True Wisdom – Gospel in Life

True Wisdom

Tim Keller |  September 12, 2004

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  • Understanding the Gospel
Proverbs 8:10-16; 22-31
RS 178-01


We live in a pluralistic society, which results in people continually fighting about morality. They’re fighting about different views on what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. In many ways this was different in ancient societies because on the whole, there was generally more consensus on morality in each society. There were spoken and unspoken rules that were necessary for the society to exist.

If you’re going to not make an absolute mess of your life, then there is something very important that you must have. The secular culture talks about science and facts, and the moral communities — the churches and synagogues — talk about morality, but actually what we need is something that’s hardly talked about at all nowadays. It’s not identical to knowledge, and it’s not identical even to moral goodness; it’s wisdom. Today we’re going to look at 1) the importance of wisdom, 2) the definition of wisdom, 3) the problem of wisdom, and 4) a clue to its solution.

Proverbs 8:10–16, 22–31

In our diverse world, simply following rules isn’t enough to navigate life’s challenges. We need wisdom, something often overlooked in a society focused on facts and rules. The book of Proverbs highlights the need for wisdom, what it means, the problems we face without it, and how it can help us avoid chaos in our lives.

1. The importance of wisdom

Wisdom is more important than wealth, fame, and power for living a successful life. It’s not just about being morally right; it requires deep understanding of life’s complexities. Decisions can’t always be made based on rules or facts alone. Life without wisdom can lead to unhappiness, proving that wisdom is more valuable than any material thing.

2. The definition of wisdom

According to Proverbs, wisdom includes understanding the true nature of the world, being able to distinguish between subtle differences, and knowing how to act in life’s situations. The story of Absalom and David shows the powerful impact of wisdom. Absalom’s lack of wisdom led him to make disastrous choices and eventually fall from grace. This proves that wisdom is more significant and character-defining than we might think.

3. The problem of wisdom

The wisdom we need is fundamental to our world and was with God when He created it. This wisdom shows a pattern in everything – physical, relational, and spiritual. Living in alignment with this pattern brings wisdom, going against it causes problems. Knowing this pattern, even if we don’t fully understand it, helps us avoid being too rigid or dismissive. This is the first step towards gaining true wisdom.

4. The clue to the solution

While Proverbs encourages us to study and discuss together, this is often overlooked. Wisdom in Proverbs is not just an idea but a relationship, fully embodied in Jesus Christ. The life and teachings of Jesus Christ are the ultimate source of wisdom, offering comfort and insight.



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