Wisdom

WisdomDoctrine of the Wise Man and Wisdom
Eph 5:15 – February 2017

Eph 5:15, “Therefore, pay close attention to how accurately you conduct yourselves, not as unwise men, but as wise.”

The Greek word for “wise” is SOPHOS – σοφς (sof-os’) meaning, “as wise, clever, or skillful.” It comes from the Noun SOPHIA – σοφία (sof-ee’-ah) that means, “skill or wisdom.” SOPHIA over time acquired various shades of meaning including; “insight, sound judgment, and practical wisdom,” regarding matters of common life. It could also mean, “speculative wisdom,” when used of the complexities of life and existence, and theoretical knowledge.

To the Greeks, SOPHOS described the man in whom was the ideal combination of practical skill and theoretical knowledge. As we would say, someone who has learned God’s Word and applies it.

The Book of Proverbs speaks extensively about being “wise” and “wisdom.” To the Hebrews, “wise” was the word CHAKAMחָכָם (khaw-kawm’) from CHOKMAHחָכְמָה (khok-maw’), and meant:

  • That the truly wise man is the one who fears God and understands His ways, cf. Prov 1:7.
  • Such wisdom is spiritual, a gift of God, cf. Prov 2:6.
  • It is the opposite of being “wise” in one’s own eyes, Prov 3:7.
  • It comes from righteous living, Prov 2:7-9, and having practical wisdom, Prov 6:6.

Therefore, “being wise” is the ability to apply with skill what one knows in respect to Divine things, being enlightened, as conjoined with purity of heart and life that results in wise attitudes and conduct, James 3:13.

So, once again, we see that SOPHOS is the believer who has learned God’s Word and is faithfully applying it daily.

James 3:13, “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”

James 3:17-18, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

1 Cor 2:6-7, “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”

Col 4:5, “Conduct yourselves, [literally “walk” – PERIPATEO – περιπατέω (per-ee-pat-eh’-o)], with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”

Therefore, believers are commanded to live wisely, and wise living is described in three ways in the following verses:

  • It makes good use of time in an evil age that is passing away, Eph 5:16; 1 Cor 7:31; Gal 1:4.
  • It seeks to learn God’s will, Eph 5:17; Eph 5:10.
  • It is the soul filled with the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18.

Recalling Eph 4:14-15, “Only a fool drifts with the wind and tide. A wise man marks out his course, sets his sails, and guides the rudder until he reaches his destination. When a man wants to build a house, he first draws his plans so he knows what he is doing. Yet, how many Christians plan their days so that they use their opportunities wisely? True, we cannot know what a day may bring forth (James 4:13-17). But it is also true that a planned life can better deal with unexpected events. Someone said, “When the pilot does not know what port he is heading for, no wind is the right wind.”” (Bible Exposition Commentary)

Wisdom is the sum total of the teaching of Bible doctrine under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit and the positive response to that doctrine, resulting in perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Wisdom must always have a textbook. The textbook is the infallible Word of God, the canon of Scripture, with emphasis on the New Testament epistles for wisdom in the dispensation of the Church.

Our wisdom comes from God and Jesus Christ, who are the wisest of all, Rom 16:27; 1 Cor 1:25, 30; Rev 5:12; 7:12.

Rom 16:27, “To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.”

1 Cor 1:25, “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

We are taught God’s wisdom, (Bible Doctrine), through the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP), the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit, Luke 10:21; John 14:26; 1 Cor 2:13; Eph 1:17; 3:10; Col 1:9.

1 Cor 2:13, “Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”

Luke 10:21, “At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You did hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Your sight.” Cf. Mat 11:25.

You have to have humility to gain and maintain wisdom; for no one is teachable apart from humility, Rom 16:19; 1 Cor 3:18. Without humility, your mind is not open to teaching. Metabolized Bible doctrine is the mastication of wisdom.

Rom 16:19, “For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil.”

1 Cor 3:18, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise.”

Humility is the basis for teachability, and teachability is the road to wisdom. No one has or will attain wisdom apart from virtue and humility. From virtue comes great happiness. From humility comes grace orientation to life.

For the Church Age, God’s wisdom is found in the Mystery Doctrines for the Church Age, 1 Cor 2:7; Eph 1:8-9; Col 22-3.

1 Cor 2:7, “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”

Col 2:2-3, “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

If you desire to acquire more of God’s wisdom, you are to pray for it, Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; James 1:5.

James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

Wisdom is both knowing and doing the will of God. Knowing and doing the will of God requires wisdom. Wisdom therefore, is a buildup of your spiritual muscles, as a result of the exercise of doing the will of God.

Wisdom understands both the will and the plan of God for your life. You have to know both. You have to know what the will of God is and what the overall plan of God is. The two go together. Wisdom begins when you understand that God has a plan for your life and begin to see it from the Scripture, and then to understand the spiritual life and use it. From this comes wisdom.

With the wisdom of God in your soul, you are able to discern Scripture and the trends of history according to God’s Plan, cf. Rev 13:18; 17:9.

Rev 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”

The wisdom from the world, Satan’s cosmic system, is actually foolishness at best, Rom 1:22; 1 Cor 1:19-27; 3:19-20, but also evil and demonic, James 3:15.

1 Cor 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”.”

James 3:15, “This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.”

We are to conduct our lives as “wise master builders” inside God’s Plan for our lives, 1 Cor 3:10. When we do, we will receive blessings for time and eternity, 1 Cor 3:11-15.

1 Cor 3:10, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it.”

The Wisdom of God causes the believer to grow up spiritually, to grow to spiritual adulthood and attain the super-grace life, Col 1:28.

Deacons are to be selected based on their demonstrated wisdom of the Word of God, Acts 6:3.

Wisdom was a special spiritual gift of the early Church, 1 Cor 12:8.

God’s Wisdom allows you to encourage and exhort your fellow members of the Royal Family, and praise God, Col 3:16.

Col 3:16, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Wisdom gives you power for witnessing and evangelizing, Acts 6:10; Col 3:16.

Acts 6:10, “And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he (Stephen) was speaking.”

In addition, you should have wisdom through the Word to decide matters between members of the body of Christ, 1 Cor 6:3-6.

1 Cor 6:3-6, “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? 4So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? 5I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 6but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?”

Likewise, you are to apply wisdom when interacting with unbelievers, Col 4:5.

Col 4:5, “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”

As a result of the wisdom you acquire from God, you will be wise and produce the Fruit of the Light, i.e., Divine Good works, Mat 11:19; Luke 7:35; James 3:13, 17.

Luke 7:35, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

James 3:13, “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”

James 3:17, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.”

Conclusion:

Wisdom is the sum total of the teaching of Bible doctrine, under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit and the positive response to that doctrine, resulting in perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Wisdom understands both the will and the plan of God for your life.

Rom 16:17-19, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissentions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. 19For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.”

Wisdom gives us great discernment between right and wrong, holiness and unrighteousness, good and evil, love and hate, righteousness and wickedness, the truth and the lie, goodness and sin, true doctrine and false doctrine, light and darkness, and God’s Plan versus Satan’s cosmic system.

Rom 11:3, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

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