Sermon #38                                                    Jude Sermons


     Title:           The Only Wise God - Our Savior

     Text:           Jude 1:25

     Subject:      Christ the Only and All-wise God

     Date:          Tuesday Evening — August 16, 2005

     Tape #        Jude #38

     Readings:   Lindsay Campbell and Rex Bartley



(Jude 1:24-25)  “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”


Tonight, I want us to give adoration, worship and praise “To the only wise God, our Savior.


Proposition: I want only to show you that the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the only wise God, and inspire our hearts to trust, love, worship and adore him.


To the only wise God our Savior! Without question, Jude’s doxology is suited to our Triune God and to each person in the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are engaged in the salvation of our souls from eternity (Jude 1; Eph. 1:3-14). But, Jude was inspired in this verse to ascribe his praise and ours specifically to our Lord Jesus Christ, as “the only wise God, our Savior,” just as in verse 24 he was inspired to tell us that it is Christ, our God-man Mediator, who is able and will keep us from falling and present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” These are the specific things Christ engaged to do for us as our Surety in old eternity, is doing, and shall do. Therefore he is specifically praised for doing them. The Triune God is pleased that in all things he should have pre-eminence; and these ascriptions of praise are his personal right as our Redeemer, Mediator, Surety, Substitute, and Savior.


Christ is Worthy


First, let me say, again, that Christ is worthy of all praise as “the only wise God, our Savior.” The title suits him well; and we are happy to give it to him. While he walked on this earth, our blessed Savior was looked upon as a man of ignorance. — “How knoweth this man letters, men said concerning him, having never learned (John 7:15). How ignorant they were! Indeed, how ignorant all are, who fail to see that this Man, is God our Savior, and that he is “the only wise God!


The Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of all possible glory. Yet, when he came to redeem his people, he emptied himself of all glory and took upon his the form of a servant (Phi. 2:7). Majesty and glory are his inherent rights. Yet, when he walked upon earth, he hid not his face from shame and spitting (Isa. 1:6). Dominion belongs to our Savior. He is, as God, the eternal Monarch of the universe. Yet, while in this world, he did not even have a place to lay his head (Luke 9:58). And all power is his forever, for he is the omnipotent God. Yet, when dying in our room and stead, as our Substitute, he was mocked by men as one who was utterly impotent to help himself. The men around his cross cried, “He saved others; himself he cannot save (Mark 15:31). Yes, he who loved us and gave himself for us, to whom the Triune God has given all power over all flesh, that he might give eternal life to his redeemed people, God all-wise and utterly worthy to eternally receive all glory, and honor, and power, and might, — “for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.”


(Revelation 5:9-10)  “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”


The Only Wise God


Second, let me show you something of his excellency, supremacy, and superlative solitariness as the only wise God. I will not take time to show you again that the man Christ Jesus, who is our Savior, is God. Instead, I want use to simply adore his wisdom as God.


We admire wisdom in men. We do not necessarily admire learning, education, or knowledge. But we do admire wisdom. We seek the counsel and advice of wise men. We take the reproof and correction of one who is wise and seek to profit by his wisdom. To do so is itself an act of wisdom. As we admire the attribute of wisdom in a man, we ought all the more to admire it in God. A wise God is worthy of admiration, worship, trust, and obedience.


Like goodness, sovereignty, power, and holiness, wisdom is an attribute of God’s perfect, infinite Being. God is wise, infinitely wise, perfectly wise, supremely wise, and consummately wise. His wisdom should inspire our hearts with confidence in him and praise to him.


But why is the Lord Jesus here called “the only wise God”? It is because he alone is the embodiment and Revelation of God (John 1:14-18; Col. 2:9-10).


1.    He who is God our Savior is wise, all-wise, infinitely wise. In fact, he alone is wise.


That statement might seem to be an exaggeration; but it is not. He who is our God, and he alone, is wise (Rom. 16:27; 1 Tim. 1:17).


(Romans 16:27)  “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”


(1 Timothy 1:17)  “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”


Three times in the New Testament the Lord our God is called “the only wise God.” Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is the proper and best use of knowledge. And the Lord our God, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, possesses all wisdom. He is “the only wise God” (Job 12:12-13; Dan. 2:20-21).


(Job 12:12-13)  “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. (13) With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.”


(Daniel 2:20-21)  “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: (21) And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:”


Yes, God does, in measure, give wisdom to men, as he did to Solomon. He has endowed man with a spirit of wisdom and prudence. But he alone is truly wise, because his is infinite wisdom. That makes all human wisdom but ignorance and folly. There is none wise, but God; and if we have any measure of wisdom we have it by his gift. God our Savior is originally and independently wise in and of himself. Our wisdom is but a ray communicated from “the father of lights” (James 1:17). He alone is essentially wise. That makes him “the only wise.”


2.    Though I repeat myself, I must say, “the only wise God, our Savior,” is exclusively wise.


The holy angels, though they are wise and holy creatures by God’s design, when compared to him, are charged with folly (Job 4:18). And man, though he would be wise and thinks himself wise, is as “a wild ass’s colt” before God. We have very little wisdom even in natural things and none in spiritual things by nature. If we attain any spiritual wisdom it is by the gift of God (2 Cor. 2:11-16). We are wise to do evil. But to do good, we have no knowledge. God alone is wise. Wisdom belongs to God exclusively.


3.    The only wise God, our Savior,” is all-wise.


He possesses all wisdom regarding all things. And he is wise in all his glorious Being. Everything God is is wise. And everything he does reflects his wisdom. There is no defect or lack of wisdom in him with respect to anything. Men may be wise in some things and foolish in others. But God is wise in everything. No man is always wise. Sometimes the wisest of men say and do foolish things, but not God. Neither his Word nor his works can be charged with folly. There is not an unwise word in all the Volume of Inspiration. And there is not an unwise action in all his works. — “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all” (Psa. 104:24).


4.    The only wise God, our Savior,” is essentially wise.


Wisdom is his nature and essence. Wisdom is what God is. As God is Love, as God is Spirit, as God is Goodness, so God is Wisdom. Without wisdom, he would not be God. God is wisdom essentially and eternally. And his wisdom is underived. It is immutable wisdom. It never increases and never diminishes.


5.    Moreover, “The only wise God, our Savior,” is the source and fountain of all wisdom.


Whatever wisdom there is in the universe among angels and men it comes from God. He is the Author and Giver of wisdom. The angels of heaven get their wisdom from God. The great men of the earth get their wisdom from God. All the wisdom that Adam had in innocence, or his sons have in the earth, even all the wisdom that Solomon possessed and the wisdom of God’s elect in eternal glory, is wisdom given, bestowed and maintained by God. I repeat myself, again, deliberately: Wisdom is the gift of God (James 1:5). Anyone who possesses any wisdom by which he is distinguished from others, be it natural or spiritual, has his wisdom by the sovereign bestowment of the Almighty (1 Cor. 4:7). Whatever wisdom there is in any of us, God put it there. He who gives wisdom to the wise is the infinitely wise God. The wisdom of God is unsearchable. Its depth cannot be fathomed. It cannot be traced and found out to perfection (Rom. 11:33; Job 11:6-9; 28:12-23).


(Job 11:6-9)  “And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (7) Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? (8) It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? (9) The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.”


(Job 28:12-23)  “But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? (13) Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. (14) The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. (15) It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. (16) It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. (17) The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. (18) No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. (19) The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. (20) Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? (21) Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. (22) Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. (23) God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.”


As a candle gives no light when the sun shines bright, our wisdom is but ignorance. Ours is wisdom within very narrow limits, and extends very few things. His is unlimited, and incomprehensible, and extends to all things.

·       The only wise God, our Savior,” manages the affairs of the whole world, of the entire universe, things visible and invisible.

·       He cares for all things, from the ant to the angels.

·       Nothing is so small as to escape his knowledge.

·       Nothing is so great as to be a burden to his mind.

·       Our wisdom is gained by learning, but “who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord?” (Isa. 11:13).

·       Our wisdom is increased by experience. Therefore old men are usually more prudent than young.

·       But God’s wisdom is incapable of increase. It is infinite fullness of wisdom.

·       We are often deceived. Men of the greatest sagacity and cunning fail in their plots and enterprises, and so their “wisdom is turned into folly.”

·       But it is not so with God. “His counsel shall stand” (Ps. 33:11).

·       We are capable of attending to but one care at a time. Many thoughts scatter our minds and weaken them.

·       But God in one moment of understanding sees all things and wisely disposes of all things. “The only wise God, our Savior,” does not deliberate, or consult, or think in succession. He is “the only wise God, our Savior!


If he is “the only wise God, our Savior,” then, let us never imagine that we are wiser than God. Let us never cavil at what he has revealed, because we do not understand it. I do not know the nature of an ant. I am often puzzled by very small things. Yet, I do not question the ant’s existence and industry, or the small things that puzzle me. Why should I, how dare I, call into question the mysteries God reveals in his Word? Divine truth, like pills, must be swallowed rather than chewed, received upon God’s solitary authority, when we see no reason for them, for he is “only wise God.”


Wisdom’s Work


Third, the wisdom of “the only wise God, our Savior,” is manifest in his works. Though his wisdom cannot be found out to perfection, there are some glaring, bright, and shining, striking appearances of it which are edifying and comforting to consider. His wisdom is manifest in his counsels of old (Isa. 25:1).


(Isaiah 25:1)  “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”


Usually, the wisest acts of men are the results of thoughtful deliberation and sober consultation. Therefore, God’s eternal decrees are called “his counsels of old.” God did not need to deliberate or consult with anyone about what he would do. Yet his decrees and purposes, being fixed by the highest wisdom are called his “counsels.” Thus he condescends to speak to us mortals with puny brains in a way that we can understand!


God, in his infinite understanding of all things, knew from eternity what is best to be done. And by wisdom he decreed it according to the good pleasure of his will. He appointed the end of all things and ordained the best means to accomplish that end. In predestination, he set the proper time for the accomplishment of all things and guarded his purpose against everything that might hinder its accomplishment.

·       The end for which God ordained all things is his own glory (Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36).

·       The beneficiaries of God’s purposes and decrees are his own elect, whom he predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ in everlasting salvation (Eph. 1:5-6, 11; Rom. 9:23; 11:33-36).

·       God’s eternal purpose of grace in election and predestination is revealed for the glorifying of his grace in saving sinners (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).

·       In order to accomplish his eternal purpose of grace, God has wisely ordained the time, season, place, and end of all things under the sun (Eccles. 3:1, 11, 14, 17).


(Ecclesiastes 3:1)  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”


(Ecclesiastes 3:11)  “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”


(Ecclesiastes 3:14)  “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”


(Ecclesiastes 3:17)  “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”


Though there are many devices formed to overthrow God’s purpose and thwart his decree, they are all vain. God not only disappoints the devices of the crafty, he uses their devices to accomplish his own wise designs (Psa. 76:10). His counsel will stand. And he will do all his pleasure (Isa. 46:10). The thoughts of his heart, his decrees, shall be performed unto all generations.


He not only overthrows, but wisely and sovereignly uses the deeds of the wicked to accomplish his holy pleasure.

·       The plot of Satan to overthrow his dominion only served to accomplish his purpose (Isa. 14:14, 24, 26, 27).

·       Adam’s insurrection and fall was typical of and foreshadowed our salvation by Christ, the last Adam (Rom. 5:18-19; 1 Cor. 15:21-22).

·       Joseph was sold into Egypt by his brothers who meant it for evil because God had ordained it for good (Gen. 50:19-20).

·       Pharaoh hardened his heart against Israel and against God because the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he might glorify himself in Pharaoh’s destruction and Israel’s salvation (Rom. 9:17). Twelve times, the Bible specifically states that “the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex. 7:13, 14, 22; 8:19, 32; 9:7, 12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:8).

·       The kiss of Judas, the cowardice of Pilate, and even the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ was in exact accordance with God’s wisdom and purpose of grace toward his people (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28).


(Acts 2:23)  “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”


(Acts 4:27-28)  “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, (28) For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”


Even the failings and sins of his people are overruled by him and used by “the only wise God, our Savior” to accomplish his purpose. Had it not been for the incest of Tamar, the sin of Elimelech in going down to Moab which brought Boaz and Ruth together, and the sin of David in the matter of Uriah, the Lord Jesus Christ would never have been born into this world. His incarnation was, by the arrangement of providence, the direct result of these sad events. This fact does not, to any degree, lessen the offenses mentioned or charge the holy Lord God with complicity in them (James 1:13). But they do display God’s great, infinite wisdom in arranging and controlling the affairs of the universe to accomplish his own gracious purposes.


The covenant of grace, from which all things spring, was a work of infinite wisdom (Heb. 8:10-12). It was wisdom in God that devised such a covenant and moved him to make it ordered in all things and sure for the glory of the divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the everlasting salvation of his elect.

·       It is a covenant stored with all the promises and blessings of grace (Tit. 1:2).

·       It is a covenant that was made with Christ as the Surety of a chosen people (Heb. 7:22).

·       Every blessing of the covenant, as well as every condition of it, was placed in Christ, put upon Christ, and fulfilled by Christ (Eph. 1:3; 2 Tim. 1:9).

·       Thus did God in great, infinite wisdom find a ransom suitable and way honoring to himself to justify his elect (Job 33:24; Rom. 3:24-26).


(Job 33:24)  “Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.”


(Romans 3:24-26)  “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”


God’s works of creation are spectacular displays of undeniable wisdom (Psa. 104:24; 136:3-5; Prov. 3:19-20; Jer. 10:12).


(Psalms 104:24)  “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.”


(Psalms 136:3-5)  “O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. (4) To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. (5) To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.”


(Proverbs 3:19-20)  “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. (20) By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.”


(Jeremiah 10:12)  “He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.”


In the luminous heavens above — the sun, the moon, and the stars, the atmospheric heavens — the clouds, rain, snow, and seasons, and the earth with all its climates, vegetation, beasts, bodies of water, the human body are all wonders of God’s wisdom (Psa. 139:14-17).


(Psalms 139:14-17)  “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”


God’s in providence is a constant manifestation of his wisdom (Rom. 8:28; 11:36).


(Romans 8:28)  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”


(Romans 11:33-36)  “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35) Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36) For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”


As we have already seen, God’s providential rule is universal in its scope, detailed in its exercise, and saving in its end. In infinite wisdom he rules all things everywhere and at all times for the salvation of his people and the glory of his own great name.


Above all else the wisdom of God is revealed in the redemption and salvation of sinners by Christ (Eph. 1:7-8). Wisdom and prudence are displayed in other works of God. But all wisdom and prudence are displayed in the great works of grace by which we are saved. Behold the wisdom of God in...

1.    The Person appointed to be our Redeemer — Christ (Job 33:24).

2.    The means by which Christ came — The incarnation (Heb. 10:5-10).

3.    The people God sent his Son to redeem (Rom. 5:6-10; 1 Cor. 1:26-31).

4.    The method by which Christ accomplished our redemption — Substitution — Blood atonement (2 Cor. 5:21).

5.    The method by which salvation is brought to sinners  — Irresistible, effectual, almighty grace (Rom. 9:16).


The wisdom of God shines forth brilliantly in the gospel, the good news of salvation by Christ (1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 3:10).


(1 Corinthians 2:7)  “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:”


(Ephesians 3:10)  “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”


Christ is the gospel. And Christ is the wisdom of God (Prov. 8:12-31; 1 Cor. 1:24). The doctrine of the gospel — free justification, peace, pardon, and righteousness by Christ; the ordinances of the gospel — baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and the standing ministry of the gospel, all show forth the wisdom of our God as gifts of his free grace (Eph. 4:11-16).


In wisdom he uses frail men, placing them where he wills for the salvation of his elect. His wisdom preserves his servants, his church, and his testimony in the world. And his wisdom makes his word to accomplish exactly what he pleases (Isa. 55:11).


And what magnificent wisdom “the only wise God, our Savior,” displays in his acts of love by which he subdues sinners to himself; this taking sinners in their month, and disposing of unthought of circumstances and passages of providence for the conversion of his elect (Ps. 107), and in overruling of all events to further their eternal blessedness!


Illustration: Hosea and Gomer


How we ought to admire the wisdom of God! Look into the scriptures, and consider the stupendous mysteries that are revealed there; of the Trinity in unity, God manifested in our flesh, a virgin conceiving, Christ the sinless One made sin and dying in the place of sinners! “Oh! the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” But let us do more than that. Admire his wisdom, yes; but trust it too!


·       He knows how to deliver. Wait for him.

·       He knows how to protect. Wait for him.

·       He knows what is best. Wait for him.


(Isaiah 40:28-31)  “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (29) He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (30) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: (31) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”


Now, I send you home with this. This One, who is “the only wise God” is our “Savior!”

·       Christ is God.

·       Christ is the only wise God.

·       Christ is Wisdom.

·       Christ is made of God unto us Wisdom.

·       And Christ, the only wise God, is our Savior!

Let us ascribe all praise, honor, and glory to him. He fully deserves it!


(Jude 1:24-25)  “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (25) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.”