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Summary: Failure to exude the wisdom from above leads to impurity, pickiness, harshness, unapproachableness, mercilessness, fruitlessness, wavering and dishonesty. True wisdom is pure, peacable, gentle, entreatable, merciful, fruitful, steadfast, honest that evide

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Nine Characteristics of Wisdom from Above (James 3:17,18)

"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle); it is willing to yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straight forward; impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering and insincerity). And the harvest of righteousness (Of conformity to God’s will in thought and deeds) is the fruit of the seed sown in peace by those who work for and make peace in themselves and in other others, that peace which menas concnered, agreement and harmony between individuals with undisturbness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral-conflicts." (Amplified Bible)

Failure to exude the wisdom from above leads to impurity, pickiness, harshness, unapproachableness, mercilessness, fruitlessness, wavering and dishonesty. True wisdom is pure, peacable, gentle, entreatable, merciful, fruitful, steadfast, honest that evidences a Christlikeness given by the enduement and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Much of the material for this sermon is based on the writing of T. W. Hunt.

Illustration: The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield. --James 3:17

Is it wise to be bitterly envious of other people’s possessions, talents, or good looks? Is it wise to be selfishly ambitious--and then brag about what your ambition brings you?

A passage in the Bible actually seems to call such attitudes wise. James used the word wisdom to describe "bitter envy and self-seeking" (3:14-15). That’s surprising, because we normally equate wisdom with something good. But James used the word in a specific context. The source of this wisdom, he pointed out, is evil. It doesn’t come "from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic." It is the wisdom that leads to immoral decisions about how life should be lived.

This kind of "wisdom" is all around us. Bitter envy and selfish ambition threaten many of our institutions and destroy relationships. Society pays the price for this twisted thinking at all levels, for it always leads to "confusion and every evil thing" (v.16).

The prophet Isaiah said, "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes" (Isa. 5:21). As believers in Christ, we must pursue a higher wisdom--the wisdom that comes from God. It is pure, peaceable, and gentle. It is merciful and without hypocrisy (Jas. 3:17). Ask God for that kind of wisdom. Is there any doubt which wisdom is better? (Our Daily Bread)

The wisdom from above flies in the face

Of what the world holds in death’s embrace;

Willing to yield, yet resolutely pure

And peaceable, God’s wisdom will endure. --Gustafson

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. --Proverbs 16:25

The following are nine characteristics of Christlike wisdom, their opposite attitudes and the perversion of the ideal:

1. Christlike wisdom is pure as it is a gift from God, but the opposite is impure motivations; but the perversion is puritanicalism. Pure wisdom is not a mixture of of maxims or aims that would debase it. Christlikeness wisdom empowered by the Holy Spirit is studious of holiness both in heart and in life. When the word of God and the Holy Spirit are controlling our thoughts we think pure thoughts while desiring holiness in all aspects of life. However, failure to allow the Spirit of God to fill our thinking, attitudes, actions and spirit leads one to impurity of all types. Yet, when one is not allowing the purity of Christ to dwell in us we start to rely on rules, regulations and traditions of men that make us overlypuritanical and legalistic.

Excessive adherence to a law, regulations or a list of do’s and don’ts leads one to rely on human beliefs more than on the word and the Spirit of graciousness. Recent studies have found that many Christians television viewing habits vary little from non-Christians since they believe no one is holding them accountable, but they are wrong. Jeremiah wrote, "Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve." (Jer 32:19)

Illustration: The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. --Proverbs 16:23

People often hide their feelings behind a wall of words. They use a kind of double-talk in which words and feelings do not agree. A communications consultant who holds workshops on this subject says that many people are afraid that honesty in speech will cost them friendships, love, or respect. So they either keep their lips zipped or say something other than what they mean.

Other factors that may impede straight talk are shyness, lack of confidence, fear of displaying ignorance, trying to avoid criticism, and not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings.

Believers in Christ are not exempt from this problem. Trying to be both loving and truthful can be difficult, but the Bible tells us how to deal with this dilemma. The book of James teaches us that we need the wisdom that comes from God above. The Lord will enable us by His Holy Spirit to speak effectively and honestly. His wisdom is "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (Jas. 3:17).

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