Friday, January 20, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 3:13-18)

I pray that God will change our lives for His glory by the study of His Word!

Digging Deeper 17 James 3:13-18
 There is a difference in being smart and being wise. We live today in a culture full of knowledge for the taking. Uncountable numbers of books fill the shelves, the internet grows every day bursting with information there is now a greater availability of knowledge than there has been in the history of man yet man continues to slip further and further from the precepts of God. It profits us nothing to gain all knowledge but be ignorant of the precepts of God’s Word. Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Knowledge without wisdom is destructive and filled with pride. Let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word.
James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in gentleness of wisdom. James begins with a question who is wise and understanding? But before the question can be answered he says that it will show. Careful consideration should be taken before we answer such a question “Who among us is wise and understanding because there is a way to test the answer. Good behavior, deeds in gentleness. Someone who is wise does not throw their knowledge around like punches from a prize fighter. Someone wise does not use their knowledge to conquer others rather to build up others up and to encourage. True wisdom is understanding kind and gentle and it will show in how you use it.
James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthy, natural, and demonic. “I know something you don’t know” sounds like something a child would say to another child but truthfully those same sentiments play out every day in the in our lives we get a little knowledge start feeling pretty good about ourselves pride takes hold create bitterness and jealousy. This is not the wisdom that comes from God. This kind of wisdom is the product of our natural prideful tendency spurred by Satan, strong words but James calls this kind of wisdom demonic.
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. It is true if someone processes knowledge that others don’t they have a distinct advantage and when that wisdom is coupled with jealousy instead of kindness, selfish ambition instead of compassion there is confusion, heartache, and evilness abounds.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. This list describing wisdom from God looks remarkably like the fruits of the Sprit. Wisdom from God first is pure, it is not taint by man’s theory or logic. The wisdom of God is not for a weapon but to bring peace. The wisdom that comes from God is gentle or maybe better translated appropriate. The wisdom that God offers to us is reasonable it fits our lives. God’s wisdom to us is full of mercy it is forgiving and holds no bitterness. God’s wisdom manifest in our lives as good fruits it is desirable. The wisdom that God’s extends to us is unwavering it is consistent it does not change with circumstance. Wisdom that comes from above does not say one thing and do another it is without hypocrisy. The wisdom that God gives to man isn’t just knowledge it is a condition of the heart.
James 3:18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James could certainly be referring here back to his discourse he has just given concerning controlling the tongue. When we plant seeds of righteous with wisdom from of above it is done to bring peace not judgment which belongs only to God. Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Let’s go back to James initial question Who among you is wise and understanding? It is sometimes easy for us to see ourselves as wise but does the wisdom that we claim come from above? Is it understanding? Is it pure, peacable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, producing good fruit, constant, and without hypocrisy? James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him.
Now that we have dug a little deeper what do we believe?

What do we believe about God? 
1.     True wisdom comes from God
2.   God gives wisdom for the purpose to promote righteousness

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.    Knowledge that we use to promote our own selfish agenda is not from above
2.   Wisdom that is selfish and arrogant is earthy, natural and demonic
3.   We should exercise wisdom from God with mercy not judgment.

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800

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