Wise Living is How God Describes His Will for Us in Proverbs. This is an application of the theme of the book stated in Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord. The overarching theme of this book and particularly the first 9 chapters is introduced—reverence for God (see v. 29; 2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:26, 27; cf. also Job 28:28; Ps. 34:11; Acts 9:31).
This reverential awe and admiring, submissive fear is foundational for all spiritual knowledge and wisdom (cf. 2:4–6; 9:10; 15:33; Job 28:28; Ps. 111:10; Eccl. 12:13). While the unbeliever may make statements about life and truth, he does not have true or ultimate knowledge until he is in a redemptive relationship of reverential awe with God.
Note the progression here: 1) teaching about God; 2) learning about God; 3) fearing God; 4) knowing God, and 5) imitating God’s wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s (cf. Ps. 42:1). The phrase “fear of the LORD” appears nineteen times in Proverbs (1:7, 29; 2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:2, 26-27; 15:16, 33; 16:6, 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; 24:21; 28:14; 31:30).
It’s such a blessing to share with you the second class in our series of Exploring the Book of Proverbs. I would like to just quickly remind you; Proverbs teaches a contrast between God’s way and man’s way. Secondly, the entire course is about living life God’s way. As we come to class two the title of it is: How to Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Get Burned Up.
Now turn in your Bibles, if you would, to 1 Corinthians chapter 3. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and verses 10-15 and that really is the text that ties all of our look in the second class and Proverbs together and, if you see in the slide in front of you, how to make sure your life doesn’t get burned up. There’s that reminder texts that we need to always keep before us. That we have an appointment. Let’s read together 1 Corinthians chapter 3, you follow along in your Bible and then I will read.
“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a…” and what is the next word in your Bible? “Wise.” Now remember, Proverbs teaches God’s way is the wise way, the way of wisdom. What does God’s way lead to? Eternal gain. Now, do you remember what the Lord said? That all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is going to pass away when we, as believers, unwisely live for what is not eternal.
Verse 10 says, “as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation,” and take heed how everyone builds on it, but let each one take heed.
Paul gave us an example of how to live wisely, investing his life. When we don’t live life wisely, our life gets burned up. Verse 11, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus.”
Verse 12 of 1 Corinthians 3, “if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw…” Remember there are six building materials which speaks of the fact, we have so many choices in life. I like to say that life is like pushing a shopping cart. Here in America, we have Walmart and when you come in the door at Walmart, they give you this big basket with wheels and you push it around. The same thing as E Mart or anywhere you live in the world. They have places like this, where you get a basket, and you can put anything that you see into your basket. If we’re not cautious, what we put in the basket of our life will get burned up.
Verse 13, “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures,” look at this, “he will receive a reward.”
Proverbs explains what to put in your basket. Proverbs explains what God wants our life to look like. Proverbs tells us when we revert to our old settings, the way we were born, in our lostness, our foolishness that what happens is, let me read it. Verse 15.
“If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss.” How to make sure your life, it doesn’t get burned up.
The good news is that, even though saved people can act foolish and their life gets burned up… what we do with our life, what’s in our basket… look at the end of verse 15,
“but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Let’s take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to bless the second class.
Father in Heaven, I pray that you would open the eyes of our understanding, help us to understand the truth of your word. Especially as we explore the book of Proverbs and learn how to live life your way. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Living life God’s way, if you look at your slides, is the goal of this course. We’re exploring the book of Proverbs. I hope by now that your Bible is starting to look like that, that you’re marking it up as you read.
This next side is just a little reminder that Bonnie and I are teaching and if you look up from that prayer card, I don’t want you to look at it too long, but that is a reminder that we teach these courses in Bible Institutes all around the world.
Now, right now, this three-whiteboard setup, we have is this class.
- Class One, How to Make Sure You’re Saved.
- Class two, Being Servant Hearted, which means submitting to the will of God.
- Then the other eight classes are, what we do.
Full-time now after 40 years as a local church pastor, Bonnie and I now have spent the last three years traveling all over the world. 125,000 miles last year, teaching the Bible. I would encourage you, if you think of it, pray for your teacher. Pray, as I was up this morning at five o’clock reading the scriptures and preparing this class as I was praying for you. Literally every evening, Bonnie and I, the last thing we do is have a prayer meeting and we pray for you who are students studying God’s word. That God would use you as the next generation to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth.
Back looking at your slides, exploring Proverbs is looking at the top 10 themes. Now on the slide, you see all 10 of the themes we’re going to cover. Those themes are taken from the 100 topics or themes in the book of Proverbs. Those themes I’ve looked at are the most mentioned. In fact, we’re going to cover maybe 70% of the verses in Proverbs, through looking at these 10 themes. Today, being servant hearted.
The best life possible is doing God’s will. God’s will is that we follow Jesus through life. Now remember, God’s way is that when we got saved, when Jesus entered us, He entered us as the divine wisdom from above. Take your Bibles and look at the book of Proverbs. We will be reading these verses. Now, when I teach in person, I actually learn your names and I go all the way around the class asking different students to read. I feel bad that I can’t hear your voice reading the scriptures. If you do this, take your Bible and whenever I say let’s read this verse; you read and you follow along. By you looking at the scriptures and reading that silently where you’re sitting, or if you’re home alone reading it out loud, you’re hearing the voice of God.
Verse 7 of chapter 1, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.”
What God wants, for us to be following Jesus, the wisdom from God. He wants us following Him through life.
Now this next slide, that you’ve seen in class one, reminds you that… and I want to show you the right-hand column there… man’s way, foolishness. Look in your Bible at chapter 1, verse 29, “they hated knowledge.” Keep going down, “to worshiping themselves,” on the right-hand column. Look in your Bible at Proverbs 12:15, it says,
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” When you do what’s right in your own eyes, you’re actually making yourself a god, you’re god and you worship your own way and live life your own way.
Look at chapter 14, verse nine, that’s the next thing on that chart. A fool in verse 9, “mocks at sin, but among the upright there is favor.” That means we respond to the Lord.
Chapter 20 of Proverbs and verse 24, the next one on your chart. “A man’s steps are of the LORD;” verse 24, “how then can a man understand his own way,” our own way?
If you look up from the slide, if we go our own way remember what Isaiah said, Isaiah 53:6, “all we like sheep have gone astray. We’ve turned, everyone to our own way.”
Chapter 1, verse 29 says our own way is leading to destruction. We’re perishing because we’re going our own way.
Back to that slide. Do you remember the very bottom line? It says in chapter 4 of Proverbs verse 18, “the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines brighter every day to the perfect day.” But verse 19, “the way of the wicked is like darkness.”
The next slide asks a question. The two roads of life. Now, that square on the left is actually, I took a picture looking down at my Bible, that’s how I marked those two verses, you notice I just underlined them, and I wrote in my Bible. Now, look up from your slide. I would encourage you to have a Bible that becomes your personal record of your journey, of seeking God in the scriptures. Your Bible should slowly get worn out. This one I’m using today has three different colors of duct tape on it. It’s even got duct tape on the inside because it’s wearing out. Why? Because every time I read through the Bible, I aggressively am looking for truth to respond to.
Now back at that slide. I wrote in my Bible, there are two roads of life. Then this is the question, as I did the devotional process on this, which road do you want to follow? If you look, that shines brighter, wouldn’t you want to go in the pathway of God; God’s way, that gets brighter every day instead of the wicked and the dark. “They don’t know what makes them stumble.”
Next slide. 2 Timothy chapter 3, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Now, next slide. This is the theme of this section of our class, that I want to underline in your minds. What are the implications of that verse? Well, that next statement on your slide. God Himself wrote every word of the Bible through the 40 plus men He guided over a period of 1500 years of history. From 1446 BC Moses who wrote the first books of the Bible through, about 98 AD the apostle John who wrote the final words of the Bible.
Now, look up from your slide and think about this. When I say God’s way, it’s not I think it’s God’s way, it’s because God inspired this book and said, if you want to obey Me, you’ll follow what’s written in My word. If you choose to not follow what’s written in My word, then you’re turning away from knowledge, you’re turning away from My way. That’s what’s so amazing about the Bible, you either believe what God said, or you go your own way.
Now next slide. I want you to think about, God is speaking in the books of wisdom. That’s Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. Right in the middle of those, the book of Proverbs. God Himself gave us every word of the wisdom books through His servants, the prophets, and others.
Next slide. Now we’ve gotten to the doctrine of inspiration. Why believe the Bible is true? Now look up from your slides, how do you know the Bible is true? I’ll never forget sitting in my first class at Michigan State University. It was the summer of 1976. I was taking an English course. I got there; the professor was a character. I won’t even take time to describe him, but he was so obviously a pagan. He strolled out on the stage in front of 600 of us students, sitting in amphitheater stadium like seating. We were sitting reverse alphabetical. So instead of the A’s being in the front and B’S, they started in the back row. So, I was in the very top row as a Barnett, in the back row of the 600. He Strode out, looking at us, looking in the class ‘ eyes. He said, my goal as I teach English literature is to remind you that the Bible isn’t true, it’s mythology. I was sitting in the second to the back row and being a good kid, raised by good parents they said, never interrupt an adult and if you’re in a class raise your hands. So, I raised my hand in the back row of 600 students. The professor was looking around and he saw that hand. He said, hey son, speak up, stand up, and say whatever you want to say, you don’t have to raise your hand. This was Michigan State University. So, I stood up and I said, sir, the Bible is not mythology. I believe the Bible is true and I sat down quick as I could. In fact, I think almost collapsed. I was scared to death, but I didn’t want him to cause the other students to doubt God’s word. That was wrong, so I had to speak up. I had to stand up for God. Well, he didn’t say anything. He just went like this. What he was saying is there is a dinosaur. There’s one of those vestigial people left around that are superstitious and believe in some god, the rest of us don’t. He didn’t say a word, he just implied it.
As soon as class was over 50 students push their way against the flow, like salmon going upstream, and surrounded my seat. As all the other 500 plus students left, they said, can we have a Bible study? Would you lead it? That started that year, me studying with the navigators and my 50 new friends from English class and memorizing scripture. Why? Because the Bible is true.
How do we know the Bible is true? Look at the slides in front of you. Why do we believe the Bible is true? There are seven reasons. Now, look up for a second. All of you who are taking this course for credit, you really need to write these down, the rest of you screenshot it but write these down because this is going to be on your quizzes and also on your test. These seven reasons, basically you can distill down to one or two words.
Number one, look at the slide. Jesus Christ believed the Bible. Okay, look up. If anybody ever asks you, how do you know the Bible is true? How do you know Proverbs is true? How do you know what God’s way is? How do you know what man’s way is? How come you’re seeking so much to live your life this way? How come you want to tell others how to live? How can you know you’re saved and serving God and all these other points? What do you tell them? Jesus believed the Bible. That’s why I believe the Bible. That’s the greatest reason. In fact, you don’t need a seven, the Bible that you are reading from right now, the Old Testament in particular, every word that’s in the copy you have was in the Septuagint that Jesus carried around as He walked in the synagogue and read either from the Septuagint, which was most frequent when he quotes scripture, or from the Hebrew scriptures. The reason I know the Bible is true, number one, look back at your slide is because Jesus Christ believed the Bible.
Number two. The absolute testimony of the apostles and prophets, they repeatedly said when they spoke and wrote these scriptures, they said, “thus says the LORD.”
Number three, because God’s word has survived. You can look up for a second. One of the greatest persecutions of all time, in the history of the church, was in the late third and early fourth century. As Diocletian systematically tried to eradicate Christianity. As he went through, he did three things. He destroyed all church buildings. He destroyed all copies that he could find of the scriptures. He killed every pastor of every church throughout the empire. That’s what the Roman Legionnaires did for 10 years. You know how I believe the Bible is true? Because the Bible has survived.
The Christians, you know what they did? They took the scrolls and the manuscripts and the papyri, and they tore them up in pieces and gave everybody a piece. So that, only if every Christian was hunted down and found, we would lose all the Bible. That’s why today, those who study manuscripts of the Bible have found 25,000 manuscripts of the New Testament.
Now, the Old Testament, like the dead sea scrolls, all of those copies that Jesus would have read and believed; when we found the dead sea scrolls that were almost 2000 years after the time of Christ, we found them, and they exactly matched the scriptures that we have.
Back to the slides. Number one, Jesus believed it. Number two, the apostles and prophets believed the Bible to be true. Number three, God’s word has survived.
Number four, the absolute unity of scripture.
Number five the prophetic accuracy.
Okay, look up from your slides. The Bible is unified, even though it was written by 40 different men, living on four continents, who spoke the word of God, and never met each other. Across those 1600 years they never saw, many of them, what the others wrote. But what they wrote absolutely is unified, it fits together. Every time the Bible talks about the future prophecy. Every prophecy that has come to pass from the scriptures has been fulfilled. Literally God tells us the future. He writes history in advance.
Back down to your slides. Number six, scientific accuracy. In other words, anytime the Bible addresses science, it’s totally accurate.
Number seven, historic accuracy.
Now look up from your slides, let me read these to you. If I ask you why you believe the Bible is true, you should say:
- Because Jesus did,
- Because the apostles and prophets unanimously said they were speaking the word of God.
- Number three, because God’s word has survived from the Romans desiring to destroy it, from wicked Israelite kings trying to destroy it. Like they did when they took Jeremiah and cut up his word and burned it in the fireplace, all the way through the Babylonian captivity. Right up to communism and their desire to eradicate the scriptures, all the way through my professor at Michigan State, who said the Bible’s not true. The Bible has survived.
- Number four, the absolute unity of the scriptures by those 40 different authors across all those centuries.
- Number five, prophetic accuracy. In fact, the book of Isaiah says the signature of God is that the Bible’s prophecies come true. God said, I’m the only one that can tell you what’s going to happen in the future.
- Number six, scientific accuracy. Especially, I would say the book of Job, the book of Job talks about ornithology, geodesy, isostasy, astrophysics. It talks about gravitational tug on stars, that no human has gotten near. Only in the last a hundred years have we understood what Job says? About oceanography and deep ocean vents and the current underwater. All of those things, scientifically the Bible is accurate.
- Number seven, the historic accuracy of the Bible. If you read the book of Mormon, if you read the Koran, there are so many historic inaccuracies. Every time archeologists dig up the Middle East, you know what they find? That everything the Bible says is totally historically accurate.
Back down to your slides. If we were to give a chart of the Old Testament, basically the Old Testament is made up of three parts. 17 books of history, you see that in the bottom lower left corner. There are five major history books, Genesis to Deuteronomy known as the Pentateuch. Then there are nine history books that are pre-exilic. That means before the southern kingdom was taken off to Babylon, then there are three books, the post exilic books. Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, that were written after the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem.
Now look at the right lower corner. There are 17 books of prophecy. Now wait a minute. Look on the left. There are 17 books of history that are major, pre exilic, post exilic. Look at the right. There are five major prophets. There are nine pre exilic prophets. There are three post exilic prophets. Amazing structure.
Look at the center, the wisdom books across the top. Joe, a theology of godly suffering, Psalms a theology of godly worship. Ecclesiastes a theology of godly life. Song of Solomon a theology of love. What’s right in the middle? The book of Proverbs. Now look up from your slide for a second. The book of Proverbs is teaching us God’s way versus man’s way. It teaches us how God wants us to live life and we can live it God’s way. Especially how to live in a way that we get eternal gain.
Okay, the next slide; wise living is how God describes His will for us in the book of Proverbs. This is an application of the theme of the book stated in Proverbs 1:7, “the fear of the LORD.” The overarching theme of the book in the first nine chapters is reverence for God. Reverence for God is submissive fear of displeasing Him.
Now, the next slide comes down to the practical. God wants to make me teachable, not stubborn. Take your Bible and I’m going to be using this slide. You follow along in your Bible and listen to me read. Look at the words on your screen and this is what it says. God wants to make me teachable, not stubborn because God says wise people receive and love instruction. Chapter 18 and verse 15 says this, “the heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” If you’re truly saved, if you’re wise, you’re seeking knowledge, you want the truth.
Now look at chapter 19 and verse 20, “listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.” God wants me to receive and love instruction.
Now the next bullet below that, God wants to make me teachable, not stubborn because God says wise people are always seeking to grow in wisdom. Now we’ve already read 1:5, but look at chapter 9 of Proverbs and verse 9, let me back up in my Bible. 9:9, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” We’re seeking to grow.
Look at chapter 10 and verse 14, “Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.” Look up from your slides. Are you growing in wisdom? Do you open the Bible like you open your phone? Or you can’t wait to see the latest picture or the latest update or the latest whatever on Instagram or Facebook or whatever social platform you use. Do you look at the Bible like a treasure chest? Are you constantly wanting to grow in wisdom? Do you want to live life God’s way?
Look back at your side. That’s because saved people are teachable, not stubborn. I meet people and they say I’m stubborn, that’s not a positive statement. On your slides, do you see the next slide? The best life possible is following Jesus through life. Look for a second outside of Proverbs at Psalm 16: 11. Because Psalm 16:11 distills down the theme of Proverbs that we follow the wisdom of God.
Now this is a distillation of what Proverbs teaches. “You will show me the path of life.” Now this is talking about God and the wisdom of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, the good shepherd. That’s who David was talking about. You Lord will show me the path of life, Psalm 16:11, “in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Now look at this slide, the best life possible is following Jesus through life. Psalm 16:11 says, Jesus wants to show me the path of life. He wants me to stay near Him so I’m full of joy. When I do submit to Him, I have endless pleasures.
Now look up for just a second. Let me tell you a story. When I was going to school, I was in seminary Bible school and then seminary. One of the things they taught us to do; they said we want you to take your Bible and go to a local hospital and do a hospital call. Now there were 1200 of us ministerial students, men training to be pastors. So, all 1200 of us had to take our Bible, go to a local hospital and over the next month, go and make a visit to someone. Now I wasn’t from the city where I was being trained in. So, I just had to find a hospital.
Now, this shows how much has changed in 40 years. They didn’t have desks and take your temperature and wear a mask and security guards. You could just walk in any door of a hospital back then and so I did. I went in the back door and I went on the first floor and walked down and looked in every room. Looking for someone awake and well enough to talk. Finally, after doing a few floors of the hospital, I spotted a young man sitting in bed and I knocked. I said, excuse me can I come in? They said I’m not going anywhere with a little Texas accent. I said, okay. I’m from the local Bible College and I’m here to do a hospital call as an assignment. I’m wanting to read the Bible to you and pray with you. May I? And this forlorn fella said sure, I have nowhere to go. So, I read the Bible, exhorted him to trust the Lord through his sickness. Prayed with him and said, thank you. As I was leaving, he had called out from the bed, hey, wait a minute. I have a question. I said, yes? He said, would you go to Wendy’s and buy me a Wendy’s triple and bring it back to me? The food’s terrible here.
I looked at him. I was a poor kid college student. I used to wash my roommate’s clothes with mine so that they would pay for the washing machine and let me use their laundry detergent. I didn’t have enough money to do my laundry in school. I was working full-time; I paid my way through eight years of undergrad and grad school and I was broke. Do you know how much a Wendy’s triple costs? Back then like a dollar and a half and I didn’t have a dollar and a half to spare, but I felt so bad. I thought, well he let me read to him and pray with him. I guess I should do this. So, after much hesitation, I went out the door, down the stairwell, walked to Wendy’s, got a triple, walked back in. I never even thought… he could have died of some allergic reaction or something… but I brought him the Wendy’s triple and gave it to him. He said, thanks and just started tearing into it.
So, I was leaving, he says, Hey, wait a minute. What’s your name? And where do you live? I thought what a strange thing to ask me. So, I told him. Didn’t think anything of it. A week later, I got an envelope in the mail. Had my name engraved on it, engraved not written. That meant it was pressed in with a printer. That was neat. I opened it. It was the nicest paper. It was almost like cloth paper. Very interesting. There was a card engraved. It said you are invited to dinner, be out front of your apartment at 6:00 PM on this date, wear your best clothes. Now, I was a poor hungry college student, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know if it was true, but 10 minutes to 6:00 PM on that night, I was out there in my suit and I’ll never forget the events that followed.
One of those cars pulled up that has like six doors and windows. It was a limousine. A driver got out and opened the door. There he was the man from the hospital. He said, come on, get in, we’re going to dinner. I got in; we went to a restaurant I’d never seen in that town. It was one of those restaurants you don’t notice, it was a private, very exclusive restaurant. It had no menus. When you got in there, you notice that they came to your table with a cart. They had cloth over the cart and there was a side of beef. The man was sharpening his knife and he cut our steak on the spot. Wow.
At that meal, this man said, Hey, I want you to know I’m also a Christian, I was in the hospital, you’re the first person that’s ever come and shared the gospel with me and read the scripture. I’d like to just thank you. What are you doing this summer? This summer? I said, I’m going on a mission’s trip. He said, when do you leave? I said, June 15th, he said, what are you doing for the two weeks before that? When you get out of school till June 15th? I said working, he said, how would you like to come with me and see Europe like you’ve never seen before, on your way to your mission’s trip?
Long story short, I traveled for two weeks with him. When I got off the airplane, he held on to me because we didn’t get off with everyone else. Going down the gangway, we went down the stairway and a car was waiting for us in London. At the airport, we didn’t go through. They took our bags, put them in the trunk. I don’t know how they got them, and we drove to a hotel. We didn’t go to the front desk. We went in the back door, went to our room. He says, get ready. We’re going to dinner and a play. We went to dinner. I thought we were going to an aquarium. There was this wall of glass in it. It was filled with fish. It was like an aquarium. They asked what kind of fish you want to see? What do you have? They said, and they pointed at the aquarium, it was fresh fish. They speared them, cooked them, and brought them to you. That’s how we were for two weeks. Why am I telling you that?
Look back at the slide. Psalm 16:11 says God wants to guide us through life. He wants to be the one that shows us His plan, in His presence, is fullness of joy. At His right hand are endless pleasures. Carl, as I said on that slide, led me through the best possible journey in Europe. Jesus wants to lead you through the best possible journey in life.
Let’s go through a quick study before our class is over. I want to apply this teachable way that God wants us to be. What I call it is, taking the book of Proverbs and learning to walk in Christ wisdom. Now, look up from your slide for a second. Go with me in your Bibles to the book of Colossians and for the next, Oh, about 10 minutes. I actually have written down my devotional study like you’re doing. Remember here, look at the three parts of our class that all of us are doing. Whether you’re in credit or whether you’re not in credit, we’re reading the book of Proverbs prayerfully, like I said yesterday. We’re memorizing Proverbs 3:5-6. Look at this, we’re doing a devotional project, either studying 10 verses, 10 topics, or 10 chapters. Reducing each of the 10 down to one sheet.
Now think of it this way, you just take a sheet of paper and you put a title. What’s my title? My title is: Walking in Christ’s Wisdom from Colossians. So, I’d write, Walking in Christ’s Wisdom from Colossians 2. Chapter 2, verse 6-23. Then I put all of the observations I make, or the trues, or the principles, and I’d list those off. Number one, the title. Number two, you have all of these observations. Number three, you write a prayer of application. Now that, the devotional method is what I’m going to show you as we go to Colossians 2. So, get in your Bibles to Colossians 2 and what I’m going to do is start reading in verse six.
Now look down at your slides and in verse 6, it says this. Colossians 2:6, I’m going to read it to you. Follow along.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the LORD, so walk in Him.” My observation was, my salvation came by faith, verse 6. We are saved by grace through faith. We heard. We were convicted by God. We responded to God’s drawing. We trusted His word. We acted on His truth. We were lost. Sinners. Saw Christ as our only hope. Cried out to Him. He saved us and now we follow the same path the rest of our lives.
Now, look up for a second, now that’s a lot. I’ve been doing this for years. This is how I study the Bible. I actually sit, read, and have my journal right there. My little mole skin or whatever I’m writing on that day. I meditate on verse 6 in Colossians 2. That’s what I wrote. My salvation came by faith.
Now back down to the slides, look at the next verse. This is what it says, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith.” See the slide? God’s truth needs to penetrate my life. It isn’t I just see it. I let it, see in verse 7, rooted and built up in the faith, abounding in it. What I’ve been taught, God’s truth, needs to penetrate my life. How does that happen? We need to invite God’s truth to come into our lives and get way below the surface. We need to seek to know, and experience, and talk, and respond to Jesus like a close friend we text with.
Now, the next slide. Here’s the third observation I made, in verse 8. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit.” Look what I wrote, I will beware of tainted ideas. We must always be on guard. The world is always devising ways to counterfeit what God wants.
Next verse, in verse 9. See what it says, “for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Fourth observation I made; I can live full of Christ presence. Christ is my link to everything God has promised, and He wants to overflow into every dimension of my life. You notice the bottom list of verses in the parentheses there? That’s every time it talks about fullness, because when I study, I look for repeated words.
Here’s the fifth one, verse 10. “You are complete in Him.” Now look up for a second. You say, what does this have to have to do with Proverbs? Proverbs teaches us to walk in God’s way, which is wisdom. Colossians says, if you are wise and if you are walking in Christ’s wisdom, this is what you’ll look like. Look back at the slide. Number five, I can live full of confidence. Christ makes me complete, verse 10. “And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Christ makes me complete. Even if I’m missing a wife, some of you are single and aren’t married. Or a husband. You’re always wondering if you’ll be married. Or a child, maybe you’re married, and you’ve never had children. Even if you’re missing your job, you don’t have any money. Even if you don’t have a home. Even if you’re missing health or mobility or comfort. Look at the middle of that slide, if I have Christ, I already have the best life that’s possible. Wow.
Next slide. Six point is this, in verse 11 it says, “In him you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands.” I wrote down in my journal, I have a heart that is new. God has given me the ultimate, never need to be upgraded, operating system. That’s what Ezekiel 36 says, a new heart God gave me.
Verse 12, it says you were “buried with Him in baptism.” I have a past that’s buried. God says my sins are forever gone. I wrote those verses where the Bible repeats that.
Verse 13. It says, “and you being dead in your trespasses […] he is made alive.” I have a fresh new beginning when I was born again. I’m like a baby. I have no past, just a future with God. 2 Corinthians and John 3 says that.
On the next Slide. I have an end of all guilt. Look at verse 14, “having wiped out the handwriting […] that was against us, which was contrary to us. He took it out of the way. Having nailed it to the cross.” I have the end of all guilt. Jesus took my guilt, my punishment, my pain. My sins were nailed to Christ’s cross. I don’t need to punish myself anymore.
Now look up for a second. Do you know what most people do they think? After they sinned, they’ve got a whip themselves and work through some pains so that they can prove to God how sorry they are. Instead of having godly sorrow, that leads to me confessing and forsaking my sins and on the spot receiving His cleansing. Jesus Christ says, when I was saved and walking in wisdom, it’s the end of guilt in my life. Joseph testified that 20 years of horrible abuse were transformed by God, and he was no longer able to be crippled by his past. Look back at your slide, God dealt with it all. I have the end of all guilt when I walk in Christ wisdom.
Number 10, I have nothing left to fear. Now think about what God offers to us. We can have, as His followers walking in wisdom, the best life possible. We have a life that has a new heart. Our past is buried. We have that fresh new beginning. We have the end of guilt. But look at number 10, the fear that has followed us all of our life. See what verse 15 says. “Having disarmed principalities and powers.” This is spiritual warfare. This is the satanic hosts that were all around Christ, disrupting His ministry. “He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them.” see what it says on the slide? Jesus disarmed the power of Satan to ever destroy me. Only Christ can protect me. All I have to do is trust Him.
Next slide. Says this, I have a life that is free and that’s from verse 16 to the end. See what it says in 16. “Let no one judge you in your food or your drink or festivals or new moons or sabbaths or shadows of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
Verse 18. “Let no one cheat you.” I wrote this in my journal, I have a life that’s freed for now on. I know Christ is my life. His word is my guide. I can from now on resist those who try and lay their hurtful barbs, their guilt, their crippling control on my heart and mind. Christ has set me free.
Now look at the application, prayer. Look up from your side for a second. I want to guide you through this because remember there are three parts, your devotional project. The title, mine would be Walking in Christ’s Wisdom, Colossians 2. I already have shown you all the 11 observations I made. This is the application prayer. Now this is the hardest. Most people read the Bible and they say, Oh, that’s a good verse for my roommate; that’s a good verse for my husband; that’s a good verse for my children; that’s a good verse for my wife. You know what the Bible says? That’s a good verse for me. I want to change.
Look at this slide. This is my prayer. I actually prayed this when I got done studying Colossians 2. Lord, I want to set my mind on these truths from you, since I’m raised with Christ, I choose to set my mind above, and I ask you to reset me in your settings of wisdom, and away from my own way… That’s what God wants.
Now, look up from the slide. God wants me to see His word as a source of wisdom. James said the wisdom that is from above. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1, that in Christ we have His wisdom. When we were saved, we received Christ as our wisdom. He starts changing our mind to no longer go our foolish lost, empty way that we were born with and to start listening to God’s way. Letting God be our teacher and teach us how to make our life conform to His will and His word.
Back to the slides, the second class is how to make sure your life doesn’t get burned up. That’s where we started. It’s based though on living life God’s way, which is exploring the book of Proverbs. Our second class.
Look up for a second, I’d like to close in prayer with you.
Father in Heaven, I thank you. I thank you for these students that are in East Asia that are sitting, longing to understand your words so they can be launched back. Asians reaching Asians. Americans reaching Americans. Europeans reaching Europe. But Lord today, each one of us have to make a choice. If we know you and are saved, we’ve received your wisdom for a reason. It’s to live your way and if we live your way, we get eternal gain. We get to have a crown to cast at your feet to adore you, to offer our life as a gift back to you. Of honoring you purchasing us, we’re your servants. But if we don’t, as 1 Corinthians 3, if we live life as a safe person, foolishly our own way, we’ll suffer loss, and our lives will be burned up. We’ll still be saved, but we will suffer loss. I pray today, we would make a choice. I want to live my life that you purchased, your way. In the precious name of Jesus, we ask that. Amen.
God bless you.