Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Marks of Maturity
The Marks of Maturity Series was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Lesson One

Receiving Instruction

INTRODUCTION: The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon to instruct, warn and admonish his own sons. The instruction is such that maturity is the hoped for outcome in the lives of these young men. May God help us to be mature.

I. Why Do We Need To Receive Instruction? (1:1-4) -

A. To know wisdom and instruction - "To know wisdom" indicates, to obtain the ability to draw judgment in moral and spiritual issues. Real "wisdom" in the Bible is set over against worldly wisdom as diamonds are set against dung (James 3:1517; Ecc. 1:18; I Cor. 1:17-30).

"Instruction" carries another idea which deals with the idea of training a child by chastening and discipline (Prov. 20:11; 22:6,15; 23:13; 29:15).

B. To perceive the words of understanding - This is the ability to grasp the words of the scripture with which the Holy Spirit teaches.

Notice that these words are "plain" (Prov. 8:7-9). Since "understanding" implies "departing from evil" (Job 28:28), it is not at all surprising so many have trouble understanding!

C. To receive the instruction of wisdom - The instruction which wisdom gives is the sense of the words. Real wisdom enables its recipient to receive the chastisements that accompany it (Heb. 12:3-8; Ps. 118:18).

D. To understand justice - This indicates the discernment of what is right or wrong.

E. To understand judgment - This implies that a true wise man can draw proper judgment on an issue by discriminating the differences in the issues involved. Although our Lord warns us to "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matt. 7:1), He gives the further revelation of the Apostle Paul as "He that is spiritual judgeth all things" (I Cor. 2:15). Paul tells the Christian to judge doubtful practices (Rom. 14:13) and real wisdom is needed for this.

F. To discern equity - This implies the ability for the mature man to tell when two things are balanced and when they are not (Prov. 17:26; 2:9; Ps. 98:9; Isa. 59:14). Equity is defined in Ps. 17:2 as meaning the ability to see what is equal and what is not.

G. To give subtilty to the simple - This is is prudence or discretion which usually comes only with old age, but is available for the young man (I Tim 4:12).

H. To have knowledge and discretion - Knowledge is a storehouse of information of facts, while discretion is describing what a man must have to use those facts properly.

Knowledge without discretion is like horsepower without control or Religion without Salvation. Discretion preserves (Prov. 2:11) where knowledge often destroys: see any morning newspaper.

II. How To Receive Instruction -

A. By seeking council - Some refuse the greatest counsel available (Prov. 1:25) which is the Word of God (Ps. 119:9,16,47).

The counsel of good men (Prov. 11:14; 12:15; 15:22).

B. By recognizing age has great value - (Prov. 20:29; 16:31; 19:26,27; 15:5)

C. By listening closely - It is one thing to seek council (even from the wise old men) but quite another thing to really listen (Prov. 18:13; 19:20).

D. By speaking slowly - (Prov. 21:23)

E. By observation - (Prov. 24:30-34)

III. The Results of Receiving Instruction:

These results are found in Ch. 1 vs. 5-6.

A. He will increase in learning -

B. He-will attain to wise counsels -

C. He will understand the proverbs -

D. And their interpretations -

E. And the dark sayings of the wise -

"To him that hath shall more be given: is the N.T. way of describing this development. The only requirements are that the "wise man" must "take heed" to what he hears and how he hears (Mk. 4:24; Lk. 8:18).


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