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Sunday, June 27, 2010

[Matt's Messages] "All The Treasures of Wisdom"

“All the Treasures of Wisdom” 
Family Bible Week Finale
June 27, 2010
Colossians 2:1-8

You might be surprised that we’re going to Colossians this morning.  If you haven’t been at Family Bible Week, then you might expect to go to the Gospel of Luke because we’ve been there since last September and have only gotten up into chapter 13 so far.  When I return from vacation, we’ll pick back up in Luke 13.

If you had been at Family Bible Week this week, you might expect us to turn to the Book of Proverbs.

We’ve been studying the wisdom of the Proverbs all week long in the kids classes and in the Adult Class.  And it’s been a great week.

On Monday, the adults learned about the book of Proverbs as a whole.  And the call to embrace Lady Wisdom instead of Lady Folly.

On Tuesday, the adult class learned about how to a typical biblical proverb is constructed and how to unpack it.  It’s a little like a Lifesaver candy.  You stick in your mind and then suck on it all day long, letting its juicy sugary goodness soak into you.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we learned about how to apply the proverbs to our lives–the challenges of doing so and the life-themes that are the most prevalent in the book.

We’ve learned a lot.  But there is one more topic to dwell on when it comes to the wisdom of the proverbs and that is where they find their fullest fulfillment.

And that is in Jesus Christ.

We just sang “W-I-S-D-O-M” saying that there is something greater than the latest toy and the jewels or gold or anything money can buy and it’s WISDOM.

And then we sang, “There is Nothing Better Than Jesus.”

And there is no contradiction between those two songs.

Here’s why.  Because as 1 Corinthians chapter 1, verse 30 says, “Jesus Christ has become for us the Wisdom of God.”

Jesus is the wisdom of God.

And Paul says even more in our text for today, especially in verse 3 where he says, “In whom [that is, Christ] are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

In Christ are hidden “All of the Treasures of Wisdom!”

Let’s start today with a trick question.

Ready for a trick question?

It’s not a hard one, really, I’ve already alerted you to the answer.

But humor me for a second, I’m going on vacation.  And I’ve been trying to humor you all week at Family Bible Week.

Trick question: Who is the wisest king who ever lived?

This week, our adult class was considering the book of Proverbs which begins with these words: “The Proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.”

Now, we learned that Solomon didn’t write all of the proverbs in the book.  It is a compilation book with several authors.  And Solomon was either the final editor or the first editor so that the rest book carries his authorial weight.

But was Solomon qualified to write on wisdom?

If you can do it quickly, turn over to 1 Kings chapter 4 and look with me at Solomon’s resume.  Starting in verse 21.

“And Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. These countries brought tribute and were Solomon's subjects all his life.  Solomon's daily provisions were thirty cors of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, ten head of stall-fed cattle, twenty of pasture-fed cattle and a hundred sheep and goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roebucks and choice fowl.  For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides. 

During Solomon's lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, each man under his own vine and fig tree.  Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses.  The district officers, each in his month, supplied provisions for King Solomon and all who came to the king's table. They saw to it that nothing was lacking.  They also brought to the proper place their quotas of barley and straw for the chariot horses and the other horses.

God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.  Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.  He was wiser than any other man, including Ethan the Ezrahite–wiser than Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.

He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.  He described plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish.  Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.”

Wow!

This guy was not just a glorious king, son of a glorious king, he was also a polymath–a genius in multiple categories.

“Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.”

Now, remember, this is a trick question.

Who is the wisest king that ever lived?

Just a few weeks ago we were in Luke chapter 11.  And in verse 31, King Jesus says, this,

“The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to [what?] Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here.”

And now one greater than Solomon is here!

Paul says it this way, “[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

King Jesus is the wisest king that ever lived.

Greater even than Solomon.

And everything that Solomon wrote finds it ultimate endorsement and ultimate fulfillment in King Jesus.

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

There is a three letter word (in English) in that verse that makes a huge claim about Jesus.

What is that three letter word?

A-L-L.

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

All of them!

I love that phrase, “treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

For me, it calls to mind great big treasure chests laden with jewels and gold and precious stones.”

Like a pirate chest!

Or a great big bank vault.  You know what I mean, with one of those hugemongous wheels on the front to open it?

And inside are rows and rows and rows of WISDOM–whatever that it is.

And ALL of the treasures of wisdom and knoweldge.

The true treasures (because there are a lot of counterfeits out there), all of the true treasures of wisdom and true spiritual knowledge are hidden in Christ.

I think he says, “hidden” because he’s been talking about mysteries.

A mystery in the Bible is something that was once hidden but is now revealed and maybe should have been obvious all along, but it was hidden in plain sight.

And Paul says in verses 1 and 2 of Colossians 2 that he has been struggling (I think in prayer) for those in Colossae and its neighboring cities, struggling in prayer and teaching so that these believers might (v.2) know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.

And hidden in that mystery that has been revealed are all of other mysteries, all of the treasures of wisdom and knoweldge.

They are found in Jesus Christ and Him alone.

Everything that the Old Testament wisdom literature (including Proverbs) was saying was perfectly endorsed by Jesus and fulfilled in Jesus so that in Jesus we find the wisdom of God.

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

We didn’t get a chance, this week, to look at Proverbs chapter 8, where Wisdom (personified as a woman) talks about her role in creation.  Wisdom present in the very act of creation.

And Colossians 1, there is this great hymn of praise of Jesus Christ that has a lot of similarities to Proverbs 8 where it says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Everything we saw this week in the book of Proverbs is hidden in Jesus.

The kids, this week, learned this simple definition of wisdom.

Wisdom is loving what God says is right & good and doing it.

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

He loved what God says is right and good and He always did it.

He always knew what to do, what was right, and He always did.

He loved the wisdom of God.

He lived the wisdom of God.

He incarnated the wisdom of God.

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Now, how do we apply this glorious truth?

Let me suggest three important ways.

#1.  REJOICE!  You came to the right place.

You came to the right person.

Rejoice!  Notice in verse 2 what Paul thinks that knowing the Christ will do for these Christians.  V.2

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

“Encouraged in heart and united in love!”

Rejoice!

If you have come to Christ, you have the wisdom of God!

You have come to the right place!

You have come to the one in whom ALL (A-L-L) the treasures are found!

Rejoice!

That’s why Family Bible Week is such a big celebration every year.

Because we’re happy about what we’ve found.

That’s why church is a big celebration every week.

It’s not that we’re always happy and that everything in our life is happy or working right.

But that at the bottom of things, we’ve found the mother-load.  We’ve found the treasure hidden in the field, pearl of greatest price.

We’ve found Jesus and in him are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!

Rejoice!

Yes!  In just a few minutes, we’re going to sing, “He Is Lord” and then have a celebration picnic.

Because we have the wisdom of God.

Rejoice.

Unless, of course, you can’t rejoice because you don’t know the mystery of God, namely Christ.

We hold Jesus out to you as the wisdom of God and invite you to receive Him.

At times, He doesn’t seem wise.

When you see Jesus bleeding and hanging on the Cross, it might seem like foolishness.

“This is how God is going to save people?”

Yes, it is.

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins.  And then He came back to life to give us new life both now and forever.

“[In Jesus] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Receive Him now and rejoice.

#2.  BEWARE.  Don’t listen to the wisdom of the world.

Look at verse 4.

“I tell you this [that in Jesus is hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge] so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”

The background for the book of Colossians is that false teachers with some very false teachings were beginning to infiltrate the church at Colossae and were trying to win people away from Jesus.

And Paul wrote the book of Colossians to encourage these people to stick with Christ.

Look down at verse 8.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

The rest of the chapter goes further into this.  I had to cut it off for this morning’s message, but the whole chapter is about this.

The world has a “wisdom” of its own, and we must ignore it and follow God’s wisdom.

Beware!

And it’s not just hollow and deceptive philosophy that you get on a college campus philosophy course.

It’s everywhere.

It’s when the world tells you to “follow you heart” as if you heart wouldn’t lie to you.

It’s when the world tells you that money is everything as if it could buy happiness.

It’s when the world tells you that all religions are basically the same as if Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t unique and grace the key to one faith in the world only.

It’s when the world tells you that the Republicans are your savior. Or the Democrats are your savior.  Or the Tea Party or the Progressives.  As if Jesus wasn’t the only savior who can actually save.

It’s when the world tells you that you can’t figure out the meaning of a text and that it’s all dependent on who ever is in power.  That might makes right.  As if Jesus wasn’t all good and all powerful.  Might and right perfectly together.

It’s when the world tells you that your children or your spouse or your job or your sport should be the center of your world and to live it up because you only live once.  As if we don’t live twice!  Either in Heaven or in Hell.

Fill in the blank.

Folly screams at us in very attractive ways to follow her.

Beware!   “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

Because In Christ are hidden all, all, all, all, the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Beware.

We all need re-programed daily.  That’s why we have to go to Word each day.

Our song says, “I need your wisdom, Lord, each day.”

And that’s why we have to gather for church.

I’m not going to be here for the next 4 Sundays.

But you should be, unless you are traveling as well.

I’ll be in church–somewhere.  You should be, too.

Don’t take a vacation from church just because I’m on vacation out West.

We have 4 great guest preachers that are going to speak twice every Sunday for the next 4 weeks.  Once in Sunday School at 9am and then in church at 10am.

Come and hear them and listen for the wisdom of God.

Next Sunday, it’ll be my pastor–Super Jeff Powell.

On the 11th, it will be Steve Gibbonney.   Remember Steve from when he was a youth kid?  I think it will be incredibly encouraging to hear Steve share the Word of God.

Someone who grew up in this church and now is a pastor in Asia.  That’s awesome.


There’s a great line-up of wise men with wisdom from Jesus to share.

Because in Jesus [not in Pastor Matt!] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and we need to come to Him regularly to get them.

So that we don’t begin to believe the world’s lies.

Again and again and again we come to Jesus.

That’s number three and last.

#3.  PERSEVERE.  Keep going to Jesus for wisdom.

Look at verse 6.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Keep going to Jesus for wisdom.

Paul says, “Continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him.”

Yes. Don’t stop.  Send your roots down into Him like good soil.

“Strengthened in the faith as your were taught.”

Put into practice what you’ve learned.

“Overflowing with thankfulness.”

Thank you, Jesus for your wisdom that has intersected our lives!

We can’t thank you enough.

Don’t stop going to Jesus for wisdom.

Run to Jesus every day.

In Him are hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

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