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The Wisdom and Knowledge of God

C Jones, Cardiff

What is wisdom? It might be true to say that it is always knowing the best objectives, and always knowing the best course of action to take to achieve the desired objectives. To be able to take the best decisions at all times requires more than human knowledge, ability and wisdom, all of which are limited. Only God is infinite in every aspect of His Being. Only He knows what is best in all circumstances, and only He possesses the infinite power and wisdom needed to achieve desired ends.

God is "the only wise God" (1 Tim 1.17). He alone is wise (Rom 16.27), and we read of the "depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Rom 11.33). God is infinite in love, power, knowledge and wisdom. He is "the God of all grace" (1 Pet 5.10), is "rich in mercy" (Eph 2.4), and inevitably, and always, achieves His purposes. All God does glorifies Him, exalts the Lord Jesus Christ, and brings peace and blessing to believers. God’s "way is perfect" (Ps 18.30), and we can rest assured that because of His love, power and wisdom, "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom 8.28). It is the will of God that believers should become more and more like His only begotten, beloved and eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 8.29), who is, by grace, our Lord and Saviour.

Only God is infinitely wise. Man’s wisdom is limited. Men seek wisdom (1 Cor 1.22), but the motivation behind their search is often selfish and driven by the desire for self-advancement. Man’s wisdom is sometimes not clearly distinguished from knowledge. One might be able to obtain knowledge but lack the wisdom or ability to use that knowledge to achieve sought after results. Knowledge and wisdom are not the same thing: wisdom is not always possessed by those who have knowledge. God, however, possesses both infinite knowledge and infinite wisdom. It is a wise and Godly man who can use knowledge aright. We read that the "tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright" (Prov 15.2).

"In wisdom hast thou made them" (Ps 104.24)

The wisdom of God is revealed in His wonderful creation. We know that "The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth" (Prov 3.19), and when we stop and consider, we will exclaim, "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches" (Ps 104.24). Creation displays the wisdom of God and the heavens declare His glory (Ps 19.1), but it is in and through the Lord Jesus Christ that we see the full and complete revelation of the wisdom of God. The Lord was "full of grace and truth" (Jn 1.14), and "Never man spake like this man" (Jn 7.46). He loved His Father, glorified Him, always pleased Him, and finished the work His Father had given Him to do (Jn 8.29; 14.31; 17.4), making possible our salvation. In the Lord Jesus we see perfect wisdom, for He is wisdom personified. He never ceased to be what He is eternally, and that is God. He was God "manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim 3.16), "the image of the invisible God" (Col 1.15). He is ‘‘the wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1.24), and in Him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2.3).

To those who are lost, the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ appears as a failure and foolishness. The truth is that the crucifixion reveals the love, mercy, grace and righteousness of God, His hatred of sin and His wisdom. Paul preached "Christ crucified…unto them which are called…the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1.23-24). We thank God for the crucifixion of the Lord who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal 2.20). We thank and praise God for the Lord’s suffering, bleeding and dying and for His glorious resurrection. By grace, God can now "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3.26).

It is not through earthly wisdom that a man comes to know God, or understand "the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2.14). Worldly wisdom does not enable a sinner to come to know God or to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. God is pleased, through the preaching of the message of the cross, "to save them that believe" (1 Cor 1.21), and yet this message is foolishness to those who perish (1 Cor 1.18). God, in His infinite wisdom, has often saved those who are not, by worldly standards, wise, mighty or noble but are regarded as being foolish and weak and who are despised (1 Cor 1.26-31).

Wisdom that is from above (James 3.17)

Earthly wisdom can produce results which are far from pleasing to God, such as unwise use of the tongue, envy, self-assertion, strife and confusion (James 3.14-16). Those of us who are believers need, as we seek to serve Him, the wisdom which is from God. This wisdom will control and determine our words and deeds. We read of the first martyr, Stephen, that he was a "man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 6.5). He was full of faith and, as a result, filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and he served God (Acts 6.8). When men disputed with Stephen he spoke with God-given wisdom which his adversaries could not resist or withstand (Acts 6.10).

We need to pray for God-given wisdom (Prov 2.6,7; 4.7; James 1.5). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov 9.10). This fear is a filial, reverential fear. It is a fear of grieving Him, and is founded in love for Him and a desire to know Him and serve Him. As we seek for wisdom from God, we must study the Word of God and obey the teaching of the Holy Spirit (Ps 19.7). The wisdom that God gives is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" (James 3.17). Where this God-given wisdom exists, assemblies, and the testimony and witness of individual believers, will be blessed and, by the grace of God, the saints will be enabled to "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time" (Col 4.5).



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