Christ, Our Wisdom
Dr. John Woodward
I once heard a story of two prison inmates who were trying to devise an escape plan. One got a brilliant idea and exclaimed to his friend, "I know, I'll turn on this flashlight and point the beam over the wall, and you escape by climbing up the beam!" "How stupid," his friend replied, "when I'd be half way up, you'd turn off the flashlight!"
We too can find ourselves in tough situations, looking to escape and needing light. The virtue we need for navigating through life is wisdom.
In this series, let's focus on God's provision for the believer in Christ as expressed in 1 Corinthians 1:30.
"But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption."
These four qualities are bestowed upon us through saving faith in the Lord Jesus. Watchman Nee commented on the declaration of this verse: "God has given us Christ. There is nothing now for us to receive outside of Him. The Holy Spirit has been sent to produce what is of Christ in us; not to produce anything that is apart from or outside of Him. He 'was made unto us...' This is one of the grandest statements of Scripture. If we believe this, we can put anything in there we need, and can know that God has made it good; for, through the Holy Spirit within us, the Lord Jesus is Himself made unto us whatever we lack."
Consider the value of wisdom.
"Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her" (Prov 3:13-15).
Biblical wisdom is more than knowledge. The Old Testament word (chokmah) and the New Testament word (sophia) both express the idea of skill. The gifted artisans who made the garments for the High priest, the tabernacle structure, and its furnishings were endowed with wisdom. God told Moses "And I, indeed I, have... put wisdom in the hearts of all who are gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you" (Exodus 31:6). So to live wisely is to live skillfully.
With the rapid advance of technology, we can be inundated with data, facts, and information. But learning is more than gaining knowledge. Discipleship requires wisdom.
Some with vast knowledge have a scant supply of wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom is like ...
· an expert on computer hardware who cannot use a word processor
· a specialist in nutrition who cannot cook a meal
· a scholar of music theory who cannot play an instrument.
We cannot settle for stockpiling information; we need to apply truth to life!
Think of all the issues in our lives that clamor for wisdom. We wonder,
· How should I handle my finances?
· How can I be an effective parent?
· What decisions should I make about my career?
· How can I avoid personal conflicts?
· How can I live skillfully?
Now rejoice in this truth, Christian: Jesus who indwells you is your life. He is your source of Wisdom. "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God. . . "
Paul yearned for the church to be "attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:2,3).
Consider how Christ expressed His wisdom at His first coming. Take, for example, the episode where the religious leaders tried to trap Him with the question: "Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" They thought Jesus would surely be snared through His answer. If He said "no" to taxes, His enemies would have reported Him to Pilate for promoting rebellion against Rome. If He said "yes" to taxes, His enemies would have spread the word throughout Israel that Jesus favored paying taxes to the despised Romans. Luke 20:23-26 records the outcome.
"But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 'Why do you test Me? Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?' They answered and said, 'Caesar's.' And He said to them, 'Render therefore'to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marveled at His answer and kept silent."
Truly One wiser than Solomon was in their midst (Luke 11:31)! This same Jesus lives in the believer's heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9).
Do you want to avail yourself of God's wisdom for the decisions of daily living? Commit yourself to walk continually in fellowship with our Savior by abiding in His Word. "He who walks with the wise grows wise..." (Prov. 13:20 NIV).
Our Father, cleanse us from our impulsive, foolish actions and reactions. Illumine us to value Your supreme wisdom. We do not want to just stockpile information. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit that we may live skillfully. In Christ's name, amen.
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