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.”

Redemption

Ephesians1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:   Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

GOD’S CALL

  • To Paul
  • “Apostle” means “one called and sent forth on a very special mission.  A messenger.
  • To the church
  • “Saints” means “to be set apart, consecrated”
  • “Faithful” means “to have placed our faith in Jesus Christ”

Ephesians 4:24 – “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Colossians 3:10 – “and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

GOD’S BLESSINGS ARE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

  • Of the Spirit
  • Permanent and perfect
  • Found only in Christ

GOD HAS CHOSEN US TO BE HOLY (SET APART) AND BLAMELESS (FREE FROM SIN, WITHOUT BLEMISH)

1 Peter 1:15-16 – “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

2 Peter 3:11 – “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”

Colossians 1:21-22 – “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”

1 Thessalonians 3:13 – “so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”

GOD HAS ADOPTED US AS SONS AND DAUGHTERS

  • “Predestination” means “to predetermine, to appoint before”
  • “Adoption means” “to place as a son”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Romans 10:13 – “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’”

2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

GOD HAS REDEEMED US

  • “Redemption” means “to set a man free by paying a ransom”
  • Man is in bondage
  • Man cannot free himself
  • God has paid the ransom – His son’s death on the cross

Romans 3:24 – “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 6:20 – “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Colossians 1:14 – “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

GOD HAS GIVEN US WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING

  • “Wisdom” means “seeing and knowing the truth”

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 – “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. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.  For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

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.”

GOD HAS REVEALED THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL TO US

  • This is the main theme of Ephesians.  A “mystery” in the Bible is not something mysterious and hard to understand.  It is a truth that has been opened up to man.  A truth revealed by God to man that man had not understood before.  The “mystery” of God’s will is the Church, with Christ as its head.

Galatians 4:4 – “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”

Ephesians 3:9-11 – “and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:19-21 – “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 – “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

GOD HAS GIVEN US AN INHERITANCE

Malachi 3:17 – “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels.
and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’”

Ephesians 2:19-21 – “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.”

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.”

GOD HAS SEALED US WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

Romans 8:16 – “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

2 Corinthians 1:22 – “who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Galatians 4:6 – “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

The Power of God vs the Wisdom of Man

1 Corinthians 2:5

that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

  • What we do and say, the very way we conduct our lives, is many times based on the things about us, the things we have seen, the things we have heard, the things we have experienced – all man’s wisdom.
  • Our faith is simply based on the power of God, on the ability of God to move and act and touch our lives.
  • That faith, based in the power of God has its foundation, its cornerstone in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • The one who came to earth
  • The one who agonized in the garden
  • The one who died on the cross
  • The one who was laid in the tomb
  • The one who rose again the third day
  • The one who ascended on high
  • The one who is now making intercession on our behalf
  • The one who is coming again to take his children home to be with Him
  • Let’s look a moment at the scriptures to see what it says about our foundation.

Isaiah 28:16 – “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,  A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.’”

Ephesians 2:19-20 – “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

1 Peter 2:6-8 – “Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.’  Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’  They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.”

Acts 4:8-12 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:  If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’2 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’”

  • But after the foundation has been laid, after the cornerstone has been set, we build our lives based on the Word of God.  The Word of God, not the wisdom of man, the Word of God.
  • Remember the children of Israel.  Caleb and Joshua brought back a good report.  It was rejected and the children of Israel were doomed to wonder around in the wilderness for 40 more years before they went in and took the land God had promised them.
  • Whose report are you going to believe?
  • The doubters
  • The skeptics
  • The worry warts
  • The TV
  • The newspapers
  • Or the Word of God
  • Man’s wisdom – We moan, groan and complain and say within us and verbally, “I can’t get through this trial, this time of difficulty.”
  • God’s power – Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • Man’s wisdom – “I’m sick, I hurt, and I’m not going to make it.  I’m in pain. 
  • God’s power – Isaiah 53:5 – “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
  • Man’s wisdom – I’m financially not going to be able to pay all my bills and obligations.
  • God’s power – Philippians 4:19 – “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
  • Man’s wisdom – looks at our family, the sin and degradation they are involved in and we say they are just hopeless.
  • God’s power – Isaiah 59:1 – “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”
  • Man’s wisdom – looks at our country and says it’s going down the tubes.
  • God’s power – 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
  • Man’s wisdom – says I’m afraid.
  • God’s wisdom – 1 John 4:18 – “but perfect love casts out fear.”
  • If we have built on the sure foundation, Jesus Christ, we can be like Jairus who told Jesus, “Just say the word and my daughter will be healed.”

Don’t Doubt

Don’t pout

Shout it out

“I believe!”

  • If we really believe, if we truly have built on a sure foundation, Jesus Christ, we can agree boldly and triumphantly with 1 John 5:14 –  “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
  • Where does your faith stand?
  • In the wisdom of man
  • In the power of God
  • My God is big enough to meet every need I have – every need you have.