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Ignorance Versus Wisdom

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God....And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1: 18; 30-31

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Ignorance Versus Wisdom


"Ignorance of Scripture is the most dangerous self-inflicted wound." – Dale Partridge.


Ignorance is defined as lacking the correct knowledge or proper understanding of something. Individuals who are ignorant are uninformed or unaware. Sometimes, our ignorance stems from not realizing there is something we need to know. Other times, it may be a deliberate choice to remain ignorant, known as willful ignorance.


What does the Bible say about ignorance? The Lord mercifully cautions us against ignorance: "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you" (Hosea 4:6). This goes beyond having a simple lack of information; it is a deliberate refusal of the valuable knowledge God has given to us through His Word. It represents a sinful ignorance driven by choice, which is rooted in pride. While ignorance about worldly matters might be excusable and carry minimal consequences, willful ignorance regarding spiritual matters is a tragedy and carries eternal consequences. By rejecting the knowledge freely offered to us in Scripture and the saving message of the Gospel, we are ultimately rejecting God Himself, leading to our own eternal demise because of our willful ignorance.


"Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s Word." – A.W. Tozer.


Wisdom stands in stark contrast to spiritual ignorance, and our primary pursuit should be seeking wisdom above all things (Prov 3:13-18). By delving into God's Word, we can exchange our ignorance for genuine wisdom and understanding. God offers wisdom to everyone and generously grants it to those who ask for it (James 1:5). The Scriptures freely provide us with all we need for a life of godliness and purpose (2 Peter 1:3). Through faith in Jesus Christ, Scripture equips us with the knowledge and wisdom necessary to lead a meaningful and abundant life that leads to eternal life. The Lord does not withhold anything we need to know for this life or the next. It's all right there for us. All we have to do is open the Scriptures for ourselves and believe what God is telling us.


The Lord is Patient & Merciful


God's patience on this side of eternity is evident through His long-suffering nature, granting us the valuable gift of time as part of His common grace. This time allows us to turn away from our sins, embrace Jesus as our Savior, and receive salvation, escaping eternal destruction. Despite mankind’s reluctance to seek Him in the Scriptures, the Lord generously provides us all with numerous chances, some more than others. As Paul acknowledges, God extended mercy to him even when he was acting in ignorance and unbelief (1 Tim 1:13). The Lord's patience and mercy endure, even in our deliberate ignorance, as He desires all to repent and turn to Him. He doesn’t want anyone to perish but everyone to come to a saving knowledge of the truth (2 Peter 3:9). Very sadly, many will still die in their sins due to their stubbornness and willful ignorance, and on the Day of Judgment, they won’t be able to blame anyone but themselves. But still, many will repent and turn to Jesus and be saved, all by His grace. Hallelujah!


It is comforting and hopeful to know that Jesus is always available to us on this side of eternity, being long-suffering and extending His mercy and grace to us every day. However, we must not take His patience and mercy for granted. The Lord urges us to seek Him without delay, as Scripture states that today is the day of salvation; now is the favorable time. As it is written, He says that now is the day of salvation. For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2). Since we are uncertain of how much time we have left on this earth, we should not cling to our sins and put off salvation, as we could unexpectedly die in our sins at any moment. When confronted with the Gospel truth, we must not harden our hearts to it (Heb 3:8) but embrace it wholeheartedly. Ignoring the truth or putting off the truth deliberately (saying we will submit to it later or when we’re “ready”) will only make it harder to accept in the future. We cannot ever assume that we will have another opportunity to embrace the truth and be saved; thus, now is the right time to believe!


Calling Everyone, Everywhere


When Scripture commands us to listen, it presents another valuable opportunity to exchange our ignorance for wisdom. In Proverbs Chapter One, wisdom is portrayed as a woman calling out in the streets, urging everyone to seek prudence, knowledge, and wisdom. She warns about the dire consequences for those who reject her. Her message is passionate, repetitive, and crystal clear. She earnestly invites all to seek her while there is still time on Earth. She can be found in plain sight and is accessible to all those who genuinely seek her. While sinful temptations are secretive and covert, wisdom is openly available for all to find.


In Proverbs 1:20-33, wisdom is personified as someone we can become acquainted with. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul explains that Jesus embodies wisdom from God. "And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption," (1 Cor 1:30). True wisdom is attained through having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by grace through faith. Jesus is the highest, purest form of wisdom that exists. He encompasses it all: He is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor 1:30) and the only One who offers us eternal life. Knowing Jesus intimately as our Lord and Savior is possessing genuine wisdom; the highest, purest wisdom there is!

The Gospel - True Wisdom


The wisdom discovered in the Scriptures surpasses all the wealth in the world (Prov 3:15-17) as it directs us to Jesus Christ, the only way of salvation and our sole source of hope. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6).


The Gospel is true wisdom. To those who do not believe or choose to ignore, the Gospel of Jesus Christ may seem foolish, but to believers, it is the wisdom and power of God (1 Cor 1:18-25). The message of Jesus Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection embodies the highest wisdom there is, as the Gospel itself is the power to eternally redeem all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ alone. (Rom 1:16)


This is the Gospel, the Good News: the most important and vital message one could ever hear:


Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary and took on human form as the God-man, fully man and fully God. Jesus lived a sinless life, perfectly obeying His Father's will, even unto death on a cross (Phil 2:8). He died as the perfect atonement for our sins, fulfilling the judgment and wrath of God, and ultimately conquering death. Jesus' final words before dying were, "It is finished" (John 19:30), signifying the completion of His sacrifice for the sins of all who would ever come to believe in Him. By shedding His blood on the cross for us, Jesus paid our debt in full (Eph 1:7). As believers, He wiped away all our sins (past, present, and future) by nailing them to the cross (Col 2:14). After His death and burial, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day, offering eternal life to all those who look to Him, by grace through faith. Jesus' resurrection serves as the supreme proof of His divinity, as only God could perform such a miraculous act.



God's Hidden Wisdom


But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9).

 

The verse is often mistakenly thought to be about the marvels of heaven, but it actually pertains to the wisdom that God has revealed to those who believe in Jesus. Essentially, God's truth cannot be understood through sight or hearing (objective or empirical proof), nor can it be comprehended through emotions, thoughts, or human intellect (subjective or rational deductions). Divine wisdom is concealed and can only be uncovered and comprehended by those who put their faith in Jesus. This wisdom from God is often foolish and even offensive to unbelievers. That's because without the presence of the Holy Spirit within, God's wisdom cannot be fully comprehended, trusted, or cherished (1 Cor 2:14).


True wisdom, given by the Holy Spirit, is exclusively possessed by those who believe in Jesus. Salvation and all its accompanying blessings (including wisdom) are entirely bestowed by grace. It’s all a gift. Neither salvation nor divine wisdom can be earned or sought after by our own human efforts. These are gifts and can only be given to us from the Lord Himself. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. Prov 2:6. For those who have received repentance, faith, wisdom, and ultimately salvation in Jesus, it is entirely a gift without any opportunity for self-congratulation. Salvation is not by works but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. As believers, the only One we can boast in is the Lord. Even our faith is a gift by His grace. It's only because of Him.


And because of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor 1:30-31


 

 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,  but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Cor 1:22-23


For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, Rom 1:16


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov 9:10). Fear in this context means reverence and awe.


Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105


She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. Prov 3:15-17


and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 3:15


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