Items posted on 16 July 2011
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1 Corinthians 2.1-7 – The Wisdom of God and man’s wisdom.
Posted: 16 July 2011 in 1 Corinthians

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

This passage seems to me very important, because it speaks about the limits of human intellection. I do not (for instance) doubt for a moment that the physical sciences are competent to talk about the universe, and that the knowledge they impart is very important. But it is not nearly as important as a knowledge of God, who is the Lord and Creator of all things. For that knowledge, we are wholly dependent upon God’s disclosure of himself. Furthermore, this revelation must be received in a spirit of humility and without doubting its divine origin. Even this necessary humility of spirit can only be received as an unmerited gift from God. He makes this knowledge available to us so that we can rightly worship him and glorify him in our salvation.

Those without the gift of humility that allows them to bow the knee before God, are, as Paul makes clear, on the road to destruction. The only wisdom which avails anything in our salvation is the wisdom which comes from God himself, and which is communicated to us through Christ and the holy scriptures. It is to be received humbly and without pride.

Frequently in the Bible we hear that the fear of the Lord is the begining of wisdom. I wouldn’t for one moment want to disagree with that, but I would extend it slightly: To fear God, obey him, and submit ourselves to his revealed word, is the very beginning and end of wisdom.

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