James 3:13-18

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Sun, Jul 08, 2018

Teacher: Yale Wall Series: James Scripture: James 3:13-18

July 8, 2018

James Sermon

James 3:13-18

James 3:13-18
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 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. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.


What is wisdom?

Wisdom or sapience is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, especially in a mature or utilitarian manner. There appears to be consensus that wisdom is associated with attributes such as compassion, experiential self-knowledge, non-attachment and virtues such as ethics and benevolence. Wisdom has been defined in many different ways, a variety of measurement scales have been developed, and several subtypes of wisdom have been proposed. Out of these, phronesis and sophia are two key subtypes of wisdom. In the classical Greek tradition, there is a distinction between sophia "wisdom" and phronesis "prudence, practical intelligence".

the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise

There is a big difference to the WISDOM that God brings and the “wisdom” of the world.

If I were to assign a definition to this  “wisdom that comes from heaven”, I would have to say that it is a thought process, or an action step that clearly mirrors the very character of God.

Or in an even simpler light, it’s: Seeing things the way God sees them, and responding to them the way God would respond to them.

Proverbs 11:3

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Proverbs 3:27
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Hebrews 4:13
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

1 Corinthians 2:10-1

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.


Listening to wisdom from other people

Don’t fall for a stupid statement because it sounds good. In everything, you need to ask the question, “Is this real Godly wisdom, or is this earthly, empty wisdom?”  A lot of people are going to have things to tell you, and NOT ONE of them is going to be right all the time, even if some of them have great intentions.


Gaining and Giving wisdom ourselves

In the same way we run other people’s “wisdom” through a filter, we need to run ours through it before giving it too! Before we share wisdom, ask: Is it a Biblical, Godly thing to say, or is it just based on my experience?

Even when it is based on our knowledge of the Bible, we can sometimes take it out of context or misunderstand the meaning:

Matthew 7:1-2
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

So again this comes down to: Are you basing direction in your life on Godly wisdom, or are you deciding on direction based on what YOU know is best…

Wisdom is Seeing things the way God sees them,
and responding to them the way God would respond to them.

So ultimately, our litmus test is Jesus. If it is a wise thing, it will line up with the life, teaching, and word of Jesus.


Communication Card
- I will spend time this week praying for discernment on what is true wisdom and what isn’t.
- I will reevaluate what I’m doing to make sure it’s God led.
- I will seek God’s truth, not my own.


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