*THE BOOK OF JAMES*
A Series of Messages preached at Bethel Baptist Church
Simcoe, ON (Mid-week services) Fall of 1996
Also Preached at MIBC on April 5~/98
First Ever Evening Service
Two Types of Wisdom
Text: James 3:13-18
No one can live without wisdom.
(At home~/work~/school~/ministry ~/business~/family~/walk with God).
No one wants to be called stupid or be known as a fool.
In the first part of James we are told how to obtain wisdom.
*/James 1:5/* If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Notice how James puts “wisdom and understanding” together in vs. 13.
Wisdom is moral insight and skill in the practical issues of life.
Understanding refers to intellectual perception and scientific acumen.
Now wisdom and knowledge are not the same thing.
A wise person will be knowledgeable, but a knowledgeable person is not necessarily wise.
Knowledge passes the seminary course, but wisdom walks with God.
You can build a house with knowledge, but it takes wisdom to build a home.
Knowledge can construct a Titanic, but wisdom will avoid the ice bergs.
We re being asked to examine ourselves.
Wisdom is not something we should just assume that we have.
Even among Christians, not all are wise.
James says let the wise man show it, or prove it or demonstrate it.
Wisdom can be demonstrated in two ways.
*By what we say.*
“/Out of a good conversation/”
Carefully chosen, well though out, “pro-active” speech.
We just finished two weeks on “The Taming of the Tongue”.
A key to right talk is right thought.
The tongue is contained in a cage of teeth and lips and yet it escapes.
Intelligence cannot keep a lock on that cage, but true wisdom can.
A controlled tongue is possible only with cultured thought.
A mouth full of praise results from a mind filled with purity.
*By what we do.*
Wisdom is not measured by degrees but by deeds.
Not a matter of acquiring truth in lectures, but of applying truth in life.
Actions speak louder than words.
Oh your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.
Are you faithful, dedicated, diligent, considerate, humble?
“/His works with meekness of wisdom/.”
There is humility in the deeds of the one who is controlled by true wisdom.
“Knowledge is proud that she has learned so much; Wisdom is humble that she knows no more.”
ILLUS: Jack Baskin - “Every man is my teacher”.
So there are two types of wisdom.
One earthly, the other heavenly.
Only one can be described as true wisdom.
James first deals with earthly wisdom, and then goes on to present the true or heavenly wisdom.
I. EARTHLY WISDOM Vs. 14 - 16
The world is full of it.
Politics~/Business~/Entertainment~/Economics ~/Environmentalism etc.
It even creeps into the church.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
More than “in the world” this wisdom can creep into the church.
If we are going to avoid it, then we must know how to identify it.
!! A. The Evidence of Earthly Wisdom vs. 14
!!! 1. Bitter envying
This is the sin of covetousness.
Envy is the resentful and even hateful dislike of the good fortune or blessing of another.
It breaks the tenth commandment and goes contrary to */James 2:8/* /If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:/
!!! 2. Strife
Comes from a Greek word meaning “to spin wool”, indicating the seeking of professional gain.
Ambition is good only when it promotes the well-being of others rather than self.
!!! 3. Self-deception
To boast about such attitudes and carryings on is to deny the truth.
Every time these people open their mouths to give vent to their feelings they deceive themselves.
Self-deception is the worst kind of deception.
!! B. The Progression of Earthly Wisdom vs. 15
In this verse James lists a series of three adjectives that have a descending order.
Each one in order makes the underworld nature of this wisdom more clear.
!!! 1. Earthly
This wisdom is bound to this earth.
It stands in contrast to that which God originates in heaven.
There is nothing transcending, or of any lasting value in earthly wisdom.
Just like everything else material it is subject to corruption and decay.
Jesus said in */Matt.
24:35/* /Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away/.
*/2 Pet 3:10-11/* But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Libraries, Universities, Governments, every fountain of this world’s wisdom will be destroyed.
It will not last.
Rev. 18 describes the utter destruction of this world’s (Religious~/Political~/Economic) system in a day.
!!! 2. Sensual
It is fleshly and unspiritual.
Earthly wisdom has no understanding of spiritual concepts.
*/1 Cor 2:14/* But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
!!! 3. Devilish
You cannot explain the wisdom of the world as merely human.
It is human plus something, and that is why non-Christian religions are successful.
They are supernatural, but from beneath.
*/1 Tim 4:1/* Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
As James said earlier the person following earthly wisdom is living a lie.
That lie finds it’s true origin with the father of the lie, Satan himself.
Verse 6 tells us that the tongue is set on fire of hell, now we read that thoughts can be influenced by demons.
An all this in the life of a Christian!
“When the devil speaks the lie it is bad.
When he uses the world to perpetrate the lie, it is worse.