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Understanding the Wisdom of God

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2022 4:00 am

Understanding the Wisdom of God

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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When the world gets into the area of trying to understand where men came from, why he's here where he is going what is meaning is when it tries to define God would try to define morality when it tries to find real joy real peace real happiness and wiped out the last think those words demonstrate incredible wisdom, whether or not you think that's an outstanding example of wisdom, ask yourself this, to what extent can human insight even the greatest example of it help you and your church minister to people's deepest spiritual needs under what conditions is human wisdom instructive and helpful, and at what point does it exceed its usefulness. John MacArthur helps you answer those questions today on grace to you. He calls his series.

The foolishness of God, and now here's John. I suppose that from time to time. All of us examine what we do try to define a little better. The things that we do, especially as Christians in one of the things that constantly is going through my mind in terms of definition is what is what is it that I'm endeavoring to accomplish as I teach the word of God. We can we Am I attempting to entertain the people. Well not really, although I hope parts of it aren't boring I am I endeavoring to inspire and motivate them. Yes, but more than that. I hope it's inspirational and motivational.

Basically what I'm endeavoring to do is to tell you what the Scripture mean and I think it's important for us to back up to that particular perspective from time to time so we can see what it is were supposed to get.

So we know when we've gotten our objective in studying the word of God is not to entertain you that will pass that not to motivate you and inspire you that will pass fast, but to explain to you what the Bible means. Then you can go back to it as a point of reference with understanding and so my task as a teacher of the word of God is just that to show you what it means and perhaps along the way to inspire or entertain or whatever happens to help you to better grasp what it means. So we want to discover what it means by what it says in first grade ins to 6 to 16 now as you remember, one of the many problems that existed in the Corinthian situation was the failure of the Christians to break with human philosophy. The Corinthians were in a very very immoral and humanly intellectual society, a world that was pretty well based upon the reason and the lusts of men, and when they became Christians.

They dragged this kind of immorality and this kind of rationalism into the church and the book of Corinthians is written to try to get them to cut the cords of their former worldly life, both philosophically and in terms of moral behavior.

One of the problems it was existing, was the fact that these people before they became Christians were aligned with certain philosophers when they became believers. They tended to attach continually to that philosopher, so that they dragged the human philosophy into the church and there was a lack of unity because they couldn't agree on philosophy and so Paul writes a lengthy section from chapter 1 verse 18 through chapter 2, three, and even part of for telling them to cut off from human philosophy to sever the connection that human philosophy is unnecessary that human wisdom has nothing to offer them in the purpose then of this section is to continue Paul's argument against the necessity of human wisdom.

Sonny had a footnote because I don't want you to misconstrue what were saying we realize that man has really developed some amazing things scientifically and technologically that of been to our benefit.

We say we reject human wisdom. It doesn't mean that we reject any application of human wisdom to anything at all.

It means we object to human philosophy that is that part of man's reasoning which attempts to answer all of the questions we don't have an answer to everything is Christians, for example, of my wife's washing machine goes wrong. I'm a Christian, but I still can't fix it. I got a get an unsaved guide to fix it or whatever me other somethings that human wisdom provides for me that I don't have, so that isn't the issue find my car fixed. I'm not so concerned with the guys a Christian is that he is a good mechanic and were not disparaging that some of the greatest teachers I've ever had in my life. Some of the people of taught me the most. Some of the people that the greatest influence on my life in terms of framing my personality have been non-Christian who really knew something about their area of educational technology or whatever it might be history, science, but when the world gets into the area of trying to understand where men came from, why he's here where he's going. What is meaning is when it tries to define God when it tries to define morality when it tries to define real joy, real peace real happiness and wiped out.

That's philosophy well so were not saying that man's technology hasn't helped us were not saying that medical technology, the scientific technology that advancement in many areas has not helped than we do accept that and we do believe in that it would. You responded it. But the thing that bothers us is all of the philosophy of man that continues to drown us you realize or 2000. New pages printed every second or 365,000 hardback books printed every year and that doesn't include the paperbacks different books there are 60 million pages a year produce.

So were not denying the place of human wisdom at all were simply saying that when human wisdom is applied toward all of the truth or toward the things which deal with God and sin and man's destiny in salvation and transformation of life and morality and ethics and all that that man's philosophy is bankrupt, absolutely zilch. So Paul says to the Corinthians. Now you don't need this philosophy junked. It's unnecessary. Nepal illustrates the fact that he doesn't believe in the necessity of human wisdom by chapter 2 verses 1 to 5 is that you remember how it was when I came to you, I didn't come with excellence of speech verse one, or wisdom verse for my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom. Verse five it and what your faith to stand in the wisdom of men, another was false as you can see that I didn't put any stock in human philosophy. I didn't put any stock in human wisdom by the very way that I came to you.

That's obvious first to I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

I didn't come to you with some sophisticated words or sophisticated philosophy, I came he was supposed to see the gospel does not need the addition of human philosophy. God does not need man's reason man's innovation everything the gospel comes it really is very simple. The preacher comes along in court like Paul Ditta presents Christ and him crucified its versatile effect. This is so simple it's foolish member that preaching of the cross was to them the parish. What foolish they said this is stupid. This is nonsense. You mean you expect us intellectual all the wisdom that we've gained all the education all the sophisticated philosophy you mean that what you expect us to believe it.

Somewhere, sometime, one guy dies on the cross. And that's the whole crux of human destiny.

Now watch verse six. However, we are speaking wisdom separated. It may not be the world's wisdom and you may think it is foolish and you may say it is simple and simplistic, but we are speaking wisdom. You may not see it as such. But it is. I reject human wisdom. I reject human reason, but we do teach true wisdom.

They object that he doesn't teach philosophy. He says philosophy can't say you realize that after all the philosophies and philosophers of the ages manages Betty's urban if not worse.

More wars or crime. Worse, so he says we are speaking wisdom watches among them that are perfect. The problem is that only the saved know it perfect tell I was here refers to full-grown or mature in this context. Incidentally, the word telling Royce or to Laos. Whatever you choose to speak of perfect ones. It has to be interpreted in the context of the community Christian was very mature I could just mean a Christian. A Christian is one who has come to the place of knowledge of being complete in Christ. So here it is referring to a Christian, not a super Christian just a Christian because he not contrasting mature Christians with infantile onesies contrasting Christians with unbelievers. We are speaking wisdom among those that are believers the only people know this is wisdom on the Christian stimulus.

Neuroma, so you can remember when you weren't a Christian like little kids that you know your Christian nieces all my life.

You been a Christian. I don't know anything else. Maybe you're in the same boat. Maybe her sons were little kids all your note. Always been a Christian, but if you can think back to the time that you weren't a Christian and think about your reactions to the gospel. Usually, your reaction was a gospel was pretty stupid pretty foolish and it didn't really seem very profound.

Did it. Christ dies on the cross and set an exit when you became a Christian. All of a sudden, the whole meaning of the gospel got some depth to it than just were unfathomable and began to realize at the stuff was deep. And the longer you been a Christian. The deeper it all gets right and the more unsearchable you feel like the apostle Paul who in Romans 1133 says hello how unsearchable are thy way out past finding out how deep is your wisdom and knowledge before you are a believer.

It was all very simplistic. Then when you become a believer to begin to look at the cross, and you begin to look at the gospel and you begin look at the incarnation and what went on at the cross and you can't even begin with your human reason to plumb the depths of all that is there and so the apostle says yes, we are speaking wisdom, but the only people who understand of the believers and you don't understand it because it is in human philosophy is wisdom, the wisdom of God. Only open to the minds of believers. That's what Ephesians 18 says that it's God's given us the understanding of his was now. From their Paul divides the rest of the text in the two-point service to give these two points you very simple and yet I want to get this because you'll find that this can be very very helpful not only giving you the understanding of the passage in God's given us, but in helping you to relate this to somebody else to points number one. True wisdom is not humanly discovered number two. True wisdom is divinely revealed. That's pretty simple. Number one. True wisdom is not humanly discovered. You can't discover God on your hello you can't transcend the natural because you cannot escape the confines of a natural existence and leaping of the supernatural dimension come back and tell us about God can't leave your here you're stuck your natural world you are unable to know God through wisdom that is ultimate truth regarding God, man, destiny, all of that salvation is not known to man's mind yet all the religions of the world.

Our efforts on the part of man to discover God to find God. Christianity said you can't find God. He found you, Luke 19 the Son of Man is come to what seek whose laws will always give testimonies.

I found the Lord, but he wasn't lost he found you if you had a be looking for him you that a mess because you can find it at God. He came and found us so is it we are not able to transcend our system. None of us are developed is in verse six we are speaking among them that are perfect. This was yet we realize that it is not the wisdom of this age, nor of the princes of this age it comes to nothing is not a wisdom that is available to either the philosophies or the philosophers of this age, which come the nothing we go on preaching wisdom, not the wisdom of the world by own in the Greek is transited world. Maybe in your Bible, or maybe age or maybe era it. I own has the idea of time.

We are not speaking the wisdom of this particular time and for every different time. There's a different philosophy right philosophers just keep coming and going and coming and going and all of them of come to nothing. Add up all the philosophy is contributed to get zero. The wells of this age, the wisdom of the next terror that wasn't on the next terror that was one of the next era.


It's all Qatar ghetto rendered ineffective empty and whatever age you happen to be living in were not preaching.

I'm not here to tell you human opinion. I'm not here to tell you what I think I'm not here to give you some wonderful philosophy for life.

I'm here to tell you what the Bible means by what it says because this is the revelation of God.

I'm not here to give you my opinion.

Say what the words so it is that Paul says we realize that this ultimate truth is outside the boundaries of the wisdom of this particular era and the philosophers of this era, all of whom come the nothing but verse seven. Here's the strongest adversative in the Greek language all but on the other hand we speak or are speaking the wisdom of God, stop right there. We are not speaking something from the system or from this world. From these philosophers. Rather, it is, from whom God he is talking about a divine, supernatural wisdom, yes, we are speaking wisdom. They said foolish nonsense know we are speaking, wisdom, and the believers understand that it's wisdom is not the wisdom from your system is the wisdom of God and the reason you don't understand it. Verse seven is we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom. The reason you don't know it is it isn't knowable to you man doesn't know the wisdom of God because God has not given it to man to know he has put outside the boundaries of man's capacity. When you see the word ministry there. You need to get a definition stare on the Greek it doesn't mean something that's cultic or clandestine or puzzling or like a labyrinth or amazed we've got a sort of find your way on the quest for the wisdom of God and that all the word ministry means a secret which is impossible for man to penetrate, but which God has chosen to reveal something man can't know. But God has revealed. So the word points to the impossibility of man knowing God secret and the love of God which makes that secret note. Aren't you glad we could know it wiser not to. Glad aren't you glad we couldn't know it, but God revealed. Yes, it would be tragic if we could know it and it got stuck that way we can know it's outside of us. Aren't you glad it's outside of aren't you glad that all the truth is outside man men had done much of what is got. So it is a ministry that is God has hidden.

It is called the hidden that which is hidden. God has hidden it from before the age forward so he planned it foreordained it before the ages began before time began, God had this marvelous salvation plan. He hit it and in Christ in the New Testament the mysteries were all revealed. Paul even calls himself the apostle who is given the dispensation of the mysteries to open up the mysteries God has opened those mysteries to us. Those things which were hidden throughout history and why onto our gallery. Our blessing our eternal excellence. Imagine for all time and before time. God planned our eternal blessings in the right time. He unfolded his ministry is something that even the Old Testament people didn't see. They believed in God, and they believed in that revelation coming though they never saw God except the data saving faith.

But we know the full revelation of the mystery not because we comprehended in human minds, but because God having hidden, it has now revealed so bosses look it's wisdom. We know you can understand it doesn't matter your system for the first place. For the 2nd Pl., God is hidden, the world will never know. God also men will never find God on their own world will never develop a religion that is true philosophy will never cut it because it is outside the realm of man's world. It can't come from within his own world. God has hidden it from verse eight is a living illustration of this fact prove look the true wisdom.

None of the princes of this age. New for had they known they would not have what crucified the Lord of glory. Listen what you referring to watch.

None of the princes of this era know what era was Paul living in the New Testament. Who were the princes of that time there were the Jewish leaders and the Roman leaders.

He says a given illustration of the fact that the world doesn't know God, that the, the leaders of the world have never known God on their own terms by their own recent take for example the princes of this age. He says in verse eight, the Roman chief send the Jewish ones they didn't know God.

They didn't know the truth, for if they had, they never would have crucified the Lord of glory. The very God of excellence, and my friend, if you ever doubt that Jesus is God, you better read that verse again. He is called the Lord of glory glory is all of the attributes of God and these are types of all the people of all the ages who rejected Christ. This is this the apex this just proves the point.

This is just a high point of showing you that man's wisdom can know God hear all the brilliant Romans, and all the educated, erudite, well-known well school in the Old Testament Jews and together they crucified Christ executing the Lord of glory that shows you how much they really knew they didn't know anything. Great illustration the best and the wise of the world never knew God's true though they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory. I love the way he calls in the Lord of glory.

In contrast to the humiliation of crucifixion. They crucified the Lord of glory. What I'm misconstruing of the truth so Paul contrast the shame of the cross with the glory of the crucified and shows how far off the truth.

Human wisdom was all the Romans with all other gods, and all their religion did Noga. They crucified all the Jews with all their information to know God, the crucified exhibit. How is it so that they cannot know how is it so that this is hidden verse nine gives the answer as it is written, and here he quotes from Isaiah 64 for most likely, he says, as it is written, I have not seen, nor ear heard, you have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them the love and most of you heard it first before that skydivers memorize when your kid is and you know it's like so many verses we memorize or memorize it out of context when I was little I can never learning the dead verse refer to heaven.

Remember that I not seen not heard the good heaven see that doesn't have the remotest relationship to heaven by Maryland you find anything in this context about heaven as you talk about heaven here is talk about ignorance is me. He's not talking about Christians not being able to know what heaven is like you talk about unbeliever not being able to know what salvation is like a social point watch now he says it is written, I have not seen, nor ear heard leaders enter the heart of man the things which God prepared for the 11th. Now God, from the ages past prepared some fantastic things for the people of them but the people that don't love him can't know what those things are.

You see the world with all of its quest for truth can't figure out what's going early two ways you can come to the truth from human viewpoint. Only two ways that a human can make a conclusion about truth number one is objective number two is subject number one is by the external empirical experiential method. The second was by reason or logic. That's all. It's either empiricism or rationalism here comes a first as it is written. I hath not seen, nor ear heard.

Now if you're going to look at objective truth is only two ways you can assimilate objective truth through the eye or the ear right this is how you gain fruit will remember folks through the human eye, and to the human ear all the truth cannot pass. No I have not seen ear has not heard that plan of God prepared for those that love.

It's not observable external you cannot discover God you cannot run old there is God. Now I know you'll never hear a voice out of a big mountain hi I'm God. Here are a few instructions wrap. You see, it is not observable by human observation, empiricism, experiment, second, let's go internal. The other way that men draw conclusions is by their own reason.

Rationalism, neither have entered into the mind of man heart simply means mine. You can't know it externally from an objective fact.

You can't know it internally from a subjective thought process, you can't come to God by observation or by rationalist is pretty hopeless and that's a great plan for those 11 God is hidden. It's not known to the philosophers of this era is proven by the fact that if they don't, they would've executed Jesus and incidentally everybody that goes on rejecting Jesus proves continually continually continually that they can't know the truth doesn't and they could try by experiment, the fire, they can try biologic to find it and they won't because it is not known to them by the this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's current study is looking at first Corinthians chapter 1 he calls it the foolishness of God. John, today you mentioned that the only reason anyone embraces the gospel is because the Holy Spirit enlightens that person.

All Christians have been given wisdom by the spirit so I'm wondering if every Christian has been filled with divine wisdom. If we have the mind of Christ.

Why are there so many disagreements in the church over doctrine. Shouldn't we all agree if were all filled with the same spirit.

Well, let's go back to the first statement that you made that the only reason a person embraces the gospel is because the Holy Spirit enlightens him that is explicitly stated in first Corinthians chapter 12.

No man can confess Jesus as Lord but by the Holy Spirit. So our salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that gives us life, repentance, and the ability to believe in the gospel. Secondly, no Christian is without the Holy Spirit, if any man have not the spirit of Christ. Paul says in Romans eight he's none of his. So if you if you don't have the Holy Spirit you only belong to the Lord.

Conversely, if you belong to the Lord, you have the Holy Spirit. John adds 1/3 element to this we don't need to be taught human wisdom because we have an anointing from God, and in first John that anointing from God is the Holy Spirit so the Holy Spirit saves us essentially by his regenerating power and grants us faith and repentance. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in us lives in us and the Holy Spirit is the anointing from God that enlightens us and that takes us to what Paul said to the Corinthians in first Corinthians that the spirit is the only one who knows the mind of God and can accurately interpret that all that simply to say you have the spirit to lead you and guide you in understanding Scripture that you say will. Isn't that enough.

Well, it is enough. But it's amazing how we can block and hinder the work of the spirit in leading us to the truth by coming to the Bible. For example, with the presuppositions by coming to the Bible with tradition by but having been taught wrongly. In other words, we can be so frontloaded with error or we can lack the diligence that it takes to submit to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. By carefully, thoughtfully, painstakingly and accurately interpreting the word of God. There are differences because there are lots of people who don't come to the right interpretation. As I said will one day understand it accurately. Of course we're with the Lord. But there's no reason not to get the Bible accurately right here on earth because we have the tools if we are diligent enough study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman needing not to be ashamed. This writer and friend. If you're afraid that your studying Scripture incorrectly or you just want to get better at it pick up John's book, how to study the Bible it's filled with practical instruction for rightly dividing the truth to order your copy, get in touch today call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to our website this is a helpful book that answers essential questions like, what's the best strategy for studying the Bible or how you apply what Scripture says and how can you bridge the gaps of history and culture and language again to purchase John's book, how to study the Bible. Call and remember that there are thousands of practical resources available free of charge. Whether you want to listen to radio broadcasts that you may have missed or maybe you have questions about marriage or honoring Christ at your job or how can you minister to a loved one who suffering. If you have questions like that, you can search thousands of John's sermons and daily devotionals, blog articles, Q&A's, to find the teaching that can help you meet your spiritual needs.

Our website again now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow.

John looks at the three key ways.

The Holy Spirit gives wisdom to believers like you and me. Don't miss the next half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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