18
June
2017

JAMES 3:8-17 HEAVENLY WISDOM VERSUS EARTHLY WISDOM OR THE TEST OF WISDOM

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What is the wisdom of the world? You deserve the best, get all you can no matter how you get it. He who dies with the most toys wins. Use people, lie, cheat, steal use women, to get what you want. Don’t deny yourself anything. Psychiatrists can help you; the Bible is a fairy tale.  Man’s wisdom was a spiritual plague in Jerusalem and Paul addressed this in his first letter to the Corinthians

Isaiah 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden."

1Corinth 1:18- 2:9, 13-14, 16, 3:18-21

  1. In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, we are encouraged to seek after wisdom

Pr 3:13-18; 4:7-9

Pr 11:30 ¶ The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

 Pr 1:7 ¶ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pr 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Solomon in 2Ch 1:10 "Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?"11 And God said to Solomon: "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life-but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king-12 "wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like."

Pr 4:5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

 Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

 Pr 16:16 ¶ How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.(NKJV)

Ps 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

 Ps 53:1 A Contemplation of David.>> The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good.

De 4:5 "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. 6 "Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

Chapter 2

  1. Likewise, in the New Testament we are exhorted to walk with wisdom

Ep 5:15-17

  1. But in Ja 3:13-18, we learn that there is more than just one kind of wisdom (READ)
  2. Today we will take a look at what James describes as "Heavenly Wisdom Vs. Earthly Wisdom"

v13 Who is wise and understanding Let him show it by his conduct.

Jas 3:13 ¶ Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct (General Conduct) that his works (Specific acts of Conduct) are done in the meekness of wisdom. and even shown by (our attitude (Meekness)

General Conduct, Specific acts of Conduct and even shown by (our attitude (Meekness)

Meekness or power under control

v14 If you have bitter envying and strife, don’t lie against the truth

Romans 2:20-24

James does so by making several contrasts;

  1. A CONTRAST or difference IN THEIR "ORIGIN"

1john 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world----the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life----is not of the Father but is of the world.

  1. EARTHLY WISDOM IS NOT FROM ABOVE (15)
  2. It is EARTHLY
  3. Worldly Wisdom that is according to the world's standards
  4. But this wisdom is foolishness to God

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

  1. It is SENSUAL
  2. Appealing to the senses, the emotions, the passions
  3. Wisdom according to what FEELS right (but that doesn't make it right)
  4. It is DEMONIC
  5. The kind of wisdom possessed by the devil and his angels
  6. A wisdom that often finds its origin in the influences of Satan!
  7. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS FROM ABOVE (17) Job 28:27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. 28 And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.'"
  8. It comes from GOD - cf. Ja 1:17
  9. It comes via PRAYER - cf. Ja 1:5-8
  10. A CONTRAST or difference IN THEIR "CHARACTERISTICS"
  11. EARTHLY WISDOM (14,16)
  12. Full of BITTER ENVY
  13. Possessing SELF-SEEKING IN THE HEART

Phil 2:3-5 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

  1. This wisdom commends as virtues such qualities as:
  2. Power or authority to force others to do whatever you want them to do
  3. Position or prominence, a standing in society
  4. Privilege or freedom from rules others are held to
  5. Prestige or fame which leads to conceit

2corinth 10:12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

  1. It was this kind of wisdom...
  2. That prompted Satan and his angels to rebel against God

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'

  1. That prompted the disciples to argue over who would be the greatest in the kingdom Mt 18:1
  2. HEAVENLY WISDOM (17) Wisdom is always linked to good behavior and equated to salvation The fear of the Lord is wisdom, Mt 7:26 wise builder, Mt 24 wise servant, Mt 25 Wise virgins and 5 foolish, 1Co 1:22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Pr 4:13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.

  1. It is first PURE or uncontaminated by worldly desires
  2. Above all else, it is true to God's Will
  3. Not one to compromise truth for the sake of peace

Ga 1:8-9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

  1. Then it is PEACEABLE
  2. Holding firm to the truth, it makes every effort to be at peace - cf. Ro 12:18
  3. For example, speaking the truth in an attitude of love -cf. Ep 4:15
  4. GENTLE - Manner
  5. That is, kind in one's dealings with others
  6. Not harsh, even when right and dealing with those who differ

2 Ti 2:24-25 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,25  in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

  1. WILLING TO YIELD
  2. Not in matters of truth
  3. But in matters of opinion - Ro 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
  4. In matters of liberty - Ro 14:19-21 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
  5. FULL OF MERCY
  6. Quick to forgive the offenses of others
  7. Wisely understanding one's own need of mercy - cf. Ja 2:13
  8. Producing GOOD FRUITS
  9. Notice verse 13, where it says we are to show by our conduct our true wisdom and understanding
  10. This wisdom takes one beyond being a HEARER to being a DOER

            Ja 1:22

  1. Understanding that "faith without works is dead" - Ja 2:26
  2. WITHOUT PARTIALITY
  3. Showing no respect of persons - cf. Ja 2:1-13
  4. Rather, treating all fairly, on the same basis
  5. WITHOUT HYPOCRISY
  6. Indicating that all of the above is not an "act", a "show"
  7. But that it comes from a heart desiring to please God, not man In contrast, the wisdom God gives has several characteristics. It is pure, meaning free of the defilements mentioned. It is peaceable, namely, peace loving, peace-practicing, and peace-yielding. It is gentle or considerate of

others. It is reasonable, that is, open to reason and willing to yield to reasonable requests. It is full of mercy in that it is actively sympathetic to the needy, and it is full of good fruits (good works). It is unwaveringly single-minded in its devotion to God rather than double-minded. It is, finally, without hypocrisy, namely, true to appearances. "Thus 'purity' is not just one quality among others but the

key to them all."

[Certainly the superiority of "Heavenly Wisdom" over "Earthly Wisdom" is apparent in this passage.

III. A CONTRAST or difference IN THEIR "FRUITS"

  1. EARTHLY WISDOM (16)
  2. Causes CONFUSION
  3. And EVERY EVIL THING
  4. Makes you wonder what kind of wisdom...
  5. Is behind church splits
  6. Is often manifested in some congregational meetings
  7. HEAVENLY WISDOM (18)
  8. Produces PEACE, instead of confusion
  9. Bears the fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS, instead of every evil thing

This list is like the fruit of the spirit (gal 5:22-23)

CONCLUSION

  1. Certainly when we compare their ORIGIN, NATURE and FRUITS, the wisdom to be preferred is "HEAVENLY WISDOM"
  2. What kind of wisdom do we have?
  3. Those who have "EARTHLY WISDOM" boast of theirs (14)
  4. While those who have "HEAVENLY WISDOM" show theirs by their good conduct done in meekness (13)
  5. What kind of wisdom do we want?
  6. If EARTHLY, then no effort is necessary

      1) Just do what the world tells you

      2) Just do what feels right

  1. But if HEAVENLY, then we must be hardworking

      1) To seek such wisdom from God

      2) To demonstrate such wisdom by our conduct

  1. What kind of wisdom do you have in regards to the gospel of Christ?
  2. EARTHLY WISDOM makes no response to the gospel, or if any, only that which is convenient
  3. HEAVENLY WISDOM receives the commands of the gospel joyfully and obediently

Mk 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mt 28:19-20  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 Have you demonstrated "HEAVENLY WISDOM"?