True Wisdom Demands We Become Fools

 

“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth 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 taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

-I Corinthians 3:18-20

The root cause of every spiritual malady, I believe, is unbelief.

Mark 9:23 …if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

 

Hence, the remedy for nearly every spiritual shortcoming is to have faith in God: or, in other words, to believe His Word which will always be demonstrated by obedience. If we’ll simply believe what God said about it, we’ll right every spiritual wrong. We must resolve to stand on the fact that God’s Word is heavenly wisdom and it addresses every facet of the human experience.

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue…

However, we must not be naive’, God’s wisdom is diametrically opposed to fallen human counsel. Like Christian, in Bunyan’s, “Pilgrim’s Progress”, we must reject the counsel of Mr. Worldly Wise Man, if we’re to remain in the way.

Jesus is not interested in merely being our eternal insurance representative, He must be our Lord. Make no mistake, Christianity is complete redemption for fallen man, both temporal and eternal. In other words, God’s Word not only addresses tomorrow, it also addresses today. Furthermore, we need to realize, if we find it difficult to believe His Word for today, perhaps we aren’t really trusting Him for tomorrow.

The common thought is that we’ve departed from God when we fall into obvious and brazen sin. In reality, brazen sin is more accurately an outward indication of a long-standing drifting from God, an ongoing history of unbelief. Unbelief is the foundation for all sin. Even the slightest departure from God’s wisdom and giving ear to fallen human counsel is basis for alarm. Moreover, His wisdom is essential to life.

Proverbs 10:21 …fools die for want of wisdom.

In this article, it is my aim to remind us: to truly be wise will demand we become fools in the eyes of the unregenerate.

FIRST, WE MUST AVOID DECEPTION ABOUT WISDOM

1 Cor. 3:18a Let no man deceive himself…

The Scriptures warn us of deception in the area of wisdom. We must not suppose we can pursue Biblical wisdom and simultaneously cultivate a reputation of intellectualism before the world. In so much as we attempt to be seen clever by men we will proportionately diminish the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let every hope that carnal intellect will produce true spirituality be cast on the rock of this warning…

1 Cor. 3:18a Let no man deceive himself…

Now, wisdom is nothing more than the philosophy and methodology which we choose to live by. Christianity, at its most basic premise, it to submit to Jesus as Lord, and to believe He is the Savior or the “Answer” for everything.

Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord…”

As we know, Jesus is the Word of God. We also know Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. Hence, as Christians, we must, believe the Word of God is our way, our truth, our life. We must believe, if you will, God’s Word is our only wisdom.

1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom…

We must be ever careful that we stray not from the Words of His mouth…

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

God’s Word is not to be limited to certain areas of our lives while we receive counsel in other areas from other sources. All incoming information/advice must be filtered/checked by God’s Word. Moreover, there is no wisdom that contradicts God’s wisdom.

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.

This is the Bible’s warning, [1] don’t depart from trusting God’s Word, and [2] this leads into our next point, we must realize that…

TRUE WISDOM OFTEN VIOLATES CONVENTIONAL JUDGMENT

1 Cor. 3:18b …If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Fool: {Greek} mo-ros’; Dull or stupid, heedless, blockhead, absurd.

We can only gain heavenly wisdom at the cost of being perceived as foolish.

Matthew 11:25 …thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Here, in 1 Corinthians 3:18, the Holy Ghost gives us an unchanging and absolute principle or rule: if you will truly be wise you will surely earn the reputation as a fool (literally meaning someone silly, stubborn, dogmatic, blockhead).

“It is the first condition of our initiation into the secret society of the Friends of God, that we take our place with Him before the judgment seat of the world; and are with Him mocked, patronized, and misunderstood by the world’s religion, the world’s culture, the world’s power – all the artificial contrivances that it sets up as standards by which to condemn Reality. In the very moment in which we declare that it cannot give us that intangible Kingdom to which we aspire, we alienate its sympathy, and insult its common sense.”

-James Cordilier

If we truly follow God’s wisdom, we will be seen as foolish, not just in those things considered spiritual or eternal, but in all things, for to the Christian, all things are spiritual and eternal. Moreover, let us not fail to understand, God’s Word addresses everything…

Psalm 119:128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

Yet, if we truly esteem all His precepts, we will find ourselves violating conventional wisdom…

“While God works through natural laws very much, yet I have found that he has special lessons for us which go far beyond the natural laws…I am well assured that the deeper lessons which God wants us to have are all in line of the apparently ridiculous. They are not on the public highway. The casual traveler never sees them, for they are not on his route. ‘Tis on the unreasonable, out-of-the-ordinary routes that these lessons are to be learned’…”

-C.G. Bevington

And God has chosen the path the world calls “foolish” to set us apart as different, to shame the unbelieving.

1 Cor. 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise…

“Is there anything too hard for God? Can’t we afford to be misunderstood, talked about, lied about, misrepresented, and often ostracized, if in so doing God can bring the people to themselves? It isn’t necessary for us to understand all the ‘why’s’ and ‘wherefores,’ but it is our business to mind God.”

-C.G. Bevington

If the fallen world approves of or agrees with an idea or concept we should be suspicious. When God is rejected, it is impossible to have pure, undefiled intelligence.

Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

TRUE WISDOM’S FOUNDATION IS: FAITH IN GOD’S WORD

1 Cor. 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

There is no wisdom apart from God’s Word.

Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

Whenever we esteem conventional human wisdom at the expense of God’s Word we forfeit Christian liberty and foster bondage. Once we yield ourselves to a concept, idea, or philosophy it becomes our master. Faith is common to the human experience, everyone must put their trust in something, either human reasoning or God’s Word. So many say they trust God, yet they fail to measure everything by God’s Word…

Proverbs 17:16 Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

As Christians, by our very confession, we must believe God’s Word and we must be convinced that it is wisdom for all ages.

“One of the reigning tenets of our time is the extreme belief that all our problems are new..associated with it is a really terrible conceit…the notion that we are living in such a fresh time and that wisdom has ‘come with us’ whereas nobody ever had it before – this I find to be an absolutely intolerable conceit.”

-Elton Trueblood


Proverbs 23:4 …cease from thine own wisdom.

We must remember, if we are the sheep of His fold we will hear His voice…

John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

But if we fall into worldliness and carnality we will tend to have an ear for human wisdom. The carnal mind is attracted to worldly reasoning and fallen rationale.

1 John 4:5-6 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.


WORLDLY WISDOM IS VAIN

1 Cor. 3:20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

Vain: {Greek} mat’-ah-yos, Empty and profitless.

We must agree with God and believe that the thoughts of the worldly wise are vain. Everything the world approves of is suspect.

Isaiah 19:14 The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

Rarely do men waste their time listening to buffoons. Thus, if we’ll believe this truth, that worldly wisdom is vanity, we will be suspicious of the counsel of the unregenerate.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Isaiah 2:22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?

This is not only consistent with Biblical prudence, but also profitable for our spiritual safety.

Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin..

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

Let us be ever mindful to set our heart on His Word so we can be kept in peace and safety.

-B.W."Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." -Jeremiah 17:5“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” -Jeremiah 17:5