Monday, January 29, 2007

Wisdom and Understanding (Colossians 1:9)

Wisdom and understanding are practically synonymous. In relation to the knowledge of God's will revealed through scripture, they are both spiritual in origin. The only difference between them seems to be that wisdom is more general and understanding is more specific.

Wisdom is the ability to pull together the big picture from all that scripture teaches on a subject. Many topics in the bible are addressed in more than one place. Wisdom allows us to piece together what is taught to fully know God's will on a topic. For instance, teaching on marriage is spread throughout the bible so we are wise concerning marriage when we have gathered that teaching together into a coherent whole.

Understanding is the ability to apply biblical knowledge to a specific situation. When we are wise and know God's will on a topic, understanding allows us to apply what we know to a situation we are dealing with. For example, if a friend is contemplating divorce we will be able to apply biblical teaching on marriage to help them understand God's will in their situation.

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