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Tuesday
Apr172012

Theological Term of the Week

wisdom of God
The perfection of God whereby he knows and chooses the best and highest goals, and assuredly attains them by the best possible means; “that perfection of God whereby He applies his knowledge to the attainment of His ends in a way which glorifies Him most”;1also called omnisapience.

  • From scripture:
  • O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24 ESV)
    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33 ESV)
    …so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:10 ESV)
  • From The Belgic Confession:
    Article 1: The Only God

    We all believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that there is a single and simple spiritual being, whom we call God — eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; completely wise, just, and good, and the overflowing source of all good.

  • From Knowing God by J. I.Packer:
  • What does the Bible mean when it calls God wise? In Scripture, wisdom is a moral as well as an intellectual quality, more than mere intelligence of knowledge, just as it is more than mere cleverness or cunning. For us to be truly wise, in the Bible sense our intelligence and cleverness must be harnessed to a right end. Wisdom is the power to see, and the inclination to choose, the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.
    Wisdom is, in fact, the practical side of moral goodness. As such, it is found in its fullness only in God. He alone is naturally and entirely and invariably wise. “His wisdom ever waketh,” says the hymn, and it is true. God is never other than wise in anything that he does. Wisdom, as the old theologians say, is his essence, just as power, and truth, and goodness, are his essence—integral elements, that is, in his character.
  • From A Body of Doctrinal Divinity by John Gill:
  • The wisdom of God shines in the Gospel, the good news of salvation by Christ; in its doctrines, and in its ordinances; that itself is called, “the wisdom of God in a mystery; the hidden wisdom; the manifold wisdom of God”; (1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:10) every doctrine is a display of it; to instance only in justification, and the pardon of sin. Justification is by the free grace of God, and yet in strict justice; grace provided Christ to work out a righteousness; grace accepts of it in the room and stead of sinners, and grace imputes it to them: the righteousness of Christ, by which men are justified, is commensurate to the law and justice of God; so that “God is just, while the justifier of him that believes in Jesus”: the grace of faith is wisely appointed to receive this righteousness; it is of faith, that it might appear to be of grace, and that pride and boasting might be excluded; which, had any other been appointed, would not have been so apparent; this being a soul humbling, a soul emptying grace, which receives all from God, and gives him all the glory: pardon of sin is of free grace, and yet through the blood of Christ; and is both an act of grace and of justice; God is just and faithful to forgive it, as well as gracious and merciful; he forgives sin, and takes vengeance on the inventions of the sinner: pardon proceeds upon the foot of satisfaction, which grace provides; and so both grace and justice agree in it, and are glorified by it: the ordinances of the Gospel are wisely instituted to answer the end of them; baptism to represent the overwhelming sufferings of Christ, his burial, and resurrection from the dead: the ordinance of the supper, to show forth his death; the bread broken is a proper emblem of his broken body; the wine poured out, of his blood shed, and his soul poured out unto death for sinners. Wisely has God appointed men, and not angels, to minister the word and administer ordinances; “men of the same passions with others”; who may be heard and conversed with, without dread and terror; frail, mortal men, earthen vessels, in which this treasure is put, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of men; and a standing ministry is wisely fixed, to be continued to the end of the world, for the use, relief, refreshment, and comfort of God’ people, as well as the conversion of sinners; and all for the glory of God.
Learn more:
  1. Bob Deffinbaugh: The Wisdom of God
  2. John Gill: Of the Wisdom of God
  3. Thomas Watson: The Attributes of God
  4. Stephen Charnock: Discourse on the Wisdom of God
  5. Robert Reymond: God’s Wisdom (mp3)
Related terms:

Filed under God’s Nature and His Work.

This week’s Theological Term was suggested by Meredith. Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks! That's wonderful. It's such a lovely subject to do some reading on. Thanks for taking up the suggestion.

April 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

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