One of my favorite Bible reading methods is to read through the book of Proverbs every day and each month for an entire year. The only difference (or change-up) each month is the translation or Bible version. It’s easy to follow along since there are 31 chapters and 30-31 days per month. The first time I read through Proverbs for an entire year helped me see the connections to Jesus’ words and the Gospel!
I strongly recommend giving this a try. Of course, read it along with other books of the Bible, but try this method. If you miss a day or don’t get through an entire chapter, it’s okay. Keep moving forward and read the next chapter that corresponds to today’s date (or whenever you’re reading). Be sure to highlight or write the verses that stand out. They can mean one thing this month and something completely different next month!
7 Truth About Us In Christ
One translation I read through was the New Living Translation (NLT). Many pastors and speakers preach from this version often, but I haven’t studied or used this version until this Proverbs-reading method. As I read through Proverbs 9, the little asterisk in the first verse led me to check the note on the bottom, which took me to passage in the New Testament, Ephesians 2:19-22. It says:
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners.Ephesians 2:19-22
You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people.
You are members of God’s family.
20 Together, we are his house,
built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets.
And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.
21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.
22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
In this entire passage, Paul is writing to the Gentiles to reassure them they are fully God’s people. He encouraged them that because of their faith in Jesus and the work of the cross, there is no barrier between them and the Jews. Gentiles are not less than or second-class citizens of the Kingdom. Paul doesn’t downplay the Jewish culture, but highlights and up-plays what God has done for the Gentiles. By doing so, he reaffirms the Gentiles of their identity in Christ.
In Proverbs, wisdom is often likened to or related to the Holy Spirit. When we read through chapter nine, we can look at the verses as a beckoning of the Holy Spirit to leave the ways of the world and commit to Christ and the life He offers to us. The world will try to entice, trick, and lead us into believing who we’re not in Christ, but this chapter can help us see the seven pillars or truths about our identity in Jesus.
Proverbs 9:1 says, Wisdom has built her house; she has carved its seven pillars. With the insight from Ephesians 2:19-22, I want to share these seven truths about our identity in Jesus.
1. We are no longer strangers and foreigners.
One thing we can learn about the Jews and Gentiles is that the two are opposing cultures and don’t normally associate with each other. Many of us easily connect with the Gentiles because they weren’t considered God’s people until Christ. When we turn our hearts to Jesus, we can embrace this truth that we are no longer strangers or foreigners daily! We are no longer strangers to God, but fully accepted and deeply loved. We become familiar with the ways of the Kingdom of light and learn the ways of our God.
Proverbs 9:2-6 says, 2 She (wisdom) has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. 3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. 4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, 5 “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.”
Whenever we feel like strangers or foreigners to the word of God, His kingdom, or in our identity, we can look at these verses in Proverbs and remind ourselves that the Holy Spirit beckons us to come, eat and drink, and to leave our simple (or worldly) ways and beliefs behind, and live in the freedom Jesus gave us. We are reminded to use good judgment because we no longer need to be confused, wandering, or afraid. We have access to the word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the teachings and wisdom of Jesus. We are new creations in Christ!
2. We are citizens with all of God’s holy people and members of his family.
This truth shatters many lies such as being less than, unworthy, uncalled or unqualified, and personally for me, having the fear of being left out. When I learned this for myself, the need to “fit in” everywhere and with everyone diminished. As citizens with all of God’s holy people and members of His family, we are accepted and welcomed because Jesus made our identities new! But it’s essential to renew our minds and remind ourselves that we are His children, so we can embrace the truth of being part of God’s family.
Proverbs 9:7-8 says, 7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. 8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;they will only hate you. But correct the wise,and they will love you.
There’s a lot that can be said about these two verses, but in relation to this truth about us in Christ, as citizens and members of truth, we can recognize how the wicked won’t receive wisdom and will often hate the ones who try to help. Even though we’re called to spread the Gospel and share it with others, there is wisdom in knowing when someone’s heart is closed off to the truth. And likewise amongst family members, when one is not open to rebuke, correction, and edification (in the Lord), it is better to not bother, but to stand firm in your identity as a citizen with all of God’s people and members of His family.
3. We are HIS house.
God’s Spirit lives in us and we live in Him. As His house, it’s important to keep ourselves in check. The Holy Spirit is our helper and He helps us take care of ourselves (body, mind, soul, and spirit). We’ve gotten so good at separating ourselves from God and acting like anything we do doesn’t affect Him. We need to counter this by embracing the truth that we are His house and He resides in us. In this case, Wisdom (Jesus) has built her (His) home.
Proverbs 9:9 says, 9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
The Holy Spirit instructs and teaches us. When we are wise (and I say that carefully because God gives wisdom generously, James 1:5) and accept instruction from God, His word, and trusted people, we are considered even wiser. Jesus, our righteousness and by whom we are righteous, leads us in our learning and helps us learn even more as we become stable and secure in our identity as His house.
4. We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
When reading the Bible, it’s important to read in light of the Gospel instead of any particular book in the Bible, topic, verse, or character (other than Jesus). In doing so, we get a richer understanding of who we are in Christ, who He is, and all He’s done for us without being so focused on ourselves or others. Even though our identity is important, it’s important to turn our eyes to Jesus, as the apostles and prophets did throughout the Bible.
Proverbs 9:10-11 says, 10 the fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. 11 Wisdom will multiply your daysand add years to your life.
As one body, we’re built upon a common foundation that the apostles and prophets established in the Word. We are one body and have the same access to God, and we must elevate the name of Jesus above anyone else’s.
5. We are built on the cornerstone, Christ Jesus Himself.
A cornerstone forms the base of the corner of a building, joining two walls. Think of it this way – we’re born into sin and darkness (one wall), but Jesus (the Cornerstone) connected us to our Heavenly Father (the other wall) after His death and resurrection. He became our chief Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16) for us to become One with Him. We are built on Jesus Christ! Not only that, but He eradicated the sin and darkness, cleansing us completely from our past shame.
Proverbs 9:12 says 12 If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
In being built on the Cornerstone, we become wise. Jesus is our wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30). But if we scorn it, we will continue to suffer and wrestle with sin and darkness.
6. We are carefully joined together in him to become a holy temple for the Lord
Despite our differences and disagreements, we are joined together in Him. Everyone has a place, and as His entire building, His holy temple, we can grow together gracefully as we keep to our common foundation. We can embrace this truth that we need each other to grow and also that God works carefully to join us together.
Proverbs 9:13-15 says, 13 The woman named Folly is brash. She is ignorant and doesn’t know it. 14 She sits in her doorway on the heights overlooking the city. 15 She calls out to men going by who are minding their own business.
We are carefully joined together in Him to become a holy temple. God carefully searches the earth, His eyes run to and fro, to find people who are committed to Him and His will. He doesn’t force anyone into the kingdom, but invites them into it, letting them choose. Whereas, foolishness, sin, and darkness, will sit and crouch in doorways, hoping to entice anyone to ruin their life.
7. We are being made part of this dwelling where God lives by His spirit
Joined in Him, we’re made part of this dwelling where He lives. This connection brings all seven pillars together. We are no longer strangers. We’re part of His family. We’re His house built on a solid foundation and the Cornerstone Himself. We’re joined in Him. All to be made a part of a dwelling, where He lives. His life is inside of us, and we can approach every day in the confidence and comfort of who we are in Him!
Proverbs 9:16-18 says, 16 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple. To those who lack good judgment, she says, 17 “Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there. Her guests are in the depths of the grave.
This is a stark difference from the first several verses (read verses 2-6). In seeing the contrast, we can see how we benefit from the banquet and feast of Christ (even in this life), instead of the hidden, stolen, quiet nibbles of sin. We are called to be made a dwelling for the Lord, not a passive being made for the depths of the grave. Christ defeated the grave!
AS I continue to work on the details of this particular connection between Proverbs 9 and Ephesians 2:19-22, I encourage you to meditate and study it, and share your insights and revelations with me. Check back here as I will continue to add points and hopefully expound more on it. And when you read through Proverbs, bookmark this study for chapter nine.
Thank you for reading! Your support and feedback means the world to me!
Subscribe here for more!
Leave a Reply