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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
March 22, 2020
Foundations of Wisdom
Welcome to Spring! As someone that personally does not care for Winter, I view our mild Winter this past season as a great blessing from the Lord, though I fully recognize that those of you who love snow for recreation or economic profit in snow removal are disappointed. However, all of us can rejoice in the flowers that are starting to bloom, and this year especially, that the warmer weather will help with abating the cold and flu season as we are able to let fresh air into our homes and become more active outside instead of being cooped up inside. Dry winter air and confinement in close quarters is a breeding ground for colds and flu.
Everything I said last week about the wisdom of the world verses the wisdom from above has been demonstrated even more this past week as hysteria escalated over SARS-CoV-2, also known as novel coronavirus, and by the disease it causes, COVID-19. On Monday I went to a couple of stores to get some milk, orange juice and cheese, and found it quite odd to see many shelves bare of the food normally there. Perhaps that is why I did not experience the crowding I was told about that had occurred in the days prior. I was hoping that since those who do not normally keep an emergency supply of food are now stocked up that our stores will be able to resupply and things to return somewhat to normal. That is now a fantasy as media hype and government overreaction continue to keep people in a panic and the grocery stores were as crowded at the end of the week as they were the previous week. That all seems quite contrary to the government effort to keep people from being crowded together.
Let me remind you once again, that godly wisdom responds differently in a crises than earthly, natural and demonic wisdom. We do not panic and become selfish. Because we trust God with our lives and know that He is good, we can remain calm and will seek ways to minister to those in true need instead of making the problem worse by hoarding. So as I said last week, we will be doing our best to stay in contact with one another and minister to those who have need. We are the body of Christ, a church family, so if you get sick or have other need, contact someone else in our church family or any of our church leaders and we will see what we can do about helping you. You doing the same for your friends and neighbors opens the door for great opportunities to proclaim Christ to them. (See: Godly Wisdom During a Medical Threat)
We have had to keep changing how our various ministries will proceed as greater and more draconian restrictions are being declared by governmental authorities. We will strive to abide by health and safety regulations, but our first allegiance is to the Lord God, so obedience to Him will always be our priority. And since Jesus told the devil in Matthew 4:4, “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, ” we believe learning and living by the Scriptures is essential, so we will figure out a way to do that whatever restrictions are placed upon us. If the persecuted church in China can do this on a regular basis, we can also find ways to carry out ministry and worship. Be sure to check your email, our website and facebook pages for the latest information how we will minister to one another.
One last reminder concerning the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Please be sure to follow all the proper methods to reduce your risk of getting the virus and limit its spread if you do get it. I am sure you have heard enough about washing your hands before and after meeting with anyone, avoid touching your face with anything but clean hands. However, since it has become hard to find antiseptic cleaners to wipe down surfaces that can become contaminated, here is a practical suggestion. You can make your own antiseptic cleaner by mixing 1 part liquid bleach with 9 parts water to make a 5% bleach solution. Use gloves when using it to keep from getting a chemical burn. This works great on any hard surface, but keep in mind it will take the color out of cloth materials. If you do get sick, stay home and ask others for help in getting any supplies you may need from stores. Follow medical instructions if you must go out for a medical appointment.
I now want us to turn our attention to the general subject of wisdom. I spoke about the need for discernment, the ability to distinguish between things, a few weeks ago. (See: Developing Discernment). Discernment is an application of wisdom. Last week I spoke about the difference between the wisdom from below and the wisdom from above with the reaction to current coronavirus outbreak as a practical example between the two. In 2012 I spent most of the year preaching from Proverbs, the purpose of which is explained in 1:2-6, 2 “To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.” If you want to be wise, then you would be wise to spend time in Proverbs. (See: https://gracebibleny.org/category/sermons/proverbs)
This morning I will only be making a general overview of wisdom, but I believe it is an important one, and probably of increasing importance, given the Biblical illiteracy of our society even within churches that are supposedly Bible believing and teaching. If you do not know truth, then your faulty knowledge will lead you into foolishness instead of to wisdom.
What is wisdom? The Hebrew word for Wisdom is from chokmâ (khok-maw’) which refers to a manner of thinking and attitude concerning life’s experiences which includes both general interests and basic morality. It is used in reference to the entire range of human experience from technical skill and craftsmanship to battle tactics and government administration. In the Hebrew Scriptures, wisdom is tied to the revelation of God and His will of what is holy, righteous and just, and so it differs greatly from the Greek concept which was theoretical and speculative. In true wisdom, human will and understanding is submissive to God’s will and revelation for wisdom resides in God (Job 12:13). The wisdom spoken about throughout the wisdom literature of the Old Testament subjects the practical things learned from human experience to the revelation of God so that man can live the best possible moral and ethical life. Without a knowledge of God and willingness to follow Him, there cannot be true wisdom in man. Luis Goldberg described wisdom well saying it is “exhibiting God’s character in the many practical affairs of life.”
It is important to keep this Hebrew definition of wisdom in mind since we live in a society that is more prone to define wisdom by the Greek usage of sofiva / sophia as related to theoretical and philosophical based learning. The Merriam-Webster 11th edition dictionary defines wisdom as 1 a “accumulated philosophical or scientific learning,” b “ability to discern inner qualities and relationships,” c “good sense,” d “generally accepted belief,” 2 “a wise attitude, belief, or course of action,” 3 “the teachings of the ancient wise men.” The Oxford dictionary defines it as 1 “the quality of being wise” 2 “the body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period.” Notice that those definitions do not have any tie to truth or God.
It should also be noted that those definitions are very different from the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary which is very similar to the Hebrew concept even citing Scriptures to back up the definitions given. It’s main definition of wisdom is “The right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish this.” It adds, “wisdom is the exercise of sound judgment either in avoiding evils or attempting good.” It includes in its sub-points the definition for the “wisdom from above” which is “piety; godliness; the knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands,” and the definition for “the wisdom of this world” which is “mere human erudition; or the carnal policy of men, their craft and artifices in promoting their temporal interests.”
The apostle Paul points out the difference between these two types of wisdom in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. The wisdom of God is considered foolish by the wise of the world, but the foolishness of God is wiser than men and destroys the wisdom of the wise. The Greeks search for wisdom, but their wisdom from below is a stumbling block preventing them from knowing God. To those that are called, Christ is the power and wisdom of God.
Let me try to summarize. Wisdom is the ability to recognize the interconnections of knowledge gained by various means which form the basis to make decisions that will achieve desired objectives. As we saw from James 3:13-18 last week, worldly wisdom is based on knowledge from human and demonic sources to pursue objectives that are at best tainted with sinful desires. That is why it produces jealousy, selfish ambition, arrogance, lies, disorder and every evil practice. In contrast, godly wisdom can access both knowledge gained by human means and what is revealed by God to achieve objectives in harmony with God’s commands and purposes. That is why the wisdom from above is pure, peaceable gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, full of good fruits, unwavering and without hypocrisy.
Necessity of Knowledge
Before I continue on with wisdom, I need to talk about knowledge since wisdom must have a foundation in knowledge. Even Solomon prayed the Lord would give him wisdom and knowledge since his wisdom would be of little value without having the knowledge upon which to apply it (2 Chron. 1:10). First, be aware that knowledge is not just a cognitive acquisition of facts. The word used in Proverbs 1:7, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, is da’at, which has a broad meaning that is determined by context. Greek uses several words to express the broad range of ideas of what it means to know something.
One kind of knowledge is what you gain from information given to you about things. This could be something taught in a class, an instructional guide, something someone tells you, news, etc. As stated earlier, this was a major reason for the book of Proverbs. An example of this type of knowledge is all the reporting that has been / is being done about the current SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic, but the usefulness of such information is limited by the accuracy, clarity and breadth of the information reported. News media tend to be both simplistic and sensational in their reporting in order to attract readers and viewers. Accuracy is often dismal and at times contrary to truth. Clarity and breadth are greatly diminished by the simplifications or edited information given to support a particular agenda, and the amount of politics in all this has become nauseating. This is all made worse by inaccurate retelling of the news story. There are a lot of warnings in the Scriptures about talebearers, false witnesses and those who lie and we would all do well to heed them.
Technical information can be accurate and clear, but often loses breadth because it is usually focused on only one small part of an issue. In addition, technical information is often confusing or just plain incomprehensible to people without training in that area. In the case of COVID-19, it helps greatly to have training in biological sciences, diseases, epidemiology, public safety and some history too. If knowledge based on what is learned is not true, accurate, clear and properly broad in its context, it is detrimental. Media hysteria and governmental over reaction has resulted in the current fear and panic. For Diane and me, our training in the hard sciences, the biological sciences, medicine, experimental design and history help us greatly to both understand the technical information and properly evaluate competing claims within them. Our trust in the Lord is enough to keep us calm in a time when so many are in panic, and our training in these various areas of knowledge enable us to identify and discern between nonsense, exaggerations and falsehoods and what is sensible and true.
My point here is simple. The broader your areas of knowledge, provided you have been taught truth, the greater your ability to discern truth from error. Solomon was wise because he had a “breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29). He not only composed 3,000 proverbs – pithy statements of wisdom – he could speak about plants, animals, birds, fish, etc. (1 Kings 4:32-33). However, if your training is founded in premises that are false or the information you have been given is false, your training will actually lead you farther astray from the truth. That is why so many people with college degrees often seem to lack the common sense of those without them. Their training has robbed them of true knowledge they once had and replaced it with lies.
Be aware that our public institutions of learning and many of our private ones have been taken over by secular, progressive, neo-marxist philosophy. Evolution is taught as fact instead of the philosophy that it is and which pervades most disciplines blinding its adherents to the evidence in front of them. Most of the social sciences are skewed not only to leftist philosophy, but are also often crassly immoral. History, if it is taught at all, is revised to match the dominate anti-Christian, anti-American, anti-Western civilization propaganda. Racism is rampant, but disguised as “social justice.” Socialism is praised while capitalism is denigrated. There is good reason to homeschool your kids and not to send them off to college unless that college is thoroughly vetted that it will back up the worldview you have taught them at home. The “college experience” is very, very dangerous to the moral, social, and mental (ability to think rationally and independently) well being of your son or daughter.
Those who have inquisitive minds about many areas make the best teachers. Those whose training is too narrow will know the one subject well, but potential wisdom is removed by not being able to relate it to other subjects. Frankly, that is a common problem among PhD’s who have studied one narrow field for so long they are quite ignorant of other areas of knowledge.
Another type of knowledge is what is gained from experience. This includes the idea of having a relationship with someone instead of just knowing what you have been told about them. It is one thing to know about the Lord, and quite another to know the Lord. This kind of knowledge is also dependent on the accuracy and breadth of your experience. The experience people have had with SARS-CoV-2 in Lombardy, Italy is different from those on the Diamond Princess which is different from those in a younger population center. The near death experience of someone with COVID-19 is different from someone whose symptoms were so mild he did not know he had it. You must be very careful about projecting your experience upon others or deciding what is true based on your experiential knowledge.
I must quickly add here that your relationship with someone can be very different from someone else and therefore the knowledge gained. I have been often surprised by what was eventually revealed about a friend I thought I knew. People can be very good at presenting themselves to be one way with one group of friends and another way with a different set of friends.
There is also an internal moral knowledge that God has placed in man. Romans 1:18-21 is very clear on this point. The ungodly “suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” Verse 21 continues, “for even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in speculations and their foolish heart was darkened.” This internal moral knowledge is also referred to in Romans 2:15, “in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.” The knowledge from God is accurate, clear and broad, but man suppresses the truth in unrighteousness causing even his own conscience to be seared (1 Timothy 4:2) and to pay attention to liars and the doctrine of demons.
Finally, just to emphasize this again, the quality of knowledge is a critical factor in having sound wisdom. If your knowledge is untrue, faulty or even just incomplete, your wisdom, even if great, is on shaky ground leading to poor or even erroneous decisions. Much of what is currently reported in media about COVID-19 is not true because it lacks accuracy, clarity and the breadth of context resulting in government decisions that are draconian and counter intuitive. Example. You want people to keep spacial distance, yet restricting store hours causes exactly the opposite since the same amount of people have less time to get what they need which increases crowding. It does not help that even official government websites have contradictory information from one page to another.
This problem is much worse when it comes to spiritual matters. If you do not know and believe the truth of what God has declared about Himself, what He has done and what He requires of man, then you are more vulnerable to believe lies that will be put in front of you by people and the devil. That has been the problem for man since Genesis 1. Eve was deceived by Satan’s slander of God and enticements because she did not know God well enough to believe Him instead of Satan. She gave into her own desires. Adam joined here and plunged all mankind into sin and brought corruption upon creation. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and the only means to come to the Father (John 14:6). Jesus also said that God’s word is truth (John 17:17). Those who search for truth will find it in Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. Those who rely on the musings of man and demonic doctrine are entrapping themselves in a web of lies.
Foundations of Wisdom
Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10 are clear that the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
Knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord because you must have the right starting point in order to reach the right end point. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, there is a narrow gate and path that leads to life, and there is a wide gate and broad path that leads to destruction. Your end point will be determined by which gate you enter. To have a stable structure you must build upon on a firm foundation or it will eventually collapse. Jesus pointed this out in Matthew 7:24-27. Those who listen to His words and act upon them are like a house built on a rock that will stand when the storms come against it, but those who do not hear or heed His words to act upon them are like a house built on the sand which will collapse when the winds and flood come against it.
As I said last week, natural man can be very intelligent and can accomplish many great technological wonders, and with demonic assistance, can also come up with intriguing philosophies. However, faulty knowledge leads to faulty decisions and tragic results. The Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington was built in 1940 to the latest design specifications for a suspension bridge. It got the nickname, “Gallopin’ Gertie” from the bridge construction workers before it opened June 20, 1940. It collapsed on November 7, 1940 due to what is now known as aeroelastic flutter. The Bronx-Whitestone bridge is of the same design which is why the fiberglass fairings were added along both sides of the road deck.
It is one thing for an engineering project to fail due to faulty or insufficient knowledge. It is much worse when a life fails to achieve its purpose due to the same problems. Without the fear of the Lord, man’s starting point is either self-autonomy or fear of the wrong things. Both are foolish and both put you on the wide road leading to destruction.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge because it puts man back at the proper starting place for all knowledge. There is a God that has created you and the universe, so everything functions best according to His design. Directly related to this is that the fear of the Lord is also the beginning of wisdom, because it places man back into the proper response to His Creator which then allows him to seek the proper source of knowledge and make the proper connections between what is known in pursuit of proper objectives. Every human will be judged by God according to His standards, not man’s.
The word for fear in Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10 is ha2r5y3 / yir’â which has two components – terror and reverence. There should be a proper terror of the Lord in the heart of every sinner because they stand condemned by their holy, righteous and just Creator. They have not only missed the mark of keeping His perfect will in unrighteousness, but they have also disobeyed His law, rebelled against His rule, allowed iniquity to direct their hearts and walked the paths of evil. This is why Jesus gives such strong warnings such as Matthew 10:28,
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” He told the parable of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21 who acted in self autonomy planning what he would do, but God says to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” He was a fool because he was living his life for the wrong purpose. The natural man will in the end stand before God to be judged according to his deeds and condemned because of them. That includes those described in Titus 1:16 who “profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
Those without fear of the Lord have both a wrong starting and ending point. The premises upon which they build their understanding of life are wrong, and they pursue goals and purposes in life that end in vanity and ultimately judgment by God according to their deeds which will condemn them to eternal Hell. The terror of this horrible destiny should cause them to diligently search for a way to avoid it. That is the initial aspect of the fear of the Lord, and this terror is the necessary beginning of knowledge and wisdom. It places man on the quest for truth in both fact and application, knowledge and wisdom.
Without the fear of the Lord man will go his own way and reject true wisdom in favor of what is right in his own eyes as is declared in the second phrase of Proverbs 1:7, Fools despise wisdom and instruction. The fool is blinded by both the god of this age, Satan, and his own innate sinfulness and pride. He actually believes that his way is better than what has been declared by God, but it is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12). Though the evidence is all around him and overwhelming, he cannot perceive or understand it, and so he perverts the truth until it is deformed enough to fit into his own worldview. There is no hope for such a person until they are shaken enough to seek truth regardless of the cost. The terror of the Lord will do this.
There is one and only one solution for the terror of the Lord in His eternal condemnation of sinners, and it is not by redefining your sin, latching onto a false religion or philosophy to appease your guilt, ignoring it, finding a distraction from it, or getting drunk or stoned. Those things only delay the terror for it will be there in full measure when you stand before Him to be judged. The only solution is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God Himself intervened on behalf of man to pay the price of sin which is death. He grants forgiveness to those who accept this payment on their behalf. God remains just because the penalty of His law is satisfied. He is also merciful and gracious because He paid the redemption price Himself. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the righteous man looked forward to God’s promise of this sacrifice being completed. In the New Testament, we look back to the historical reality that this is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us.
Being justified by a gift of His grace, those who have placed their faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus are no longer terrorized by God’s presence or the future. Instead, we long for God’s presence and the fear of the Lord takes on its second component which is reverence. This is the proper respect due Him because He is Creator and we are His creatures, He is our Father and we are His children, He is our savior and Lord, and we love and serve Him. That reverence is the sign of our humility before Him, and humility is necessary in order to learn and mature. God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud. Pride is the mark of a fool, and that pride will result in a rejection of wisdom and instruction and so salvation too.
Make sure that your base of knowledge is founded in the Solid Rock of the Word of God for all other ground is sinking sand. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, 31. . . “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Make sure that the wisdom you are pursing is the godly wisdom from above and not the wisdom from below that is earthy, natural or demonic. Proverbs 28:26 summarizes, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” This also means you must be very careful about whom you allow to influence you for Proverbs 13:20 admonishes, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
What is your foundation for knowledge? What is your pursuit of wisdom? Who do you allow to influence you?
Sermon Notes – March 22, 2020
Foundations for Wisdom – Selected Scriptures
Godly wisdom responds _______________ in a crisis than earthly, natural and demonic wisdom
We are the body of Christ, a church _______, if you get sick or have need, let us know & we help each other
Our first priority is ________, and learning and living by His word is essential – Matthew 4:4
Be careful to follow proper __________ & safety procedures for yourself, but even more careful for others
_____________is an application of wisdom, & the reactions to COVID-19 show the need for godly wisdom
The need for wisdom is made greater by the Biblical __________that exists even in Bible teaching churches
Wisdom in general refers to a manner of thinking that ___________ knowledge to life
The Hebrew concept of wisdom ties it to the revelation of ________ and following His will
Greek concept of wisdom is related to theoretical and ____________ based on learning
Older English dictionaries define wisdom by the _______concept instead of the Greek as so the current ones
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 – ________recognizes the difference between Greek and Hebrew concepts of wisdom
Wisdom sees the relationships of gained knowledge by which ____________to achieve objectives are made
James 3:13-18 – the wisdom from above & wisdom from below have different _________ and results
Necessity of Knowledge
Wisdom must have a foundation in _____________ – but knowledge is not just an acquisition of facts
One type of knowledge is what is gained from ______________given to you – education, guides, news, talk
The usefulness of information is __________by the accuracy, clarity and breadth of the information reported
Technical information can be accurate & clear, but often loses _______due to a focus on only one small part
Knowledge that is not true, accurate, clear and properly broad in its context is _________________
The ____________ your areas of (true) knowledge, the greater your ability to discern truth from error
Training built on false premises and information will lead you farther ____________ from the truth
Both public & many private schools / colleges ___________in secular, progressive, neo-Marxist philosophy
Those who have ____________ minds about many areas make the best teachers
Another type of knowledge is gained through ____________ – including knowledge gained in relationships
Experiential knowledge is also dependent on the ___________ and breadth of the experience
Do not project your experience on others, or decide _________ based on your experiential knowledge
Different people can have very different experiences with the ____________ person
God gives to man an internal ________knowledge (Romans 1:18-21; 2:15), but man may suppress / reject it
The ___________ of knowledge is a critical factor in having sound wisdom
The quality of knowledge in spiritual matters is of critical importance to the destiny of the __________
Foundations of Wisdom
You must have the right ___________ point in order to reach the right end point – Matthew 7:13-14
A stable structure requires a _________ foundation – Matthew 7:2-27
Natural man can be very intelligent, but faulty knowledge results in _________decisions resulting in tragedy
Without the fear of the Lord, man’s starting point is either self-autonomy or fear of the _________ things
The fear of the Lord places man at the proper starting place for all knowledge – God is Creator & _________
Proverbs 1:7; 9:10 – “fear” has two components – __________ and reverence
Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:16-21; Titus 1:6 – Sinners should have a _________ of God
Terror of God places man on the quest for ________ in both fact & application, knowledge and wisdom
Fools pursue their own way & wisdom ________by Satan and his own selfishness & pride – Prov. 1:7; 14:12
The only solution to bring everlasting peace from the terror of the Lord is the ___________of Jesus Christ
Terror of God is replaced by _____________ for Him in believers who long for His presence
Make sure your base of knowledge is founded in ________ to know truth and be free – John 8:31-32
Make sure your wisdom comes from __________ and not below if you are to be delivered – Proverb s 28:26
To be wise, walk with __________ men and avoid fools – Proverbs 13:20
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times the Corona virus is referenced. 2) Talk with your parents how you can be at peace in the midst of danger instead of fearful like the world.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why do you think people have been panic buying the last two weeks? Why can Christians remain calm while the rest of society panics? What is the first priority for Christians? What are the proper procedures to protect yourself from getting the SARS-CoV-2 virus or transmitting it to others? What is discernment and what is its relationship to wisdom? What is the purpose of the book of Proverbs (1:2-6)? What is the Hebrew concept of wisdom? How does it differ from the Greek concept? How has the concept of wisdom changed in English speaking cultures (according to comparing old and new dictionaries)? What is the difference in origin and characteristics of the wisdom from above compared to the wisdom from below (James 3:13-18)? Give examples of knowledge that comes from information given to you about things? Why is the usefulness of such information limited by accuracy, clarity and breadth? How are news stories weak in these areas? What are the strengths and weaknesses of knowledge from technical information? Why is having a breadth of knowledge important? Why do many who are college graduates have less “common sense” than those who are not? Which would be better to become knowledgeable – earning a PhD in a narrow field or earning multiple Master’s in multiple disciplines? Explain. Why is having an inquisitive mind an asset for a teacher (or anyone)? How does experiential knowledge differ from knowledge gained from information sources? Why is experiential knowledge also dependent on accuracy and breadth? Why is it dangerous to project your experiences on others or determine truth based on experiences? What is the internal moral knowledge that God gives (Romans 1:18-21; 2:15)? What do most people do with that knowledge? Why is the quality of knowledge so crucial? What is the danger of not knowing the truth about what God has declared about Himself, what He has done and what He requires of man? Why is it necessary to have the right starting point in order to reach the right end? What is the right starting point for knowledge and wisdom? What is the starting point for those that do not have the fear of the Lord? What are the two components of fear in Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10? Why should the natural man be terrified of God? How does having a terror of God direct the natural man back to the right starting point? What is the only permanent solution to eliminate the terror of God? How is that solution appropriated? What then replaces that terror? What is your foundation for knowledge? What is your pursuit of wisdom? Whom do you allow to influence you?
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