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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

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THE ACTIVITY OF WISDOM

JAMES 3:13-18

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

i. Wisdom

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

ii. Understanding

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

b. 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

ii. It mimics and hides in the church

1. Little pockets of “wool spinners”

2. I did not like this, let me see if I can get others on y side

3. I do not want this lets see if I can get others to help me stop it.

4. These people do not know what they are talking about, I need to put the brakes on this.

b. ECI is insight suited for earth – earthly wisdom cannot comprehend God’s wisdom.

UNDERSTAND, NO ONE CAN COMPREHEND GOD’S WISDOM, BUT SOME CAN SEE IT WORKING, SOME KNOW WHEN IT IS WORKING, AND ALLOW IT TO WORK.

I CANNOT COMPREHEND THE MIND OF GOD,, BUT I HOPE TO SENSE WHEN HE IS A WORK AND GET OUT OR THE WAY.

c. ECI is unspiritual – Guided by worldy reason

i. Ditto

d. ECI is of the devil

i. The devil is the author of everything that would get your eyes off God

ii. The devil is the author of everything to get you in conflict with other believers

iii. The devil is the author of everything to shut down the church

iv. The devil is the author of everything to shut down your ability to sense God at work.

THE INSIGHT JAMES DESIRES FOR US – THE INSIGHT THAT WORKS FOR THE CHURCH – THE INSIGHT THAT SENSES THE MOVEMENT OF GOD IN OUR LIVES

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