Proverbs (Program #8) – The Detailed Precepts for Man To Live a Proper Human Life (3)
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom but the real purpose of Proverbs is to cultivate our new man. Yet many people come to the book of Proverbs seeking wisdom to help them and improve their old man, their natural life, to improve their “self”. But the problem is no matter how much we improve our “self”, we still according to the Lord’s word in Luke 17:33 we need to deny our “self”. We need to take up the cross and follow the Lord. So at best we’re perfecting our “self” that we need to deny. But if we have the light and we see Proverbs in a proper way, we can see the benefit of the book of Proverbs is to help us to cultivate our new man.
Proverbs (Program #7) – Coming to Proverbs to Cultivate Our Regenerated New Man
Paul, the apostle tells us that the Bible has the potential to affect us when we read it in two very different ways. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 he says “Who has made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Do we have this realization when we come to the word of God? The same words can either become Spirit and life to us or they can become dead letters to us. It all depends on how we come to the Bible and what kind of persons we are that will determine what we receive. We’re all fallen creatures with an old fallen nature and an old life the Bible calls the old man. When this old man comes to the Bible in order to find help to improve itself before God, the result will be predictable, the result of death.
Proverbs (Program #6) – The Detailed Precepts for Man To Live a Proper Human Life (2)
The book of Proverbs is a collection of gems which are detailed precepts for man to live a proper human life. Today we are going to use the majority of our radio program on the life-study of Proverbs to hear a reading of these gems categorized. Today we’re going to cover the second part of these readings entitled “Admonitions and Teachings”.
Proverbs (Program #5) – Touching the Word of God by Our New Man
The book of Proverbs is a wonderful collection of gems of wisdom concerning nearly every aspect of human life. As such, people of many persuasions appreciate Proverbs and often quote these nuggets of wisdom. While we’re thankful for such a book in the Bible, it also presents a dilemma. And that is that an ethical person, even one who has no personal knowledge or experience of our dear Saviour Jesus, can apply these moral precepts to build himself up and enhance his fallen human life. While we may say that society would surely benefit if all men practice these principles and employ the wisdom expressed in Proverbs, yet God’s goal of bringing us, His children, not into an improved condition but into a new creation will be no closer to reality. While we extol God for the wisdom of His word, our real need is not self-improvement but rather that we put off our old man and put on the new man.
Proverbs (Program #4) – The Detailed Precepts for Man To Live a Proper Human Life (2)
The book of Proverbs contains gem after gem of detailed precepts concerning how to live a proper human life. Many proverbs touch similar topics – consider these few gems that touch the benefit of learning to restrain one’s speech. First in Proverbs 10:19 “When there are many words transgression does not cease, But he who restrains his lips is prudent.” And this one from Proverbs 13:3 “He who guards his mouth keeps his soul, But he who opens wide his lips will have destruction.” And Proverbs 14:23 “In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.” These nuggets gleaned from Proverbs all concern the same subject. In this case related to our loose talk. Being able to consider the Proverbs topically arranged in this way, gives a strong and lasting impression. And we are devoting three special programs to present this marvelous aid for our own study and appreciation of the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs (Program #3) – The Detailed Precepts for Man To Live a Proper Human Life (1)
Whenever we come to God’s word, whether to a deeply spiritual book such as Ephesians or to a book with easy to understand, ethical and moral precepts such as Proverbs, the kind of person that we are will have much to do with what we take away from our reading of the Bible. In fact, the Bible itself tells us that the words of Scripture can be spirit and life to us as we see in John 6, “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life”. But the same New Testament also provides a strong word of caution in 2 Corinthians 3, “Who has made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant, ministers not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life”. Spirit and life or dead letter, the Bible can be either. And the determining factor as to which we will experience has everything to do with us and how we approach this word of God.
Proverbs (Program #2) – The Principles for Man to Live a Proper Human Life
Many people love the book of Proverbs because the truth conveyed in these short, easy to understand, poetic utterances matches their ethical approach to the Bible and the Christian life itself. Fearing God is a good example. There are numerous passages in Proverbs that extol the benefit of fearing God. The question is not then, “Should we fear God?” Of course we should and even we must. But we fear God not simply out of duty or instruction but because our reverence to Him issues in a deeper and more genuine experience and love for Him. The difference may seem subtle but in actuality, the difference is profound and life-changing.
It’s probably safe to say that the book of Proverbs would be a favorite of a large percentage of Bible readers in all cultures. Written primarily by the legendary King Solomon, the possessor of great wisdom, it’s a book that’s easy to read and to study and to admire the marvelous examples of human wisdom and godly principles that are the main contents of this book. But while it is a book that may help us to live a better life to improve our character, and even to learn the valuable principles that reflect various aspects and attributes of God, there is also a profound danger with such a book. And that danger is that it can be a book that we can apply by our own strength and our own individual pursuit of human perfection. Why is that a danger, you ask? The answer to that can only be found by studying not only the Old Testament books such as Proverbs and Job but studying the entire Bible itself and being brought into the divine revelation. And that divine revelation shows us in that in God’s ultimate economy, wisdom like everything else, becomes the very Person of Christ Himself.
Proverbs (Program #9) – Using Proverbs for Building Up the New Man
When we come to the book of Proverbs in the Bible we need to see that the place that the book of Proverbs placed in God’s economy. According to God’s economy, Proverbs should not be used to build up the Old Man. The big Proverbs are like nuggets and the small ones are like gems and they are not for us to build up our Old Man to cultivate ourselves and our natural man. Rather they are for us to build up our New Man. It’s for this purpose that the Proverbs are useful. While we are still living in this body on the earth we need the Proverbs to give us instructions on how to live rightly in so many aspects in order to build up our New Man.