Wisdom and Knowledge

Wisdom and Knowledge

1 Corinthians 1 is a fairly famous passage, and rightly so. There, Paul inveighs against the foolishness and emptiness of seeking power and wisdom apart from God––the very things both Jews and Gentiles were doing. The only true source of power (signs) and wisdom is Jesus, and without seeking Him, one seeks the others in vain.

It seems to me that Paul has the book of Proverbs in mind, especially chapter 1 (and probably chapters 8-9 too, but I’m trying to stick to one piece of paper at a time). Proverbs 1 has many parallels to 1 Corinthians 1, including some language that is expressly used of Jesus in the New Testament (pouring out the Spirit and teaching the Word).

Paul speaks of the knowledge of God and the wisdom of God as “riches” and “treasure” in both 1 Corinthians 1 and Colossians 2. He also equates Jesus with God’s wisdom and knowledge.

True wealth is knowing Jesus.

True knowledge is inseparable from Jesus, who is the Truth (John 14:6).

True wisdom is inseparable from Jesus, for wisdom begins with the fear of the LORD. Knowledge and wisdom are primarily relational, not intellectual. You can be academically brilliant and spiritually stupid, and you can be a school dropout and spiritually brilliant. Jesus is the difference, not degrees.

Soothsayer (Tennyson)

Poem-a-Day Challenge #15: Prediction Poem

The majestic lady with callused hands
Whose heart is softer than her self-made dress
Is not a fortune-teller out to impress
Or swindle but a gardener out to plant.
Listen to her.

Mockers and admirers alike confuse
Her crops for the tools of soothsayers’ trade;
She dabbles with no Endorian shade,
But offers wisdom that ever buds and blooms.
Listen to her.



What is a Tennyson?

Mysterious Gifts

“Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough…


“But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear! For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see and yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them” (Matthew 13:11-12, 16-17 HCSB).

Matthew 13 and its parallels (Mark 4, Luke 8) record Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom in parables. In the middle of teaching the parable of the sower, He explains to His disciples why He teaches “indirectly” through parables instead of “plainly.” His answer is, “It’s a secret.”

The word translated secret is mysterion, which is where we get the word “mystery.” The mysteries of the Kingdom are not puzzles that have to be solved, but truth that can only be revealed. Mysteries are truths that are behind the curtain, in a sense, and God graciously invites His people to take a look.

The fact that we have an entire, thick, book of God’s inspired, authoritative, inerrant word is itself an immeasurable kindness from God to us. The problem is, it’s often hard to understand, and it’s not clear how it’s supposed to benefit us.

But notice where Jesus goes next: “For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough” (13:12 HCSB, emphasis added).

What do we have, and what are we getting more of? What will we have more than enough of?

Understanding. Wisdom. Insight. Truth.

If you have been born again, you have been given eyes to see and ears to hear (see Matthew 13:16-17). That means you already have, and more will be given to you. In fact, you’ll have “more than enough” truth from God’s word to ponder, to marvel at, to praise Him for, to convict you, to teach you, to lead you, to mature you, to…everything.

In fact, you have more than even the Old Testament prophets and saints did: “Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them” (13:17 HCSB, emphasis added).

You’re the envy of the entire Old Testament Church!

What this means is that every one of us who has been born again has the promise, the guarantee, from Jesus Himself, that your time in the Word is not wasted. Everyone who has, more will be given to him.

And the Kingdom of God will grow in your heart, and it will yield a bountiful harvest. Jesus promises to give the gift of His secrets, His mysteries, His truth.

In other words, He promises to give Himself (John 14:6).

Book Review: John Wesley on the Christian Life

I recently finished Fred Sanders’ (@fredfredsanders) John Wesley on the Christian Life: The Heart Renewed in Love. I was doubly drawn to the book: having read Sanders’ The Deep Things of God, I had been acquainted with his rich devotion to the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3) and his helpful, clear writing. The subject of the book also appealed to me; I knew very little about Wesley, other than scattered “facts” that were admittedly unverified and likely caricature. Since Sanders comes from a thoughtful Wesleyan perspective, I hoped I was in for a treat.

I was not disappointed.

Continue reading “Book Review: John Wesley on the Christian Life”

Lady and the Tramp

The book of Proverbs has an extended introduction that lays the foundation for the actual proverbs that begin in chapter 10. In this introduction, Solomon pleads with his sons (and his readers) to grasp the necessity and immeasurable value of wisdom. To do this, he often personifies wisdom and folly (or foolishness) as women appealing for a hearing. Wisdom is a distinguished, elegant, beautiful woman who is as hard-working as she is graceful. Folly is, to put it bluntly, a skanky bimbo. Continue reading “Lady and the Tramp”

Faith vs. Sight, Wisdom vs. Foolishness

Trust in Yahweh with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.
Don’t consider yourself to be wise;
fear Yahweh and turn away from evil (Proverbs 3:5-7 HCSB)

Proverbs 3:5-6 have been loved and memorized by saints immemorial, and it’s easy to see why. In Solomon’s expected pithy power, he reminds us of the need to live by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Continue reading “Faith vs. Sight, Wisdom vs. Foolishness”