Wisdom’s Rebuke

Perhaps you are familiar with the term incorrigible. If not, here’s Webster’s definition–

incorrigible: incapable of being corrected or amended: as a (1): not reformable : depraved (2): delinquent b: not manageable : unruly c: unalterable, inveterate.

I’m betting that as you read this definition, you could imagine a picture to go along with the definition. Did someone come to your mind who is unable to admit when they are wrong? Do you know anyone who is unwilling to change or accept correction from others? In the world in which we live, correction is not popular. In fact, from a modern standpoint it’s downright rude and uncivil. After all, how can someone correct someone else without appealing to what is objectively right and objectively wrong? But, my interest in this e-mail (and the upcoming sermon) is not to give a cultural commentary, but to think about the Bible’s view on correction and rebuke. And for this, we turn to the book of Proverbs.

This Sunday at Redeemer, we will be concluding a series of sermons on the first chapter of Proverbs. This week we will be considering Wisdom’s Rebuke, from Proverbs 1:20-33. What becomes immediately apparent in this text is the necessity for the wise to accept (and even welcome!) rebuke. Now, this should not come as a surprise at all to Christians who are reading this e-mail. After all, the very essence of being a Christian is the acknowledgement that we are wrong. The Bible teaches that we’ve sinned and sought to rebel against the Holy God that created us. Christians are those who repent (turn away from their sin) and believe (trust in Christ). But Christian, how do you normally handle correction now? Surely your conversion experience was not the only time in your life when you’ve admitted that you were wrong and pursued repentance. Are you someone who welcomes correction, or is your picture (in the mind of others) alongside the definition of incorrigible?

What happens if we ultimately refuse wisdom’s reproof? Well, as you read this text this week, think especially about verses 26-28 as an answer to that question. Although complacency might be considered cool today, it ultimately leads to death. There will be a day when all of our second chances have run out. When will that day come? How much time do we have to listen to the call of wisdom? Friend, I hope that you will join us this week as we reflect on these sober realities. My prayer is that we will “all listen and live securely…and be at ease from the dread of evil. (v.33)” Are you at ease from evil? You can be. Join us this Sunday as we continue to think about the wisdom held out for us in the book of Proverbs, made plain in the Gospel.

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