCE OF GODLY WISDOM
There is a wisdom which man does not naturally possess; yet without which no man can be happy.
This wisdom consists not in the depths of science and learning, but in the fear of the Lord.
This wisdom is the gift of God, and is given to everyone who desires it and diligently seeks for it according to Godís Word.
Long ago, the question was asked, 'Where shall wisdom be found?'(Job 28:12, 20-21).
The answer is now set before us, as the fear and knowledge of God (v. 5).
In our text, we are informed what 'Godly wisdom' is and the means by which we can attain it.
A. Godly wisdom is that which only God can give.
B. Godly wisdom is the knowledge of God as He is seen in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus Christ is revealed to us through the Gospel (II Cor. 4:3-6).
2. Jesus Christ is the visible manifestation of the invisible God.
3. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we receive the 'Wisdom of God.'
4. As the eternal 'Word,' He came into this world to give life and light to all that will receive Him by faith.
C. God gives 'wisdom' and 'understanding' to every believer. (vv. 2, 5).
1. 'Wisdom' which comes from receiving the Gospel of Christ, will produce 'the fear of the Lord,' in the heart of every believer.
2. 'Understanding' is given to those who receive the Gospel of Christ, and it is through the Gospel that the believer receives 'the knowledge of God,' which is 'life eternal'(Jn. 17:3).
D. There is a difference between intellectual wisdom and godly wisdom.
1. The wisdom of the unsaved resides only in his head.
2. Godly wisdom is seated in the believerís heart.
3. Worldly wisdom consists merely in a temporal knowledge of men, things, and present circumstances.
4. Godly wisdom is the result of the believer knowing that he has been reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
- This results in a fear and love of Christís name.
5. Worldly wisdom enlarges the mind and directs the conduct in things relating to time.
6. Godly wisdom informs and regulates the soul in reference to eternity.
E. 'The wisdom that is from above' brings every rebellious passion into subjection, and directs us into a right relationship with our God in order that we might enjoy Him forever.
- True wisdom is to fear God and have an understanding of His holiness. Prov. 9:10.
The wisdom of this world may be attained by study, but godly wisdom requires much more.
A. A person must be SINCERE in order to receive godly wisdom. V. 1.
1. The person that has no desire to obey the Word of God will find some reason to dispute the plainest instructions.
2. The Pharisees of old remained ignorant of truth, because they loved 'darkness rather than light'(Jn. 3:19).
a. Even though they had the Old Testament Scriptures and were instructed by our Lord Himself, they remained in darkness.
b. They refused the light that was offered to them by our Lord (Jn. 8:12; 43-47).
c. To remain in darkness is to love error more than truth, sin more than holiness, and the ways of the world more than the ways of our Lord.
3. If we refuse the word of our Lord, we too will remain in darkness.
a. If we would know God, we must strive to enter in at the strait Gate (Mt. 7:13-14).
b. The good seed of the Word will never bring forth fruit to perfection, unless it is 'received into an honest and good heart.'
c. If we would be truly wise, we must 'receive God's Word, and hide his commandments with us,' as a precious jewel which we desire to possess and keep.
B. A person must seek godly wisdom with DILIGENCE.
1. We are to heed the instruction of the Gospel (V. 2).
a. The Gospel shows us how to be saved and justified through faith in Christ. I Cor. 2:1-7, 14.
b. We need to apply the truths of the Gospel to our heart and life.
c. It is one thing to hear the Gospel with the ear, but we must also apply its truths to our heart.
d. A hypocrite may appear to hear with great attention, and to show much affection, and yet his heart may be set on the things of the world. Ezek. 33:31; Ps. 119:112.
2. We should consider the Gospel as a precious hidden treasure (V. 4).
a. It contains rich truths from heaven.
b. There are treasures of wisdom and knowledge in it.
c. Christ is the sum of it, who is full of truth as well as grace. Col. 2:3; Jn. 1:14.
d. The Gospel contains rich blessings of grace, and exceeding great and precious promises.
e. We are to search the Word with much diligence and labor.
f. The Lord promised to bless Joshua and the children of Israel as long as they put Him and His Word first in their lives. Josh. 1:8.
g. We, like the Bereans of old, will be blessed of the Lord when we search the Scriptures daily and apply them to our minds and hearts.
C. A person must seek godly wisdom through PRAYER.
1. Nothing will succeed without prayer.
a. A person that does not seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, might commit much Scripture to memory, and yet not understand one spiritual concept.
b. Our blessed Lord assures us that none can know the Father, but those to whom the Son shall reveal Him. Mt. 11:27.
2. If we want to understand the Word of God, we must cry out to the Lord for spiritual understanding. V. 3.
a. The apostles themselves needed to have their understanding opened, before they could understand the Scriptures. Lk. 24:45.
b. Even the most mature Christian still needs, 'a spirit of wisdom and revelation to be given' to him in order that he might understand the precious truths of Godís Word. Eph. 1:17-18.
c. It is through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the Word of God is made clear and impressive.
3. The Word must first come into the ears, and then it enters into the heart where it is safely hid. Ps. 119:130.
4. Every verse read, meditated on, and prayed over opens a mine of 'unsearchable riches.'
5. In order to be taught of God, we, like David, must ask the Lord to open our understanding. Ps.119:18.
III. THE LORD WILL ABUNDANTLY BLESS THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK GODLY WISDOM
A. God is the source and giver of all spiritual knowledge. Vv. 5-6
1. The person that is actively and prayerfully searching for Divine truth, will be given the ability to discern the two great principles of godliness which are 'the fear and knowledge of God'(v. 5).
2. The grace of fear, which comes from wisdom and knowledge, is a treasure itself. Prov. 1:7; 9:10.
a. Godly fear is a reverence of God, joined with a love to Him, a trust in Him, and a desire to serve and worship Him in a right manner.
b. As soon as a man is converted, he will have a fear of offending God, from a principle of love. Jn. 10:27.
3. The Lord applies the Gospel in the hearts of His people by His Spirit, and leads them into the riches of His special grace, which moves them to love, fear, and serve Him. Job 28:28; Ps. 111:10
4. A personís state of mind is dependent upon the attitude in which he seeks divine knowledge.
a. If he is willing to 'learn of the Father,' then the Lord will teach him.
b. But if he is too proud to submit to the instructions of the Lord, then the Lord will leave him to wander further and further from the right way.
(1) He will 'take the wise in their own craftiness'(I Cor. 1:18-19; 3:18-19).
(2) He will 'reveal to babes what he hides from the wise and prudent'(Mt. 11:25).
B. The Lord will not allow us to seek godly wisdom in vain.
1. Humble hearts sit at Jesus feet, and are endowed with a rich inheritance. Ps. 25:9, 12, 14.
a. The best way to know the mind of God is to walk with Him.
b. Christ made Himself known to the disciples in the breaking of bread. Lk. 24:35.
2. The Lord will bless those who are willing to apply the means of obtaining godly wisdom.
a. If we are sincere, He will open our eyes. Jn. 7:17.
b. If we are diligent, He will reveal Himself to us. Prov. 8:17.
c. If we are persevering in prayer, He will give us liberally. Jas. 1:5.
We should value the Gospel as a very special gift from God.
It is only through receiving the Gospel that sinners can be saved and the simple can receive wisdom. Ps. 19:7.
If it were not for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, many that are now in heaven, would have 'perished for lack of knowledge.'
We need to pray that the Lord would use the preaching of the Gospel to bring many sinners to see their need of a Savior. Rom. 1:16-17; I Cor. 1:18.