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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5894 intelligence
5894 intelligence

5894 intelligence

The natural ability to acquire knowledge and to learn skills. It is not emphasised in Scripture because wisdom is viewed primarily in spiritual and moral terms. Human cleverness proves ultimately futile; nevertheless, believers are called to develop and use their minds to the full in God’s service and to dedicate gifts and abilities to him.

Wisdom is primarily spiritual and moral

Pr 9:10 See also Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; Jas 3:13

The spiritual and moral inadequacy of unaided human intelligence

Unaided human intelligence proves futile Ps 94:11 See also Ecc 9:11; Ecc 12:12; Da 12:4; Ac 17:21; 1Co 3:20

Human intelligence does not bring knowledge of God 1Co 1:20-21 See also Jn 5:39-40; Ro 1:22-23; Col 2:8

Human intelligence cannot promote godliness Col 2:23 See also 1Co 8:1-2; Jas 3:14-16

Reliance on human intelligence brings judgment Isa 29:14 See also Job 5:13; Isa 44:25; 1Co 1:19

Many of the first Christians were not intelligent

1Co 1:26-31 See also Ac 4:13

Believers are to use their minds

The mind to be used in serving God Mk 12:30 pp Mt 22:37 pp Lk 10:27 See also 1Co 7:37 The mind is to be used in seeking to discern God’s will; 1Co 14:15-18 The mind is to be used in worship.

God wants to renew the mind Ro 12:2 See also Eph 4:23; Heb 10:16; Jer 31:33

The mind must be correctly focused Ro 8:5-6; Php 4:6-7; Col 3:2

Examples of intelligent people

1Sa 25:3 Abigail; 2Ch 2:12 Solomon; Da 1:4 young men from Israel exiled in Babylon; Da 1:17 Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; Ac 5:34 Gamaliel; Ac 7:22 Moses; Ac 13:6-7 Sergius Paulus; Ac 26:24 Paul

Examples of believers using their minds

Ecc 8:9 See also Ezr 7:10 Ezra; Ecc 7:25 the Teacher; Da 10:12 Daniel; Ac 17:11 the Bereans; 2Ti 2:15 Paul’s expectation for Timothy

God uses intelligence dedicated to him

Ge 41:46-49 God uses Joseph’s administrative skill; Ex 31:2-6 pp Ex 35:30-35 Craftsmen use artistic expertise; 1Ki 7:13-14 pp 2Ch 2:13-14 Huram does work in bronze for Solomon’s temple; 2Ch 26:15 Skilful men design machines for the defence of Jerusalem; Da 5:13-14 Daniel’s intelligence aids his witness in the Babylonian court; Lk 1:3-4 Luke’s thorough research owes something to his medical training.

See also

8135knowing God

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