“To one has been given a word of wisdom by the Spirit”
The two terms, logos sophias (word of wisdom) and logos gnoseos (word of knowledge) are difficult to distinguish and to fully understand exactly what Paul is referring to. The difference between them is the subject of much conjecture and debate. I don’t wish to get into the depth of the debate. Let’s stay at a layman’s level of understanding.
Many believe the “word of wisdom” is the outworking of doctrine and systematic thought related to biblical truth. Adam Clarke in his commentary on the Bible says “It is very difficult to say what is intended here by the different kinds of gifts mentioned by the apostle: they were probably all supernatural, and were necessary at that time only for the benefit of the Church.” The idea being something that happened in the earlier stages of Christendom to establish the basic doctrines, I don’t agree with that. Revelation is to a degree still going on today as we come to understand Biblical passages clearer. Oh yes the basic lines of doctrine and theology are drawn but the word of wisdom must mean more than that for it has been given individually for the common good in each generation.
Most think the word of wisdom relates to the deep, mysterious, and subtle doctrines of the Gospel, the wonderful scheme of salvation through the incarnation, sufferings, and death of Christ. I think the sense of this gift is when God opens up understanding on the significance of certain verses or connection between them in ways that come to you as a revelation in a moment in time. This is not to be interpreted as the understanding that comes as a result of study or man’s intellectual effort. That would not be a manifestation gift. This refers to those moments of revelation that come in an instant but take days or weeks of unpacking. The knowledge of mysteries, the depth of prophecies, the significance of types and typologies, the revelation of allusions being made, the connections related to deeper, more mysterious or hidden aspects of the Scripture. But all of this revelation is related to Scripture. It is gaining deeper understanding of the text of Scripture but without necessarily having studied it. Those a-ha moments when God’s revelation hits you hard and deep and stays with you for the rest of your life. I have had many of them and treasure them and have already shared some of them with you in the context of Bible Gems since I began on 9th September 2009 [09/09/09].
On the other hand there are those who want to intellectualise the term. Read this from one of the commentaries and you will see what I mean. “Pearce and Dr. Whitby observe, the mystery of our redemption, in which the wisdom of God was most eminently conspicuous and which is called the manifold wisdom of God. Christ, the great teacher of it, is called the wisdom of God and in him are said to be contained all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” From my point of view this stuff doesn’t help. It is a merely an intellectual approach to Scripture which when said leaves us wondering if anything was said at all.
The understanding of “the word of wisdom” must be determined in the light of it being a manifestation gift and displaying God’s supernatural revelatory nature, not man’s ability to intellectualise. It is one of a list of supernatural gifts which are designed to make God known. Revealing Him as God; manifesting Him as the Almighty. It is that which makes me think “words of wisdom” relate to those moments of revelation which come to us without us even seeking them or if we are seeking them hit us “out of the blue” and give understanding in an instant of time. Have you experienced those moments? I would like to think we all have but talking with people over the years I am not so sure.
But I leave you today with the thought that the difference between the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge is a mystery to many. There is a subtlety between the two which although I may think I have it worked out may not indeed be the case at all. Keep digging people. Tomorrow we will look specifically at the Word of Knowledge.
There is one recent “word of knowledge”I received that I would love to share with you but choose to keep it to myself until Deeper Bible Level 701. I had been seeking confirmation to something from God related to a Bible mystery for a long time – years. Because I wanted to include it in DB 701 I laid it out and told the Lord I would not share it unless He confirmed that what I was thinking was right. Oh boy did He confirm it. What happened left me with goosebumps on my goosebumps. Lying on my bed in the wee small hours of the morning I received a Greek word in my mind that I had never known before which was the key to unlocking the puzzle. Then when I woke up later and dug into it, the reading for the day confirmed what I had been given in the night. I knew deep down inside that I had been given a Word of Wisdom.
Never Be Caught In The Trap Of Knowing Too Much And Doing Too Little.Robb Thompson
Today we’re inundated with information, flooded with facts, & drowning in data while dying of thirst for true wisdom.Rick Warren