Walking With Wisdom - Wellington First Assembly

Wellington First Assembly

326 W Botkin Lane, Wellington Kansas ........Family Faith Lessons - 9:30 AM........ Sunday Worship - 10:30 AM


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Walking With Wisdom

Walking in Wisdom.
Fables, myths, bedtimes stories.  Handed down from one generation to another.  This is the way that wisdom is passed on.  

There is an old story about the wise elders of Chelm, a small town in Eastern Europe.  One dark winter night they realized they missed the moon.  Knowing that the full moon would come be at a certain spot in just a couple weeks, they decided to lay a trap.  Placing a barrel of water in the center of the snowy field, they waited – until the moon’s appearance appeared to be captured in the water.  Quickly, they sealed up the lid and brought it back to town.  When morning came, the townspeople gathered around to open the container.  To their surprise… the moon was not there.
These wise elders were in fact fools.

The Bible is filled with wisdom stories.  A whole section of the First Testament is referred to as wisdom literature – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.  The sage advice of Jewish rabbinical thought was well known throughout the ancient world and Paul, the author of Ephesians, was well versed in its usage.  For the devout Jewish believer, wise living is that which follows the instructions of the Torah, the Word of God.  A wise person is not just own who has attained knowledge, but one who knows how to use it – knows how to put it into practice appropriately.
In the story of the captured moon, the wise elders recognized the rotation of the earth, marked the periodic return of the moon, could determine when and where it would appear next – but had no understanding that it was impossible to capture a celestial body. 
In Paul’s enlightened understanding, he realized his knowledge of the Torah was limited – it did not reflect the full wisdom found in Jesus Christ.  The way of walking in wisdom was prescribed as walking in the will of God.  Many early Christians soon realized that the pursuit of Wisdom let directly to the resurrected Christ.   This is why Paul, in his letter to the church at Corinth, 1:27, could argue that God used the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. 
The wise elders, apart from the wisdom of Christ, were in fact fools.
Our text in Ephesians 5:15-20 comes immediately after a passage where Paul provides ethical injunctions, steeped in wisdom.  In Jewish thought, wisdom and doing what was morally and ethically right went hand in hand.  Foolish talk is placed among the unenlightened.  Those who have had the light of Christ flood across the barren landscape of their heart are set free from the evil intentions that lay within.
If there is one thing that Paul knows, it’s about light shining brightly exposing intentions.  His introduction to the Wise One happened in this very manner on the road to Damascus.  Even though he had followed what he had thought was the complete wisdom of the Torah, his experience with the risen Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit persuaded him that without a relationship with God, he would be floundering in foolishness.  The crux of his letter lays here – To walk in wisdom, to follow in the footsteps of Christ, to serve in the will of the Creator – you must live in the Spirit.

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.