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GOD’S WISDOM AND OURS

The following is taken from the tenth chapter of J.I. Packer’s classic book Knowing God.
It is a book I would highly recommend that you read.


When the old Reformed theologians dealt with the attributes of God, they used to classify them in two groups: incommunicable and communicable.

In the first group, they put those qualities which highlight God's transcendence and show how vastly different a being He is from us, His creatures. The usual list was – God's independence (self-existence and self sufficiency); His immutability (entire freedom from change, leading to entire consistency in action); His infinity (freedom from all limits of time and space: i.e., His eternity and omnipresence); and His simplicity (the fact that there are in Him no elements that can conflict, so that, unlike man, He cannot be torn different ways by divergent thoughts and desires.) The theologians called these qualities incommunicable because they are characteristic of God alone; man, just because he is man and not God, does not and cannot share any of them.

In the second group, the theologians lumped together qualities like God's spirituality, freedom, and omnipotence, along with all His moral attribute – goodness, truth, holiness, righteousness, etc. What was the principle of classification here? It was this – that when God made man, he communicated to him qualities corresponding to all these. This is what the Bible means when it tells us that God made man in His own image (Gen. 1:26) – namely, that God made man a free spiritual being, a responsible moral agent with powers of choice and action, able to commune with Him and respond to Him, and by nature good, truthful, holy, upright (Eccles. 7:29): in a word, godly.

The moral qualities which belonged to the divine image were lost at the Fall; God's image in man has been universally defaced, for all mankind has in one way or another lapsed into ungodliness. But the Bible tells us that now, in fulfillment of His plan of redemption, God is at work in Christian believers to repair His ruined image by communicating these qualities to them afresh. This is what Scripture means when it says that Christians are being renewed in the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18) and of God (Col. 3:10).

Among these communicable attributes, the theologians put wisdom. As God is wise in Himself, so He imparts wisdom to men.

The Bible has a great deal to say about the divine gift of wisdom. The first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs are a single sustained exhortation to seek this gift. ‘Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding… Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her; for she is thy life' (Prov. 3:7,13). Wisdom is personified and made to speak in her own cause, ‘Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death' (Prov. 8:34).

Similar emphases appear in the New Testament. Wisdom is required of Christians (‘walk…not as fools, but as wise…be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is', Eph. 5:15; ‘walk in wisdom toward them that are without…', Col. 4:5). Prayer is made that wisdom may be supplied to them (‘that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom…', Col. 1:9). And James in God's name makes a promise, ‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God…and it shall be given him' (Jas. 1:5).

Whence comes wisdom? What steps must a man take to lay hold of this gift? There are two prerequisites, according to Scripture. First, one must learn to reverence God. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' (Prov. 1:7). Not till we have become humble and teachable, standing in awe of God's holiness and sovereignty, acknowledging our own littleness, distrusting our own thoughts, and willing to have our minds turned upside down, can divine wisdom become ours. It is to be feared that many Christians spend all their lives in too unhumbled and conceited a frame of mind ever to gain wisdom from God at all. Not for nothing does Scripture say, ‘with the lowly is wisdom' (Prov. 11:2).

Then, second, one must learn to receive God's word. Wisdom is divinely wrought in those, and those only, who apply themselves to God's revelation. ‘Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies,' declares the psalmist, ‘I have more understanding than all my teachers:' why? – ‘for thy testimonies are my meditation' (Ps. 119:99). So Paul admonishes the Colossians: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom' (Col. 3:16). How are we men of the twentieth century to do this? By soaking ourselves in the Scriptures, which, as Paul told Timothy (and he had in mind the Old Testament alone!), ‘are able to make thee wise unto salvation' through faith in Christ, and able to perfect the man of God for ‘all good works' (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

Again, it is to be feared that many today who profess to be Christ's never learn wisdom, through failure to attend sufficiently to God's written word. Cranmer's Prayer Book lectionary (which all Anglicans are meant to follow) will take one through the Old Testament once, and the New Testament twice, every year. How long is it since you read right through the Bible? Do you spend as much time with the Bible each day as you do even with the newspaper? What fools some of us are! – and we remain fools all our lives, simply because we will not take the trouble to do what has to be done to receive the wisdom which is God's free gift.

 

 

PARISH NEWS

 

On August 7, 2016 backpacks were filled with school supplies and distributed to needy children in the area. This was done in conjunction with Love INC as the GAP Ministry of our parish. We thank Tutu Balogun for initiating this ministry and also to all of you who contributed and helped fill the back packs for the children.

 

Thank you to those who helped at the Work Days on August 26 and 27.

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

GUILD MEETINGS

Sept. 4th as well as Sept. 25th

 

SUNDAY SCHOOL & CHILDREN'S CHURCH

Resume early : Next Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016

 

RALLY DAY & CHURCH PICNIC

Sunday, September 11, 2016
Hot dogs, hamburgers, buns and drinks provided. Please sign-up to bring other picnic foods.

 

EPISCOPAL VISIT

The Most Rev. Royal U. Grote will be with us on Sunday, September 11, 2016 for his annual episcopal visit.

 

THE CHOIR

resumes singing in the service September 11th.
Choir Practice is on Fridays at 9 a.m. if you'd like to join.

 

NO VESTRY

Sept. 18th

 

YOUTH MEETINGS

On Sundays, Oct. 3rd and Dec. 4th

 

LOVE INC of Tinley Park

2016 Pie Auction Fundraiser
(New date) Sat., October 1, 2016
2-4:30 p.m.

Make 4 identical pies to enter Pie Contest
or just sign-up for Baking Pies for Auction.

Deadline to turn in forms is Sept. 8.

 

MISSIONS OF THE MONTH

Please pray for Bishop Raul Suarez and the RE parishes in Cuba.

 

BIBLE STUDY

Meeting the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month at 10:00 a.m. We are studying the book of Revelation, using More Than Conquerors by William Hendricksen.

 

NEXT WORK DAY

Sat., Oct. 22nd

 

 

 


VISIT OUR WEBSITE
www.andrewrec.org

 

 

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS

Nancy Toomey
Judy Casper
Alex Poole
Prentice Onayemi
Loluwa Osilaja
Peter Poole
Oye Olajide
Temi Onayemi
Jim Casper
Elizabeth Domato
Franklin H. Sellers, Jr.
Steve Horosinski
Victoria Oni
Vicky Nwosu
Benjamin Oluwole
Brian Sutton
Dennis Domato

 

 

 

 


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The Very Reverend Frank M. Levi, M.A., Rector  ·  Bishop Franklin H. Sellers, D.D., Rector Emeritus  ·  The Reverend Derrick Hassert, Ph.D., Curate  ·  18001 94th Avenue  · Tinley Park, IL 60487  ·  (708) 614-7404  ·  FAX (708) 614-7435 AndrewREC.org Home Contact the Webmaster Sign our guestbook View our guestbook

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