By Kenneth Hawthorne

(With credit to Jason Jackson and Rob Harbison)

"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom" (Proverbs 4:7)

There are three different classifications of people in the book of Proverbs: The fool, the simple, and the wise (compare Proverbs 9).

What is a fool? “The word is used in Scripture with respect to moral more than to intellectual deficiencies. The ‘fool’ is not so much one lacking in mental powers, as one who misuses them.... In Scripture the ‘fool’...is the person who casts off the fear of God, and thinks and acts as if he can safely disregard the eternal principles of God's righteousness (Psa. 14:1; 92:5-6; Prov. 14:9)” (Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 375). What are some of the characteristics of a fool? There are at least six,

1.   He trusts in himself (Prov. 12:15; 28:26) when he should be trusting in God (Prov. 3:5-6).

2.   He will not listen to and even despises instruction (Prov. 1:7; 15:5; 23:9).

3.   He is a talker rather than a listener (Prov. 18:2).

4.   He cannot be disciplined (Prov. 17:10).

5.   He does not act on principle but on impulse (Prov. 14:29).

6.   He is so grounded in sin that he is virtually unchangeable. He has developed his character by a series of foolish decisions—a life of folly (Prov. 27:22; 26:11).

Now what does it mean to be simple? The simple individual lacks understanding; he is naive and gullible; he is too trusting. He “lacks sense” (Prov. 7:7, ESV). This person is untrained; he cannot discern what would cause him harm. He is easily persuaded by strong influences. But “the simple” can be taught. If he will listen, he can be instructed in wisdom—skill for living. The book of Proverbs is designed "to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth” (Prov. 1:4, ESV).

Now what is wisdom? Rubel Shelly has written,

“In the Bible, wisdom is always God-oriented and practical. It is not entirely coextensive with knowledge for a knowledgeable person may be very deficient in wisdom. Wisdom is the right use of one's knowledge, insight and skill to the glory of God. It originates in the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7; 9:10; Job 28:28; Psa 111:10). Thus the Bible defines wisdom in terms of one's relationship with God rather than formal education or attainments before men (cf. James 3:13-18). Worldly wisdom is knowledge apart from divine revelation and is often opposing in nature. True wisdom is the ordering of one's life by God-given counsel.” (A Book by Book Study of the Old Testament, p. 81)

Another has said, “Wisdom ... enables one to turn every good thing in life to its rightful purpose. It is something more than intellectual excellence, in that it implies a spiritual and moral quality of heart, will and life; and is the practical application of knowledge to its best ends.” (Maurice A. Meredith, Studies in Proverbs, p. 9)

It is our choice which of these we choose to be—foolish, simple or wise. The book of Proverbs is all about urging men to choose the wisdom of God for their lives (Prov. 3:5-8). &


By Bob Myhan

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

When one is scripturally baptized, he enters the body, church or kingdom of Christ (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13, 18). Some assert that the above passage is speaking of "Holy Spirit baptism." They argue that water baptism is administered by man and cannot be the baptism that puts a person into the "one body," but Holy Spirit baptism, being performed by Jesus, can be the baptism that puts a person into the "one body." However, only the apostles were promised Holy Spirit baptism (Acts 1:1-5; 2:1-11). When the gospel was preached on the Day of Pentecost, the people were told, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). And "those who gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41). Since Peter was speaking as the Spirit gave utterance (Acts 2:4), and the people were baptized in response to Peter’s command, it may be said that the Holy Spirit baptized them through the agency of Peter, just as Jesus earlier baptized through the agency of the apostles (John 4:1,2). The same thing happened later at Corinth under the inspired preaching of Paul (Acts 18:1-8).

When the Holy Spirit was the element in which men were baptized, Jesus was the baptizer (Matthew 3:11); the Holy Spirit is never said to have baptized in Himself. As already pointed out, there is "one baptism" (Eph. 4:5), not two or more. The element of the "one baptism" is obviously water, rather than the Holy Spirit, because baptism in water is commanded and is “for the remission of sins” while baptism in the Holy Spirit was never commanded and was not for “the remission of sins.” Thus, in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul was speaking of water baptism, not Holy Spirit baptism.

This does not mean, however, that the man who baptizes an individual puts that one into the "one body." It was the Lord who said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16), and it was the Lord who "added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47). So, when a penitent believer is “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, he is saved by the Lord and added by the Lord to the Lord's church. If this is not the case, why is it not? &