Kevin Halloran – How to Be Teachable According to Proverbs

Teachable people don’t have to be the smartest to succeed—they seek to learn and grow in any and every situation. Being teachable is a foundational quality for everybody: workers, students, husbands, wives, and especially those in leadership roles. If you’re wondering how to grow in teachability, perhaps there’s no better place to turn than the Bible’s wisdom book.

How to Be Teachable According to Proverbs

1. Be humble.

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12

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C. Hassell Bullock – Wisdom, the “Amen” of Torah

Torah, prophecy, and wisdom cannot be chronologically laid end to end. Rather, their history as theological paradigms overlaps. Perhaps the best model for their relationship is that of an equilateral triangle. The vertex represents Torah, and the two flanking angles represent prophecy and wisdom. In this model, Torah is the basic paradigm, while prophecy and wisdom are paradigms in support of Torah. The present consensus of OT scholarship is that prophecy ought to be read in the light of Torah, rather than Torah in light of prophecy, the latter view characterizing the consensus of a former generation.

The rabbinic view of prophecy was that the prophets were preachers of Torah. While that may be an overstatement, it is nonetheless true as a core principle of the relationship between Torah and prophecy. In other words, prophecy may be viewed as an affirmation of Torah, especially an affirmation of the fundamental moral principles of Torah. That understanding of prophecy is based in large part upon the reflections of the book of Deuteronomy on prophecy (e.g. Deut 5:23–29; 18:15–19).

To continue reading C. Hassell Bullock’s article, click here.

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Mike Leake – Why Denying Future Judgement Undercuts the Call of Lady Wisdom

In college, I had an English Literature professor who posited a hypothetical question to get us thinking. “What would God do if the devil in hell repented?” he asked. That question would then extend a bit further out—surely we cannot doubt God’s ability or desire to forgive repenting souls after life. I heard something similar a few years later in the writings of Rob Bell:

And so space is created in this “who would doubt God’s ability to do that?” perspective for all kinds of people—fifteen-year-old atheists, people from other religions, and people who rejected Jesus because the only Jesus they ever saw was an oppressive figure who did anything but show God’s love. (Bell, Love Wins)

The problem, though, with Bell’s hypothesis and my English professors question is that it misunderstands the reason for folks being in hell in the first place. It creates an imaginary scenario where somebody would have gladly repented on earth if given the proper circumstances. What it inevitably ends up doing is putting the blame at the feet of God.

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Harry Reeder – The Biblical Map To Wisdom

the-biblical-map-to-wisdom_620

Seldom in an assigned writing project is the author given an opportunity to address a theme that permeates Scripture, that is pervasive in both the Old and New Testament. But in this instance, my assignment provides for that and more, since wisdom and the gospel life is a theme crucial to the gospel ministries of evangelism, discipleship, and Christian parenting. In addition, wisdom is a blessing of common grace granted by God to a world of impenitent sinners in His unfathomable kindness.

Gospel Wisdom

Through gospel evangelism, the grace of God grants sinners the wisdom to confess their sins and flee to the Son of God, who alone can and will save them from sin’s guilt and power.

Furthermore, gospel-saturated discipleship allows saved sinners to employ the twofold, interdependent God-given means of acquiring wisdom—prayer in faith and “the hearing and doing” of God’s Word—as identified in James, which is often considered the New Testament book of wisdom. Additionally, wisdom is a desired objective in Christian parenting, as clearly extolled in Proverbs. Its value is illustrated in the repetitive summation of the effects of Mary and Joseph’s parenting in the life of Jesus. As Jesus embarks upon adolescence, the gospel of Luke sums up His childhood: “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). Another summary statement of parental focus highlights the importance of developing wisdom as Christ enters manhood: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Admittedly, these verses beg for further treatment, but we can at least observe that in the limited amount of Scripture describing the parental activity of Joseph and Mary, we are repeatedly informed that He was “increasing in wisdom.”

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Douglas Wilson – Wisdom and the Wise: Themes in Proverbs 1

Proverbs

INTRODUCTION:

As we begin a short series of messages on “themes in Proverbs,” we begin with the topic of wisdom—wisdom and the wise. This book is part of what is called the Wisdom Literature of Scripture, and so in one sense everything the book teaches falls under the heading of wisdom. But I want to focus on wisdom and the wise specifically in this first message. Consider it a crash course in a subject that does not admit of crash courses.

THE TEXT:

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: And with all thy getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7).

SUMMARY OF THE TEXT:

With all your doing, do wisdom. In all your singing, sing wisdom. In all your getting, get wisdom. In all your purchases, purchase wisdom. In all your hunting, hunt wisdom. And why? Because wisdom is the principal thing. Whatever else you do, do not neglect wisdom.

Those who do not get wisdom are pursuing something else instead. It might be pleasure, or rules, or partial wisdom, or self-righteousness, or superficial wisdom. But whatever it is, if it is not true wisdom, wisdom all the way down, it is not worth the time or trouble.

Many volumes could be written on what Proverbs alone says about wisdom—it is a mountain range with many boulders. My purpose here is simply to point out some of the major peaks. And as you gaze at the whole, remember that Christ is the mountain range.

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Tim Bertolet – All Wisdom in Christ

City at Sunset RESIZED_0 A Christian worldview has its foundation upon God since God is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Since the Bible is God’s Word, the Christian worldview is shaped by the Scriptures. The Bible explains to us God’s view of the world to which our conceptions must conform. The climax of God’s self-revelation to us comes in the person of Christ who is over all things. It is of little wonder then that Paul describes Jesus as the One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

This verse becomes very foundational for the Christian in the formation of their worldview. In Colossians, Paul is responding to some kind of error that the church has recently confronted. He warns them not to be taken captive by “philosophy and empty deceit” that is based upon “human tradition and according to the elemental spirits of the world” (Col. 2:8). A Christian worldview cannot be built on anything that is not “according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

While scholars debate the precise nature of the heresy at Colossae, Paul’s own clues seem it indicate that it is a kind of legalistic asceticism that incorporates mystical elements and inappropriate applications of the Old Testament. For example, Paul warns the believers to not let others judge them over issues of food and drink but also festivals, new moons, and Sabbaths (Col. 2:16). The errors included asceticism, worship of angles, and reliance on visions (Col. 2:18). Whatever the precise nature of the errors or the exact meaning behind “elemental spirits of the world” (Col. 2:8, 20), clearly the ideas were self-made and not divinely revealed and lack the effectiveness to stop the power of sin (2:23). In short, the Colossians faced a temptation to add extra-biblical practices and spirituality to their worldview and patterns of behavior.

If that was the disease, the prescription is Christ. A high Christology and an understanding of the person and work of Christ is the vaccine that inoculates our worldview from the deadly viruses that abound around us. Jesus is the invisible image of God (Col. 1:15a). Not only did Jesus create all things but all were created for him (Col. 1:16) which takes the highest language of Old Testament monotheism reserved for the God of Israel, YHWH, and applies it directly to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is equally the sustainer of all things (Col. 1:17). Jesus is fully divine but now also exalted over creation in full humanity. He is the firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15b), firstborn from the dead so that He is preeminent over all (Col. 1:18).

Looking out into the world we see that which Christ created and that which Christ presently reigns over as the One who is both fully divine and fully human, the son of David. Just as the king sets the laws of his kingdom, so also are all things rooted in Christ so that it is from Him we learn and understand how to build a worldview. If something doesn’t come from Christ, find its origin or source in Christ, or point in some way back to Christ then it cannot be part of a Christian worldview. All things are by Him and for Him.

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Dr. R. C. Sproul – Wisdom and Revelation by the Spirit

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” – Ephesians 1:17

Whenever we read Scripture, we should attempt to determine as much as possible about the original context and purpose of the particular passage of study. This practice gives us a guide to interpretation and keeps us from going off into fanciful interpretations or from reading our own opinions into the text. Generally speaking, it is easiest to determine the purpose of each of the New Testament epistles because the apostle refers to specific problems in the congregation. For example, Paul’s purpose in writing Galatians is clear—to expose the false gospel preached by the Judaizers and unfold the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone (Gal. 1:6–10; 2:11–21).

Ephesians, however, presents us with some difficulty because Paul does not mention any specific problems troubling the church at the time he wrote. Yet since the letter covers a whole host of basic Christian doctrinal and ethical principles, we can surmise that the pressing need of the believers in Ephesus and the surrounding regions was instruction in doctrine and living so that they might mature in the faith. Today’s passage helps confirm this, as Paul prays for “a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17).

Commentators agree that the “spirit” is God the Holy Spirit, the One present in all believers at the moment of conversion to seal them as the Lord’s possession and assure them of salvation (vv. 13–14). Paul is not asking the Father to give the Ephesian Christians the Holy Spirit as if the Spirit were not already ministering to them, but is asking for the Spirit, who is present with the Ephesians, to grant them fuller understanding of God and His grace. The goal of wisdom and revelation is “knowledge of him”—the Creator who has revealed Himself in Christ Jesus the Lord (Phil. 2:5–11).

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From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343

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Stephen Charnock – Discourse on the Wisdom of God

If wisdom be the perfection of the Divine Majesty, how prodigious is the contempt of it in the world? In general, all sin strikes at this attribute, and is in one part or other a degrading of it: the first sin directed its venom against this. As the devils endeavored to equal their Creator in power, so man endeavored to equal him in wisdom: both indeed scorned to be ruled by his order; but man evidently exalted himself against the wisdom of God, and aspired to be a sharer with him in his infinite knowledge; would not let him be the only wise God, but cherished an ambition to be his partner. Just as if a beam were able to imagine it might be as bright as the sun; or a spark fancy it could be as full fraught with heat as the whole element of fire. Man would not submit to the infinite wisdom of God in the prohibition of one single fruit in the garden, when by the right of his sovereign authority, he might have granted him only the use of only the use of one. All presumptuous sins are of this nature; they are, therefore, called reproaches of God (Num. 15:30) “the soul that doth ought presumptuously, reproacheth the Lord.” All reproaches are either for natural, moral, or intellectual defects. All reproaches of God must imply either a weakness or unrighteousness in God: if unrighteousness, his holiness is denied; if weakness, his wisdom is blemished. In general, all sin strikes at this perfection two ways.

As it defaceth the wise workmanship of God. Every sin is a deforming and blemishing our own souls, which, as they are the prime creatures in the lower world, so they have greater characters of Divine wisdom in the fabric of them: but this image of God is ruined broken by sin. Though the spoiling of it be a scorn of his holiness, it is also an affront to his wisdom; for though his power was tile cause of the production of so fair a piece, yet his wisdom was the guide of his power, and his holiness the pattern whereby he wrought it. His power effected it, and his holiness was exemplified in it; but his wisdom contrived it. If a man had a curious clock or watch which had cost him many years pains and the strength of his skill to frame it; for another, after he had seen and considered it, to trample upon it, and crush it in pieces, would argue a contempt of the artificer’s skill. God hath shown infinite art in the creation of man; but sin unbeautifies man, and ravisheth his excellencey. It cuts and slasheth the image of God stamped by divine wisdom, as though it were an object only of scorn and contempt. The sinner in every sin acts, as if he intended to put himself in a better posture, and in a fairer dress, than the wisdom of God hath put him in by creation.

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Intelmin Week in Review – 15-21April 2013

Here is what made it on Intelmin this past week. It was a busy week with lots of great articles, book reviews, and videos to share. Thanks for stopping by.

Dan Delzell – God Established Marriage Equality 6000 Years Ago

Jonathan Leeman – Love and the Inhumanity of Same-Sex Marriage

Book Review – Bitesize Biographies: John Newton by John Crotts

Owen Strachan – Evangelical Encouragement: What the Gosnell Groundswell Shows

Justin Buzzard – Abortion and the Early Church

Justin Buzzard – The Abortion of Abortion

Erik Raymond – 3 Ways the Gospel Changes Marriage

Colin Adams – The Boston Bombings: What Can We Preach?

Joseph Rhea – Gospel-Centered Manhood: Three Correctives

Dr. R. C. Sproul – R.C. Sproul on Suffering and the Christian Life

Dr. R. C. Sproul – Wisdom and Revelation by the Spirit

Lee Anderson – A Response to Peter Enns’s Attack on Biblical Creationism

Shai Linne Responds To Paula White Ministries’ Open Letter

Charles Spurgeon – Human Inability

Charles Spurgeon on the Importance of Scripture

Jen Wilkin – Why The Sermon is Not Enough

Book Review – Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism by George Marsden

Randy Alcorn – Heaven Won’t Be Boring

Tim Challies – The History of Christianity in 25 Objects: Codex Amiatinus

Book Review – We’re Just Friends and Other Dating Lies by Chuck Milian

Alfred Edersheim – Old Testament History

F. F. Bruce – The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?

John Newton – The Doctrines of Election and Final Perseverance – Excerpts from a letter

Justin and Trisha Davis – 3 Lies Porn Tells You

Anthony Carter – Discussing and Dealing with Pornography

Dr. John MacArthur – Principles for Living to God’s Glory: Edification

Dave Jenkins – Effective Evangelism

Book Review – Gods at War by Kyle Idleman

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Ray Ortlund – Going Soft Against Wrath

A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.

What is the wise response to an angry person who says something cruel, false or demanding? Proverbs 15:1 helps us in those awkward moments at home, at work, in our churches.

The key is “a soft answer.”

So, you’re standing there, stunned by those words that have just exploded in your face. In that instant of decision, as your mind is forming a response, “a soft answer” is the category you need. What is that?

Maybe, for Sure

The word “soft” means tender, delicate, gentle, even weak. We don’t like being weak, especially when we find ourselves in the crosshairs of anger. We would rather justify ourselves. It is hard to be wronged. It is doubly hard to be wronged and not fight back but respond softly.

Of course, if the angry person is a heretic, bent on wrecking your church, he or she must be confronted strongly. But if that person is not a danger but only immature, then a tender, delicate, soft, weak answer might help that person see things in a new way. Maybe not. Maybe nothing will help. When God himself answered Jonah’s anger softly, Jonah wasn’t satisfied (Jonah 4:1–11). But with the wisdom of Proverbs 15:1, the tension in the air might not escalate. The awkward moment might even be turned into something positive.

But dishing out anger in response to anger will surely go badly. Here is what we can always expect: “. . .a harsh word stirs up [more] anger.” A harsh – literally, “painful” – response can include words with sharp edges, a tone of sarcasm, implied threats of retaliation. There are many ways for the encounter to escalate quickly.

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