Who is Wise?

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beast, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

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“Who is wise and understanding among you; let him show his works out of the good conduct, in the humility of wisdom.” (James 3:13 Berean Literal Bible)

This natural wisdom is good. Without acknowledging Christ, a man can be a successful engineer. Without acknowledging Christ, a woman can start and operate a successful business. God provides natural wisdom and spiritual wisdom, but the two aren’t similar. He imparts natural talents, gifts, and personality traits. People develop skills without acknowledging Christ. However, without the Holy Spirit, if we claim to know anything we confuse “knowledge” with our unfounded opinions. Once we mix those two, we can’t know anything since we can’t sort the truth from the gibberish. We can feel like we know things, but we can never be sure about anything. We may have truth since God reveals reality to us, but we don’t know the difference between revealed truth and imagined speculation. We can’t discern between truth and made-up stuff. Remember, we’re defining knowledge as precise, accurate, and absolutely certain knowledge of truth.

God has also written some knowledge on the conscience of every person. We could call this natural knowledge, but it is revealed knowledge. We don’t know the extent of what God wrote or when God wrote it, but we know this knowledge comes from God. This knowledge is truth, but we can’t know that it’s truth unless we acknowledge that it comes from God. And the human conscience isn’t always reliable. A conscience can be weak, wounded, seared, defiled, or even evil. (1 Corinthians 8:12, 1 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:15, Hebrews 10:22) What God wrote was pure, but we’re influenced by those around us, by demonic entities, and by our own weak reasoning and speculation. These influences cause impurity in the conscience. Without the light of the Holy Spirit, we have no way to know the difference between what’s pure and what’s impure.

“For when Gentiles, not having the Law, do by nature the things of the Law, these not having the Law are a law to themselves, who show the work of the Law, written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and the thoughts between one another accusing or also defending them” (Romans 2:14-15 Berean Literal Bible)

“who having known the righteous judgment of God, that those doing such things are worthy of death, not only are practicing them, but are also approving of those practicing them.” (Romans 1:32 Berean Literal Bible)
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