February 7, 2016 Series: Proverbs: Wisdom and Human Flourishing
Topic: Wisdom Passage: Proverbs 2:1–2:22
As we move forward in our study of the Book of Proverbs we are now in chapter 2 which is all about the doctrine of sanctification, or to put it more simply, the process of change. How do we change? What are the dynamics of change? All of us, as Christians, want to change. We struggle with issues of identity, relationships, the practical stuff of life. How do we grow towards God’s goal of wholeness, maturity, completion, conformity to the image of Christ? Proverbs 2 opens the door to this process and it does so in two ways. We will explore this by looking at two words. The first is renewal. Gospel renewal. It is interesting to see again in this text that it begins with the words, “My son.” The words are addressed to one who is already his son. So this is not a text on how to become a Christian but how to grow as a Christians. It is crucial that we understand the difference between the doctrines of justification and sanctification. Confusion in these doctrines create chaos in our lives. The second word is deliverance. The word deliver is used twice in vv.12-22 and it is interesting to note that both instances have to do with the use of our words. In our growth in sanctification, wisdom promises us deliverance from men of perverted speech (v.12) and the woman of smooth words (v.16). How much in our practical holiness do we have to pay attention to our speech and words?
How do we experience deliverance from these things? Only through gospel of Jesus Christ. Our sanctification occurs from our learning to apply the gospel and its power to our lives. The text we are exploring promises that “The upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it” (v.21). What is the land? In the Old Testament it is the place of blessing, life and the intimate presence of God. And how is this promise accomplished? From the perspective of the New Testament we see that it is fulfilled in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was cast out from the presence of God on the cross so that we could be delivered from sin, death and hell. In a sense Jesus lost the land so that we would never lose the presence of God.