Summary: this is sermon 5 in a series talking about spiritual blessings we overlook many times

Seven Spiritual Blessings

Part 5

Wisdom & Understanding

Foundational Text: Eph. 1:3-14

Text: Eph. 1:8

Intro: We have been looking for the past couple of weeks at spiritual blessings

- these are blessings that we overlook many times

- the reason it is so important for us to recognize and apply these spiritual blessings to our lives is because we are spiritual beings

We make decisions based on our spirit

- if our spirit is week we will make our decisions based on emotion and feelings

- if our spirit is strong we will make decisions based on righteousness and the word of God

- for this very reason Gods greatest blessings for your life are spiritual

We looked at our first spiritual blessing Holy and Blameless

- Jesus made it possible for us to be above reproach

- Without guilt and shame

- This means the devil can no longer approach God and accuse us of our past sins

- We are above reproach

- We are protected

- The only way the devil can lay claim to us again is to tempt us or entice us away from God

- He can not come in and get us he has to draw us out

Our second spiritual blessing we looked at was predestined adoption

- we were not an after thought in the mind of God

- He had mad a plan for us from before the foundations of the earth

- We were not an accident

- God had predetermined that He was going to make a way for us

- This also implies that God has a predetermined purpose and plan for each of us

- We were adopted into His family as sons and daughters for a purpose

- God chose us He wanted us from the very beginning

Then we looked at redemption

- we were ransomed

- bought with a price

- we were hopelessly lost with no way out then Jesus came and purchased us

- the blessing of redemption is that now our eyes are open

- we are now able to see things the rest of the world doesn’t have a clue about

- we were also redeemed for a purpose to help others see that same light

- we now have purpose in life a reason for living

Read foundational text:

Ephesians 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Our focus tonight is going to be on Vs 8

Let’s look at it again

Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

I. Wisdom

God has given us as a blessing wisdom and understanding

This is something so lacking in the world today

- it is also something so needed

- especially if we are to make sound judgments

- if we are to make right decisions in life

God does not just expect us to make the right decisions but He has given us the tools to make those decisions

- He has given us the spiritual weapons

- The intelligence and wisdom

- To make right spiritual decisions

As we looked earlier the whole purpose of these spiritual blessings is to strengthen our spirit

- enabling us to make Godly decisions based on truth and righteousness

Notice were these spiritual blessings come from

They come from Jesus Christ

True wisdom and understanding is not something that can be acquired in the world

- it is not something that can be learned in school

- or taught in a collage

- it is something that only God can give

He gives this through

- the Holy Spirit

- through Pastors

- through discipleship

- through Godly council

And a measure of this He gives us at salvation

How does He do that?

He does it by opening our eyes

- giving us the ability to see

- it ties in with last weeks message on redemption

- the moment you are saved you begin to see things the rest of the world has no clue about

The world can gain all types of knowledge

- we can put men in flight

- even put men on the moon

- we have learned many things

- yet still man is unable to see some of the most basic truths

- truths that many Sunday school kids already know

Things like

- man is a sinner

- that he is hopelessly lost

- and the only answer for man is Jesus

- most of our children have a greater understanding of eternal spiritual truths than many a collage professor

2 Timothy 3:7-9 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

This is a picture of the age in which we live

Men think they know it all

- they think we are the week minded ones

- what has happened is they have become corrupt in their minds

Acts 26:24-25 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.

25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

The world thinks we are crazy

- they think we have lost our minds

- just as Festus accused Paul of being insane the world points its finger at us

- but the reality is we have had our eyes opened and we now see clearly

This word wisdom is the Greek word ‘sophia’ it means seeing and knowing the truth

Wisdom is actually not a very good translation a better word would be knowledge

- it ties in with word knowledge but it is much more than that

- it is the knowledge that only Jesus can give

- it is a revelation of the greater truths of life

- it sees the answers to the problems of life and death

- it is the knowledge of eternal truths

- it is the knowledge of good and evil

- it a revelation of the deep things of God

- and the longer you serve God

- the longer you study is word

- the more you give yourself to discipleship

- the deeper the revelations and understanding

Do you see what a blessing this is?

God has given us the knowledge and wisdom to make right decisions

- we are able to make spiritual decisions on spiritual truths

- we do not have to bass them on our own understanding

- on our feelings

- on our emotions

This is were the old adage comes from “IN the kingdom of God 2+2 does not always equal 4” comes from

- we may not understand it in the physical

- it may not even make sense to us

- yet we are still able to make the right decision because God has given us wisdom

ILL. If you look at tithing in the natural eyes it does not make sense

- if I give ten percent of my income away I will have less

- that makes sense in the natural

- yet in the kingdom of God it always works out that when you are faithful with your tithes

- when you give the ten percent you have more

- the ninety percent just seams to go further

This is the wisdom of God at work in your life

- the ability to make the right decision based on His wisdom not ours

- this is a great spiritual blessing

- it is like having inside knowledge on the stock market

- we can’t loose

II. Understanding

In our verse it says He will give us wisdom and understanding or prudence

How do these two differ?

In the Greek the word for prudence is ‘phronesis’

This speaks more of a practical knowledge

It the same as common sense

- seeing how to do something

- it is more than just seeing the truth but it is knowing the direction to take to reach the truth

- it is understanding

- it is the ability to solve day to day problems

An example would be the religious world or even the Pharisees in the bible

- they had a knowledge of spiritual truths

- they were theologians and scholars

- Yet they did not have the common sense to apply it to their lives

This is the ability to be more than a hearer of the word

God has given us the understanding to apply and do the word

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

We are to have more than a knowledge of God

We are to put that knowledge to use in our lives and in the fulfilling of His purpose for our lives

Barclay says when speaking about wisdom “There are two types of people, one who is at home and familiar with the theological and philosophical problems, yet is helpless in the ordinary everyday affairs of life. Then there is another who claims to be a practical man and engages in the business of living yet has no clue about the ultimate things of life”

The great spiritual blessing here is that Jesus has given us a completeness of character

- we don’t have to be ever learning and never doing

- or always doing and never learning

- but He has given us the ability to do both

- to be complete

“Knowledge is knowing a fact but prudence and commonsense is knowing what to do with it”

Jesus has given us all the tools we need to make righteous decisions

The problem is sometimes we just don’t want to listen

- we know most of the time what we need to do

- we just don’t want to put forth the effort to do it

- or doing what we know is right will cost us so we don’t do it

- or doing what is right is not what we feel like

- so we allow are feelings to over rule the good sense that God has given you

In fact we are left without excuse because even if you lack understanding and prudence all you have to do is ask and He is willing to give it

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

God has given us every tool we need to make sound spiritual decisions and when we stand before Him we will be without excuse

We may not always understand it in our analytical minds

- it may not always seam reasonable

- or it may not even seam logical

If we will trust God and lean not to our own understanding He has given us the ability to navigate life and make heaven our home