All the Treasures of Wisdom, Part II

1 Cor 1.24, the Holy Ghost tells us that “Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God:” not the essential Wisdom of God, as he is the eternal Son of the Father (upon which account he is called “Wisdom” in the Proverbs, chap. 8.22-23); but as he is crucified, 1 Cor 1.23.  As he is crucified, so he is the wisdom of God; that is, all that wisdom which God layeth forth for the discovery and manifestation of himself, and for the saving of sinners, which makes foolish all the wisdom of the world, — that is all in Christ crucified; held out in him, by him, and to be obtained only from him.  And thereby in him do we see the glory of God, 2 Cor 3.18.  For he is not only said to be “the wisdom of God,” but also to be “make unto us wisdom,” 1 Cor 1.30.  He is made, not by creation, but ordination and appointment, wisdom unto us; not only by teaching us wisdom (by a metonymy of the effect for the cause), as he is the great prophet of his church, but also because by the knowing of him we become acquainted with the wisdom of God, — which is our wisdom . . . This, however verily promised, is thus only be be had.  The sum of what is contended for is asserted in terms, Col 2.3, “In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

There are two things that might seem to have some colour in claiming a title and interest in this business: — 1. Civil wisdom and prudence, for the management of affairs; 2. Ability of learning and literature; — but God rejecteth both these, as of no use at all to the end and intent of true wisdom indeed.  There is in the world that which is called “understanding;”  but it comes to nothing.  There is that which is called “wisdom;” but it is turned into folly, 1 Cor 1.19, 20, “God brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent, and makes foolish this wisdom of the world.”  And if there be neither wisdom nor knowledge (as doubtless there is not), without the knowledge of God, Jer 8.9, it is all shut up in the Lord Jesus Christ: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him.”  He is not seen at another time, John 1.18, nor known upon any other account, but only the revelation of the Son.  He hath manifested him from his own bosom; and therefore, verse 9, it is said that he is “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” — the true Light, which hath it in himself: and none hath any but from him; and all have it who come unto him.  He who doth not so, is in darkness.

John Owen, Communion with God, vol 2 of 16, 79-80.


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