Lord, Give Me Wisdom

Ephesians 1:15-23

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.  And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

  • The basic ingredients:  Faith and Love.
  • Faith and love will give a strong testimony of the love of God within your life.  Your faith and love, shown to the world in your daily living, will speak volumes of testimony to the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life.
  • Your faith and love when troubles come will be a testimony.
  • Your faith and love when everything around you is chaos will be a testimony.
  • Your faith and love in spite of the trials will be a testimony.
  •  Your faith and love during sickness or serious medical crisis will be a testimony.
  • Your faith and love during the time of great personal loss will be a testimony.
  • Your faith and love when friends turn against you will be a testimony.
  • Your faith and love when finances don’t meet the need will be a testimony.
  • Your faithfulness to the House of God in times of stress and great difficulty will be a testimony.

Hebrews 11:6 – “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.”  Hebrews 11:6.

Romans 10:17 – “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” 

James 2:20 – “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”

John 13:35 – “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” 

1 John 4:7-8 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 

John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

  • Lord God, more than anything else I desire to be a testimony.
  • Lord God, make me a testimony.
  • Lord God, I believe, help my unbelief.
  • Lord God, give me faith that I might be a testimony.
  • Lord God, place your love in my life that I might be a testimony.
  • Faith and Love are continuously needed by everyone who strives to be called Christian.
  • The church at Ephesus had great faith in God and their love for others to know the risen Christ was a great testimony to the entire church in the world of their day.
  • Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus in this portion of scripture (especially Eph 1:17-18) is a prayer that all pastors pray for their congregation. 
  • The great need for all believers is to grow in the knowledge of God.
  • The God we are to know is the God of Jesus Christ.
  • The God we are to know is the God whom Jesus Christ worshipped when He was on earth as a Man.                                               
  • The God we are to know is the God whom Jesus Christ chose to reveal to mankind.  
  • The God we are to know is the only God.  There is no other.
  • The God we are to know is the only true and living God.
  • The God we are to know is the Supreme Majesty and Sovereign Lord of the Universe.          
  • The God we are to know is the One Supreme intelligence and power of the universe and it is He who has created all and rules over all.
  • The God we are to know is the One who is omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time), omniscient (knowing all things).
  • The God we are to know is the one whose creative genius, presence and understanding reaches out beyond the stars and embraces all that is or ever will be.
  • The God we are to know is the one who declares that He has “set His glory above the heavens”  Psalm 8:1 – “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens.”
  • This is the God we are to know.  As stated, He is the only true and living God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the God of glory.  Believers must know and grow more and more in the knowledge of Him.  They must gain an ever increasing knowledge of Him.
  • Three things are necessary for a believer to grow in the knowledge of God.
  • A believer must have the “spirit of wisdom.”  A spirit that hungers and thirsts, that seeks and seeks after wisdom.
  • Wisdom can best be understood by the words “what” and “how.”
  • Spiritual wisdom means knowing who God is and how to relate to Him.
  • Spiritual wisdom means knowing the truth and how to use it.
  • Spiritual wisdom means knowing how to live more and more fruitful – for the glory of God and for the welfare of men.
  • Wisdom differs from knowledge.  Knowledge is the grasping of facts but the grasping of facts is not enough.  A person must know how to use the facts.  That is where wisdom comes in. 

Matthew 7:24 – “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Col 2:1-3 – “For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

  • A believer must have the “spirit of revelation.”  This simply means that the Holy Spirit must reveal God to the believer. 

1 Cor. 2:9-12 – “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”Footnotes: 1 Corinthians 2:9 Isaiah 64:4

  • A believer must have the “eyes of his heart enlightened.”  The heart must be opened so that the light of God can be seen and grasped.  An open heart is the responsibility of both the believer and the Holy Spirit.  The believer must open his heart and focus its affection, intelligence, and will upon knowing God.  The believer must seek the Holy Spirit to enlighten and flood his heart with the things of God. 

2 Corinthians 4:6 – “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Psalms 119:130 – “The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

  • The results of the knowledge of God are threefold.
  • A believer comes to know the hope of God’s calling.
  • A believer comes to know that we should be holy and without blame, living before Him forever in love.
  • A believer comes to know that we should experience what it means to be adopted as children of God–forever and ever.
  • A  believer comes to know that we should possess the wisdom and understanding of God. 

1 John 3:2 – “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

I Know

1 John

The text or topic is taken from I John, one of the five writings of the apostle John.  Note that no chapter or verse is listed as part of the text.  That is because the word “know” is repeated throughout the five chapters.  “Know” is listed 32 times in the New King James Version.  “Knows” is listed three times and “known” is listed four times.

Another phrase, “from the beginning” is listed nine times.  The phrase, “We write” is listed one time.  Another phrase, “I write” is listed seven times, and “I have written,” five times.    There are nineteen “if” statements and thirteen times John writes about “commandments.”

These repeated phrases tell us one thing.  That is:  By word and by written truth John has passed along to us “from the beginning” these truths.  This is not anything new he is exhorting to us.  Not a new doctrine, not a new idea.  We are not about to receive a new revelation to move us to the next level, a phrase a lot of the TV evangelists use all the time.  It is simply the same gospel truth that our Lord and Savior conveyed to his disciples from the very beginning.  It is the same truth the Old Testament prophets also preached. 

You might ask, what are these truths that are being given again to us in this letter from John?  Obviously, we have not all understood it or he would not have to preach it to us again.  Sooner or later if we hear the same thing that God is trying to speak to us, we may get it.  Maybe!  Duh!

The whole of this book, five chapters and all 104 verses is that we would learn the joy of being in fellowship with our Lord and Savior.  That cannot happen if we fail to walk in the way He has told us.  To walk holy and blameless, which is our “reasonable service.’

Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

What hinders us from walking in the way He has told us to walk?  John tells us we often take our eyes off God’s Word and listen to what the world/our culture tells us.  He gives us warnings.

1 John 1:4-9 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.  This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 2:1-7 – My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.  Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.  Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.

1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

A big part of walking in the right way, according to John, is to stay based in the love of God.

1John 3:1-3 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:11 – For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

1John 3:16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 4:7-11 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 5:19-20 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Growing in Grace

2 Peter 3:18

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We know we are saved by the grace and mercy of God.  It is by the same grace of God – unmerited favor – that we grow and become more like our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

As we allow God’s Word to become part of us, we will grow.

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

As we wait and seek the Lord, His grace will give us the strength we need to grow.

Lamentations 3:22-25 – Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I hope in Him!”  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.

Jesus instructed us to seek His kingdom first.  As we sincerely make every effort to really seek His Word and walk in obedience, we will grow.

 Matthew 6:33 – Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Even in difficult times, God’s grace will keep us.

2 Corinthians 12:9 – And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Growing in grace does not mean that somehow we can get more of God’s grace.  God’s love, His mercy, His grace is unlimited.  But as we grow in our understanding and our appreciation of God and His work in our lives, the more we will understand and benefit from His grace.