Faithlife
Faithlife

Wisdom From Above vs. Wisdom From Below

James  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Introduction

Introduction

Wisdom was an important thing to jewish people
They realized you had to have more than just knowledge, but wisdom to properly use that knowledge
We all know people who are incredibly intelligent, but fail to carry out the most simple tasks of life.
What James is doing in this passage is contrasting true and false wisdom in three different aspects.

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Contrast in Origins (, )

True wisdom comes from above
False wisdom comes from below
Bible contains many examples of the folly of man’s wisdom.
tower of babel
Abraham going to egypt—results were bad
King saul thought it wise to put his armor on david
Disciples thought it was wise for the crowd to go find their own food, but Jesus fed 5000
What is the origin of man’s wisdom?
Wisdom descendeth not form above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish (v.15)
talks about a wisdom of this world
There is a different between worlds knowledge and wisdom
Man unlocks secrets of the universe, but he does not know what to do with them once he gets them
Everything man creates turns out to go against him somehow
Henry David Thoreau warned that we had “improved means to unimproved ends”
So often we are trying to gain knowledge but forget to gain wisdom
Wisdom only comes from God
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Where to Get Wisdom (James 3:13–18)

The world by its wisdom knew not God, and in its wisdom rejects the very Gospel of God. “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18).

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Where to Get Wisdom (James 3:13–18)

The world by its wisdom knew not God, and in its wisdom rejects the very Gospel of God. “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18).

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Where to Get Wisdom (James 3:13–18)

Any person enamored with the wisdom of this world ought to read the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians and notice how much Paul has to say about God’s wisdom and man’s wisdom. Man’s wisdom is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 1:20), and God’s wisdom is foolishness to man (1 Cor. 2:14). Man’s wisdom comes from reason, while God’s wisdom comes from revelation. Man’s worldly wisdom will come to nothing (1 Cor. 1:19), while God’s wisdom will endure forever.

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Eight: Where to Get Wisdom (James 3:13–18)

Any person enamored with the wisdom of this world ought to read the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians and notice how much Paul has to say about God’s wisdom and man’s wisdom. Man’s wisdom is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 1:20), and God’s wisdom is foolishness to man (1 Cor. 2:14). Man’s

Because the world has turned from God it has lost His wisdom
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (:10)
There is no fear of God before their eyes ()
Worldly wisdom is:
Natural—the opposite of spiritual. It comes from the fallen nature rather than the new nature given at rebrith
Demonic—It comes from beneath. From satan. Wisdom of satan is fighting wisdom from God.
Godly wisdom is:
From above—Every good gift and every perfect gift ()
He is looking to heaven not around on what is on earth
His treasures are in heaven not earth
His citizenship is in heaven not earth
He was born from above ()
He sets his hope on things above not on earthly things ()
Jesus is our wisdom (, )
in Him hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge ()
The word of God is our wisdom
Wise unto salvation ()
We find wisdom through believing prayer
If you lack wisdom let him ask of God ()
The origin of true spiritual wisdom is God. To get wisdom from anywhere else is asking for trouble
Not only do we have a contrast in origins, but also a contrast in operations

Contrast in Operations (, )

Since wisdom from above and wisdom from below come from totally different places they must operate in completely different ways.
Worldly Wisdom:
Envy (14a)
Selfish ambition
We must be zealous in things of the Lord, but we must make sure our motives are right
How to know weather your zeal is spiritual or carnal
Do you rejoice when others succeed or are you angry
Do you criticize others or build them up
Do we feel burdened when others fail or are we secretly pleased
Strife (14b)
self-seeking
creates rivalry and division in the churh
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory ()
Boasting (14c)
Are you proud, or do you put others before yourself
when God’s wisdom is at work there is a sense of humility and submission and you want God to get all the glory
Deceit (14d)
Boasting usually involves lies
A ans life is not read in his press releases; it is read by the Lord in his heart.
Spiritual wisdom is true because God is always true
Meekness (13)
Spiritual Wisdom:
Meekness (13)
Strength under control
Meek person seeks the glory of God and not the praises of man
Fruit of the spirit
Cannot be manufactured
Meekness is the right use of power and wisdom is the right use of knowledge
Attitude and action go together
Purity (17a)
holiness
Free from defilement
God’s wisdom leads to purity of life
Man’s wisdom leads to sin
Peace (v.17b)
Man’s wisdom leads to competition rivalry and war
God’s wisdom leads to peace
Peace based on holiness not compromise
We don’t need to compromise what we believe in to have peace and unity with others
Gentleness (v. 17c)
Moderation without compromise, gentleness without weakness
Gentle person does not deliberately cause fights
Neither does he compromise the truth
Carl Sandburg described Abe Lincoln as a man of “velvet steel.” That is a good description of gentleness
Compliance (17d)
God’s wisdom makes the believer agreeable and easy to live with
Man’s wisdom makes the believer incorrigible, hard, and stubborn
The compliant person is willing to hear all sides
Stubborn person only cares about his idea
Mercy (17e)
God is in his grace gives us what we do not deserve and in His mercy doesn’t give us what we deserve
Doing something not for repayment, but because it is the will of God.
Good Samaritan
Good fruits (v. 17f)
God’s wisdom is practical; it changes the life and produces good works to the glory of God
Decisiveness (v. 17g)
Singleness of mind opposite of wavering
when you have God’s wisdom you need not waver
Sincerity (v. 17h)
not being a hypocrite.
Openness and honesty
Speaking the truth in love
not only contrast in origins and operations, but Finally we have contrast in outcomes (, )

Contrast in Outcomes (, )

Direction, not intention, determines destination
Worldly wisdom produces trouble (16)
confusion means disorder that comes from instability
Jealousy, competition— all of these contribute to confusion.
Confusion sets the stage for every evil work (James 3:16)
Evil here means “worthless, of no account”
The most important thing we can do is measure our lives by the wisdom of GOd not the wisdom of man. THat wisdom only produces trouble.
God’s wisdom produces blessing (v.18)
James returned to the word fruit
Fruit is the product of life
Fruit has in it seeds for more fruit
As we share the fruit of GOd with others, they are fed and share fruit with others
Life is all about sowing and reaping. you reap what you sow. What are you sowing?
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding “Prov 3:13)
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