Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 23, 1961

The Supreme Part

Bill McMurry, Atoka, Okla.

"How precious, above all wealth, is good counsel.... wisdom is the supreme part of happiness; and reverence toward gods must be inviolate." (Antigone)

The wise man of the Old Testament spent much of his time showing us that wisdom is more to be desired than any other gift, accomplishment, or gain that a man could make under the sun. (Prov. 4:7) Solomon recommended that, above all else, we seek the twin blessings of wisdom and understanding. It is a shame that the world does not understand this and seek after the true wisdom that comes from God alone for "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." (Prov. 1:7) "For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Prov. 2:6) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.,, (Ecc. 12:13)

The wise man has told us to strive toward a triune end: (1) To seek the knowledge of God; (2) To understand what we learn; and (3) To fulfill our duty to God by our fear of Him and by keeping His laws. David tells us that it is a perfect law. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." (Ps. 19:7) James says that it is a "perfect law of liberty." (Jas. 2:25) He commands those who lack wisdom to ask it of God, and He will give it liberally. (Jas. 1:5) "According as His divine power hath given us all things that pertain to life and godliness." (2 Pet. 1:3) Paul says that the Scripture is inspired of God and that it is able to make us perfect, (2 Tim. 3:1517) It is error not to know the Scripture, for it is the power of God to save all who obey it. (Matt. 22:29; Rom. 1:16; Heb. 5:9) It is, moreover, an error for which there is no excuse. (Rom. 1:20) There once was a time in which God "winked at" our ignorance, but now He "commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30)

The world seeks for salvation in many hundreds of ways. There are so many doctrines, beliefs, ideas and schemes that it seems almost, if not quite impossible to sort through the many and come out with the truth as it was taught in the first century by the inspired apostles and men of God; Holy men who spoke as they were moved by the Spirit of God. Where should the honest searcher go? To whom should he turn? Upon what standard can he place his reliance? How is he to know which of the many conflicting and often confusing doctrines is the true faith "once delivered to the saints?" (Jude 3)

Let us go back to the beginning of the matter. The wise man told us that wisdom and knowledge come from God. (Prov. 2:6) James assures us that if we seek God aright He will give us wisdom. (Jas. 1:25) Paul informed us that the Scripture is inspired and able to make us perfect. (2 Tim. 3:15-17 Now, with these facts in mind, let us proceed in a logical manner:

God wants us to be saved. (2 Pet 3:9) He has, in His great love for us, made our salvation possible through the gift of His Son on the cross. (John 3:16) He has given us the gospel which is His power to save. (Rom. 1:16) He demands that we observe all of His commands. Just do what God demands in His Word. Salvation is as simple as that. Yet, even in doing this, we must be careful how we use the Word of God, for it is possible to wrest it to our own destruction. (2 Pet. 3:15-16) It is necessary, therefore, that we not only acquire knowledge and ability to handle the Bible, but that we take care to handle it aright. (2 Tim. 2:15) We must not be numbered among those who are "ever learning yet never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." (2 Tim. 3:7)