When we call someone a “fool”, what are we really saying about them? Is this is title that we can easily place upon others, or it is a title that should be used with great care and only in very specific circumstances? Coming to an understanding of the clear Bible definition of a fool will give us pause to reconsider the importance and implications of this very misused word.
One of the clearest portions of Scripture that describes a “fool” is found in Psalm 14:1-3. Lets look and see what the Bible says about a “fool”….
Ps 14:1-3 (KJV) The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God. They are all gone aside, they are [all] together become filthy: [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:11-12 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one…
Rom 3:23-24 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Here we find in Ps 14:1-3, the Biblical characteristics of a “fool”. Also, in our study we will find that all of us, apart from the grace of God, can be classified as a fool. And finally, we will see that the Lord has given each of us a remedy for our “foolishness”… the work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross.
Here we find one of many verses where the Bible talks about a “fool”. What does the Lord mean when he describes someone as a “fool”? Here the Hebrew word for “fool” is describing someone who is without knowledge and wisdom. Because they are without this wisdom they are not in submission to the desires of God for their life.
hath said in his heart, [There is] no God.
One characteristic in the life of a “fool”, is their refusal to recognize that Jehovah is a living God who has authority over their lives. This type of denial can take two forms:
Firstly, there is a lack of recognition of the very existence of the Biblical God. (This type of attitude is characterized by the atheists, agnostics, and pagan religions among others.)
The second type of denial, is a denial of God’s Lordship in an individual’s life. There are many people who will say that they believe God exists and yet, do not recognize the authority of God over their lives. In practice, they are in denial of the existence of God, and is classified as a Biblical “fool”. (This type of denial we are all guilty of committing. How often have we, in practice, denied the very Lord that we claimed existed.)
They are corrupt,
Here the word “corrupt” means to decay, or to enter into a worse condition.
We are clearly told that those who deny the existence of the Lord are continuously entering into a worse and worse condition. The longer that they deny His existence and fail to recognize His will for their lives, the worse their condition before God.
they have done abominable works,
Here, the word “abominable” means to detest or to reject due to filth. What was our condition before we acknowledged His existence and lived in submission to His authority? The Lord rejected our good works of righteousness rejecting them because they were filthy in His sight. Remember, the Lord has loving warned us not to rely on our good works to secure salvation. “But we are all as an unclean[thing], and all our righteousnesses[are] as filthyrags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa 64:6)
[there is] none that doeth good.
There is no one, apart from the grace of God, that does good in His sight.
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, [and] seek God.
When the Lord searched for someone who recognized His existence and His lordship, desiring His rule for their lives; He could find none…
Here, is what the Lord saw when He looked upon all of us….
They are all gone aside,
Every one of us, before the Lord saved us, had turned off the right path for our life, choosing to follow our fleshly desires.
they are [all] together become filthy:
We all had appeared, defiled in His sight, so defiled that He could not accept us due to the filth of our sin that was upon us.
[there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.
Once again, to emphasize our hopeless situation, the Lord reminds us that our works were not found acceptable in His sight; they all were tainted by our sinful condition and found wanting.
In the book of Romans, Paul now takes up the message that King David had begun. Paul continues the same thought but concludes giving us the solution to our dilemma…
Rom 3:11-12, 23-24: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one…
Here, in Rom 3:11-12, we find Paul repeating the words of David, once again, establishing the principle that we, as sinful mankind, can do nothing to gain the favor of a Holy, Just God. We are stand as fools, not understanding nor seeking after the only One who can graciously impart salvation unto us.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Now, in Rom 3:23-24, Paul helps us to understand that our situation as fallen mankind is not impossible. We still have hope of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each of us has fallen short of the holiness that is required to enter God’s presence.
Before we can spend an eternity with this Existing, Almighty, Holy, Just God, we must be justified (declared innocent) of those sins which we have committed:
First of all, declaration of innocence comes to us freely. It is nothing we can merit, nor is it something we can work to gain.
Secondly, this declaration of innocence is an act of His divine grace. “Grace” is a term used to describe benefiting someone who does not deserve the benefits. In other words, none of us “deserve” to be declared innocent of our sins, yet He saw fit to declare us innocent.
Thirdly, this declaration of innocence is based upon the price that was paid by Christ on the cross. You see, our sin debt could not be paid by us. But Christ, our sinless substitute died on the cross to pay the price for those who are brought to faith in Him. This act of redemption cost Christ everything and, yet, costs us nothing to receive. At His expense, He gave us His free gift of justification.
For those who have never come to a life changing belief in an Existing God…
Please take just a moment to read the following verses, and by faith, know they are true:
God exists and has authority over our lives:
Deut 4:35-39 (KJV) Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he [is] God; [there is] none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt; To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou [art], to bring thee in, to give thee their land [for] an inheritance, as [it is] this day. Know therefore this day, and consider [it] in thine heart, that the LORD he [is] God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: [there is] none else.
Ps 83:18 (KJV) That [men] may know that thou, whose name alone [is] JEHOVAH, [art] the most high over all the earth.
Isa 54:5 (KJV) For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Dan 4:34-35 (KJV) And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
Zech 4:14 (KJV) Then said he, These [are] the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.
Jesus Christ and His work is the basis of the forgiveness of our sins:
Col 1:12-17 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Gal 3:7-13 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:
2Cor 5:17-21 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Matt 11:27-30 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]. Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.
John 6:28-40 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Believe His Word, turn to Him and come before Him humbly recognizing your need and your inability to save yourself. Trust in Him for your forgiveness and you will be saved.