Are You Wise or Foolish?

Proverbs 9:1-6 ESV

“Wisdom has built her house;
she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town,
‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!’
To him who lacks sense she says,
‘Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.’”

When we trust Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior we do not instantly become perfect and mature and wise in every way. But lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for continued, habitual, and deliberate sin against God and against other humans, especially without conscience or remorse. For we are to now walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit, in obedience to our Lord, and not according to our sinful flesh.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ we are to humble ourselves and become like children, but not be childish (immature, lacking good sense, and self-indulgent), but be childlike (trusting, believing, and acting on that faith). But if we are very trusting people, like I used to be, we may also be vulnerable to trusting the wrong people and believing the wrong things if we do not make it our practice to test what we hear against the Scriptures.

But when we do test what we hear against the Scriptures it needs to be the Scriptures taught in their context. For many false beliefs and doctrines are being taught, especially with regard to salvation from sin and eternal life with God, because they are using Scriptures taught out of context which do not agree with the teachings of the New Testament, as a whole. So make certain you read Scriptures in their full context so you know what they say.

And that is one of the ways in which we gain wisdom. But we will never be wise in the sight of God unless we first die with Christ to sin, and we submit to his Lordship over our lives, and we leave our lives of sin behind us to now follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands. And then we need to be students of the Scriptures and those who are listening to the Lord, and then we need to be those who are putting the word of God into practice.

A lot of wisdom is gained with experience, too. The longer we know the Lord and we live the Christian life, and we have varied experiences in our lives, some good and some bad, we learn how to approach and respond to various circumstances and people and situations. And we don’t always get it right the first time or even the second time. These are areas where we need to grow in our walks of faith and to learn what to do and not to do.

But again, lack of experience or knowledge is never to be used as excuse for continued, willful, habitual and deliberate sin against God and against other humans. We all know right from wrong. We know it is wrong to lie, to cheat, to steal, to commit adultery, and to deceive, etc. So we can’t claim ignorance, though many do. We can’t say we didn’t know when we did know, especially if that is said over again over multiple years.

Nonetheless, wisdom is something that is gained as we grow and mature in our walks of faith, and so we need to be growing and maturing and not remaining as we were before we professed faith in Christ. And the Lord will use trials and tribulations which test our faith to help us to mature and to gain wisdom, too. But we have to respond to those times of testing with the wisdom and understanding that God provides, and not just shake it off.

Proverbs 9:13-18 ESV

“The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
‘Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!’
And to him who lacks sense she says,
‘Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’
But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.”

Now this is a very good reason for why we need to be studying the Scriptures in their context and doing what they teach us Christians so that we know when we are being lied to and when people are trying to trick and manipulate us into believing their lies and into accepting their lies as truth. For we are not going to be able to discern these things if we are not studying and obeying the teachings of God (of the Scriptures) which are for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ.

And believe me when I tell you that false teachers who lie and trick and manipulate abound within the gatherings of what is called “church.” And I say “what is called church” because not everything that is called “church” is the church. For the church is not a building, it is not an institution of men, it is not a business or a corporation under the state or a church denomination, although this is what many have made it into.

The church is the people of God comprised of all who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and who then stopped walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, but who began their spiritual journey with the Lord of walking according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God in walks of holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord.

We are God’s building made up of living stones with Jesus as our cornerstone. We are his sanctuary. We are God’s house, not a building. The church is not something we go to. The church goes places where they meet with other believers for mutual encouragement and exhortation in order to walk with the Lord in holiness and in righteousness in obedience to our Lord’s commands. And we are to help one another to maturity in Christ.

So, back to “what is called church,” we have lots of these businesses of men being marketed to the world just like any other business which are patterning their beliefs and practices and gatherings after the felt needs of the people of the world in order to attract large crowds of people from the world to their gatherings. But that is not of God and it is backwards. We the church are to gather together for mutual encouragement so that we can then go out into the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Also, because these “churches” are being marketed to the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ is also being altered to be acceptable and appealing to the world and to human flesh. And so this is where these seducers and charmers (charlatans) enter into the picture who target the naïve and those who do not know the Scriptures in order to deceive them and to lead them astray. And so many professers of faith in Jesus are following after lies and not truth. I see this daily on social media. Many people are being duped.

Thus, many people are following after the lies believing that they are following the truth. I get that. Sometimes we have to be made aware that what we are believing is not the truth. But the really sad reality is that it appears that most people don’t really want to hear the truth. They want to hear the lies because the lies make no requirements of them to have to change how they live. And so they stop up their ears and refuse the truth.

And it grieves our Lord that so many people are being led astray and that they are not willing to test what they are hearing against the truth of his Word (in context) because they don’t want to change their beliefs or their practices. And even if you show them what the Scriptures say they will not listen. And even if you point out to them that if they continue living in habitual sin that they will not inherit eternal life with God, they ignore you. But that doesn’t change the truth.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Heb 10:26-27; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5-10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Does Jesus Care?
1 Peter 5:7

Lyrics by Frank E. Graeff, 1901
Music by Joseph L. Hall, 1901

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

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