Friday, September 16, 2011

Proverbs 15 – The Wisdom of Reproof

A common theme, not only in this chapter but throughout the book of Proverbs, is that of a fool who refuses to take correction, and to seek wisdom.  Proverbs 15 speaks of the wisdom of heeding reproof, and the wisdom of learning from others.  We see this kind of foolishness around us all the time.  Many people who profess to be wise act foolishly and ignore the obvious proof of God and His goodness that is all around us.  As the Bible says, men who reject God are truly without excuse.

Sadly, not only are there many who ignore wisdom and refuse correction, but there are many churches that assist them in doing so.  Despite God’s word telling us that is a means to be used to rebuke and correct, many pastors would never consider doing such a thing.  Their messages are focused on self esteem, self empowerment, and self realization.  The Bible’s focus, in contrast, is on submission to God and giving glory to Him.  Church members are not disciplined for sin out of fear of losing or offending that member, with cowardice preventing them from standing up for God’s word.  This cowardice leaves sheep among the goats, and many church attendees never hear a clear, concise, uncompromising proclamation of the gospel.  As a result, many church attendees are never saved.

But please remember there is one major difference between us and those who choose to reject God.  That difference is God’s grace.  It can be very easy to come across as arrogant or inappropriately judgmental when we see those who don’t know God foolishly ignoring, or even mocking these truths.  But please, make sure that whenever you share the gospel you do so in humility.  We are no better than those we preach to.  We all deserve hell, and God’s grace is a gift none of us deserve.  So please make sure you are gracious when sharing that gift.

All for His glory,


God’s word tells us in this chapter, among other things, that there is wisdom in accepting reproof, or correction

It also gives us a picture of those who refuse to accept correction.

Pride has been from the beginning, and continues to be, the enemy of those who reject God.  And we all suffer from it.

It is our enemy because it leads us away from the truth and into deception, convincing us we can be self-sufficient, and choose what is right on our own.

But I have heard it said that your best friend is the one who tells you the most truth.

So I ask you to please put your pride aside, and listen as I share the truth of the word of God. 

I am here not out of my own pride, to prove I am right, but to tell you the truth, and to be your friend.  I care about what happens to your soul.

Please weigh carefully the truth of the gospel message, and let it bring correction.  Your life depends on your wise response to this.

The Christian message, commonly called the gospel, tells us that we, and every other human being, are by nature in rebellion against God, and His word.

Romans 3 says:
None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one."

Genesis 8 says the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth

Everyone is by nature a sinner, and a rebel against God, but few understand how seriously God takes sin.

Many of you may have attended churches run by weak-willed teachers and pastors who never give correction for fear of damaging your self-esteem.

There are many false teachers today who will tickle your ears, saying what you want to hear, and never talking about sin.

Ephesians 2 says we are dead in our trespasses and sins, and are by nature children of wrath.  Hebrews 10 tells us that vengeance is the Lord’s, and that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

So God gave us His law to show us what sin is, and to instruct us in righteousness.  The law is mean to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith

Proverbs 15 tells us a fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Prov. 16 says All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.

So weigh your spirit by God’s law, and listen to your Father’s instruction, to see how your  life compares with His standard of goodness.


A scoffer does not like to be reproved, and will not go to the wise.  But I pray that you will not scoff at God’s law, but will consider carefully your condition before the perfect, holy, and just creator.

Proverbs 15 says that there will be severe discipline for he who forsakes the way, and whoever hates reproof will die.  We don’t want that for you.

The death of those who hate God’s reproof and His word is a place called hell.

Hell is more than just being separated from God.  It is separation from all His goodness, and every good thing He created.  It is also punishment and pain beyond description.  It is described as eternal fire, eternal torment, and outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

But God provided an escape.  He provided a way for His justice to be satisfied and for our sin debt to be paid so that we could be made right with Him,

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came to earth 2000 years ago to provide a payment for sin.

Jesus lived the perfect life, and then willing went to a Roman cross to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin.

When Jesus was on the cross, God’s anger and wrath toward sin was poured out on Him, so it wouldn’t have to be poured out on us.

Then three days later He rose again from the dead, as He had prophesied that He would, and He now sits at the Father’s right hand as our advocate, our lawyer for the Day of Judgment.

So now, if you do as the Bible commands, if you repent, or turn from your sins, and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you, then when you stand before God in judgment you will be seen as righteous, as morally good and pure.  But that righteousness will not be your own, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ, laid to your account.

This may sound like foolishness to you.  But we warned.  God’s word says the message of the cross is folly to those who are perishing.  If this seems like nothing but foolishness, it is evidence that you are outside of God’s will, and need correction

Proverbs says the fool doesn’t like correction, but the wise man knows its value

Some will go to hell rather than accept correction from or submit to anyone.

So today, be wise, and accept God’s correction.  Come to Him in humility, turning from your sins and trusting in Him alone, and He will wash you clean.

You may think it is pride and arrogance to stand here, and tell you that I know God’s will, and how to get right with Him.  You may think it’s arrogant for anyone to think they know God’s will.

If I have come across as arrogant or prideful, please forgive me.  But please, do not reject this message due to my failures.

God is real, His word is true, and it is only through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that you can be made right with Him.  So put aside my arrogance, put aside your own pride, and come before God in humility.  Cry out to Him while He has given you time, and be saved!

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