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It’s good to have knowledge, but better to have wisdom to apply it<br />Proverbs 4:7 NIV Wisdom is supreme; therefore get ...
Contrast in Origins <br />Human wisdom:<br />James 3:15 NIV Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, u...
Don’t confuse knowledge & wisdom<br />There is a great deal of knowledge in this world, and we all benefit from it<br />Bu...
Man thinks God’s wisdom is foolishness!<br />1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV For the message of the cross is foolishness to those w...
God knows man’s wisdom is foolishness!<br />1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is t...
Man’s wisdom comes from reason; God’s comes from revelation<br />Human wisdom is “unspiritual,”  i.e. “natural” <br />Gk. ...
False wisdom is also “of the devil” <br />Beginning in Genesis3 (Satan & Eve) & continuing through the Bible, the “wisdom ...
In contrast, James describes a “wisdom that comes from heaven” <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven ...
Jesus Christ is our wisdom <br />1 Corinthians 1:24 NIV but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the...
The Word of God is our wisdom<br />Deuteronomy 4:5-6 NIV See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God comman...
Contrast in Operations <br />Human wisdom:<br />James 3:14 NIV But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your ...
God’s wisdom operates in a different way from human wisdom<br />They originate from different sources<br />They operate in...
Envy <br />James 3:14 NIV But if you harbor bitter envy …<br />Envy is zelos– not necessarily a bad word<br />Applied to a...
Selfish ambition <br />James 3:14 NIV But if you harbor … selfish ambition in your hearts…<br />Eritheia means “party spir...
Boasting <br />James 3:14 NIV … do not boast about it or deny the truth.<br />Katakauchaomai is “arrogant boasting” <br />...
Denying the truth<br />James 3:14 NIV … do not … deny the truth.<br />Literally: “Do not lie against the truth”<br />Both ...
1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV <br />Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to ...
Humble<br />James 3:13 NIV Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it … by deeds done in the humility that c...
Pure <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure …<br />Hagnosimplies spiritual & mora...
Peace-loving <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … peace-loving …<br />Eirenikos is “peaceable”,...
Considerate<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … considerate …<br />Epieikes is moderation witho...
Submissive<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … submissive …<br />Eupeithes is “willing to yield...
Full of Mercy <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … full of mercy …<br />Greeks used eleosof pit...
Good fruit<br />James 3:17 NIV the wisdom that comes from heaven is … full of … good fruit …<br />Christian eleos means me...
Impartial<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … impartial …<br />Adiakritosis “undivided”, “unwav...
Sincere <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … sincere.<br />Hupocrites means “one who wears a ma...
Contrast in Outcomes <br />Human wisdom:<br />James 3:16 NIV For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find ...
Human wisdom yields envy, selfish ambition, disorder, evil practices<br />Wrong thinking produces wrong living<br />One re...
Consider Smyrna & Laodicea<br />Smyrna: The Poor Little Rich Church<br />Revelation 2:9 NIV I know your afflictions and yo...
God’s wisdom produces blessing <br />James 3:18 NIV Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.<br />Wh...
Proverbs 3:13 NIV <br />Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding,<br />
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100307 How To Live Your Faith 13 Where To Get Wisdom James 3 13 18

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Sermon 13 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 3:13-18) presented March 7, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ, by Dale Wells

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100307 How To Live Your Faith 13 Where To Get Wisdom James 3 13 18

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  2. 2. It’s good to have knowledge, but better to have wisdom to apply it<br />Proverbs 4:7 NIV Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding<br />Wise fellow attributed wisdom to:<br />Good judgment<br />Experience<br />Poor judgment<br />James 3:13 NIV Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.<br />Contrasts between human wisdom & heaven’s wisdom<br />
  3. 3. Contrast in Origins <br />Human wisdom:<br />James 3:15 NIV Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.<br />Heaven’s wisdom:<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.<br />
  4. 4. Don’t confuse knowledge & wisdom<br />There is a great deal of knowledge in this world, and we all benefit from it<br />But there is not much wisdom<br />Man unlocks the secrets of the universe, but he does not know what to do with them<br />Almost everything he discovers turns on him<br />Henry David Thoreau warned that we have “improved means to unimproved ends”<br />
  5. 5. Man thinks God’s wisdom is foolishness!<br />1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.<br />1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.<br />
  6. 6. God knows man’s wisdom is foolishness!<br />1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?<br />1 Corinthians 1:19 NIV For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."<br />
  7. 7. Man’s wisdom comes from reason; God’s comes from revelation<br />Human wisdom is “unspiritual,” i.e. “natural” <br />Gk. psukikosfrom psuke = “life” or “soul” <br />“Psyche” & “psychology” are derived from it<br />Psukikos is “natural” – opposite of “spiritual”<br />1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.<br />Jude 1:19 NIV These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.<br />
  8. 8. False wisdom is also “of the devil” <br />Beginning in Genesis3 (Satan & Eve) & continuing through the Bible, the “wisdom of Satan” is fighting against the wisdom of God<br />Satan convinced Eve that she would be like God<br />He told her that the tree would make her wise<br />Ever since, people have continued to believe Satan’s lies & have become their own gods (Romans1:18-25)<br />Satan has wisdom that will confuse you if you do not know the wisdom of God<br />
  9. 9. In contrast, James describes a “wisdom that comes from heaven” <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.<br />What is the Christian’s wisdom? <br />Do we look to the world’s philosophies? <br />No!<br />
  10. 10. Jesus Christ is our wisdom <br />1 Corinthians 1:24 NIV but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.<br />1 Corinthians 1:30 NIV It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.<br />
  11. 11. The Word of God is our wisdom<br />Deuteronomy 4:5-6 NIV See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. (6) Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."<br />
  12. 12. Contrast in Operations <br />Human wisdom:<br />James 3:14 NIV But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.<br />Heaven’s wisdom:<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.<br />
  13. 13. God’s wisdom operates in a different way from human wisdom<br />They originate from different sources<br />They operate in opposite ways<br />What are the evidences of false wisdom?<br />
  14. 14. Envy <br />James 3:14 NIV But if you harbor bitter envy …<br />Envy is zelos– not necessarily a bad word<br />Applied to a noble sentiment, “zeal”<br />Applied to human ambition, “jealousy”, “envy”<br />A fine line between zeal & jealousy<br />The difference is the focus of the feeling<br />God?<br />Self?<br />
  15. 15. Selfish ambition <br />James 3:14 NIV But if you harbor … selfish ambition in your hearts…<br />Eritheia means “party spirit” <br />Described a politician canvassing for votes<br />Human wisdom says, “Get all the support you can!”<br />“Ask people in the church to take your side!” <br />Self-seeking creates rivalry & division in the church<br />Philippians 2:3 NIV Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.<br />
  16. 16. Boasting <br />James 3:14 NIV … do not boast about it or deny the truth.<br />Katakauchaomai is “arrogant boasting” <br />Pride loves to boast & nothing is prouder than human wisdom<br />There is a way to report blessings so that God gets the glory<br />There is also a way that gives glory to man<br />When God’s wisdom is at work, you want God to get all the glory<br />
  17. 17. Denying the truth<br />James 3:14 NIV … do not … deny the truth.<br />Literally: “Do not lie against the truth”<br />Both “do not boast” & “do not lie against the truth” are in a form that means:<br />“Stop” an action that is in progress, or<br />“Don’t get into the habit” of the stated conduct<br />The sequence is not hard to understand<br />Envy leads to selfish ambition, partisanship & rivalry<br />Rivalry leads to boasting that involves deception! <br />A man’s life is not read by men in his press releases; it is read by the Lord in his heart<br />
  18. 18. 1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV <br />Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.<br />Now, James turns to the evidences of spiritual wisdom<br />
  19. 19. Humble<br />James 3:13 NIV Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it … by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.<br />Prautes is opposite of arrogance; “humility”, “meekness”<br />Meekness is not weakness; it is power under control<br />Prautes – of horse broken so power is under control<br />James 3:3 NIV When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.<br />Meek person seeks glory of God not praise of men<br />Meekness is the right use of power<br />Wisdom is the right use of knowledge<br />
  20. 20. Pure <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure …<br />Hagnosimplies spiritual & moral integrity<br />Spiritual purity results in a relationship with the Lord <br />2 Corinthians 11:3 NIV But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.<br />Worldliness makes the person a spiritual adulterer <br />James 4:4 NIV You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.<br />
  21. 21. Peace-loving <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … peace-loving …<br />Eirenikos is “peaceable”, “loving & promoting peace”<br />Man’s wisdom leads to competition & rivalry<br />James 4:1 NIV What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?<br />God’s wisdom leads to peace<br />Isaiah 32:17 NIV The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.<br />
  22. 22. Considerate<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … considerate …<br />Epieikes is moderation without compromise, gentleness without weakness<br />The gentle person does not start fights<br />Neither does he compromise truth to keep peace<br />Carl Sandburg described Abraham Lincoln as a man of “velvet steel” – a good description of gentleness<br />
  23. 23. Submissive<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … submissive …<br />Eupeithes is “willing to yield”, “compliant”<br />God’s wisdom makes us easy to live & work with<br />Man’s wisdom makes a person hard and stubborn<br />A compliant person can disagree without being disagreeable<br />He epitomizes James’ earlier teaching:<br />James 1:19 NIV My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,<br />
  24. 24. Full of Mercy <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … full of mercy …<br />Greeks used eleosof pity for one suffering unjustly<br />Christianity expanded eleosto mean mercy for one who is in trouble, even if it is his own fault<br />We’re apt to say , “He brought it on himself”<br />Eleos is mercy for any man who is in trouble, even if he has brought that trouble on himself<br />And Christian mercy results in the next characteristic of heavenly wisdom<br />
  25. 25. Good fruit<br />James 3:17 NIV the wisdom that comes from heaven is … full of … good fruit …<br />Christian eleos means mercy that issues in good fruit, i.e. practical help<br />Christian mercy does not just “feel”, it acts!<br />We cannot say that we have been merciful to anyone until we have helped him. <br />
  26. 26. Impartial<br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … impartial …<br />Adiakritosis “undivided”, “unwavering”<br />It knows its own mind, chooses its course & sticks to it<br />Some never make their minds up about anything<br />They speak about having an open mind & suspending judgment<br />Christian wisdom is based on the Christian certainties that come to us from God through Jesus Christ<br />
  27. 27. Sincere <br />James 3:17 NIV But the wisdom that comes from heaven is … sincere.<br />Hupocrites means “one who wears a mask, an actor”<br />Christian wisdom is honest; it never pretends to be what it is not; & it never acts a part to gain its own ends<br />Human wisdom leads to insincerity & pretense<br />God’s wisdom is “living” without “scheming”<br />
  28. 28. Contrast in Outcomes <br />Human wisdom:<br />James 3:16 NIV For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.<br />Heaven’s wisdom:<br />James 3:18 NIV Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.<br />
  29. 29. Human wisdom yields envy, selfish ambition, disorder, evil practices<br />Wrong thinking produces wrong living<br />One reason the world is in such a mess is because men have refused to accept the wisdom of God.<br />Jealousy, rivalry, partisanship — all of these contribute to disorder<br />A church following human wisdom may appear to be successful, but that success may not be eternal<br />1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.<br />
  30. 30. Consider Smyrna & Laodicea<br />Smyrna: The Poor Little Rich Church<br />Revelation 2:9 NIV I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!<br />Laodicea: The Rich Little Poor Church<br />Revelation 3:17 NIV You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. <br />The most important thing we can do is measure our ministry by the Word of God, not by humanwisdom<br />Battles among Christians, church splits, absence of purity & peace, all suggest that something is wrong<br />Perhaps that “something” is the absence of God’s wisdom<br />
  31. 31. God’s wisdom produces blessing <br />James 3:18 NIV Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.<br />What we are is what we live, and what we live is what we sow<br />If we live in God’s wisdom, we sow peace & righteousness & we reap God’s blessing<br />If we live in human wisdom, we sow sin & conflict & we reap “disorder & every evil work”<br />
  32. 32. Proverbs 3:13 NIV <br />Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding,<br />

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