Want to Be Wise?

Have you ever read a book twice?  Maybe three times?    I remember in school rereading certain textbooks because I couldn’t grasp everything they had to offer with only one reading.  I’ve also found books that I read years earlier and reread them just for the enjoyment.  But no matter how profound or enjoyable a book is, there comes a time when you have received all the knowledge and enjoyment that book has to offer.

With the Bible it is different.  You can read and reread the Bible repeatedly and every time come away with something new and profound that you didn’t see before.  In fact, the more you read and study the Bible, the more you enjoy it and the more profound truths you discover in it.   This is because the Bible is not a human but a divine book.  Although the Bible was written by various men over many centuries, its author is God.  The holy writers of the Bible were inspired by God to write his word.   Because of its divine origin the Bible is a great deep that no one can plumb it.   Rev. Herman Hoeksema, one of the founding ministers of the Protestant Reformed Churches and a great theologian, said at the end of his life that he had only scratched the surface of all that was contained in Scripture.

Because the Bible is God’s word, it is able to make us wise unto salvation.  This is what Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:14–15: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

What great wisdom is contained in Scripture!  In the Bible God reveals the great realities of life.  He reveals who he is and what his character is, as well as his will for our lives.  And then there is our sin and hopelessly lost condition.  But there is more. He also reveals the salvation that he provides in Jesus Christ, and how we can attain that salvation by faith.  All that we need to know for our salvation is revealed in Scripture.  Is there anything more important than this?

There is no other book like it.  This book alone is inspired of God.  This book alone is the revelation of God to show us the way to salvation.  Other books will show you how to succeed in the business or political world.  There are books designed to improve your athletic skills.  There are the self-help books that suggest ways to improve one’s marriage or deal with anger and handle stress.  These kinds of books contain only earthly wisdom to help you succeed in earthly things.  But the wisdom of the Bible is much higher.  It guides you to eternal life and joy with God through Jesus Christ.

But to have this great wisdom you must be a student of the Bible.  You must attend the worship of the church regularly on the Sabbath day to hear the wisdom of God preached.  You must study the Bible and reflect on it daily.  You must follow the instruction of the Bible as it directs you to come to the throne of God’s grace in prayer.  When this is done with the desire of a true faith to enjoy the salvation of God, one becomes wise unto salvation under the great blessing of God.

How much time do you spend with the Bible?

I suggest that for one week you keep track of how much time you spend with the word of God.  Count the time you spend in church hearing the preaching.  Count the time you spend with your family reading and discussing the Bible.  Count the time you spend in personal Bible study.  And count the time you spend studying or discussing the Bible with your friends.  Make sure you include the time spent in Young People’s Society.

You may be surprised how little time you actually spend with God’s word.

Now compare this to the time you spend in recreation – sports, hanging out, surfing the internet and whatever.  That may make the time you spend with the Bible seem even less.

How should we evaluate this?

Those who do not take the time to study and reflect on the Bible (shall we say, neglect the Bible) rob themselves of the opportunity to become wise in the most important realities of life!  What have you gained if you become wise in all sorts of earthly pursuits, but lack wisdom in the most important thing in life—your salvation?

This brings us to Young People’s Society, which begins another season soon.

We should not limit our Bible study to our own private devotions.  It’s important that we study God’s word with each other in the fellowship of the saints.  To become wise unto salvation we must study and discuss the Bible with fellow Christians.  For our faith to grow we must share our insights into God’s word with others and also learn from their insights.  We must also make ourselves accountable to each other and encourage each other from God’s word.

This is implied in such passages as 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another,”  And Hebrews 10:24–25: “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

We will see the great need for this if we remember that the church is the body of Christ.  In the human body each part is wonderfully gifted in its own unique way.  But no body part can exist and live independently from the other body parts.  The nose, eyes, ears, feet, and hands all need each other.  That’s also the way it is in the body of Christ.  Every member has wonderful gifts and with those gifts has valuable insight into God’s word.  If we will all flourish together as the body of Christ, we must share with each other what we know from the Bible, learn from each other, and encourage one another.

With this in mind let’s commit ourselves to attend our Young People’s Societies regularly.  We need not limit our study of God’s word together to Young People’s Society.  But our societies are a very valuable way to discipline ourselves to study God’s word together.

And let’s not be content simply to attend the meetings.  Let’s make the most of this valuable opportunity by preparing and coming ready to discuss God’s word together.

Let’s also in our discussion encourage one another in a godly life.

Then together we will grow in the greatest wisdom of all!