Faithlife Sermons

Where Is Wisdom?

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Text: “ 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. ...49 And he said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’” (, )

49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. 49 And he said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’”
One of the strange
One of the strange changes in our culture’s spirituality that I think has gone practically unnoticed is where we look for great ‘wisdom.’ In our culture, if you picture the person who symbolizes truly great wisdom, who would you picture? For many people, I suspect that they picture the eastern mystic off meditating on a mountain top in some incredibly remote area. Those who need wisdom for a particularly difficult decision, for example, are pictured as making the long, arduous trek up the mountain to be able to consult this wise man and, hopefully, benefit from his great wisdom.
How did someone like that, completely isolated from anyone else, pondering within himself strange questions like, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” become the archetype of great and deep wisdom?
What if the place to go to find such wisdom wasn’t a remote mountain top? What if the place to go for such deep wisdom was church?
What if the path to such wisdom wasn’t searching within yourself, pondering unanswerable questions? What if the path was God’s Word?
What if, instead of consulting an aged man, isolated from civilization, the One to seek was a pre-teen boy in God’s Temple? That’s not where you and I look for great wisdom, though.
Our readings today challenge us to consider where we look for wisdom. And this is not an academic exercise. It’s not simply a philosophical debate. Real lives are being destroyed. Our culture has gone further and further down the path of its own wisdom for the past 60 years, unchecked by any higher wisdom— any higher standard of right and wrong. And that path is literally littered with the bodies of the victims of that movement.
And this is not an academic exercise. It’s not simply a philosophical debate. Real lives are being destroyed. Our culture has gone further and further down the path of its own wisdom for the past 60 years, unchecked by any higher standard of right and wrong. And that path is literally littered with the bodies of the victims of that movement.
Let’s take just one example: cohabitation. Living together without being married has become the norm for so many. It’s the natural next step as a romantic relationship progresses. To even raise an eyebrow at it, to question the wisdom of it, is to be hopelessly old fashioned, ignorant, and out of touch. And yet,
[researchers consistently find h]igher rates of violence among cohabiting couples.... For example, using Canadian homicide data, Wilson (1993, 1995) found that women in cohabiting relationships were at a greater risk of being killed by their partners than were women who were married. In fact, Shackelford (2001) found that women in cohabiting relationships were nine times more likely to be killed by their partners than were women who were in marital relationships.
(“Cohabiting Violence” http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/crime/domestic-violence/cohabiting-violence/
When we talk about ‘wisdom’ today, it’s not a philosophical debate. Real people are being hurt— ironically, the very people that our world’s ‘wisdom’ claims to be most concerned with helping. The sexual revolution claims to be freeing women from the oppression they’ve experienced for centuries. In practice, women and children have been the greatest victims of the sexual revolution. Countless lives are being destroyed.
That’s not where you and I look for great wisdom, though. You don’t look there, in part, because you don’t like what that wisdom tells you. Earthly wisdom says to follow your heart. Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that the heart is deceitful above all things.
Still, you and I prefer to look anywhere but to the Church— anywhere but God’s Word— for wisdom. You don’t look there, in part, because you don’t like what that wisdom tells you. Earthly wisdom says to follow your heart. Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that the heart is deceitful above all things. Earthly wisdom asks questions like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that there is none who is righteous— no, not one. Earthly wisdom tries to recast death as part of the “circle of life.” Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that it is the enemy, it is the wages of your sin.
You don’t look there, in part, because you don’t like what that wisdom tells you. Earthly wisdom says to follow your heart. Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that the heart is deceitful above all things.
Earthly wisdom asks questions like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that there is none who is righteous— no, not one.
The message that Christ has given His Church to preach
Earthly wisdom tries to recast death as part of the “circle of life.” Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that it is the enemy, it is the wages of your sin.
Really, should we be surprised that our culture has set up alternative sources of what it calls wisdom? Christ has given His Church a message to shout from the mountain tops. But, unfortunately, that message is foolishness to the world.
And this is not an academic exercise. It’s not simply a philosophical debate. Real lives are being destroyed. Our culture has gone further and further down the path of its own wisdom for the past 60 years, unchecked by any higher standard of right and wrong. And that path is literally littered with the bodies of the victims of that movement.
Let’s take just one example: cohabitation. Living together without being married has become the norm for so many. To even raise an eyebrow at it is to be hopelessly old fashioned, ignorant, and out of touch. And yet,
[researchers consistently find h]igher rates of violence among cohabiting couples.... For example, using Canadian homicide data, Wilson (1993, 1995) found that women in cohabiting relationships were at a greater risk of being killed by their partners than were women who were married. In fact, Shackelford (2001) found that women in cohabiting relationships were nine times more likely to be killed by their partners than were women who were in marital relationships.
(“Cohabiting Violence” http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/crime/domestic-violence/cohabiting-violence/
When we talk about ‘wisdom’ today, it’s not a philosophical debate. Real people are being hurt. Countless lives are being destroyed.
“18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For [this group] demand[s] signs and [another] seek[s] wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, ...Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” ().
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ().
As Paul put it in our Epistle reading, “In him [you] have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of [y]our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon [you], in all wisdom and insight making known to [you] the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (). This episode from Jesus’ childhood— His parents finding Him there in the temple— is a glimpse of a far greater truth. If you want to know the very wisdom of God, the wisdom of the creator of the universe, who designed it in all of its wondrous complexity, look to Jesus. In Him, the mystery of God’s will, His plan since the beginning of time, His plan to lavish upon you all the riches of His grace, is revealed.
The Sexual Revolution has been going on for my entire lifetime. Millions of people have been harmed by its empty promises.
Whether you are a Child of Divorce, a Donor Conceived Person or a Refugee from the Hookup Culture, the Ruth Institute is here for you. You will find friendly (virtual!) faces, listening ears and powerful information.
The suffering from the Sexual Revolution has gone on long enough. Are you with me? Let’s begin.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph. 1:7-10).
It does, the wisdom Christ has given His church to declare from the mountaintops looks like foolishness. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. ().
Epistle:
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph. 1:7-10).
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. ().
If you
Earthly wisdom says to follow your heart. God’s Word tells you that the heart is deceitful above all things, but that He creates a clean heart in you and renews a right spirit within you.
For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Earthly wisdom asks questions like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” God’s Word tells you that it has only happened once that something bad happened to someone who was truly Good and righteous. He volunteered for it. And He did it for you. He who had no sin became your sin so that you might become the righteousness of God.
The wisdom of God has the scandalous boldness to hold up a mirror to the wisdom of your heart and to declare the truth, that “...the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” ().
40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. ...49 And he said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’” (, )
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” ()
Earthly wisdom asks questions like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” God’s Word tells you that it has only happened once that something bad happened to someone who was truly Good and righteous. He volunteered for it. And He did it for you. He who had no sin became your sin so that you might become the righteousness of God.
Earthly wisdom tries to recast death as part of the “circle of life.” God’s Word stands firm on the truth that death the enemy, it is the wages of your sin, so that it can declare, boldly and without any question, that Christ has defeated that enemy, as well, and that you will live forever in Him.
Earthly wisdom tries to recast death as part of the “circle of life.” Godly wisdom— God’s Word— tells you that it is the enemy, it is the wages of your sin.
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
If you really feel the need to go seek wisdom from the man off, all alone on the mountaintop, make sure the mountain that you choose is Golgotha. Because there, in the Son of God hanging on the cross for you, is the true wisdom of God. Perhaps in eternity we’ll have the chance to ponder bizarre questions like, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” For now, the greatest wisdom that you can ponder and meditate upon is the fact that “4 [God] chose [you] in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that [you] should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined [you] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” ().
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ().
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:6-16).
Christian as truly Wise:
Related Media
Related Sermons