Keeping Company with Christ - Part 1
Date: 24 July, 2017
Text: Proverbs 8:22-36
Title: Keeping Company with Christ
Sometimes when we speak about things - we make them into people.
For instance, my wife has named our new wee car, "The Little Tomato."
If we were to personify the Little Tomato - we would say, "She is a happy little car." Or, "She is raring to go down to England." She was "Sad" when the hedgehog got out in front of her.
We are giving human characteristics "happy" "excited" to an inanimate object.
The Bible does that very same thing in Proverbs 8 when it gives human characteristics to wisdom.
1 Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
2 She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
3 She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.
note: This wisdom -
1) Is more valuable than rubies. v.11
2.) Gives good council and strength. v.14
3.) This wisdom establishes earthly rulers and nobility. v.15-16
4.) Riches and Honor are the fruit of this wisdom. v.18
5.) It is more valuable than gold. v.19
6.) There is an inheritance associated with possessing this wisdom. v.21
Proverbs 8 is the personification of wisdom. But, in particular the wisdom personified is Christ.
Why do we believe this is speaking of Jesus?
THIS WISDOM IS ETERNAL.
22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Remeniscent of John 1: 1 as it speaks about Jesus. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.)
This WISDOM WAS ACTIVE IN CREATION.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
THIS WISDOM WAS WITH GOD. (AND ACCORDING TO JOHN 1 WAS GOD.)
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
John 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
TO POSSESS THIS WISDOM IS TO POSSESS LIFE!
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life,
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And so the message this morning that I want to preach is not just seeking after wisdom and walking with wisdom. But, seeking after and walking with Christ.
Keeping Company with Christ. (Wisdom)
Pro 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
There is no WISER person to walk with than the Lord Jesus.
Jesus (wisdom personified) says to us this morning, "Listen to me and my wisdom and be wise!"
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children:
What would the wisdom of Jesus say to us this morning? How would He encourage us to be His companion and to keep company with Him?
I. Walk with me and my wisdom!
for blessed are they that keep my ways.
exp. If you keep His ways - you have to walk where He is walking. Walk in His path.
ill. Via Maris - "The way of the Sea" Jesus oftened traveled this with his disciples. They followed him in "The Way" where he walked.
That and the King's Highway were the main trade routes. Coming along the Sea of Galilee and heading North to Damascus or turning down along the Mediteranean Sea. Goes along below the Arbel Cliffs.
note: It is interesting in the Word of God - how often it speaks of God's ways.
example: Early believers were described as followers of the way.
Act 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
PAUL ON TRIAL. Acts 24:21 Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day.
22 And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter.
question: Where is THE WAY then where Jesus walks?
A. He is found in the way of peace.
Luk 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
exp. Jesus came to this earth to lead us to this path of peace.
ill. We can picture peace - Sea of Galilee - first morning - watching sunrise without a breath of air stirring the water. The water was unmoved by anything and AT PERFECT PEACE.
exp. Peace is something the human heart longs for.
Parents - noisy children - "I just want some peace."
Commuter going through crazy traffic - "I just want some peace."
Someone with a problem - financial, health, relationship "If only I was at peace."
note: The peace of God is of far greater importance than the peace we often speak about.
1. It is a peace that the ungodly do not have.
Isa 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Isa 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
ill. I've just finished preaching through Revelation - describing Heaven to young people (who have great anticipation of physical life) I found myself saying, "It's just like life - but like life in the Garden of Eden. MAKIND WAS PERFECTLY RELATED AND AT PEACE WITH GOD.
app. We get to experience a bit of Heaven on earth - when we enter into that WAY OF PEACE - but the ungodly don't have it.
2. It is a lack of peace because of God's anger.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
ill. Have you ever had someone who was angry at you? Did you like it? People could get angry for the wrong reasons - but God is angry at our wickedness and disobedience. (THAT IS WHAT KEEPS US FROM THE PATH THAT HE IS ON - IT IS A PATH OF PEACE - BUT IT IS ALSO A PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.)
B. He is found in the way of righteousness.
Pro 8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
exp. God's way - is the way of righteousness. (We rightly describe it as the straight and narrow way.) It is a very precise and righteous way.
ill. When God led Israel to follow Him he told them not to deviate from this way.
Deuteronomy 5:32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
ill. God's covenant with Abraham was based upon the fact that Abraham would walk with God in the righteous way.
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
exp. Does God know today that you desire to walk with Him in that righteous way? He wants you to go in paths of righteousness.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
ill. Watching Danny McCaskill ride his bike along the top of a mountain ridge where destruction is on either side. - in fact we've seen him ride his bike along a fence, on railroad tracts.
Danny McCaskill's skill allows him to sucessfully navigate that "straight and narrow" ledge
app. You and I don't have the skill to navigate the straight and narrow - the enablement we need is Christ. Christ is in the way of righteousness - to walk with him there - sin must be dealt with -
Heb 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (The path to the way of righteousness is the path of repentance.)
C. He is found in the way of repentance.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. BECAUSE HE IS IN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BUT MEN ARE NOT - HE MUST BE FOUND AS WELL IN THE WAY OF REPENTANCE.
def. Repentance is turning away from our way and turning to follow God's way.
exp. If Jesus was walking on the Via Maris towards the Mediteranean and you were on your way to the sea of Galilee. Repentance would be you turning to follow Jesus in THE WAY.
ill. Zachaeus - was our example of repentance this week. He gave half of his wealth to the poor. He gave the victims of his thievery 4 times what he stole.
exp. It may be that Zachaeus got his principles of repentance from a famous preach who was preaching just a few miles away from Jericho on the Jordan river. The preacher was telling people how to get on the path of righteousness by taking the path of repentance.
ill. JOHN THE BAPTIST
Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
app. What has changed in your life since your salvation?
ill. Recently I read about a woman who didn't speak English and ended up on a plane thousands of miles from her intended destination. I wonder what was her first clue that she was not where she was supposed to be.
1). Imagine if it was supposed to be desert and ended up being like Scotland.
2.) Or it was to be flatland - and it was mountanous.
The first clue to point out error for someone who thinks they are walking with Jesus on the path of righteousness - is if they have never taken the path of repentance. WHEN NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN SOMEONE'S LIFE - THEY CAN'T POSSIBLY HAVE TURNED TO FOLLOW JESUS. Praise God - He is willing to help transformingly change our life!
D. He is found in the way of faith and salvation.
ill. It was said of Paul and Silas - Act 16:17 These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
def. Jesus described salvation in the Bible as "passing from death unto life." - John 5:24
ill. When you save someone drowning - they are no longer in danger of dying by drowning. When someone is "saved" in the Bible - THEY WILL NEVER SUFFER THE SECOND DEATH IN HELL. There name is FOREVER IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
exp. So, although repentance is the path to righteousness - there IT IS ALSO THE WAY OF FAITH AND SALVATION. People repent - because they BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR THEIR SIN.
exp. They go together.
The thief on the cross - "we indeed justly" "Lord remember me."
The publican - "God be merciful to me a sinner." (God be merciful (prayer of faith) to me a sinner (repentance.)
Zacchaeus - "I restore fourfould." "This day is salvation come to this house."
note: THE WAY OF SALVATION IS....
1. A generous way to those who understand their need.
exp. Remember - wisdom personified is Jesus.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
exp. Don't have wisdom - God does - Just ask - he gives liberally without belittling us.
ill. Sometimes I have people apologize for taking my time as I tell them about Jesus. I love to talk about Jesus - that is what I do - I'm a believer and I want to share the Gospel with them.
app. If you want Jesus today, you don't have to apologize to God for taking His time as you ask Him for His Son. His Son is what His life is all about. He wants to restore you to Himself! He will liberally give you Jesus without rebuke - if you'll take Him!
2. A way of guarantee to those who ask in faith.
and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
question: Have you ever asked for and received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? The only condition to asking is that you ask in faith.
Philippian Jailer - Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Ethiopean Eunuch -
Act 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
app. How about you today friend? You are on the way of destruction - not the way of righteousness and peace.
Have you take the path of repentance and dealt with the sin that put Jesus on the cross.
Have you taken the path of faith and salvation - did you call out in faith upon the Lord Jesus for His gift of everlasting life.
YOU NEED WISDOM TODAY - TO HAVE ALL THE BLESSINGS FOUND IN PROVERBS 8. BUT THAT WISDOM IS INSEPERABLE FROM CHRIST. HE IS WHAT YOU NEED TODAY. YOU WON'T FIND HIM OUTSIDE OF THE WAY WHERE HE WALKS.
1.) Are you in the way of peace today? Or does God's wrath abide on you?
2.) Are you in the way of righteousness? Or is that unknown to you?
3.) Have you taken the way of repentance to get to the path of righteousness and peace?
4.) Have you taken the way of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus?
II. Work with me and my wisdom!
exp. If you want to work with Jesus and his wisdom, you can do so with a tender heart.
ill. When you are doing a project with someone and you are encouraging agreement you say, "Just work with me on this."
A. Receive my instruction.
33 Hear instruction,
Jesus (wisdom) is crying out to you.
4 Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
5 O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
6 Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
7 For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
B. Respond to my instruction.
and be wise,
C. Refuse not my instruction.
and refuse it not.
10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
III. Watch for me and my wisdom!
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates,
exp. If you want to see Jesus this morning, you can look daily for Him in His Word.
17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
IV. Wait on me and my wisdom!
waiting at the posts of my doors.
exp. If you want to wait on Jesus this morning, you can just wait upon Him in prayer.
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
V. Win with me and my wisdom!
35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
exp. To possess Jesus is to possess life.
A. He is everlasting life.
B. He is the abundant life.
V. Wrong your soul, without me and my wisdom!
36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.