Summary: Many people misconstrue knowledge from wisdom because these are closely related. Simply defined, knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information while wisdom is the correct application of knowledge to achieve a desired result
Many people misconstrue knowledge from wisdom because these are closely related. Simply defined, knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information while wisdom is the correct application of knowledge to achieve a desired result.
However, a desired result can be either good or bad. This is why James wrote a practical discourse, giving us parameters or guidelines to know what is Earthly Wisdom and what is Heavenly Wisdom.
True Wisdom is the God-given ability to apply our knowledge of God’s words into our lives to produce fruits of righteousness and Spiritual Maturity.
Our goal this today is to be convicted of the truth that Godly wisdom and Spiritual maturity go hand in hand. Meaning, we cannot have one without the other.
Spiritual maturity is the proof that a Christian has received and is walking in the wisdom of God.
To attain our objective, let us thoroughly examine the difference between worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom. James gives the following comparisons:
1. Contrast in their ORIGIN.
2. Contrast in their NATURE
3. Contrast in their FRUITS
I. A CONTRAST IN THEIR "ORIGIN"
A. EARTHLY WISDOM IS NOT FROM ABOVE (v 15)
1. It is WORLDLY
a. A wsdom that is according to the knowledge of worldly standards and philosophies.
b. But this wisdom is foolishness to God - 1 Corinthians 1:20
“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
The world is fickle. What is considered as fact today becomes false the next day. The evil practice of same-sex marriage is now accepted as politically correct. The expression of a Christian faith is regarded as hate speech while billboards sponsored by atheists mocking God is regarded as freedom of expression.
2. It is SENSUAL
a. Worldly wisdom appeals to the senses, the emotions, and the lustful passions and desires of man.
b. Worldly wisdom is according to what one feels to be right but not morally right.
3. It is DEMONIC
a. The kind of wisdom possessed by the devil and his angels
b. A wisdom that is under the influence of Satan!
B. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS FROM ABOVE (v 17)
1. It comes from GOD - James 3:17
2. It comes through PRAYER:
James 1:5-8 New International Version (NIV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Ephesians 1:17 New International Version (NIV)
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
II. A CONTRAST IN THEIR "NATURE"
A. EARTHLY WISDOM (Vs 14,16)
14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
James 3:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
1. Full of BITTER ENVY (intense jealousy)
2. Possessing SELF-SEEKING IN THE HEART (selfish ambition)
3. This wisdom proclaims works of selfishness as virtues:
b. Position or status in life
d. Prestige and pride
e. Praise from the world
4. It was this kind of wisdom...
a. That prompted Satan and his angels to rebel against God
b. That prompted the disciples to argue over who would be the greatest in the kingdom
Discussion: “Disorder and every evil practice”
When there is envy and selfish ambition – to each his own. Reminds us of the time of the Judges in 17:6
Judges 17:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
Aren't we glad we have a King who the right thing to do?
B. HEAVENLY WISDOM (17)
Let's face it.
1. It is first PURE
a. Above all else, it is true to God's Will
b. It is not corrupted by opinions of men.
2. Then it is PEACEABLE`
a. Holding firm to the truth, it makes every effort to be at peace -. Ro 12:18
Romans 12:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone
b. For example, speaking the truth in an attitude of love - Ep 4:15
a. That is, kind in one's dealings with others
b. Not harsh, even when right and dealing with those who differ - 2Ti 2:24-25