Does Knowing Truth Make You a Wise Virgin?

By: Joseph H. Murray


   A knowledge of truth brings with it a great responsibility, and the response we give to it is obedience or disobedience.

   Paul, in his writings to the Corinthians, said, “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (1Cor. 8:1–2).

   The only thing that determines whether or not you are wise or foolish is your obedience or your disobedience, and that determines whether you will be saved or lost. James gives it to us in these words: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

   Jesus taught it in these words: “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47–48).

   Paul recorded it in these words: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing” (1Cor. 13:1–2).

   We know that there are two kinds of wisdom, for Paul wrote again, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1Cor. 3:18–23).

   All men who seek God are wise in a degree, and in seeking Him with all their hearts, they become free to choose to obey or disobey Him. The sinner does not have that choice. They are not sinners because they sin, but they sin because they are sinners. They have no choice but to sin. The children of God are the only ones who have a choice to do right or wrong.

   All those ten virgins in Matthew 25 were free at one time. They chose to obey God or not to obey Him. The wise obeyed and kept an extra supply of oil (Spirit). The foolish failed to do so and ran out of oil (Spirit).

   The foolish virgins had an introduction to the truth as well as did the wise, but they had no pleasure in it and did not love it but, rather, had pleasure in unrighteousness, and because of this, they are to be damned.

   Because of their pleasure in unrighteousness, they are to perish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2Thess. 2:10).

   The foolish have to have truth told to them to be held chargeable for not obeying it. There could be no penalty without the breaking of a commandment.

   Would you be willing to become a fool to be wise? This way of Holiness is foolishness to the world. However, since everybody is somebody’s fool, let’s become fools for Christ’s sake. You want to be saved, you say. Then get lost in Christ and you might have a chance to be saved. When we really believe, and get the testimony of the Lord in us, we can be made wise no matter how simple we may be, for the psalmist David gave us these words: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Ps. 19:7).

   It’s written again, “Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men (or, a feeder of gluttons) shameth his father” (Prov. 28:7).

   Paul continues, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1Cor. 2:1–8).

   “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32).

   The Apostle Paul tells us, in these words, how we are to react to the truth and to the liberty which it gives us: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).

   We understand that Paul had reference to adhering to the carnal ordinances of the law imposed upon the Jews through the Mosaic law, but how about us Gentiles who were never under bondage to such ordinances? Are we exempt and excusable because we were not so? I think not, for, he goes on in detail as to the works of the flesh and the Spirit and tells us how we are to walk. He wrote, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:13–16).

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