July 2018  
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Know God Know Wisdom

Proverbs 23:23 - Buy truth, and do not sell it,

    Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Picking up on the motif we used last Sunday, “Come further up, come further in.” Today we will seek to gain footing as we listen to God’s encouragement to grow in “knowledge”.

When we read the New Testament there seems to be a common desire among the apostles to call the believers to higher understanding. Sometimes they were being confronted by false doctrine causing them to become confused or even arrogant. Sometimes they were beset with sin. At other times they needed encouragement under severe persecution.

  1. A calling to gain understanding
    1. Ephesians 1:15-18 - For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and £your love for all the saints, 
      16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him
      18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
    2. Philippians 1:9-10 - And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment10so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ
    3. Colossians 1:9- 10 - 9For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
      10so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God
  2. An example of the need for understanding in the face of opposition
    1. II Chronicles 32:1, 7-8, 9-12
      1. Sennacherib, an enemy of God, His people, and truth
      2. He undermines the foundation of their trust, namely, Hezekiah’s encouragement to trust God.
      3. In a show of ignorant confidence Sennacherib belittles Hezekiah, his people, and their God.
        1. Hasn’t Hezekiah taken away His high places, alters, and made Judah worship before Him at one alter?
          1. How is this weakness?
          2.  Either he is revealing his lack of understanding or he is playing on Israel’s fetish for self-gratification.
  3. Intimate knowledge of God is necessary to be effective against opposition, from without and from within.
    1. True knowledge reveals ignorance and weakness in the enemy.
      1. The threats of Sennacherib are truly unfounded and weak.
    2. True knowledge broadens your perspective.
      1. Sennacherib, with his pompous attitude, is calling attention to himself while removing their focus on eternal God.
      2. If he can succeed in removing their gaze from God, he can proceed to lump God in with all other false gods be they stone, gold, wood, creature, or inanimate object.
      3. He can get them to focus on the moment, on their immediate intimidation
    3. True knowledge brings hope. (Ephesians 1 above)
    4. True knowledge increases love, discernment, and purity.               (Philippians 1 above)
    5. True knowledge makes worthy our walk and increases spiritual fruit. (Colossians 1 above)
    6. True knowledge lays the groundwork for the building up of knowledge. (Colossians 1 above)      
  4. An example of true knowledge in the face of opposition.
    1. I Samuel 17:37, 45-47
  5. The key to the life that overcomes opposition from without and from within
    1. Jeremiah 9:23-24 - Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 
      24but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.