Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“Superadd to your faith fortitude, and to fortitude knowledge.”
Wisdom may be defined as the confident and hopeful use of true knowledge in planning
practical things for securing good results. In our Scripture text, St. Peter gives us the three
elements of wisdom – faith, fortitude [hope] and knowledge. True knowledge is the basis of
wisdom, whereas sinful and erroneous knowledge is the basis of its opposite – folly. The
Scriptures frequently speak of wisdom and true knowledge connectedly, and often
synonymously. Following are a few examples: (Job 28: 12-28) (Proverbs 1: 5-7)
(Proverbs 2: 1-10) (Proverbs 3: 13-23) (Proverbs 4: 4-13) (Proverbs 7: 2-4) (Proverbs 8: 1-11)
(Proverbs 22: 17) (Proverbs 23: 23) (1 Corinthians 2: 6-16).
All of wisdom’s plans come out of, and are in harmony with true knowledge. Faith can rest upon
it, and hope can desire and expect it to secure good results. Faith can confidently use such
knowledge in hope when planning practical things. God confidently uses His knowledge in
every plan that He forms, and He makes such plans to secure practical purposes.
Psalm 111: 10 reads, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” In this verse, the word
“fear” means reverence, which is the source of wisdom, for it enables one to come into a proper
relationship with God and man.
James 3: 17 reads, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy
to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” This
“wisdom that is from above,” comes from God’s inspired Word, and is more desirable than all
the wisdom of the earth. This passage goes on to analyze the seven qualities of the wonderful
attribute of wisdom:
(1.) It is first pure, guileless, sincere, honorable, open and aboveboard. It comes to the light and
loves the light; it is not of the darkness, nor of sin; it is utterly opposed to secret whisperings,
backbitings and all slanderous and underhanded works and ways. It receives the pure word of
wisdom into a good and honest heart. It does not deceive itself into believing that self-will is the
(2.) It is next peaceable, that is to say, so far as is possible and consistent with honesty and
purity, it is peaceable. It loves and desires peace, harmony and unity; but since purity is first and
not peace, it can only be fully at peace and fully in harmony with that which is pure, honest and
(3.) It is gentle – it is not rude, coarse, rough and has no sympathy with such a spirit and such
methods. Its gentleness follows its purity and peaceableness; those who receive this wisdom are
not first gentle, but they are primarily pure, sanctified with the Truth, and therefore are peaceable
and gentle toward others.
(4.) It is easy to be entreated. It is not hardheaded or unpersuadable, but listens to reason, it
easily sees the viewpoint and interests of others and will not selfishly stand for its own opinion
because it is its own. It is first pure, thereafter peaceable, then gentle, and only thereafter easy to
be persuaded. Those who possess this quality cannot be easily entreated to assist in any evil
work of bearing false witness, slandering, evil-speaking, or any other works of the flesh and the
(5.) It is full of mercy and good fruits: it rejoices in mercy. This mercy will act toward the
ignorant and unintentional evildoers with sympathy and help, but it cannot have the slightest
sympathy or affiliation with willful wrongdoers, because the spirit of wisdom is not first
merciful, but first pure.
(6.) It is without partiality (which would signify injustice): the purity, peace, gentleness, mercy
and good fruits of the spirit of wisdom, lead us to be no respecters of persons, except as
character shall demonstrate real value: the outward features of the natural man – sex, race, color
of skin, etc., are ignored by the spirit of wisdom.
(7.) It is without hypocrisy. This heavenly wisdom is so pure, peaceable, gentle, persuadable and
merciful toward all that are worthy of consideration or notice, that it has no room for hypocrisy.
It is out of harmony, out of sympathy and out of fellowship with all that is sinful; but in
fellowship and in sympathy with all that is pure.
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