Summary: PROVERBS – Wisdom for Right Living #1 What is the purpose of the fear of the Lord in the life of the believer?
What has brought the American culture to the place where we are today? Last week we touched on four philosophies or ways of thinking common among people today. These are not new ways of thinking; they have been around for a long time. We have just put our own spin on them as Americans.
INDIVIDUALISM – I live for myself.
• Judges 17:6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. (NIV)
SECULARISM – God is not necessary.
• Romans 1:21-23 What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.  They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.  They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. (MsgB)
RELATIVISM – There is no absolute truth.
• Ephesians 4:17-19 With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused.  Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him.  They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. (NLT)
TOLERANCE – All ideas are equally right and true; politically correct.
• 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives.  Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (NLT)
What is the solution to the problem in the American culture? What’s the answer to these incorrect and misguided ways of thinking?
The short answer is THE CHURCH! It is time for the church in America to raise its voice and proclaim the truth of God’s word in our nation once again.
Here’s the hard part of the answer; we must have more than just “biblically correct” sermons preached in our worship services, or bible doctrine taught in our Sunday School classes.
We cannot forget that the church is not made of bricks and mortar; YOU AND I ARE THE CHURCH. We must individually live out the absolute truth of God’s word to authenticate or prove the written and spoken word of God
These patterns of thinking affect the way we live our lives; even within the church we must be on guard against these world views. The Bible tells us to not conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
• Romans 12:2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (MsgB)
So how can the church be the authentic church of Jesus Christ in our world today? How can you and I live out the reality of the power of God’s word before our family and friends?
We need WISDOM FOR RIGHT LIVING. Anyone can live their life the wrong way with little or no effort, but right living calls for wisdom. Therefore we are going to turn our attention over the next several weeks to the book of Proverbs. Put simply, a proverb is a short, wise, easy-to-learn saying that calls a person to action; proverbs show us how to live from God’s perspective.
Proverbs 1:1-7 (MsgB)
 These are the wise sayings of Solomon, David’s son, Israel’s king—
 Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right, to understand what life means and where it’s going;
 A manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair;
 To teach the inexperienced the ropes and give our young people a grasp on reality.
 There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
 still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate, the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
These opening verses of Proverbs show us two things: first why wisdom is needed and second we learn our starting point.
WHY IS WISDOM NEEDED? Why should you and I study the book of Proverbs?