Summary: We have to decide whose wisdom we are going to follow. James gives us a great breakdown of what the world has to offer verses what God has to offer.
• SLIDE #1
• Wisdom is defined as prudence, discretion, the capacity to understand. It is what leads us to act wisely in life. Wisdom being able to apply knowledge in a way that pleases God.
• Now, when you think about life from the Christian perspective there are basically two paths of wisdom by which we can walk. We can choose to follow God’s wisdom or we can choose to follow the wisdom the world affords us.
• Today I want us to take some time to examine this important subject. We need to make sure that we really know the difference between the earthly and Godly wisdom so that we can tell which path we are really on.
• I believe there are many who may not be on the path they think they are, I know there was a time where I struggled with this and at times still do.
• Let us turn to James 3:13-18.
• In the context James has just addressed the perils of being a teacher, but the application of this passage fits all of us.
• SLIDE #2
• James 3:13 (ESV) Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
• SLIDE #3
I. Where do I really stand on the wisdom scale?
• I like the question James poses in verse 13. Who is wise and understanding among you?
• This is a good question because how many of us want to be not wise?
• It is hard to find a self-professed fool. Most people have an elevated and unrealistically high opinion of their wisdom, although they might not say so.
• They believe they are just as “savvy” as the next person and that their opinion is usually better than anyone else’s. In this day of relativism, such perception is virtually universal. (MacArthur Jr.)
• The real heart of the question is who among us is wise in his understanding of Christ.
• How can we tell if we are truly wise and understand Christ and what the implications of our faith are? Here are a couple of ways that are found in verse 13.
• SLIDE #4
A. Our conduct will reveal our commitment.
• I can I determine where I am in my faith? My conduct will reveal my true commitment. My conduct will show if I truly understand God and that I truly understand the implications of what it means to follow Jesus.
• How do I know if I am a good husband or good father? Well, I tell my wife I am a good husband and I tell my daughters I am a good father correct?
• NO, I SHOW THEM!
• The word “CONDUCT” denotes ones’ manner of life. It deals with the one arranges their life.
• Would it not make sense as to WHY our conduct is important?
• Our conduct shows where are heart is invested.
• The word “GOOD” denotes something that is beautiful, attractive.
• Our conduct should be something that points people to Jesus.
• SLIDE #5
• Matthew 5:16 (ESV) 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
• Our conduct speaks volumes as to where our heart is. The conduct shows that we love the Lord enough to try to live a life that is pleasing to him.
• Verse 13 reveals another tangible way we can assess our level of understanding.
• SLIDE #6
B. Our attitude will reveal our heart.
• show his works in the meekness of wisdom
• Not only are the actions important to God but the attitude behind the actions are equally important to God.
• The actions of true wisdom display humility or meekness. Ancient Greek moralists thought meekness was a virtue that could easily become a weakness, making one a victim. In the New Testament, however, the word is always positive.
• Jesus describes Himself as meek or gentle in Matthew 11:29.
• When we have a heart for God, the things we do for God are done with a proper attitude.
• We cannot claim we have wisdom; it is self-evident and is measured by the depth of our heart and character.
• SLIDE #7
• Let’s examine the wisdom spoken of in verses 14-16
II. The wisdom of the world.
• In order to do a comparison of the two types of wisdom we need to know what each one is all about.
• The wisdom the world offers has some distinct elements. First let us look at verse 14 for the first element.
• SLIDE #8
• James 3:14 (ESV) 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.