Reading: Deuteronomy 4 – 6 or 1 Corinthians 1
When God made Adam and placed him in the garden He gave him a good piece of advice (wisdom) that would determine whether or not Adam was righteous:
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
God maintained the knowledge of good and evil. Man's wisdom and righteousness would be found in acknowledging God's answer to the question, “What is right and wise?” God's answer is quite simple: “You are free to eat from every tree but this one. If you eat from this one you will surely die.”
Adam and Eve thought about that tree and the serpent suggested, “you shall not surely die.” They looked at the fruit and saw it as “desirable for gaining wisdom”. (Genesis 3:1-7) In other words, we don't' want God to tell us what wisdom and righteousness is, we want to know and decide that for ourselves. So they ate and God's wisdom is proved right every day: death is pervasive in our world; children suffer; disease runs rampant; wars seem constant. The serpent's lie is revealed for what it is every day, “You shall not surely die.”
So God begins the work of redemption by making a covenant with Abraham which leads to the eventual redemption of the children of Israel out of Egypt. They make their way into the wilderness only to continually rebel against God, breaking His laws. So just before the next generation enters the promise land, 40 years later after, Moses tells them this:
See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6)
God reminds us that the knowledge of good and evil (wisdom) still resides with Him. And the law is where they are to find it. Obey God's law and that will be your wisdom and understanding. In effect, you don't need to figure it out on your own. Not only will it be your wisdom, it will also be your righteousness.
And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.' (Deuteronomy 6:25)
The history of Israel through the course of the Old Testament reveals that they must have trusted in their own wisdom and righteousness over God's. They continually broke His commands, and disregarded His laws. In Romans 10:3-4 Paul speaks of how Israel...
...sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
The law was a shadow pointing to something to come that would really restore man back into fellowship with God. We know that “something” is Christ. And so Paul informs us in 1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
The law is no longer our wisdom or righteousness; Christ is. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness; Christ is our righteousness. Righteousness is available to all who believe in Christ.
God is the One who maintains the right to declare what is right and wise—that will bring life to (redeem) those upon whom death has come to rule. And God declares that Christ is right and wise—faith in Christ as the means to life. That is wisdom from God, so we should stop trying to establish our own means of righteousness, which includes law keeping as a means. And faith in Christ is our righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
What are you trusting in for your wisdom and righteousness? For your holiness and redemption? Turn to Christ and His sufficiency!
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