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Sermon #3328

Wisdom and Knowledge

A Sermon on Romans 12:16


Romans 12:16 ESV KJV
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Romans 12:16 titled “Wisdom and Knowledge,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches on the importance of being of the same mind. Christians are to bless those who persecute them, rejoice with those who rejoice, and are to be of the same mind in agreement with one another. Two things threaten to destroy harmony – haughtiness in minding high things and being wise in one’s own eyes. Christians should learn about the folly of intellectual pride and look at the history of the Christian church to see how important it is to guard against this sin. This sin is the abuse of one of God’s greatest gift to humanity — the intellect. There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom: one is merely gathering and acquiring factual information, while the other is the power and capacity to apply it. The greater the scholar, the more humble the person. A little knowledge is most dangerous and while love builds one up, knowledge merely puffs up. Christians should consider the humility and meekness of the Son of God and remember the Scriptures, “walk humbly with thy God” and “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Christians are encouraged to learn to distinguish between true and false wisdom.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is teaching how Christians should react and behave towards others in Romans 12.
  2. In verse 16, Paul emphasizes the importance of agreement and harmony in the church. Christians should be "of the same mind one toward another."
  3. There are two main dangers that threaten Christian unity: haughtiness and being "wise in your own conceits." Paul addressed haughtiness in the previous verse. Now he addresses the second danger.
  4. Being "wise in your own conceits" means being proud of your own wisdom and knowledge. This can take two forms: being proud of what you know or being proud of your wisdom. Both are wrong.
  5. It is wrong to be proud of your own wisdom and knowledge for several reasons:
  6. It is rarely true. We know little and make many mistakes. True wisdom leads to humility.
  7. Whatever wisdom or knowledge we have is a gift from God, not something we have earned or created.
  8. It does great harm to us and others. It "puffs up" and inflates us with air, not substance. It leads to behavior opposite of love.
  9. It puts us in a dangerous position. Pride comes before a fall. We will be judged by the standard we set for ourselves.
  10. It is the opposite of Christ, who was meek and humble.
  11. To avoid this sin, we must:
  12. Walk humbly with God
  13. Work out our salvation with fear and trembling
  14. Learn the difference between true wisdom (from above, pure, peaceable, gentle) and false wisdom (earthly, sensual, devilish)
  15. Seek true wisdom from God
  16. Remember "he that is down need fear no fall" - if we stay humble we will avoid this sin

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.