Bible Truth Examiner

Graces of Christian Character

WISDOM

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

“Superadd to your faith fortitude, and to fortitude knowledge.”

 

2 Peter 1: 5 (The Emphatic Diaglott)

 

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.

 

The Analysis of Wisdom

 

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

Lord’s will.

 

(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

good.

 

(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

devil.

 

(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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