James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJV)


 Certainly when we compare their ORIGIN, NATURE and FRUITS, the wisdom to be preferred is "HEAVENLY WISDOM"

 What kind of wisdom do we have?

  • Those who have "EARTHLY WISDOM" boast of theirs (14)
  • While those who have "HEAVENLY WISDOM" show theirs by their good conduct done in meekness (13)

 What kind of wisdom do we want?

  • 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 diligent
  •       To demonstrate such wisdom by our conduct
  •     To seek such wisdom from God
  • What kind of wisdom do you have in regards to the gospel of Christ?
  • EARTHLY WISDOM makes no response to the gospel, or if any, only that which is convenient
  • HEAVENLY WISDOM receives the commands of the gospel joyfully and obediently - cf. Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38

 Have you demonstrated "HEAVENLY WISDOM"?




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.

  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
  11. EARTHLY WISDOM (14,16)
  12. Full of BITTER ENVY

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,

  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.
  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
  3. Showing no respect of persons - cf. Ja 2:1-13
  4. Rather, treating all fairly, on the same basis
  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.


  2. Causes CONFUSION
  4. Makes you wonder what kind of wisdom...
  5. Is behind church splits
  6. Is often manifested in some congregational meetings
  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)


  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"?



James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

 V2. Because we all "stumble in many things"

  1. Everyone has faults, and with many people the improper use of the tongue is a major one
  2. But it takes spiritual maturity ("a perfect man") not to stumble in word!

This should not discourage any from trying to find out if teaching is a gift that they might have if nurtured along, but one should proceed with humility and caution.


V3 A bit controls a horse Psalm 39:1 I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."

V4 1. A rudder controls the ship

  1. So our tongue controls the body... Sequence is Think, say, do.
  2. If you speak a lie, it won't be long before you find yourself living a lie
  3. If you speak suggestively in an evil manner, it won't be long before you begin acting evil!
  4. The power of the tongue to direct is easily applied to the dangers of teaching...
  5. The teacher can easily set the mood or direct the crowd in an encouraging way, or just as easily direct the crowd in a discouraging way
  6. the power to direct by the tongue should humble those who teach

V5 A small fire can easily cause great destruction (Great Chicago Fire 1million acres in 3 states)

  1. A loose tongue can ruin one's reputation… boasting
  2. It can also destroy churches, families, friendships, business’s

v6 James describes an uncontrolled tongue as;

  1. A fire, Prov 26:20-26
  2. A world of evil or iniquity
  3. So set among our bodies that it defiles the whole body

Ecclesiastes 5:6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?

  1. That which sets on fire the course of nature, sphere of influence it destroys everything around you
  2. That which is itself set on fire by hell! 2Kings 23:10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech. King Josiah removed the idols, the valley became a refuse heap which always burned

The Devil is described as an accuser of the brethren Rev 12:10,

The Devil is described as a liar and murder John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

  1. Should not this power to destroy and corrupt both ourselves and others caution us in becoming teachers?

V7 Despite being able to tame wild animals, man is unable to tame the tongue!

Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Gen 9:2 again we have control after the flood

 V8 It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison! Ps 140:3 They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips.

Ps 52:1-5

Gossip -  Prov 17:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

Pastor’s advice Woman was told to cut the hole in a pillow, the next day go back and pick them up

PG 62 poem about gossip

Flattery - Ps 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

Ps 64:3-8

  1. By himself no MAN can tame the tongue, But with GOD'S help, we can tame it

Ps 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

  1. And with GOD'S help, we MUST tame it

Ep 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Co 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

V9-10 As one more example of how difficult it is to tame the tongue, James uses a very common (and fitting) problem

  1. blessing God and cursing men
  2. Something we are very likely to do, even on Sundays

    1) We spend time in worship, blessing God

    2) But after church, someone may give us a hard time for going to church or irritate us somehow

  1. Racists and bigots are often guilty of "blessing God and cursing men"!

v11-12 The illustrations of a spring, a fig tree and a grapevine, James shows the inconsistency of this!

  1. What comes forth is a true indication of what is inside
  2. Just as Jesus taught in

Mk 7:20-23 And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

  1. Despite all the praises we offer God, it is the curses against man that reveals the true person inside!


  1. These examples of the misuse of the tongue should humble and caution all those who would become teachers
  2. But they should also serve as a warning for us all, whether we teach or not, that we need to seek God's help in controlling the tongue!

May David's prayer be our own:

 Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Lastly, remember v11-12

The true believer in Jesus Christ will not contradict his profession of faith by the regular use of nasty and offensive words

Mt 7:15-23

Do you know Christ? If so prove it by taming your tongue with God’s help

If not then, trust Him today:



James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Let Not Many Of You Become Teachers or the Test of The Tongue

This is a time where "verbal abuse" is epidemic, and where "self-proclaimed teachers" teach all sorts of wrong things and claim to be an expert. The Tongue can encourage, discourage, gossip, flatter, curse

Moses spoke rashly with his lips Psalms 106:32-33, Isaiah said he was a man of unclean lips in Isaiah 6:5, Job in 40:4 Behold I am vile, what shall I answer you. I lay my hand over my mouth, Mt 26:33 Peter, I will never be made to stumble, before he denied Christ

If you can control your tongue you should be able to control the rest of your body

4 other times in James he talks about the tongue: 1:19, 26, 2:12, 4:11, and 5:12

  1. THE "WARNING" v1-2


  1. James doesn’t say, "Let not many BE teachers", But rather, "Let not many of you BECOME teachers"
  2. This passage is not talking only of those who try to BE teachers before they are ready, but a warning that many should not even BECOME teachers in the future!
  3. Not EVERYONE should become a teacher at some point in their service to Christ!
  4. Paul illustrated time and again that the body of Christ has many members, and not all members have the same function or spiritual gift

         1) To the saints at Rome - Ro 12:3-8

         2) To the church at Corinth - 1Co 12:12-31

1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?

  1. Peter taught that that we should use our spiritual gifts to the fullest

1Pe 4:10-11 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Every believer is to teach, but not all are gifted to be in the office of teacher/preacher

He 5:12-14 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

WHY MANY SHOULD NOT BECOME TEACHERS -Always telling others what to do. I’m in charge

  1. Teachers shall receive "a stricter judgment" Mt 25:21 "His lord said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
  2. There is great responsibility involved in teaching others, lead to truth or lead them to error
  3. Just as with elders those who teach will be held accountable if they mislead others!

He 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.



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