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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Is the Word of Wisdom?

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Don Stewart

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The Bible speaks of the gift of the word of wisdom. "For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:8).

This is different from the gift of the word of knowledge. The word of wisdom uses knowledge for its proper end: the furtherance of Gods kingdom. It can be applied in the following ways:

Through Persecution

The Holy Spirit may grant the believer the word of wisdom when answering persecutors. Jesus promised this:

And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given you in that hour what you should speak: for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you (Matthew 10:18-20).

The Book of Acts gives examples of God providing wisdom to His people under these circumstances. The gift was manifested in Peter and John as they spoke before the rulers and teachers in Jerusalem:

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

It was shown when Stephen confronted the religious leaders:

They were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6:10).

Defending The Faith

The word of wisdom can also be given to those defending the faith among unbelievers. We are all instructed to defend the faith:

Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

However, there are certain occasions when the word of wisdom is needed in answering unbelievers questions about Christianity. Jesus exercised this many times:

Then some of the scribes answered and said, "Teacher, You have spoken well." But after that they dared not question Him anymore (Luke 20:39,40).

The Apostle Paul exercised this gift:

And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8).

Problem Solving

The word of wisdom can also be used in solving difficult problems. When the apostles were distracted from preaching the gospel because of business matters they chose certain believers to help them as administrators:

Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over business (Acts 6:3).

One of the requirements was wisdom, which was used in solving problems in the church.

Everyday Living

This gift can be used in everyday living situations. When problems arise we are told to ask for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5).

Thus, God will grant us wisdom on how to live a consistent life, glorifying Him.

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