Monday, August 29, 2011

Wisdom - A Few Loose Ends

Note: A wise person could be referred to as having a "black belt" in life. Takes much training, study, practice. Biblical wisdom is very broad based.

I. The (Biblical) Wise Man is well-rounded. Prov. 28:25b - KJV - "...but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat." (smile)
ie: wise in many areas, aspects of life, living - not just in a few.
We've briefly looked at..... instruction, learning, advice, correction, pride, unrealistic value of 'self, fear of God, respect for God's law(s)
We can and should add:
temper - Prov. 29:22
self-control - Prov. 12:16, 29:11
patience - Prov. 16:32
kindness - Prov. 14:31
chivalry - Prov. 31:8-9
humility - Prov. 27:21
honesty - Prov. 20:10, 20:23, 22:28, 23:10
generosity - Prov. 3:27-28
social responsibility Prov. 24:11-12, 11:26
personal responsibility - Prov. 19:3
personal contentment - Prov. 15:16, 16:18
discretion - Prov. 11:22
use of alcohol - Prov. 20:1, 31:4-7
care of animals - Prov. 12:10

Point #1: Wise in 1 or 2 areas doesn't constitute a 'wise man'.
Comparison: a Renaissance Man (Leonardo daVinci) - had a broad understanding of many things.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 - "thoroughly equipped... every good work"

Point #2: This is more than character development. These are moral and ethical issues. (matters of right and wrong) - refer to above list.

Point #3. Wisdom obviously requires an acquisition of knowledge. But then requires choosing to act on the knowledge acquired!!
Example/illustration: Prov. 15:1 - Contrast: knowledge vs. choice to..... If we understand and get the meaning and fail to act on it, acting like a fool!

The Biblical wise man is well-rounded.

II. The (Biblical) wise man focuses his ability to relate to others.
Note list above. how much is relationship oriented!

NO SURPRISE - Matt. 22:36-40 (God's image, Christ's work, eternal state)
So, on one hand a wise man in developing himself
but, on the other hand he's developing himself in his ability to relate to others.

You can't achieve Biblical wisdom if you don't learn to relate to people.

III. The (Biblical) wise man embraces Christ.
(the focus has been on the Old Testament/Proverbs, BUT Biblical wisdom must include Christ.)
1 Cor. 1:18 - 2:16, 3:18 - Christ IS wisdom from God.

Obviously includes (A.) the teachings of Christ Matt. 7:24
Also includes (B.) the Person of Christ. Eph. 1:17 (gospel)

IV. The (Biblical) wise man promotes Christ.
Christ's last words - very important - Matt. 28:18-20
Dan. 12:1-3
Prov. 11:30 - "he who wins souls is wise"

Job 12:1-2 (sarcasm)
On one hand, we needn't think we've got all the answers (all wisdom)
However, we ought to have some, and we ought to be pursuing more!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Portrait of A Fool - Part 3

What's a fool look like??

Biblical definition: A fool is NOT stupid, ignorant, unlearned. A fool is one who has disdain for God's law(s) and the morals, ethics set forth in those laws.

A fool is not one who doesn't KNOW right and wrong, should and shouldn't.
A fool is one who knows but chooses to ignore and deny.

A fool is not one who is intellectually deficient.
A fool is one who is morally deficient.

The point: what's wrong is harmful and detrimental. THEREFORE, it is foolish to know and ignore, deny, defy, etc.

So, Week #1 - A fool ignores truth, despises correction and hates rebuke. Prov. 12:1 (refuses to be fixed)

Week #2 - A fool is self-confident, proud and wise in his own eyes. (ie: his opinion of 'self exceeds reality) Prov. 26:12
There's nothing wrong with self-confidence or pride in the proper sense.

We know 1. we all have a tendency toward foolishness - Rom. 3:23
However, 2. once we know better, it's mostly a choice!!
Therefore, 3. it's foolish to ACT like a fool when you're NOT a fool!!!


#3. A fool displays his folly. Prov. 13:16 When you act in a foolish way, it will be displayed.

There are many ways to expose our folly, but let's look at the most common one. WORDS/THE TONGUE!!

I. The fool talks too much, too soon, too easily.
Prov. 15:2, 18:6, 18:7 - soul endangered by mouth
Therefore, the fool is quick to answer. Prov. 18:2
and quick to quarrel. Prov. 20:3

The words of the wise are few and restrained. Prov. 10:19, 17:27, 12:23, 17:28

AND, well chosen!! Prov. 15:23, 16:24, 12:18
Summary verse: Prov. 13:3

The next level.
The immediate issue and application is the tongue/the spoken word/ the external expression - and these are VERY IMPORTANT!!
BUT, the deeper need and more important issue is the heart ( internal). ie. the source/origin of words. Matt. 12:33-36

So, on one hand a wise man learns to control his tongue, but a wiser man learns to correct his heart!

On one hand your heart is beyond perfection. But, it's not beyond improvement/correction/adjustment.
AND, the more you correct your heart, the less you'll have to filter your speech!!

So..... How to Correct the heart??
How to address the source/the root of my tongue, the origin of my speech.

How to Correct the Heart??

#1. Assess Yourself
A. Your speech, words
B. Your heart - ie. what causes you to say what you do.
*Note* - assess in light of God's Word!! (not your feelings, inclinations, culture, etc.)

#2. Confess your sin(s).
your attitude and behavior is not in line with God's will, it is:

#3. Embrace and/or enthrone Jesus. (As Savior and/or as Lord)
A. as Savior leads to forgiveness, cleansing, new heart, nature, presence of the Holy Spirit.
B. as Lord leads to forgiveness, cleansing, Holy Spirit's presence - leadership, guidance, accountability.

#4. Forsake your foolishness. which means desert, abandon, quit, walk away, leave behind, renounce, disown, etc.
Rom. 6:11 - KJV - "reckon"
Contrast: Prov. 26:11

#5. Repeat as necessary ( steps 1 - 4)

on one hand this is difficult to execute (wholly) ( to perfect). But, it is NOT difficult to comprehend, and it is NOT difficult to practice!!
AND, acquiring wisdom doesn't lead to an event, it leads to a process!! - re-enthroning, re-aligning, re-confessing, etc.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Portrait of A Fool - continued

Question: What does a fool look like, BUT remember, you don't have to be dumb to be a fool according to the Biblical definition.

A fool is not stupid, ignorant, unlearned. A fool is one who has disdain for God's law(s) and the morals/ethics set forth in those laws.

A fool is not one who doesn't know right and wrong, should and shouldn't. A fool is one who knows but chooses to ignore or deny.

A fool is not one who is intellectually deficient. A fool is one who is morally deficient.

Because, what's right is good, helpful, beneficial.
Therefore, what's wrong is harmful, detrimental.

It is foolish to know and ignore, deny, defy... When you act like a fool, it is detrimental to you AND those around you.

Two weeks ago we began "Portrait of A Fool".
I. A fool ignores truth, despises correction, and hates rebuke. Prov. 12:1


II. A fool is self-confident, proud, and wise in his own eyes.

A. Self-Confident = wrong??? Answer is the definition of self-confident.
A self-confident person is one with more confidence than competence/ability.
His opinion of himself exceeds reality. He won't see his limits.
Prov. 28:26 - wisdom of God, wisdom of others, versus own wisdom only.

B. Proud. On one hand, pride has positive place. 2 Cor. 5:12 (a), 2 Cor. 7:4 (a)
Contrast legitimate pride vs. foolish Pride!
In the negative sense, it's an opinion of self that exceeds reality.

Obad. 1:3-4 - view of self is faulty and unhealthy. Rom. 12:3 (a)

C. Wise in his own eyes. Prov. 12:15, 26:16, 16:12
There is "no hope" because:
1. cannot be corrected
2. cannot be improved
3. repeats mistakes - Prov. 26:11

which leads to:

III. A fool mocks sin and denies God. (this naturally follows)
Prov. 10:23 (a), Prov. 14:9 (a), Psalm 14:1 (a) -- "..... no God"

A. The mockery is not necessarily verbal: but is to ignore sin as if it's of no consequence.

B. The denial is not necessarily absolute. May not deny the existence of God, but DOES deny the power, authority, holiness, concern, involvement, and Judgment!!!

Example: Gal. 6:7-8 - fool says (by action, lifestyle...) "this doesn't apply to me."

We often say "there's no fool like an old fool" which is apt because had lots of time to change and didn't.
We might add or amend the saying to: "no fool like a Christian fool" because Christians have God's Word for instruction in righteousness and to ignore these is foolish indeed.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Portrait of A Fool

Definition: a fool is NOT someone who is stupid, ignorant, unlearned. Example: clown, court jester, etc.
The Biblical definition of a fool is one who has disdain for God's laws and the morals/ethics set forth in these laws!

A fool is NOT one who doesn't know right and wrong, should and shouldn't. It is one who knows but chooses to ignore or deny it.

Question: Why would this constitute a "fool"?
Answer: What's right is also what's good (helpful/beneficial) for relationships, finances, reputation, family, friends, social life, future life! What is good leads to blessing, what's wrong leads to cursing.

To violate the rules is detrimental. To obey rules is beneficial. Therefore, it is "foolish" to
ignore, deny, defy!!

NOTE!! The point of "Portrait" is not to declare or label us a "fool".
The point is to identify behavior so as not to act like a fool.

Comparison: John 3:16-17. Christ came not to condemn but to SAVE.
So with wisdom literature.... it's not to label or condemn
It's to identify, instruct, teach, correct, etc.

PORTRAIT - What does a fool look like??

I. A fool ignores truth, despises correction and hates rebuke.

A. Ignores truth. Prov. 12:1 - Amplified Version: like a brute beast, stupid and indiscriminate.
(ie: no moral character)
Remember: a fool is not unlearned but is unconcerned.
is more about choice than we like to admit!!

B. Despises Correction - Prov. 1:7 Prov. 15:5

C. Hates rebuke. If you embrace wisdom, you have to apply wisdom.

On the one hand, it's understandable. Who enjoys rebuke? correction?

On the other hand, if you're doing wrong, (and all can see it), do you want to know? fix?

A wise man listens to advice. Prov. 12:15 Prov. 13:10
And, a wise man listens to criticism. Prov. 17:10
Prov. 15:31-32. Summary verse: Prov. 9:7-9

Note #1) On one hand, a wise man listens to advice. On the other hand, he doesn't always take it. Prov. 14:15 Matt. 10:16 (b)

Note #2.) If it is wise to heed wise man's counsel, how much wiser to heed the counsel of God!!
(A.) The external/objective counsel...... His Word.
(B.) The internal, subjective counsel....His Holy Spirit!
The two-fold path to wisdom and then never contradict each other.

John 14:16-17, 25-26.
To experience the wooing of the Holy Spirit and ignore it is extremely foolish!!!