Sunday, March 18, 2012

Knowledge, Widsom and Reason

“Now, O LORD God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?”
(2 Chronicles 1:9-10, NASB)

In a previous article, I talked about wisdom. Worldly wisdom, without God, is worthless in his sight. Man's wisdom cannot even begin to compare with the wisdom of God (Isaiah 55.8-9). Further, the Christian has no business attempting to discuss anything on "neutral ground" because there is no such thing; everyone is biased. If we leave the God's wisdom behind, we are following the other person's rules and they are not putting aside their own presuppositions.

Although it is an understatement, I want to say that knowledge is a good thing. I am very fond of learning, and try to learn something about many things. The most important knowledge that we can have is of God and his Word (Prov. 2.6, Rom. 11.33-36).

But there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is knowing facts, while wisdom is applying acquired knowledge. We are called to use our knowledge through Godly wisdom, which includes spiritual understanding (Col. 1.9). We can have someone who is full of knowledge and information with wisdom of the world. However, spiritual matters escape him (1 Cor. 2.14, Rom. 11.33, Jeremiah 17.9). In fact, God provided Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross (Heb. 9.26, Heb. 10.10). This was in God's wisdom, and is foolishness according to the wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 1.23).

Those of us who are followers of Jesus (not of religious traditions) and believe his Word have an advantage: God lives in us and directs our thinking abilities (1 Cor. 2.16, 1 John 2.20). If we need wisdom, God will give it to us if we ask (James 1.5). With God-given wisdom, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, we can reason from the Scriptures. Spiritual wisdom, knowledge and reasoning are above worldly understanding, and seem foolish to those who do not belong to Christ.

When we are proclaiming the gospel and defending the faith, we need to keep in mind that God lives in us, gives us wisdom when we ask him — and his ways are far beyond the understanding of the world (1 Cor. 1.20). (Since he is so far above us, even though he lives in us, we have to exercise faith and trust in the one who died for us. Sometimes we cannot make sense of things at the time, but keep on trusting him.) My recommendation is that we do not try to discuss deep theological matters with unbelievers because they are blinded (2 Cor. 4.4) and unable to understand (1 Cor. 2.14). Sure, we can discuss some things as God leads. But do not be disappointed when those things are not understood, and rejected.


"Counsel Of The Holy", performed by Petra, Lyrics by John Lawry

There is a light burning in the darkness
A book of hope, a morning light
Breaking over the mountains where the eagle flies
It gives us wings to touch the sky, it is the wisdom of the wise

Counsel of the Holy, the written Word of God
Wisdom cries for all to read
Counsel of the Holy, the greatest book of all
Is the path of victory, is the path of victory

A book of wonder, a book of life
A book of promise, faithful and true
A book of miracles for all who will believe
A book of wisdom to all who will receive

The counsel of the Holy, the written Word of God
Wisdom cries for all to read
Counsel of the Holy, the greatest book of all
Is the path of victory, is the path of victory

More precious than rubies
More precious than gold
Mighty is the wisdom of the Lord

Counsel of the Holy, the written Word of God
Wisdom cries for all to read
Counsel of the Holy, the greatest book of all
Is the path of victory
Wisdom cries for all to read, wisdom cries for all to read