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Pursuing Divine Wisdom

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 25, 2020 4:00 am

Pursuing Divine Wisdom

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 25, 2020 4:00 am

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Bible Christ Jesus church scriptures John MacArthur grace salvation truth 452945 Wisdom
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How you view God as the most important thing in your mind. If you have complete honor and respected for God then you're not going to be so easily led into sin because you know it dishonest him and respect how you view God is the most controlling. Imagine you had the opportunity to speak to a thousand college students preparing to be employees and employers, husbands and wives, dads and moms and most important, they want to honor Christ with their lives. What do they need to learn more than anything else.

What advice do you give them well. John MacArthur's had many of those opportunities at the Masters University where he serves as Chancellor and our current study on grace to you is a test of collection of chapel messages by John that lays out a blueprint for the Christian life. The title of this study a course for life. So add to the Bible's book of wisdom. Proverbs as John begins today's lesson was it really mean to be educated is college and of itself University graduate school really what educates a person what above all must you know what is most important to know what is most needful, and I think you know the answer to that because the Bible very clearly says in all of your learning get what wisdom wisdom spiritual wisdom I want you to open your Bible to the book of Proverbs and I will talk a little bit this morning about wisdom some years ago I had a very interesting a discipleship group through the years I've discipled man. I had a group that was a very mixed group.

I had one guy who was a world record holder in nice speed waterskiing. I had another guy in my subject group same group who was a movie producer and another one who was defenseman for the LA Kings in a couple of other assorted common folks like me and I we were just discussing what we're going to go through for a period of a year studying the word of God and the consensus of all these guys was we want to learn the book of Proverbs because we want to learn wisdom. Wisdom applies to everything in our lives.

And that's exactly what we did and we had an actually great year going through the book of Proverbs learning wisdom.

I want you look first of all, at chapter 2 just to set the account of context with regard to wisdom. Verse one my son, if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you make your ear attentive to wisdom. Incline your ear to understanding a synonym for wisdom cries for discernment lift your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures. Then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. The pursuit of wisdom you have to search for it as for silver as for hidden treasures. If you compare that with the chapter in Job.

Job is an interesting chapter where he discusses mining.

You might not think that in the patriarchal. The time of the Pentateuch first five books of the Bible. When Job would've lived in the book of Job in written but they were into digging into the earth, but they were they were into dynamiting they were into going down below the surface of the earth.

Job says where where even the Eagles eye has never gone going way down into the belly of the earth.

Down deep below the waters down into the waters that are that the waters on the surface in the waters of the earth. The mine out diamonds and gold and silver and judge a Job in Job. It says they do that to find earthly treasure, but nobody can find wisdom here it says if you're going to find anything find wisdom make your ear attentive. If you want to listen to anything. Listen for wisdom. Turn your heart toward wisdom plead for discernment, lift your voice for understanding goes on all the way through the second chapter to extol the virtues of wisdom and you can read it for yourself a look at chapter 8 for a moment, and you have a similar chapter. In fact, the whole eighth chapter really extols wisdom again.

It depicts wisdom almost as a person, but again makes the very same emphasis in chapter 8 as to the utter importance of wisdom.

In fact, go down to verse 11 will just summit up there. Wisdom is better than Jules and all desirable things cannot compare with her. The most important thing you will ever gain is wisdom leads us down immediately to ask the question what is wisdom in Greek New Testament word for wisdom in the Greek languages. Sophia and Sophia to agree meant a concept to be wise, to a Greek meant to understand a concept to be able to comprehend something to analyze something to think about it come to comprehension with regard to it.

That's not the word in Hebrew the word in Hebrew is chef come and what it means is still in the living the Hebrews are very concrete in terms of their language and how they think that Greeks are rather esoteric, mystical and somewhat transcendent in their thoughts a little bit spacey and so you get these concepts you'll terms in Greek but in Hebrew.

It has a very concrete meaning skilled in the living learn how to live skillfully. That is the issue want to pursue something pursue skillful living pursue wisdom in every aspect of life.

Now that's really the clarion call of the book of Proverbs and you can see it repeated in a number of other places.

I would just commend for your own reading Proverbs chapter 2 chapter 8.

You can also read chapter 1 where it says wisdom cries in the street and wisdom pleads and pleads and pleads, and you will not listen you will not hear and it says oh you na�ve ones and all you fools. I know you people that lack discernment.

Why will you not turn to wisdom if there's anything that should set apart a Christian college, anything that should set apart those of us who are committed to Jesus Christ. It should be that we are not only pursuing learning and understanding of those matters which relate to our created universe, but we are pursuing skill in all aspects of living that skill comes from the Scripture from the word of God. Wisdom personified is God incarnate in Christ and God incarnate in Christ.

Of course, is revealed verbally to the pages of Scripture come to Scripture we learn wisdom now what I want to share with you are just a few of the lessons that wisdom wants to teach you okay will take just a few minutes you much time we have. How many I'll get through here are the most important factors of wisdom when you're getting wisdom here is what you want to get in there a lot of things there a lot of areas that can help us with the skill of living.

Let's take the most important first of all number one issue in gaining wisdom is to fear God is to fear God. How do you know that back in chapter 1 verse seven we read this, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, Proverbs 910 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy one is true understanding the beginning. That is to say the first.

The most essential.

The controlling principle in wisdom is the knowledge of the holy one, the knowledge of the holy one, knowing God coming to know God.

A relationship with God's offer to us through the Lord Jesus Christ and then having no God. We are to fear God. That means to have a reverence for God holy men all those of us who are spiritual fathers who are responsible for the raising of a generation of godly young people, whether we be parents or college professors or college leaders or college presidents or pastors or teachers or or just those who influence on a personal basis.

We have the responsibility to teach the next generation to live with respect for God.

That's the issue to live with respect for God is holy as sovereign. Almost things that we saying our part and parcel of understanding who God is. Obviously we live in a climate where God is absolutely rejected University campuses are populated by those who are in a materialistic naturalistic evolutionary atheism. They want nothing to do with God. They don't want God and the creation they don't want God in the morality they don't want God anywhere in their world. They therefore do not fear him. They have no offer him. They have no respect for him. Therefore, they have no wisdom.

Therefore they catapult themselves and all who follow them in their society into the abyss of confusion and tragedy and judgment. We are to teach you to respect God to fear God, to have an offer for God to worship God.

That means to respect his word, in which he reveals himself. Psalm 138 two says God is exalted his word as high as his own name, you can't respect God without respecting his word that means obeying his word, knowing it, loving it and following to respect his law to respect his power to respect his authority to respect his displeasure about sin, to respect his right to Chasen's right to judge to respect his love and his mercy and his grace and his tenderness is kindness that is to say to respect everything that is true about God. Everything we are worship says so Jesus and John fork in the spirit that means with emotion and heart but also in truth we are to worship God as God really is wherever God is feared, I might add.

Sin is also feared you don't fear sin, it's because you don't fear God, show me a holy person. I'll show you a person who hates sin, and fears God show me a person who tolerate sin, I'll show you a person who doesn't have respect for God. That's the controlling influence in your life how you view God as the most important thing in your mind is the most controlling reality in your mind how you view God.

If you have complete honor and respected for God then you're not going to be so easily led into sin because you know it dishonors him and you respecting too much to do that if you believe in the sovereignty of God that is that he rules everything in the universe and brings to pass all his own purposes and in control of everything.

You're not going to doubt and fear when you're the world starts to look like it's going bad how you view God is the most controlling influence in your entire existence. Fearing the Lord prolongs life according to Proverbs 1027, fearing the Lord is more profitable than wealth. According to 1516, fearing the Lord brings abundant life, fearing the Lord keeps one from evil results in riches and honor. Proverbs 22 says, fearing God produces humility and he says that all through proper those who fear God, sleep satisfied and are untouched by evil. Chapter 19 says those who fear God, have confidence those who fear God will be honored and praised and those who fear God will have their prayers answered all of that is in the book of Proverbs.

This is the most crucial lesson.

Fear God come to know him and love him and respect him and honor him. That's the beginning of every that in itself would be an immense study. Let's go to a second because we just want introduce them and you can study them for yourself and Proverbs.

The second very essential component of seeking wisdom is to guard your mind the positive side of wisdom is to seek to honor God. The negative side is to prevent other stuff from polluting your thinking. This is also a very important theme in the book of Proverbs chapter 3, for example, he says in verse one my son, do not forget my teaching and of course he's teaching here the word of God.

The truth of God. Let your heart keep my commandments were length of days and years of life and peace.

They will add to you but do not let kindness and truth leave you hold onto the truth young people. I can't emphasize anything more than that. Hold on to the truth.

Don't let anything steal the truth. Don't let anyone pollute your mind. Take the truth buying it around your neck right on the tablet of your heart.

By the way heart to the Hebrew means.

Mine is the Old Testament says as a man thinks in his heart so is he.

We think in our mind, not in our heart heart refers to the mind.

Guard your mind inscribed on your heart truth buying it around your neck. Don't let it get away.

In fact, look at chapter 4 and verse 23 where he says watch over your heart with all diligence literally again your mind with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Remember to them to the Hebrew heart had to do with mine.

We talk about heart were talking about emotion, but in the Bible when they're talking about emotions that you don't usually refer to the heart. Strangely enough, they refer to the bowels. That's probably not fair.

Translation it's really kind of the stomach because when you feel something very, very strongly you feel it in the gut you feel anxiety hits you right there fear hit you right there and that's what they were expressing but the heart was synonymous with the mind where you think so. Proverbs 423 is saying. Guard your mind, for out of it comes your conduct out of it are the issues of life.

How you think determines how you live. Be careful what you put in your mind. Be careful what you see when you go to a theater. Be careful what you read.

Be careful what you expose your mind to be careful of the ideologies in the fall speculations that are the fortresses of second Corinthians 10 that wicked men build up to capture a world apart from God. Be careful of those damnable heresies those lies. Those are those deceitful lies that come from hypocritical liars.

Paul calls them who are infested with doctrines of demons.

Be careful of all of that because your mind is the controlling influence in how you act. In fact, in the book of Proverbs, the writer of Proverbs talks about simpletons in the Hebrew language. It says oh you simple ones.

In chapter 1, and it repeats that all you simple ones. The word simple really is the Hebrew word for an open door baguette.

I told you the language is very concrete and the word means an open door, and that's a great way to look at somebody's mind. That's how the Hebrews viewed the mind. They said a na�ve person a simpleton a fool was a person who had the door open to his mind all the time. Everything came in and everything went out with the ability to discriminate. It was the inability to protect himself to keep some things out and hold some things in. It's like the person who says I'm an agnostic and therefore proud of it while I'm an agnostic and they don't understand the Latin equivalent is a grandma's.

I've never heard anybody say I'm an ignoramus and proud of but same thing what it means. I don't know.

I don't know you hear people say oh I have an open mind will Hebrew would say shut it.

You need to be discerning. Need to know what to let in what to keep out. Guard your mind. That's what you need to get if you want to be an educated person.

If you want to be able to live life to the fullest. You need to fear God.

That's the positive side you need to guard your mind protected from evil influences guardians of the mind in a real sense I look at myself as having that responsibility fathers in the book of Proverbs are given the responsibility not only physical fathers with spiritual fathers.

As I look at you as a student body as I look at a congregation of people. My church as I look at at the people of who would read books that I writer listen to me super preach on the radio or on tapes or whatever II haven't in my mind all the time. The responsibility to help them discern truth from error to help them to guard their minds on the influence of things that effectively influence their behavior away from God and away from blessing. Thirdly, in learning wisdom.

You not only need to fear God.

Guard your mind but thoroughly select your companions select your companions carefully this to a very practical aspect in life. In chapter 1 of Proverbs in verse 10, my son, if sinners entice you don't consent when sinners entice you to do something you know is wrong, simply don't do it. You have the responsibility to put yourself in relationships that lift you up, not relationships that pull you down. I tell you, it can be just that simple. The distinction between success and failure in your life. Student can come to this college in whatever kind of spiritual condition find himself in a group of godly young people and have an immensely positive and transforming effect take place in his life. On the other hand, student can come here and she might wind up in a group of people who pull her down before you know it she's plunged into some kind of sin that's destructive carefully select your friends. Verse 11 if they say, come with us, let's lie in wait for blood, let's ambush the innocent without cause, but swallow them alive like she'll kill somebody. This is spree bad group we have any of those here, but you get the picture jump in the car and go do a drive-by shooting and kill some little kid. Verse 13 essay will find all kinds of precious wealth.

Let's go steel. Let's go fill our houses with spoil throwing your lot with us will have one person will split the deal. My son don't walk in the way with keep your feet from their path for their feet run to evil.

They hasten to shed blood.

Indeed, it is useless to spread the net in the eyes of any bird, but they lie in wait for their own blood.

They ambush their own lives or the ways of everyone who gains by violence. It takes away the life of the possessor.

That's just one illustration Proverbs of how important it is to select carefully your friends you don't want to be the foolish one who was lured away by those who say join us join us or what the apostle Paul said bad company corrupts what good morals. Bad company corrupts good morals.

The appeal here.

You notice in Proverbs 1. The whole appeal is on the attraction of excitement of power and of being a part of the gang. He says run from it run from don't get seduced by those who want to do evil. Chapter 2 he warns him about leaving the paths of uprightness and walking in the ways of darkness. He warns about paths that are crooked and devious. He warns about getting delivered to from the strange woman, the adulterous who flatters with her words, you have to carefully choose your companions. That's an absolutely essential thing in Proverbs 1824. Just call your attention to one verse Proverbs 1824, a man of many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. This is a great verse, a man of many friends comes to ruin. By the way, if you don't know the Hebrew you missed the whole point of this verse because it translates friends here twice, but there two different words. This is what the Hebrew says, a man of many real comes to ruin, but there is an off how who sticks closer than a brother a man of many real, that means acquaintances superficial relationships, but there is a and how was that a loving, loyal, intimate friend. If all you have young people in your life is a lot of superficial trivial surface kind of relationships you're on your way to ruin because you lack accountability you lack those kinds of people will ask the hard questions will confront the hard issues in your life, what you really need is and how you need a loving, intimate close friend who's there and who asks those hard expects accountability few superficial friends a lot of superficial friends make for a superficial life in the superficial life makes for a sad ending few close loving friends, loyal, honest, uplifting, are much more valuable they are priceless. They are price that's part of our responsibility as leaders is to put you in an environment where you are surrounded by godly friend.

Faculty, staff, administration, fellow student coaches.

All of you talk about getting wisdom talking about learning to fear God. Guard your mind select your companions, that's John MacArthur describing what makes a person truly wise.

John's current study on grace to you is called a course for life and it's a collection of chapel messages from the Masters University where John serves as Chancellor. This study is all about pleasing God and avoiding spiritual pitfalls and how to keep growing in Christ throughout your life.

John, today you talked about the dangers of having an unguarded mind.

So let's get practical for a moment what sorts of assaults, damage can we expect if we don't build those protective hedges around our thoughts and how you do that well yeah I think the Bible says no make a covenant with your eyes. All that is in the world.

John writes the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, pride of life, you got a deal of pride.

You got a deal with what you see, the lust of the eyes and you got a deal with the lust of the flesh look sins always been ubiquitous.

Corruptions always been around us.

It's never been as intense and personal as it is now with all the garbage in the world in your hand in a cell phone, but the remedies are the same. The only way that you can overpower the flesh. The only way overpower materialism and greed.

The only way you overpower pride is with the spiritual graces, and I think it takes an intensity of life. I don't think you can sort of go through lightly. You know, this is one of the things I was talking to you earlier about at a time like this. We see churches shutting down Sunday school shutting down Sunday school are you kidding we got a ramp up Sunday school from the time of the little baby shows up there to be being taught the word of God all the way through their early years so that your building defenses, spiritual defenses and maturity into them.

That's going to stand them in good stead when they get to the age they see things that they should never see. So what we do is pretty amazing really. If you're in Grace Community Church you go through six years of elementary school in Sunday school.

You literally gone through what we call generations of grace.

It's a massive program in biblical literacy that on Sunday night.

We have adventure club which teaches systematic theology to little kids elementary kids coming all the way up so at a time when sin is everywhere and accessible to every person the word of God has to be everywhere and accessible to every person and I think that's why grace few flourishes away. It does because people see that they have to think on these things rather than the things that come at them so easily. I want to remind you again of the book the keys to spiritual growth. Your young person in particular. Even if you're an older person and you're struggling with your spiritual life. Get a copy of the keys to spiritual growth. I said to Phil that when I wrote this book, I thought, okay, that's the last book Oliver need to write this says it all. This is the path to spiritual strength, spiritual growth and it just deals with the word of God and what it says about growing up spiritually.

If you're a student, is the good news will send you a free copy 200 pages. By the way, just let us know you want a copy of the keys to spiritual growth and this is a great and very helpful book. It's a step-by-step guide to becoming more like Christ and more useful in serving your family and your church as John said if you're a student will send you a copy for free while supplies last.

To pick up the keys to spiritual growth.

Get in touch today.

You can call us toll-free at 855 grace or go to our website de TY.org.

The keys to spiritual growth, answers questions like how can I love the Lord and others more fervently, how can I have a more vibrant prayer life and how can I experience the power of the Holy Spirit. Again the keys to spiritual growth is our gift to you. If you're a student.

If you're not a student you can still get a copy. It's available at a reasonable price to get a copy. Contact us call 855 grace or go to G TY.org. Also, as I mentioned earlier, John MacArthur serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary, both located in the Los Angeles area.

If you'd like more information on these accredited institutions, including the courses offered, student life, all the specifics go to G TY.org and look for links to both of the schools now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for remembering to pray for Grace to you and he with us again tomorrow when John looks at how you can live a life rooted in biblical wisdom like that honors Christ. Don't miss the next 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to


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