Summary: Part 14 in a series in the book of James
A Life of Works Produced By Faith
“True Verses False Wisdom”
Date: November 3, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: James 3:13-18
We continue our study in the book of James picking up in chapter 3. We have said over and over again, I believe it is worth repeating this morning; James is addressing Christians. He is giving practical advise on the life of one that truly desires to life a life pleasing to God.
This message may seems to be a continuation of chapter 1:5 which tells us; “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Wisdom for the Jews was a very important thing. They realized it was not just enough to have knowledge you had to have wisdom to be able to use the knowledge correctly.
It is a very noble desire to be a teacher and or preacher of the Word of God. There are so many that have a desire to teach & preach; many that say; “I have something to say”; or who desire to stand before God’s people and say words. My friend if you feel that is what you need to do, first you must be certain God is calling you to teach and preach. But if God has placed a calling in your life to teach the Word of God you had better get busy doing it. To be effective in imparting the truth of God, you do need to have a knowledge and wisdom.
Someone has said knowledge enables us to take things apart, but wisdom enables us to put things together and relate God’s truth to daily life. Each of us has heard preachers say knowledgeable things but miss the heart of God’s message and fail to relate truth to everyday life. Many we hear today are reading from the Word of God and not imparting the truth; they are spitting out false wisdom
It seems to be the kind of knowledge & wisdom James is speaking of. So this morning in our text, we and see the battle between true & false wisdom.
First lets notice…
I. The Origins of Wisdom (verses 15-17)
A. True wisdom comes from above, it comes from God, but the false wisdom comes from below. In other words, there is a heavenly and a worldly wisdom.
1. One thing we can be sure of that that wisdom that does not come from God will fail, no matter how successful it may seem to be at the time.
B. The bible gives us many examples of the foolishness of man’s wisdom.
1. Genesis 11:1-9 tells us of the idea man had to build the tower of Babel, but in the end it failed and ended in confusion.
2. Genesis 12:10-20 tells us Abraham though it was wise to enter Egypt when famine struck Canaan, but the results proved otherwise.
3. In Acts 27 the expert sailors though it was wise to leave port and travel to Rome even though the apostle Paul disagreed. They lived to regret their decision.
C. James tells us in verse 15 “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual and demonic”. James tells us we have three views of false wisdom
1. Earthly wisdom.
a. Think about this for a moment; we have those who have discovered that the body is made up a very complex make-up of DNA, chromosomes and other things my mind does not have the capability to explain or understand. We have others that have unlocked the secrets of the universe concerning the atmosphere and space. But when it comes to giving acknowledgment to a Holy, living God that created all things they cannot accept or phantom the idea.
b. The world by its wisdom knew not God, and thereby rejects the very Gospel.
c. 1 Corinthians 1:18 Says; “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness.”
2. Sensual or Natural Wisdom-
a. 1 Corinthians 2:14 tell us; “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
b. The main idea here is that mans fallen nature id opposed to the new nature that is available from God.
c. This is a wisdom that gets its origin from man’s nature totally apart from the Spirit of God
d. Some may refer to this as common sense.
3. Devilish Wisdom-
a. Since the devil successfully deceived Adam & Eve in the garden, there has been a “Wisdom of Satan” at work in this world.
b. How else can you explain the horrible acts violence and terror we see each and every day around our world?