Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Colossians Week 2 - New Knowledge


Colossians 1:9-10

In Colossians 1:9 Paul tells the church that since he has heard of them that he has not stopped praying for them. This is a powerful word of encouragement. Has God ever brought someone to your mind? Someone you haven’t though about in a long time? Someone out of the blue? Yet for some reason they come to mind or you have a dream about them, a passing thought or maybe even a pressing burden for them?


Stop and do two things – 1. Pray for them. There is a reason God has placed them on your mind. 2. Call them immediately to check on them, to encourage them, and to let them know you are praying for them.


Paul, Timothy, and Epaphras pray non-stop for the Colossians. What is their request? What are they praying for?


Colossians 1:9 That they be filled with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Not just any knowledge, wisdom, or understanding but His. Not just to know but to be filled so as to leave room for nothing else.


The Bible speaks of two kinds of wisdom:

  1. Wisdom of this world – 1 Corinthians 3:19
  2. Wisdom of God – Romans 11:33


In the time we have this morning I want to briefly look at both kinds of wisdom the Bible speaks about.


1. Wisdom of this world. Genesis 3:1-7

Satan, for a time, rules over this world 2 Corinthians 4:4 and as the ruler of this world he preaches a false view of wisdom into the hearts and minds of men. The center of this message is found in Genesis and is this:


You don’t need God

You don’t need to obey God

God is trying to restrict you/hold you back

God is trying to prevent you from being happy

You can be wise like God

You can be your own God


Adam and Eve disobeyed God and in their disobedience they did become wise. Was their new found wisdom good?


No!


Once they disobeyed they immediately became wise to both good and evil – before they had only know good. Before Adam and Eve only were wise to life and now they are wise to death. Before they were naked and knew no shame and yet after they realized they were naked, they became self-conscious, afraid, un-trusting.


Worldly wisdom never brings joy. God wasn’t trying to hide anything from our first parents…He was trying to protect them. Scripture repeatedly refers to God as our Father and as our Father He wants to protect us.


There are many things I never want to be wise about. Such as how to be an expert at launching a turkey from a turkey fryer. Or how many fat grams are in a funnel cake. I just want to eat my funnel cake. Or how many corn dogs I can eat at the fair before loosing them on the scrambler….there are just some things I don’t want to be the expert at.


As a dad there are many things I never want my children to be wise about. I never want my children to be the experts on divorce or how to live comfortably between two homes (mom’s house and dad’s house). I never want my children to be wise at deception or wise at lying.


James 3:13-15 says that the wisdom of this world is full of bitterness, jealousy, selfish ambition, brags, lies, and is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.


From the very beginning the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of God have stood opposed and over time have grown more and more apart.


Here are just a few examples:


  1. The wisdom of this world says – it’s all about me. This line of thought comes from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs published in 1943 [link]. The model is that of a pyramid where man’s greatest needs are food, shelter, and clothing. The summit is what is referred to as man’s greatest need which is self-actualization. Being all you can be, reaching your full potential. In Maslow’s model man’s greatest need is to glorify self – not God. Make all the money you can make, be as healthy as you can be, be as influential and as affluent as you can be.

  1. The wisdom of this world says – Women who stay at home to raise their children are fools. It is a waste of your time, a waste of your talent, and a waste of your degree because in doing so you are not glorifying self – see number 1. The thought is that if you aren’t producing for a corporation, company, or organization then you are somehow wasting your life as if pouring your time, energy, and talents into your children were a waste. When did being a full time mother, by choice, make women a second class citizen? The answer is it didn’t until the 1960’s and 70’s when feminism came into full swing.

  1. The wisdom of this world says – Man is an animal. There is no God, we are here by chance and any dignity, value or worth we possess is directly linked to our productivity, usefulness, and output. This means the old and the weak have no value – See Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Hitler, Social Darwinism.

  1. The wisdom of this world says – Children are a burden, something to have, but expensive. When you and your wife talk about children do you ask…..What does God have planned for our family or how many can we afford? Reuters recently released a news story [link] where the USDA reported that for a family to raise a child from birth to 18 in the USA it will cost $475,680.00 and tack on an addition $130,000.00 if you want to send them to college. I have two questions regarding this report – 1. Why is the department of agriculture doing a report on the cost of raising children and 2. Why would someone put a price tag on a child?

Proverbs 14:12 says “there is a way that seems right to man but in the end it leads to death.” 1 Corinthians 3:19 says that our wisdom is “foolishness to God.”

The wisdom of this world says the beginning of knowledge is education.

The Bible says that Proverbs 1:7 the beginning of knowledge is fear of the Lord. The wisdom of this world begins and ends with self. The wisdom of God begins with God, it is hidden in Jesus (Colossians 2:2-3), is given freely by God (James 1:5), and it ends with Jesus (Revelation 5:12).


Why is this important?


Colossians 1:10 This is important because what you know, what you are wise in is linked to how you live. If your heart is full of worldly wisdom, self seeking, me focused, bitter jealousy then your lips may claim Christ but your very life will deny Him.

What your are wise in will empower you to choose or act to consistently produce the optimal results. 1 Corinthians 3:18 says that if we think we are wise by the standards of this world we should become fools so that we might be wise.


I am not anti-education not are the scriptures. What I am warning against is the influence of the world, the old knowledge, the message from the garden:


You don’t need God

You don’t need to obey God

God is trying to restrict you/hold you back

God is trying to prevent you from being happy

You can be wise like God

You can be your own God


The new knowledge that Christ wants to fill our hearts and our heads with is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3 – “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” Christ crucified in our place for our sins, buried dead because of our deeds, raised by God the father as the first, a prototype of all who will be raised who belong to Him to the glory of God.


This is critical as what we are wise in directly links to how we life, how we will organize and live out our lives.


Are you wise in the eyes of the world?

Or does your wisdom come from God?

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