Summary: One of the most interesting things about the book of James is that it is one of the earliest epistles written to believers. ... Now in Chapter three, we see James is discussing wisdom and understanding, and once again, he makes the conclusion that just l
THE ACTIVITY OF WISDOM
INTRODUCTION: One of the most interesting things about the book of James is that it is one of the earliest epistles written to believers. As such, what we have is the most basic and foundational principles on a variety of issues. A couple of weeks ago, we were able to see how James tied faith and deeds together. James revealed the importance of an active, demonstrative faith. Now in Chapter three, we see James is discussing wisdom and understanding, and once again, he makes the conclusion that just like faith has a demonstrative facet,, so does wisdom and knowledge.
1. MATURE CHRISTIAN INSIGHT IS MEASURED BY DEEDS NOT DECREES
a. Mature Christian Insight has two parts
1. This is the internal part of MCI
2. The moral insight
3. The mental conduct of ones life
4. What is swimming around in our brains
1. This is the outward part of MCI
2. This is the perception of our wisdom
3. This is the demonstration of what we know
JAMES IS ASKING THE SIMPLE QUESTION – WHO IN THE CHURCH HAS MCI?
• He is not asking for a show of hands
• He is not asking for verbal ascent
• He is not asking for us to pat ourselves on the back
JAMES IS ASKING TO SEE IT!
2. MCI IS REVEALED IN A GOOD LIFE AND HUMILITY
HERE IS A SIMPLE PRINCIPLE TO REMEMBER – MOTIVES MATCH ACTIONS
a. The good life
i. MCI ends in good behavior -- Good behavior is the result of good motives
ii. CI is my understanding of the life of Christ as revealed in my life
THAT IS WHY MCI IS REVEALED IN HUMILITY
i. James talks about activities done in humility
1. The phrase means things that are done in a steady goodness
2. Things done without my being self-important
3. Things done with a wise weakness
a. True wisdom ends in good behavior
b. Wise men are less angry and more humble
3. EARTHLY CARNAL INSIGHT IS ROOTED IN ENVY AND AMBITION
a. ECI is a “but” – meaning the two are mutually exclusive.
i. We cannot have both
ii. We cannot deal spiritually with ECI
4. ECI INVOLVES ENVY AND AMBITION
a. Bitter envy is ZEALOUS envy
i. Anger directed at the accomplishments of others
ii. A grief at the enjoyment of others
iii. A joy when evil befalls someone else
b. Ambition is a greek word meaning “party-maker” or “wool spinner”
i. One who does what he does in order to get a following
ii. We might liken this today to those in the political arena who will say anything to get your vote .
c. Notice, James says we have this in our hearts
i. The place that Jesus says unclean things can come out of
Matthew 12:35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
Matthew 15:10-11 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'"
5. ECI DOES NOT COME FROM HEAVEN
a. ECI is the worst kind of lie
i. It abuses the truth