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Series: “The Manifold Wisdom of God”
Title: “To God Only Wise”
Text: Romans 16:27
Subject: The Wisdom of God
Readings: Merle Hart and Cody Henson
The Apostle Paul was inspired to close the Book of Romans with a marvellous pronouncement of grace upon sinners like us, sinners who trust the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at Romans 16:24-27 with me. This benediction, this blessing of grace, is for…
Have you found it — (Romans 16:24-27)?
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
“25 ¶ Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. — Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.” (Romans 16:24-27)
I take the title Paul gives to our great God in verse 27 for my subject tonight. — “To God Only Wise.” That is my subject, Romans 16:27 — “To God Only Wise.” I have been trying, for the past several weeks to show you something of the manifold wisdom of God in his great works of redemption and grace in the salvation of our souls. Tonight, I will wrap up this brief series by trying to show you something of the wisdom of God in his character as God — “To God Only Wise.”
Three times in the New Testament the Lord our God is called “the only wise God” (Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; Jude 25).
(Romans 16:27) To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 1:17) Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25) (24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is the proper and best use of knowledge. And the Lord our God, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, possesses all wisdom. He is “the only wise God” (Job 12:12-13; Daniel 2:20-21).
(Job 12:12-13) (12) With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. (13) With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.
(Daniel 2:20-21) (20) Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: (21) And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
AN ATTRIBUTE OF GOD
Like goodness, sovereignty, power, and holiness, wisdom is an attribute of God’s perfect, infinite Being. God is wise, perfectly wise, supremely wise, and consummately wise. And his wisdom should inspire our hearts with confidence in him and praise to him.
God is exclusively wise. That is to say, in comparison with him, no one else possesses any wisdom at all. God the Father is wise. God the Son is the embodiment of wisdom. And God the Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom. But in comparison with the wisdom possessed by the infinite God, no one else has any wisdom at all.
We have very little wisdom in natural things and none in spiritual things, by nature. And if we attain any, it is by the gift of God. We are wise to do evil. But to do good, we have no knowledge. God alone is wise. Wisdom belongs to God exclusively.
God is all-wise. He possesses all wisdom regarding all things. And he is wise in all his glorious Being. Everything God is is wise. And everything he does reflects his wisdom. There is no defect or lack of wisdom in him with respect to anything.
Men may be wise in some things and foolish in others. But God is wise in everything. No man is always wise. Sometimes the wisest of men say and do foolish things, but not God. Neither his Word nor his works can be charged with folly.
God is essentially wise. Wisdom is his nature and essence. Wisdom is what God is. As God is Love, as God is Spirit, as God is Goodness, so God is Wisdom. Without wisdom, he would not be God.
Moreover, God is the source and fountain of all wisdom. Whatever wisdom there is in the universe among angels and men it comes from God. He is the Author and Giver of wisdom. The angels of heaven get their wisdom from God. The great men of the earth get their wisdom from God. All the wisdom that Adam had in innocence, or his sons have in the earth, even all the wisdom that Solomon possessed, is wisdom given, bestowed and maintained by God.
Wisdom is the Gift of God (James 1:5).
· Mechanical wisdom.
· Musical wisdom.
· Scientific wisdom.
· Domestic wisdom.
· Moral wisdom.
· Political wisdom.
· Economic wisdom.
· Spiritual wisdom.
Wisdom in the hidden part, the fear of God in your soul, is the gift of God. Whatever wisdom there is in any of us, God put it there.
He who gives wisdom to the wise is the infinitely wise God. The wisdom of God is unsearchable. Its depth cannot be fathomed. It cannot be traced and found out to perfection (Romans 11:33; Job 11:6-9; 28:12-23).
(Romans 11:33-36) (33) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
(Job 11:6-9) (6) And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (7) Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? (8) It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? (9) The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
(Job 28:12-23) (12) But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? (13) Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. (14) The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. (15) It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. (16) It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. (17) The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. (18) No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. (19) The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. (20) Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? (21) Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. (22) Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. (23) God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
Though God’s wisdom cannot be found out to perfection, there are some glaring, bright, and shining, striking appearances of it which are edifying and comforting to behold.
The wisdom of God is manifest in his purposes and decrees which are his counsels of old (Isaiah 25:1).
(Isaiah 25:1) O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Usually, the wisest acts of men are the results of thoughtful deliberation and sober consultation. Therefore, God’s eternal decrees are called “his counsels of old.” God did not need to deliberate or consult with any about what he would do. But his decrees and purposes, being fixed by the highest wisdom are called his “counsels.”
God, in his infinite understanding of all things, knew from eternity what is best to be done. And by wisdom he decreed it according to the good pleasure of his will. He appointed the end of all things and ordained the best means to accomplish that end. In predestination, he set the proper time for the accomplishment of all things and guarded his purpose against everything that might hinder its accomplishment.
The end for which God ordained all things is his own glory (Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:3-14).
(Ephesians 1:3-14) (3) 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.
The beneficiaries of God’s purposes and decrees are his own elect, whom he has predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ in everlasting salvation (Ephesians 1:5-6, 11; Romans 9:23; 11:33-36). God’s eternal purpose of grace in election and predestination is revealed for the glorifying of his grace in saving sinners.
In order to accomplish his eternal purpose of grace, God has wisely ordained the time, season, place, and end of all things under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11, 14, 17).
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-17) (1) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: (2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; (3) A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; (4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (5) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; (6) A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; (7) A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; (8) A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. (9) What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? (10) I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. (11) He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (12) I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. (13) And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. (14) I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. (15) That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. (16) And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. (17) I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.
Though there are many devices formed to overthrow God’s purpose and thwart his decree, they are all vain. God not only disappoints the devices of the crafty, he uses their devices to accomplish his own wise designs (Psalm 76:10). His counsel will stand. And he will do all his pleasure (Isaiah 46:10). The thoughts of his heart, his decrees, shall be performed unto all generations.
God not only overthrows, but wisely and sovereignly uses the deeds of the wicked to accomplish his holy pleasure.
The wisdom of God is marvellously revealed in the covenant of grace (Hebrews 8:10-12).
(Hebrews 8:10-12) (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: (11) And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
(Jeremiah 31:31-34) (31) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: (32) Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: (33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (34) And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
(Jeremiah 32:37-42) (37) Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: (38) And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: (39) And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: (40) And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. (41) Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. (42) For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.
It was wisdom in God that devised such a covenant and moved him to make it, ordered in all things and made it sure, for the glory of the Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and for the everlasting salvation of his elect.
God’s wisdom is revealed for all to behold in his wondrous works of creation (Psalms 104:24; 136:3-5; Proverbs 3:19-20; Jeremiah 10:12).
· In the Luminous Heavens Above — Sun — Stars — Moon.
· In the Atmospheric Heavens — Clouds — Rain — Snow — Seasons.
· In the Earth — Climates — Vegetation — Beasts — Bodies of Various Animals — The Human Body (Psa. 139:14-17).
(Psalm 139:14-17) (14) I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
(Psalm 104:24) O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
(Psalm 136:3-5) (3) O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever. (4) To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. (5) To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth forever.
(Proverbs 3:19-20) (19) The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (20) By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
(Jeremiah 10:12) He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
We behold the wisdom of our great God in his wise and adorable providence (Romans 8:28). God’s providential rule is…
But, above all else the wisdom of God is revealed in the redemption and salvation of sinners by Christ (Ephesians 1:7-8).
(Ephesians 1:3-8 (3) 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.
Wisdom and prudence are displayed in other works of God. But all wisdom and prudence are displayed in the great works of grace by which we are saved. Behold the wisdom of God in...
The wisdom of God shines forth brilliantly in the gospel, the good news of salvation by christ (1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:10). — Christ is the Gospel; and Christ is the wisdom of God (Proverbs 8:12-31; 1 Corinthians 1:24).
· The Doctrine of the Gospel — Free Justification and Pardon.
· The Ordinances of the gospel.
· The Standing Ministry of the Gospel.
· Its Messengers — Frail men
· Its Instrumentality — Faith — Comfort — Edification.
· Its Preservation — “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.”
· Its Success.
(Ephesians 3:8-21) (8) Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (9) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (10) To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, (11) According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: (12) In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. (13) Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (14) For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (15) Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, (16) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (17) That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; (19) And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (20) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (21) Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.