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God’s Wisdom and Resurrection Power

By Joe Boot/ March 27, 2016

Series  Ecclesiastes: Life Under the Sun

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Salvation

Scripture  Ecclesiastes 7:15-22

We can never appreciate the almighty strength of Christ displayed in the resurrection until we recognize the power of sin and death that He has broken.

Scripture:  Ecclesiastes 7:15-22

Sermon Notes:

  1. In the resurrection power of God, death has been defeated and we are raised to newness of life in Him. 
  2. Sin is not a trifle. It is the heart of the human problem, and we can never appreciate the almighty strength of Christ in the resurrection until we recognize the power and strength of sin and death that He has broken.
  3. There is a sense of meaninglessness and futility that the writer feels. No human can straighten what is crooked by his own power.
  4. Solomon reaches a profound realization that he is powerless to deal with sin at its root. He cannot bring about righteousness and justice by his wisdom, nor can he free man's life from vanity and sin.
  5. There is sin and wickedness everywhere in this world. A supernatural wisdom will be required if the crookedness that is basic to man is to be straightened out. 
  6. Solomon then counsels us against self-righteous efforts at perfection. The self-righteous are confident in their virtue and wisdom to solve the problems of the world and fix everyone else (e.g. through legislation). This is actually a destructive path.
  7. It's only Christianity that is not self-righteous. Every other ideological perspective is built on self-righteousness (e.g. Islam, humanism).
  8. Christianity requires God to lay down His life because no one else is righteous (Ecc. 7:20).
  9. Refusing to believe they are in the grip of sin, people believe there is another answer to the human problem. But they destroy themselves when they attempt self-salvation. 
  10. Others respond to the problem of sin by embracing it. To respond to the frustration we sense by casting off all restraint is to openly provoke God, who will not be mocked.
  11. The one who fears God will avoid both of these traps. We are urged to recognize our helplessness in sin and to take hold of the fear of God (Ecc. 7:18 cf. Prov 9:10).
  12. The teacher tells us therefore to fear God, for He alone can deliver us out of this helpless situation.
  13. To fear God is neither terror nor slavish fear. Rather, fearing God puts God front and center of our lives. It means to look to God for the answers; to reverence and respect God; to have a higher opinion of Him than of yourself; to turn ourselves to God.
  14. As gifted and blessed as he was with wisdom, Solomon knew that he could not deliver anyone from sin and death. But One has come that has no sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
  15. All Scripture testifies that Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God. He is the power and wisdom of God, stronger than Solomon. Christ’s supernatural power and wisdom shatters sin and death and transforms the heart.
  16. Because Christ was truly a sinless man, death couldn't hold him.
  17. There is a power at work in our lives today that the world does not possess or understand. This power is unleashed by the resurrection of Christ, making us a new creation, giving us new life, and straightening out the crookedness in our hearts.
  18. Without this power of God, we are powerless against sin.
  19. Whatever plans we have outside of Christ, they are always overtaken by futility, frustration and death.
  20. People do not improve with time. Our problem is not lack of time.
  21. We are in the grip and corruption of sin. Our problem is that sin promotes this endless re-enactment of the past.
  22. We change only by grace; transformation comes only by the power of the resurrection.
  23. The resurrection gives us power to live to the glory of God irrespective of our circumstances. We are not bound to a yoke of slavery. Every bondage and curse is broken by this power. Every self-destructive habit smashed by the new creation. The power of hell itself is shattered by the resurrection.
  24. We live today as the people of the resurrection, because God is at work transforming every area of our lives.

Application Questions:

  1. What is the real problem with humankind?  
  2. List Scripture passages which identify man’s problem and God’s solution to it.
  3. What does the world blame for the problems of the human race? Evaluate the world’s solutions to address the problems of humankind.
  4. What is the fear of God?  What is it not?
  5. What is the effect of resurrection power in the life of a Christian?