Chapter 12 | Table of Contents | Chapter 14

For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; 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, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:25-31 RSVA)

Fallen man prides himself in his wisdom and knowledge (mostly book learning) and lives like these will save him. The common attitude is, "Before things get too bad, our scientists will figure something out." Yet, God scoffs at it all. Men cry out against their Maker blaming Him for everything that goes wrong in their lives, all the while they boast in themselves when things go right! God gets the blame and sinful man gets the glory. No wonder God sees man's wisdom as foolishness. Of those who God calls, not many are worldly wise or powerful in the might of the world's ways. Not many are called from "the beautiful people" that are honored and admired by the world.

Jeremiah prophesied the coming of this New Covenant we are part of today:

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:33-34 KJ2000)

In effect Jeremiah said that there would no longer be need for teachers in the New Covenant, for they shall all know Me. The truth of God would be in each one of us. Andrew Murray wrote about this passage in The Two Covenants:

"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord." Individual personal fellowship with God, for the feeblest and the least, is to be the wonderful privilege of every member of the New Covenant people. Each one will know the Lord. That does not mean the knowledge of the mind,—that is not the equal privilege of all, and that in itself may hinder the fellowship more than help it,—but with that knowledge which means appropriation and assimilation, and which is eternal life. As the Son knew the Father because He was one with Him and dwelt in Him, the child of God will receive by the Holy Spirit that spiritual illumination which will make God to him the One he knows best, because he loves Him most and lives in Him. The promise, "They shall be all taught of God," will be fulfilled by the Holy Spirit's teaching. God will speak to each out of His Word what he needs to know.

John agreed with Jeremiah when he wrote, "But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27 KJ2000) Ezekiel also prophesied of this new and better Covenant saying:

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them: it shall be an everlasting covenant with them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27, 37:26)

In the Old Covenant, men had a head knowledge of the will and laws of God, but in the New we are given new hearts that want to obey Him and hearts that know Him intimately, not through mediators like Moses, but the one Mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only this, but we have placed in us when we believed into Jesus, a new Spirit, the very Spirit of Christ that seeks to please our heavenly Father. It is no longer up to us to please Him and keep His laws. His Spirit in our new hearts does what those under the Old Covenant could never do by sheer will power. Jesus in us does it all! Andrew Murray went on to write:

But is it really possible, amid the wear and tear of daily life, to walk in the experience of these blessings? Are they really meant for all God's children? Let us rather ask the question, Is it possible for God to do what He has promised? The one part of the promise we believe—the complete and perfect pardon of sin. Why should we not believe the other part—the law written in the heart, and the direct Divine fellowship and teaching? We have been so accustomed to separate what God has joined together, the objective, outward work of His Son, and the subjective, inward work of His Spirit, that we consider the glory of the New Covenant above the Old to consist chiefly in the redeeming work of Christ for us, and not equally in the sanctifying work of the Spirit in us. It is owing to this ignorance and unbelief of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as the power through whom God fulfils the New Covenant promises, that we do not really expect them to be made true to us.

Paul wrote, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13 KJ2000) More correctly this should be translated, "Till we all come into the oneness of the faith and knowledge of (to fully observe) the Son of God, into a complete man, into the measure of maturity of the completed Christ." Notice that our word eis or into is used three times in this verse. Perfect knowledge is found when we come into the faith and knowledge of the Son who gets His knowledge by observing His Father. We become completely mature when we completely pass into Christ who is completely in our Father.

Jesus has been made unto us wisdom and knowledge. Paul wrote to the church at Colossi, "in whom (Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:3 ALT) Are you looking for spiritual wisdom and knowledge? You won't find it in a seminary or Bible school. They are hidden in Christ and we must be fully enveloped into Him if we are to have this treasure. Paul wrote:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. But we speak wisdom among them that are mature: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto [into] our glory: (1 Corinthians 2:5-7 KJ2000)

When we rest in Christ, His wisdom and knowledge can pour into and through us. Have you ever noticed that when asked a question, Jesus' answers were made to shed light on the heart of the one asking? He more often answered the heart of the person, bypassing their heads and religious shackles that held them captive. This is the wisdom of God at work. Spiritual sickness is in the heart. We can attack a perverted way of thinking by answering questions and wrangling with the mind and never bring anyone to the healing waters of Christ. When we abide in Jesus, taking every carnal thought captive, we won't be drawn into religious arguments. The knowledge we need for every situation comes through and we can be used of our Father as Jesus was to bring about a real healing to sin sick hearts.

Michael Faraday was a great English inventor, scientist and chemist of the nineteenth century. More importantly, Faraday made his abode in Jesus. The Faraday experiments led the way to such inventions as the fluorescent lamp, the electron tube, electric motors, generators, electric transformers and artificial refrigeration. He was a praying man and a close friend said that his prayers were the "... petition of a son into whose heart God had sent the Spirit of his Son, and who with absolute trust asked a blessing from his father." Another associate of his said that he "... was continually pressed to be the guest of the high and noble, but he would, if possible, decline, preferring to visit some poor sister in trouble, assist her, take a cup of tea with her, read the Bible and pray." As an elder in his church he once preached, "The law of God required perfect obedience, which man could not render, and it was in the room and stead of guilty man that Christ fulfilled it... And therefore, brethren, we ought to value the privilege of knowing God's truth far beyond anything we can have in this world. The more we see the perfection of God's law fulfilled in Christ, the more we ought to thank God for His unspeakable gift." Jesus was Faraday's All in all. A contemporary writer wrote that there was, "... a comparatively little known phase of his character, viz., his belief in a still higher means of reaching truth than by scientific investigation alone, namely, as laid open for the instruction and hope of mankind by Divine Revelation." Michael Faraday knew Jesus as the summation and source of all his wisdom and knowledge.

Paul wrote, "And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man loves God, the same is known by him." (1 Corinthians 8:2-3 KJ2000) All real knowledge is based on whether He knows us and that hinges on whether we love Him. Knowledge in the economy of God is not just knowing something in our heads, but a knowing relationship with Him in our hearts. God's knowledge is relational. This is also the basis of the final judgment, not what we did for God, but whether He knows us in intimacy. (See Matt. 7:21-23)

Who is wise in the sight of God? Jesus said, "Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." (Matthew 7:24-25 KJ2000) The wise are those who not only hear Jesus' saying, but do them. Paul said of the wise,

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ's; and Christ is God's. (1 Corinthians 3:18-23 KJ2000)

If we are truly Christ's, if we live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28), all things are ours. Why? All things are His because He is in the Father, the Creator of all things. Everywhere in western society we see men trying to improve on what God has created or done. Each time they make a change "for the better," it ends in disaster whether it is through wars, pollution or wiping out whole species of animals and plants in the march to "civilize" and "improve." The wisdom and knowledge of man in action always ends in chaos. The same wisdom that can be used for peaceful purposes more often is used for the development of weapons and carnage. In Genesis before God judged the world by flood we read, "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth." (Genesis 6:11-12 KJ2000) This is the wisdom of man outside the life of God and it all started when Eve was tempted by the serpent to become "wise" by eating of the tree of knowledge instead of abiding in her relationship in God.

Satan was also corrupted by his wisdom. Is it any wonder that he uses that sin to try and corrupt us? He has perfected it! Of his fall Ezekiel records:

You were in Eden, God's garden. You were dressed in splendor, your robe studded with jewels: Carnelian, peridot, and moonstone, beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald, all in settings of engraved gold. A robe was prepared for you the same day you were created. You were the anointed cherub. I placed you on the mountain of God. You strolled in magnificence among the stones of fire. From the day of your creation you were sheer perfection . . . and then imperfection--evil!--was detected in you. In much buying and selling you turned violent, you sinned! I threw you, disgraced, off the mountain of God. I threw you out--you, the anointed angel-cherub. No more strolling among the gems of fire for you! Your beauty went to your head. You corrupted wisdom by using it to get worldly fame. I threw you to the ground, sent you sprawling before an audience of kings and let them gloat over your demise. (Ezekiel 28:13-17 MSG) [emphasis added]

Jesus did not come to the earth to demonstrate worldly wisdom and take control as a world leader, though Satan tempted Him to do so in the wilderness early on. And He did not come to impress men with His beauty. As Isaiah prophesied, He grew up in a spiritually parched field, Nazareth. All the Jews knew that no good thing could come out of Nazareth. Isaiah describes Him as a homely "ninety pound weakling." He was passed over like the kid who is the last one to be picked for a sandlot baseball team. God only knows how many times He was beaten-up by the town bully as He was growing up. You can be sure that the presence of God in Him made Him a target of the worldly. Years later He preached from Isaiah in the town synagogue, and they dragged Him out and would have thrown Him off a nearby cliff if His Father had not saved Him. Jesus learned obedience to the Father by the things that He suffered.

Chapter 12 | Table of Contents | Chapter 14

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