In Christ alone….

Paul wrote (in Galatians 2:20) ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’  While we were dead in our sin, with no life of our own, no righteousness of our own, Christ Himself became our life, and our righteousness, to bring us to God. And He became our Wisdom too. This second of three brief posts on the theme of Wisdom also comes from Graeme Goldsworthy…

“(The Wisdom of the Book of Proverbs) is given its full and perfect expression by Jesus. This fulfils the prophetic expectation of the perfectly wise messianic king. As tempting as it is to rush from the texts of Proverbs to an application to our Christian life, we must discipline ourselves to relate our texts first of all to their fulfilment in Christ. Jesus in every way fulfils God’s requirements for Israel. He was the perfectly wise man of God living the absolutely responsible life before his heavenly Father. In his perfectly human existence he lived according to his true perception of reality, making right decisions in the right place and at the right time. In all this he constantly lived as the one who perfectly feared the Lord….

“Thus … we cannot simply apply proverbial wisdom out of the Old Testament to ourselves as if we had never heard of Jesus Christ. Wisdom points to righteousness, but we know that Jesus’ life was lived for us in order to provide a perfect righteousness for us that counts for our acceptance with God (and) Jesus (also) justifies our feeble attempts to live wisely by being what we should be but cannot. Thus, God regards all believers as having the very wisdom of Christ. In other words, Christ has been made wisdom for us 1 Corinthians 1:30).

And because of him you are in Christ Jesus,
who became to us wisdom from God,
righteousness and sanctification and redemption…
1 Corinthians 1:30 ESV

From Graeme Goldsworthy in Gospel and Wisdom


The Taming of the Shrewd?

For the sons of this world are more shrewd
in dealing with their own generation
than the sons of light. Luke 16:8b ESV

In previous posts, Jesus Himself is seen to be the More than common sense we Christians need in order to live well as his disciples. Since Jesus Himself made the controversial comment above (Luke 16) about common sense or what might be called worldly wisdom, this first of three brief posts on the theme of Wisdom begins there. It comes from Graeme Goldsworthy…

Graeme Goldsworthy wrote: “One of the more difficult sayings of Jesus is the story of the dishonest (manager) in Luke 16:1-9. … There is no question of Jesus condoning the man’s fraudulent approach to his master’s goods. However, he does commend the prudence of the (manager) in the way he pursues his own ends. … So, the children of this world often show greater wisdom than children of the kingdom of God in this sense, that they apply themselves to the problems facing them with far greater tenacity. Ronald Wallace comments (in Many Things in Parables) ‘The average Christian of today is not willing to put into the matter of his religion even a fraction of the perseverance, patience and intelligent concentration that the man who knows only this present world gives towards perfecting his technical knowledge for his business, or even towards his hobbies’.

Graeme Goldsworthy continued: “If Christians showed as much talent and shrewdness in the pursuit of the world for Christ as unbelievers show in the pursuit of riches, who could gauge what effect that would have? In ultimate terms the (manager’s) wisdom is folly for he would be overthrown in the judgement of God. But in limited terms there is a valid aspect of wisdom in what he does. His shrewdness would need to be transformed by the gospel, but it is commendable wisdom for all that.”

From Graeme Goldsworthy in Gospel and Wisdom

Disturbing the Peace?

To deal well with the worst of life, with the effects of fallen nature, with our own Sin, and with our own sins, and with the effects of the sins of others upon us, we need Jesus Himself, the Wisdom of God, more than any kind of common sense that will not recognize Him as Lord. This last of three brief posts on the theme We need More than commonsense also comes from Oswald Chambers…

“What do you want me to do for you?”
He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” Luke 18:41 ESV

Oswald Chambers wrote: “What is the thing that not only disturbs you but makes you a disturbance? It is always something you cannot deal with yourself. “They rebuked (the blind man) that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more.” Persist in the disturbance until you get face to face with the Lord Himself; do not deify commonsense.

“When Jesus asks us what we want Him to do for us in regard to the incredible thing with which we are faced, remember that He does not work in commonsense ways, but in spiritual ways.

“Watch how we limit the lord by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past: ‘I always failed there, and I always shall’; consequently we do not ask for what we want, ‘It is ridiculous to ask God to do this.’ If it is an impossibility, it is the thing we have to ask. If it is not an impossible thing, it is not a real disturbance. God will do the absolutely impossible.

“This man received his sight. The most impossible thing to you is that you should be so identified with the Lord that there is nothing of the old life left. He will do it if you ask Him. But you have to come to the place where you believe Him to be Almighty.

“Faith is not in what Jesus says but in Himself; if we only look at what He says we shall never believe. When once we see Jesus, He does the impossible thing as naturally as breathing. Our agony comes through the willful stupidity of our own heart. We won’t believe, we won’t cut the shore line, we prefer to worry on.”

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest

Yes, but…

What we call common sense may be a reliable help to us on many occasions, though we need to be careful that what we call common sense is not something else entirely;
like the man (or woman) who speaks in Proverbs 22:13 – ‘The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” Whatever the case, there are times when only faith in God’s word will be enough to see us through. This second of three brief posts on the theme We need More than commonsense also comes from Oswald Chambers…

‘Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but…’ Luke 9:61 ESV

Oswald Chambers writes… “Supposing God tells you to do something which is an enormous test to your common sense, what are you going to do? Hang back? If you get into the habit of doing a thing in the physical domain, you will do it every time until you break the habit determinedly; and the same is true spiritually. Again and again you will get up to what Jesus Christ wants, and every time you will turn back when it comes to the point, until you abandon resolutely. ‘Yes, but – supposing I do obey God in this matter, what about …?’

Yes, I will obey God if he will let me use my common sense, but don’t ask me to take a step in the dark.’ Jesus Christ demands of the man who trusts Him the same reckless sporting spirit that the natural man exhibits. If a man is going to do anything worthwhile, there are times when he has to risk everything on his leap, and in the spiritual domain Jesus Christ demands that you risk everything you hold by common sense and leap into what He says, and immediately you do, you find that what He says fits on as solidly as common sense.

“At the bar of common sense Jesus Christ’s statements may seem mad; but bring them to the bar of faith, and you begin to find with awestruck spirit that they are the words of God. Trust entirely in God, and when He brings you to the venture, see that you take it. We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the character of God.”

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest