This Week's Gospel Sermons

Wisdom That Leads To Salvation  - Scott Richardson

Jonah - A Minor Prophet - Scott Richardson



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Scott Richardson



Owen Griggs

Tim Hamilton

Jackson Drive


May 25, 2014


Wisdom That Leads to Salvation

Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2Timothy 3:10-17)

Some make the mistake of assuming wisdom and knowledge are the same thing. They are not. Knowledge is the information; wisdom is the judicious use of that information. Knowledge is the recognition that, botanically speaking, the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is leaving the tomato out of your fruit salad. Unfortunately, too many people are knowledgable, but are fools.

Solomon Was a Wise Man

Asking people, “Who was the wisest man ever?” almost without fail will yield the result, “Solomon!” This is true; the Bible tells me so (1Kings 3:12). God blessed Solomon with the wisdom to lead His people. Solomon recognized his weakness in this area (1Kings 3:7‑9). The wisdom he showed in building a kingdom is beyond compare [For a brief overview of the extent of his kingdom read 1Kings 4 and 1Kings 10].

I leading his people his wisdom was renowned, not only in affairs of state, but in dealing with his own subjects. One of the more well-known episodes is in his deciding about a babe and which mother was genuine (1Kings 3:16-28).

Solomon even showed great wisdom in expanding arts and sciences in his kingdom. Architecturally, one could even say his wisdom shown in building the Temple (1Kings 5; 6).

But Solomon Was a Fool

Sadly, even though God had granted Solomon wisdom to rule His people, Solomon didn’t carry that wisdom into his personal life. He had knowledge of God’s instructions regarding marriage to foreigners, but he was not wise enough to act on it. He married many foreign women and then he allowed his foreign wives to turn his heart from God (Deuteronomy 7:1-5; 1Kings 11:1-8). Acting without wisdom is not a casual thing to God. “Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done” (1Kings 11:6).

The lack of wisdom in his personal life began to show in his kingdom. In fact, God would have removed his kingdom except for the promises to his father David (1Kings 11:11-13). He left his kingdom in bad condition (1Kings 12:4).

Pharisees Were Wise

The Jewish sect of the Pharisees was wise, at least in their original purpose. They began as a group of very devoted Jews whose purpose was to strictly uphold God’s law. In following God’s law, prophets, and the writings, they looked for the coming Messiah. That was a wise thing to do. However, their purposes were quickly lost as they began to rely on men instead of God.

In one sense, they were wise in seeking to rid themselves of Jesus. They were not thinking of God and His will, but nonetheless made some astute observations about their nation which played right into God’s intentions (John 11:45-52).

The Pharisees were even “accidentally” wise in their trickery. They publicly voiced true statements about Jesus: “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any” (Matthew 22:15-22).

But Pharisees Were Fools

Though they claimed to strictly follow God’s law, the set it aside in favor of traditions of their elders. This is the greatest disrespect for God’s own word. Any man is a fool who disrespects God’s word (Jeremiah 36:20-32; Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; 1Corinthians 4:6; 2John 9)

Many are wise after the flesh—philosophers, scholars, etc. It is only those who have a respect for God and His word that show true wisdom (1Corinthians 1:20-31).

True Wisdom Leads to Salvation

Wisdom appraises values properly. It can distinguish between things temporal and things eternal. “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2Corinthians 4:18).

Wisdom prepares for the future. There will be judgement. Jesus will come again (Matthew 16:27; 25:34). The wise will be prepared (Matthew 25:1-13).

Knowing Scriptures Gives Wisdom Which Leads to Salvation Through Faith

Scripture tells man about God who is wise—wise enough to create the universe [which men are constantly striving to fathom] and to give to man His book of all truth (John 16:13).

Scripture tells man about Christ and His sacrifice. It tells about His plan of salvation—a wise plan.

Scripture also tells man of his enemy—Satan. Scripture tells of his ways and kinds of temptations, beginning with his very first (Genesis 3:6).

Scripture furnishes man completely for every good work. It shows him how to be at peace—through service, faith, prayer, study—with himself, with his family, and with the world:

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. 3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; The LORD hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:1-5)

Timothy’s mother helped him to be wise (2Timothy 3:15; 1:5). She taught him the information in the sacred writings and taught him from God’s words what the wise course of action would be. He knew the Scripture. He had faith. He acted in a wise manner because of his knowledge and faith. This led to salvation.

Do you have respect for God and His word? Do we study and meditate on it? Do we have that faith that is wise, leading to salvation?

—S. Scott Richardson Sr.

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