Summary: Learn about God's wisdom from James 3:13-18

James 3:13–18 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

17But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

I. Earthly Wisdom (v. 14–16):

A. We live in a time of knowledge, but not of wisdom.

1. Knowledge—accumulation of facts.

2. Wisdom—ability to use those facts responsibly.

B. Characteristics of Earthly Wisdom:

1. Bitter Jealously—Man putting himself on God’s throne.

2. Self-seeking—Attitude bent on gaining power & popularity.

3. Arrogant—Boasting for the purpose of hurting others.

4. Lying against the Truth—Twisting the truth to fit your purpose.

Therefore, it is . . .

1. Earthly.

2. Unspiritual.

3. Demonic: of the devil.

C. Results of Earthy Wisdom:

1. Confusion-Why do so many people feel empty-because they are!

2. Every evil thing—worthless activity, deeds that are bad because they are good for nothing and cannot produce any real benefit.

II. Godly Wisdom (v. 17–18):

A. Characteristics of Godly Wisdom:

1. Pure—to be unmixed, unstained.

a. Motive—Do you do right because it pleases God or . . .?

b. Life—What have you put in your life to make it impure?

c. Speech—Is what you say pure?

2. Peaceable—One who restores relationships.

3. Gentle—How God deals with us in kindness instead of anger.

4. Willing to yield—Humble, not prideful.

5. Full of mercy and good fruits—Their actions reflect the change in their hearts.

6. Without Hypocrisy—Consistent: a person who knows what he believes, knows why he believes it, and who lives in a manner consistent with those beliefs.

B. Results of Godly Wisdom:

1. Righteousness

2. Peace . . .

a. with God.

b. with man.


1. Pray God will give you wisdom.

Prov. 2:6 For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

James 1:5–6a If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

2. Wisdom starts with God.

Psa. 111:10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey His commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

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