Gifts of the Spirit 2

Feb 14, 2021 // By:Dave // No Comment

1 Cor 12

verse 8

  • wisdom

λόγος σοφίας  word of wisdom

the gift is not “wisdom” it is a “word of wisdom” (a divinely given perspective to the application of truth leading to godly living

(nor is it THE word of wisdom since there is no     ho” preceding the word)

In Ancient Greek, all nouns, including proper nouns, are classified according to grammatical gender as masculine, feminine, or neuter. The gender of a noun is shown by the definite article (the word ὁ, ἡ, τό (ho, hē, tó) “the”) which goes with it, or by any adjective which describes it:

θεός (ho theós) “the god” (masculine)

γυνή (hē gunḗ) “the woman” (feminine)

τ δῶρον (tò dôron) “the gift” (neuter)

in this verse, the neutral definite article is used both times in reference to the Spirit

τοῦ πνεύματος = the Spirit

τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα = the same Spirit

in this verse “word of wisdom” is written as λόγος σοφίας (no definite article as it would be ὁ λόγος σοφίας

without a definite article, it is improper to translate to english with a “the” before the noun. It would be more correct to use “a”

to say “the word of wisdom” implies a singular gift given (meaning given once to perhaps be experienced repeatedly)

to say “a word of wisdom” implies given at a particular moment, (repeatedly given at the discretion of the giver)

[Bible Words]


The concept of wisdom is an important one. It may be particularly important for us in our technological society, where we place a strong emphasis on knowledge. The Scriptures do not make the mistake of confusing wisdom with other mental capacities or of giving wisdom less than its central place.

NT — 4. The Greek word. The concept of wisdom is expressed in the Greek NT by sophia. In Greek culture, “wisdom” represents an unusual ability, an attribute. By NT times the subject of “wisdom” was philosophic or speculative knowledge.

Words in this group appear seldom in the Gospels, but when they do appear, they are used in the OT sense. The greatest number of uses of “wise” and “wisdom” are clustered in 1 Cor 1-3 (see below). In the rest of the NT, “wisdom” focuses on that same practice of the godly life that is the concern of the OT.

5. Wisdom in 1 Co 1-3. First Corinthians is a book of problems. Paul focuses on issue after issue that tore at the unity of the church in Corinth. Again and again he guided his readers to an understanding of how to deal effectively with each.


The first problem Paul touched in this Epistle was the divisions that developed at Corinth as little groups formed, claiming allegiance to this or that leader. Paul invited the Corinthians to think about the nature of wisdom, for he believed their division was caused by the application of a merely human wisdom to spiritual issues.

In 1:18-31, Paul notes that the world’s sophia did not bring it to a knowledge of God. This is because the Jews (who demanded miracles) and the Greeks (who look for “wisdom” in the sense of a philosophical system) approached God on their own terms. Their basic orientation to life left no room to recognize Christ as the power and wisdom of God (1 Co 1:24). 

1Cor. 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness,

1Cor. 1:24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1Cor. 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than mankind, and the weakness of God is stronger than mankind.

Here Christ is presented as God’s practical solution to the problem of man’s alienation from God—the one who himself is “our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (v. 30).

1Cor. 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

1Cor. 1:28 and the insignificant things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

1Cor. 1:29 so that no human may boast before God.

1Cor. 1:30 But it is due to Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

Human wisdom—i.e, man’s approach to the problem of relationship with God—is thus demonstrated to be foolishness, though God’s approach is viewed as foolishness by the world. Paul shows that for a correct perspective, one must gain access to the very thought processes of God (1 Co 2). These thought processes have been revealed to us in words taught by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:13-16; cf. 2 Ti 3:15;).

1Cor. 2:13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

1Cor. 2:14 ¶ But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Cor. 2:15 But the one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no one.

1Cor. 2:16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.

2Tim. 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Tim. 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness;

2Tim. 3:17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.

wisdom equips us to be fully capable for every good work meant for us by God.

wisdom is understanding God’s perspective (and surrendering our own)

it is a general gift from God to all His children

and it is a specific gift , given in special moments of clarity, as a gift of the Spirit

In 1 Cor 3, Paul returns to the problem of divisions. The Corinthians had been acting and thinking as mere human beings, not applying the revealed words of God nor seeking to discern their implications.

Paul then applies several basic truths to show the error in the debate over leaders (1 Co 4).

In this extended passage “wisdom” represents the perspective or orientation that one brings to dealing with the issues of life. Human beings are foolish, because they fail to recognize the fact that their notions must be subject to divine evaluation. Only when one abandons what seems wise by human standards to accept without hesitation the divine viewpoint as revealed in Scripture can he claim true wisdom.

6. Wisdom in practice in the NT. This theme—that Christ is God’s wisdom, applied to resolve the problems caused by human sin (1 Co 1-3)—is picked up in Eph 3:10, which expresses God’s intention to make known to spiritual (angelic) powers “the manifold wisdom of God” as his purpose is worked out in history “through the church.”

Eph. 3:8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,

Eph. 3:9 and to enlighten all people as to what the plan of the mystery is which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

Eph. 3:10 so that the multifaceted wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

In most places, however, “wisdom” is the divine perspective available to and applied by believers to the issues of their lives. Thus, Paul prayed that God would fill the Ephesians with “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” so they might grasp and experience the power available in Christ (Eph 1:17). The same theme is addressed in a prayer in Col 1. Paul yearned for these believers to be filled with a knowledge of “what God has willed” (tou thelematos autou, v. 9). He qualified his prayer by adding that the knowledge must be treated with spiritual wisdom and insight, so that the believers might “live a life worthy of the Lord and … please him in every way” (v. 10). It is wisdom that guides the application of what is known.

Paul turned again to human notions in Col 2:23, speaking of religious approaches that “have an appearance of wisdom,” that is, approaches that seem to be practical, effective ways to spiritual growth. But again Paul turned his readers to Jesus. The word of Christ, dwelling in us, alone enables us to teach and admonish each other in wisdom (3:16).

Col. 2:23 These are matters which do have the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and humility and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Col. 3:1 ¶ Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Col. 3:2 Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth.

set your minds does not merely mean “focus on”  … it also (and more clearly means) “think like”

since in the next verse he indicates that we have died and our life is hidden in christ. (he does not mean ‘make your old mind focus on heaven and this sanctifies your old mind”   he is saying “your new mind is to think like Christ”

James, reflecting the OT’s convictions, said that one who lacks wisdom should appeal to God and expect God to provide it (1:5-7). Later (3:13-18) he carefully defined the characteristics of the wisdom that comes from above. It is “pure, . . . peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (v. 18). A character that displays envy, selfish ambition, and similar destructive traits is not from God.

Wisdom, then, is a critical concept in both Testaments: wisdom is concerned with how one lives his or her life. Both the OT and the NT make it clear that only when our life is oriented to God and his revealed viewpoint is applied to our daily experience can we become wise.

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