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Subject: Wisdom                                                                                                 Preaching Portion: James 3:13-18

Theme: The Fruits of Wisdom                                                                          Sermonic Process: Exposition

Wise Enough to Show


1.  In the book of Proverbs we are encouraged to seek after wisdom – Proverbs 3:13-18 ; Proverbs 4:7-9

2. In the New Testament we are exhorted to walk with wisdom. Ephesians 5:15-17

3. In James we learn that there is more than one kind of wisdom.

4. We are going to look at the difference between what James refers to as Wisdom from Heaven and Earthly wisdom.


1. We have to understand what real wisdom is before we can be truly wise.

2. Understanding the Jewish meaning of wisdom

3. Timely in a world with so much information and so little wisdom.

Prop.:     As Christian we need heavenly wisdom.

T.S.:        James asserts that as Christians we must understand God’s directives to experience true wisdom and not wallow in earthly worldly ‘false’ wisdom..

1. Wisdom Filled Life – v 13

U       A challenge?

U       Wise person demonstrates wisdom in ‘works & humility’

U       | Deeds |

Works – is like real faith – it is practical

·         It needs to be demonstrated – real through practice

·         It needs to be exercised – strengthened like a muscle

U       Humility – is a healthy understanding of our own unworthiness

·         Matthew 11:29 – Christ’s humble attitude

·         Matthew 5:5 – Christ extols the value of the meek.

U       A humble life is clear evidence of wisdom. One who has a great deal of knowledge is tempted to become proud, but true wisdom is not compatible with an arrogant, know-it-all attitude.

Demonstrating wisdom in ‘works & humility’

2. Wisdomless Strife v. 14

U       Opposite to meekness is bitter jealousy/selfish ambition which promotes competition and partisanship amongst students (Great Sin vs. Love thy Neighbour) – in competition there are winners and losers – in sharing wisdom we all win

U       Be careful zealous can be good (used to describe Christ John 2:17), but we can’t go overboard and become fanatics, harsh, violent

U       Convey the message – through the style (lifestyle)

U       Not just false teachers, good teachers with bad attitudes

U       Paul exhorts us to teach in love (Ephesians 4:15)

A Wisdomless Life Causes Real Strife

3. Wisdom  Deceiving v.15-16

U       Characterized as the world, the flesh and the devil – from imperfect to evil – opposite of heavenly attributes

U       Of the World                 - Worldly

- Wisdom according to the world’s standards

- This wisdom is foolishness to God 1Corinthians 1:20

U       Of the Flesh                  - Sensual

- appealing to emotions, feelings and passions

- Wisdom according to what feels (doesn’t make it right)                                          

U       It is Demonic                                - the kind of wisdom possessed by the devils and his angels

- A wisdom that finds its origins in the influences of Satan

U       Strife ** Saul and David (see: commentary)

U       Pride and jealousy destroy churches – no wonder Christ prayed for the unity of believers (John 17:20-21)

U       Selfishness leads to disorder & vile practices

-          Confusion, disorder weaken as opposed to edify the church

-          Our God is ‘not a God of confusion’ – 1Corinthians 14:33

Wisdom of that is not from heaven is wisdom that is deceiving

4. Wisdom Divine   v.17-18

      1. It is first PURE         - Above all else, it is true to God's Will         - Not one to compromise truth for the sake of peace      2. Then it is peace-loving         - Holding firm to the truth, it makes every effort to be at  peace - cf. Romans 12:18         - For example, speaking the truth in an attitude of love -Ephesians 4:15      3. considerate         - That is, kind in one's dealings with others         - Not harsh, even when right and dealing with those who differ 2 Timothy 2:24-25      4. submissive         - Not in matters of truth         - But in matters of opinion - Romans 14:1         -. In matters of liberty - Romans 14:19-21      5. FULL OF MERCY         - Quick to forgive the offenses of others         - Wisely understanding one's own need of mercy - cf. James 2:13      6. Producing GOOD FRUITS         - Notice verse 13, where it says we are to show by our            conduct our true wisdom and understanding         - This wisdom takes one beyond being a HEARER to being a DOER - James 1:22         -. Understanding that "faith without works is dead" - James 2:26      7. impartial         - Showing no respect of persons - cf. James 2:1-13 ** Car Dealership         - Rather, treating all fairly, on the same basis      8. sincere         - Indicating that all of the above is not an "act", a "show"         - But that it comes from a heart desiring to please God, not manv.18                  1. Produces PEACE, instead of confusion                          2. Bears the fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS, instead of every evil thing Conclusion:   U  What kind of wisdom do we have?-   Those who have "EARTHLY WISDOM" boast of theirs (v.14)-   While those who have "HEAVENLY WISDOM" show theirs by their    good conduct done in meekness (v.13) U  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  - But if HEAVENLY, then we must be diligent      1) To seek such wisdom from God      2) To demonstrate such wisdom by our conduct 1.       We must be the embodiment of what we teach!2.       Actions speaks louder than words!3.       True wisdom is realized 24/74.       In this age of exploding knowledge no one can comprehend  all knowledge. (need to discern with wisdom)  -   HEAVENLY WISDOM receives the commands of the gospel joyfully and      obediently - cf. Mark 16:15-16

 ! Proverbs 3:13-18

13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,

the man who gains understanding,

14 for she is more profitable than silver

and yields better returns than gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies;

nothing you desire can compare with her.

16 Long life is in her right hand;

in her left hand are riches and honour.

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,

and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;

those who lay hold of her will be blessed.


Proverbs 4:7-9

7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honour you.

9 She will set a garland of grace on your head

and present you with a crown of splendour."


Ephesians 5:15-17

15 Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me." 

Ephesians 4:15

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

1Corinthians 1:20

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?

John 17:20-21

20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

1 Corinthians 14:33

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

2 Timothy 2:24-25

24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

Romans 14:1

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.


Romans 14:19-21

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.


James 2:13

 …because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

James 1:22

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 2:26

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:1-13

1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favouritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. 9 But if you show favouritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

Mark 16:15-16

15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.



James 3:13-18

13 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. 14 But if you harbour 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, of the devil. 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 raise a harvest of righteousness.

All references are quoted from The New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, and 1984 by the International Bible Society.


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