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EPHESIANS 3:8




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Jun 17, 2018
Preacher: John Gill
Passage: Proverbs 14:15

The Prudent Man

The simple believeth every word: 
but the prudent man looketh well to his going

(PROVERBS 14:15)

The simple believeth every word,.... Every thing that is said to him every story that is told him, and every promise that is made him; and so is easily imposed upon, and drawn in to his hurt: [however] every word of God, or doctrine of His, ought to be believed; because whatever He says is true, God cannot lie; every word of His is pure, free from all error and falsehood; it is a tried word, and found to bear a faithful testimony, and, if we receive the witness of then, the witness of God is greater; besides, His word is profitable for instruction, and for the increase of peace, joy, and comfort, and is effectual to saving purposes: every word of Christ is to be believed, who is a teacher sent from God; whose mission is confirmed by miracles, and whose doctrine is not His own as man, but His Father’s; He is the faithful witness, and Truth itself; His words are more than human, and besides are pleasant and wholesome: and every word and doctrine of His apostles, who received their mission commission, and doctrines from Him, is also to be believed; but every spirit, or everyone that pretends to be a spiritual man, and to have spiritual gifts, is not to be believed; but the words and doctrines of ordinary men and ministers are to be first tried by the unerring rule of the sacred Scriptures; yea, the doctrines of the apostles were examined by them; see 1 John 4:1; they are “simple”, weak, silly, foolish persons, that believe all they hear, whether right or wrong, true or false, good or hurtful; they are children in knowledge, who are tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and are deceived with good words and fair speeches, Ephesians 4:14, Romans 16:18. This truly describes the followers of the man of sin; who give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; who believe as the [Roman catholic] church believes; that believe with an implicit faith; believe every word and doctrine the pope and councils say they should, though ever so absurd; as, for instance, the doctrine of transubstantiation: these are “simple” or fools with a witness, who give up their understandings, and even their senses unto, and pin their faith upon, another;

but the prudent man looketh well to his going; or “its going”; to the course and tendency of the word he hears, or the doctrine which is proposed to his faith; he considers well whether it is agreeable or is contrary to the perfections of God; whether it derogates from the glory of any of the divine Persons; whether it makes for the magnifying the riches of God’s grace, and for the debasing of men; or for the depreciating of the one, and setting up of the other; and whether it is a doctrine according to godliness, or not, that tends to promote holiness of heart and life, or to indulge a loose conversation; and according to these criteria he judges and determines whether he shall believe it or not. Or, “to his going”; that is, to the going of the deceiver and impostor; he observes narrowly the methods he takes, the artifices he makes use of, the cunning sleight by which he lies in wait to deceive; how craftily he walks, and handles the word of God deceitfully; and he takes notice of his moral walk and conversation, and, as our Lord says, “ye shall know them by their fruits,” (MATTHEW 7:16). Or else the meaning is, and which seems to be the sense of our version, that he looks well unto, and carefully observes, his own goings; he takes heed to his ways, that they are right; that he is not in ways of his devising and choosing, but in God’s ways; in the way of life and salvation by Christ; in the path of faith on Him, and in the way of holiness; that he has chosen the way of truth, and walks in that; and that every step he takes in doctrine is according to the word of truth; and that whatever he does in worship is agreeably to the divine rule; and that every path of duty he treads in is according to the same, and as he has Christ for a pattern, and the Spirit for a guide; and that his walk is as becomes the Gospel, worthy of the calling wherein he is called, and that it is circumspect and wise; and such a man may be truly said to be a “prudent” man: the Targum is, “he attends to his good;” and so he does.


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