God’s Gift of Wisdom
In our study of 1 Corinthians, this past Sunday we looked at 1 Cortinthians 2:6-16 and saw how the Corinthian church needed to be reminded that God’s wisdom far surpasses the best of man’s wisdom. In their commentaries, Dr. Lightfoot & Adam Clake point out the four different types of wisdom as noted by Paul:
- Philosophical or Greek wisdom (1 Cor 1:22) – Wisdom in that time which focused on debate and eloquence to arrive at truth.
- Religious or Jewish wisdom (1 Cor 2:8) – The religious leaders, scribes, and Pharisees as they oversaw how the law was interpreted.
- Natural or Worldly wisdom (1 Cor 2:6) – Wisdom that is only focused on this
present or natural world (and not the world to come).
- Spiritual or Godly wisdom (1 Cor 2:7) – The wisdom of God is revealed through the gospel, through His word, and through His Spirit.
If we are spiritually minded, we can receive wisdom from God. If we are focused only on the natural things and see nothing of eternity, we will not desire or seek God’s wisdom. God’s ways are not like our ways and His thoughts are not like ours. His wisdom far surpasses ours just as the atmosphere is so much higher than the earth; so God’s ways are greater! (Is. 55:8-9)
Paul gives us this encouragement: even though His wisdom is so much greater than ours - God’s wisdom IS available to us through Jesus. Just as only the Spirit of man knows his thoughts, so God’s Spirit knows God’s thoughts. The moment we believe and trust in Jesus as our savior, we have received God’s Spirit (Eph 1:13). God desires to help you and I understand and grasp what he has freely given us through His Spirit (1 Cor 2:12). When God’s Spirit lives within us, we have access to Him not one time a year but every minute and hour of the day!
The wisdom we have is not something we boast about because we did not earn it through merit, hard work, or our worthiness. This IS a FREE gift. When Paul says that this wisdom is of the “mature” or “perfect” ones (1 Cor 2:6) at first glance we could believe that he was saying we must be perfect before we can understand God’s wisdom. Bible scholars note the word used is the Greek word “teleios” which means to be an initiate or complete one. Correctly understood, Paul is saying that wisdom of God is given to those who are initiated in the faith. Those who are made complete in Christ. Not those who have arrived so to speak, but those who have believed. The moment you believe in Jesus it is by God’s Spirit whom he makes to dwell in you; you are an initiate and a part of the body of believers. His wisdom is for you.
When culture might encourage us to trust in what we can see, do what feels right, or conform to the norm, let us lean in to God’s Spirit and ask our generous God for wisdom (Prov 3:5,6).
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
As you meditate on God’s Gift of Wisdom, what stands out to you?