Daily Wisdom 251: Proverbs 12:4

Proverbs 12:4: A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: But she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

The virtuous woman. The phrase “a virtuous woman” appears three times in Scripture: here, and in Proverbs 31:10 and Ruth 3:11. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the order of the books often serves an interpretive purpose. That is the case here. The Book of Ruth follows the Book of Proverbs, offering Ruth as an example of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31.

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The Holy Spirit in the Book of Romans 15:13, 16, 18-19, 30

This next Sunday, January 17, 2021, I plan to teach a lesson at The Sanctuary UPC that examines the work of the Holy Spirit in Romans 15:13, 16, 18-19, 30. The study guide for this lesson is posted below. It is excerpted from my book The Holy Spirit: A Commentary.

As I have done with the previous two lessons in this series, I plan to post the video from this class by Monday, January 18. The study guide for the first lesson in this series was posted on January 2, 2021; the video followed on January 3. This lesson covered Romans 8:8-27. The study guide for the second lesson in the series was posted on January 8, and the video on January 10.


The Holy Spirit in the Book of Romans 15:13, 16, 18-19, 30

January 17, 2021

Daniel L. Segraves, Teacher

danielsegraves.com

Twitter: @danielsegraves

[1] The only way believers can abound in hope is by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Nothing can develop biblical hope apart from the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Hope is not positive thinking, positive mental attitude, or possibility thinking. It results only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit within.

[2] Paul’s reference to “the offering of the Gentiles” seems intended to remind his Jewish readers that the Gentiles’ salvation was accomplished by the will of God (Romans 15:16). Thus, there was no reason for Jewish believers to hold Gentile brethren at arm’s length. If Gentiles were acceptable to God, they should be acceptable to Jewish Christians. (See Romans 15:4-12.) If Gentiles were sanctified, or set apart unto God, by the Holy Spirit, no legitimate reason remained for Jewish Christians to reject them.

[3] How Christ accomplished the conversion of Gentiles through Paul was “in word and deed . . . in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God” (Romans 15:18-19).[1] Paul’s ministry was not limited to a vocal declaration of the gospel; it included confirming the word with signs following. Nothing in Scripture suggests God intended to restrict this kind of ministry to the first century.[2],[3]

[4] Paul was apparently in Corinth when he wrote his letter to the Romans. He knew difficulties awaited him in Jerusalem. (See Acts 20:22-24; 21:4, 10-14.) Even though Agabus, a prophet, and other believers warned Paul about the consequences of going to Jerusalem, he did not hesitate to pray for deliverance. He was not unwilling to face whatever was in store, but he was no fatalist. Since no man is omniscient, there is always a place for prayer for deliverance from difficulties – even those that are foretold, unless God specifically declares His refusal to remove the obstacles. So Paul appealed for prayers “through the Lord Jesus Christ,” or based on the believers’ unity together in Him (see Romans 6:3-8; 12:4-5), and “through the love of the Spirit,” meaning the love that results from the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 15:30).

Summary of the Holy Spirit in Romans

  1. The Spirit declared Jesus to be the Son of God by the Spirit’s role in His resurrection from the dead.
  1. The Old Testament practice of circumcision symbolized New Testament realities involving the Spirit.
  1. The Spirit produces hope and love, and believers are to be led by the Spirit.
  1. The kingdom of God does not involve what believers eat or drink. It involves the Holy Spirit.
  1. Signs and wonders accomplished by the Spirit play a vital role in the spread of the gospel.

[1] The phrase “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me” (KJV) is not the way we would typically express this idea today, so Paul’s point is somewhat obscured. Today’s translations tend to render this phrase something like this: “For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed” (Romans 15:18, ESV). Compare this verse with Acts 15:12; 21:19 to see that what Paul attributes to Christ in Romans he attributes to God in Acts.

[2] See Mark 16:17-20; Acts 13:9-12; 14:3, 8-10, 19-20; 19:11-12; 20:9-12; 28:1-8; I Corinthians 2:1-5; II Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4.

[3] My Master of Arts in Exegetical Theology thesis is titled “That Which Is Perfect (I Corinthians 13:10): A Non-Eschatological Approach.” This thesis, which I submitted in June 1993, examines the claim that the spiritual gifts have ceased. It is available at pentecostalpublishing.com for $2.99.

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Daily Wisdom 250: Proverbs 12:3

Proverbs 12:3 (NKJV) — 3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.

No stability in wickedness. As a continuing development of the theme begun in Proverbs 12:2, this verse declares that wickedness will never establish a person. As Asaph realized at last, though the wicked may seem to prosper for a time, their feet are in slippery places. (See Psalm 73, especially verse 18) But righteousness roots people so that they cannot be moved. It may take some time before the evidence of a deep root is visible. The wicked may, during that time, appear to be accomplishing more than the righteous, for the wicked spends little time developing a root system. What they do is on the surface, visible only to the human senses.

This truth is illustrated in the story Jesus told of a foolish man who built his house directly on the sand, while a wise man took the time to build on a solid foundation. While the house of the wicked may have gone up quickly, it was destroyed just as rapidly. (See Matthew 7:24-27.)

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Daily Wisdom 249: Proverbs 12:2

Proverbs 12:2 (NKJV) — 2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

The most valuable blessing. What could be superior to obtaining the Lord’s favor? When a person chooses to do good, the blessings of the Lord will be upon that person. Genuine spiritual goodness comes only from the presence of the Holy Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22-23.) The good person will have no need of wicked tactics, favoritism, under-the-table activities, or good-luck charms. Indeed, God will judge the person who relies on anything other than Him for blessings, prosperity, and provision.

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Daily Wisdom 248: Proverbs 12:1

Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV) — 1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.

Instruction, knowledge, and correction. Not only do we see the relationship between instruction and knowledge  in this verse, but also the relationship between these two and correction. Instruction and knowledge go together. There will be no knowledge where there is no instruction. Instruction can come from the school of life, but often an actual human teacher will be involved. In fact, human teachers are necessary in the church. (See Romans 12:4-7; I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11-12.)

The word stupid tends to  be so offensive many well-spoken people rarely use it. The KJV uses “brutish” instead. But more recent translations agree with the NKJV. The Hebrew baar, translated “stupid” is defined as “senseless, i.e., pertaining to lacking understanding, but implying other negative moral imperfections as well” (James A. Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains [Logos Bible Software]).

The person described as “stupid” hates being told what to do. This person will never have true knowledge, for instruction often takes the form of correction. For example, when an answer on a test is marked wrong, that is both correction and instruction. When a trainee has to be shown again how to do his job, that is both correction and instruction. A person who is willing to accept correction will find that it contributes greatly to his education.


A reminder: These “Daily Wisdom” comments are drawn from my commentary on the Book of Proverbs, which is titled Ancient Wisdom for Today’s World. The book is published by Word Aflame Press and is available at pentecostalpublishing.com and from Amazon and Apple Books.

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Daily Wisdom 247: Proverbs 11:31

Proverbs 11:31 (NKJV) — 31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner.

Compensation. Not only will the righteous reap what they sow in this present world, but so will the wicked and even more so. (See I Peter 4:18.) Nothing we do is in a vacuum. Every action will be followed by a reaction. Ultimately, God’s justice will prevail in every life.

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The Holy Spirit in the Book of Romans 8:27; 9:1-3; 14:17; 15:13, 16, 18-19, 30

During January, I am teaching an adult elective class each Sunday morning at The Sanctuary UPC, our home church, located in Hazelwood, Missouri. Mitchell Bland is our pastor.

The lessons are drawn from my new book, The Holy Spirit: A Commentary. Next Sunday, January 10, I plan to discuss the verses listed above from the Book of Romans.

The book is published by the Pentecostal Publishing House and can be ordered at pentecostalpublishing.com. It is also available as a Kindle download at amazon.com and as an Apple Book.

This Sunday’s study guide is posted below. I plan to post the video of the class by next Monday, January 11. The study guide for January 3 was posted on this blog on January 2 under the title “The Holy Spirit in Romans 8:18-27.” The video for that session was posted on January 3 under the same title.


The Holy Spirit in the Book of Romans 8:27; 9:1-3; 14:17; 15:13, 16, 18-19, 30

January 10, 2021

Daniel L. Segraves, Teacher

danielsegraves.com

Twitter: @danielsegraves

[1] Paul’s description of God as knowing the “mind of the Spirit” and the Spirit making intercession “according to the will of God” indicates the radical monotheism of God (Romans 8:27). There is no fragmentation within God; there is only one God.[1] This omnipotent,[2] omniscient,[3] omnipresent[4] God is capable of relating to us as Father; He is capable, by means of the Incarnation, of relating to us as the Son of God in providing redemption; and He is capable, apart from the Incarnation, of dwelling within us as the Holy Spirit. For these reasons, the mind of the Spirit is, by definition, the will of God.

[2] Paul was in Christ as he wrote Romans 9:1-3. (See Romans 6:3-8; 8:1-2, 9-10.) His confession, “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 9:1) indicates that to be “in Christ” was by definition to be “in the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit dwelling within him offered no condemnation of his sincerity or truthfulness in conjunction with his confession, as dramatic as it was.

[3] The kingdom of God is not defined by a sacred diet but by the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer: righteousness (right standing with God), peace (Romans 5:1), and joy (Romans 14:17). This is similar to the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Since matters of diet (and, by implication, observation of sacred days [Romans 14:5-6]) are not defining issues, they should never be issues of fellowship. Entry is gained and maintained in the kingdom of God by the birth of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13), not by embracing dietary laws or sabbath days. (See Galatians 4:9-11; Colossians 2:16-17).

[4] The only way believers can abound in hope is by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Nothing can develop biblical hope apart from the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Hope is not positive thinking, positive mental attitude, or possibility thinking. It results only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit within.

[5] Paul’s reference to “the offering of the Gentiles” seems intended to remind his Jewish readers that the Gentiles’ salvation was accomplished by the will of God (Romans 15:16). Thus, there was no reason for Jewish believers to hold Gentile brethren at arm’s length. If Gentiles were acceptable to God, they should be acceptable to Jewish Christians. (See Romans 15:5-7.) If Gentiles were sanctified, or set apart unto God, by the Holy Spirit, no legitimate reason remained for Jewish Christians to reject them.

[6] How Christ accomplished the conversion of Gentiles through Paul was “in word and deed . . . in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God” (Romans 15:18-19). Paul’s ministry was not limited to a vocal declaration of the gospel; it included confirming the word with signs following. Nothing in Scripture suggests God intended to restrict this kind of ministry to the first century.[5]

[7] Paul was apparently in Corinth when he wrote his letter to the Romans. He knew difficulties awaited him in Jerusalem. (See Acts 20:22-24; 21:10-14.) Even Agabus, a prophet, and other believers warned Paul about the consequences of going to Jerusalem, he did not hesitate to pray for deliverance. He was not unwilling to face whatever was in store, but he was no fatalist. Since no man is omniscient, there is always a place for prayer for deliverance from difficulties – even those that are foretold, unless God specifically declares His refusal to remove the obstacles. So Paul appealed for prayers “through the Lord Jesus Christ,” or based on the believers’ unity together in Him (see Romans 6:3-8; 12:4-5), and “through the love of the Spirit,” meaning the love that results from the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 15:30).

Summary of the Holy Spirit in Romans

  1. The Spirit declared Jesus to be the Son of God by the Spirit’s role in His resurrection from the dead.
  1. The Old Testament practice of circumcision symbolized New Testament realities involving the Spirit.
  1. The Spirit produces hope and love, and believers are to be led by the Spirit.
  1. The kingdom of God does not involve what believers eat or drink. It involves the Holy Spirit.
  1. Signs and wonders accomplished by the Spirit play a vital role in the spread of the gospel.

[1] See Deuteronomy 6:4; I Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 4:6; I Timothy 2:5; James 2:19.

[2] Revelation 19:6.

[3] Psalms 33:13-15; 139:1-4; Isaiah 46:9-10; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 10:30; Hebrews 4:13.

[4] Deuteronomy 4:39; I Kings 8:27; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:24; Amos 9:2-3.

[5] See Mark 16:17-20; Acts 13:11; 14:3, 8-10, 19-20; 19:11-12; 20:9-12; 28:1-8; I Corinthians 2:1-5; II Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:3-4.

(c) 2021 by Daniel L. Segraves

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Daily Wisdom 246: Proverbs 11:30

Proverbs 11:30 (NKJV) — 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

The tree of life. In Scripture, the tree of life is connected with wisdom.

Proverbs 3:18 (NKJV) — 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her.

If the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden was the tree of wrong knowledge, it is reasonable to assume that the tree of life would have given right knowledge. The “fruit of the righteous” speaks of what righteous persons produce. They will produce wisdom, both by words and deeds.

One of the fruits of wisdom is the winning of souls, and wisdom is necessary in this endeavor. In this Old Testament context, the winning of souls seems to refer to the ability to establish lasting friendships and to persuade others to right points of view.

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