wisdom to be sought after by true believers in that it is modeled for us
in the life and manner of Christ Jesus our Lord and the things which
proceed from it as most valuable.
AIM: That we
may realize the benefits of such wisdom as God gives as a precious
possession that is most profitable to us and those with whom we have to
INTR: This book
is most practical in the matters of the heart and life in that it calls
us to engage the gospel principles to which we are set forth by Christ
and in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1. It is not a book of mere rules; it
is rather those living things given to us in a manner in which we may
relate in that they have immediate transfer to those about us.
his most direct approach, James leaves no doubt in that he brings
intensity and conclusion to the contrary things in order to exemplify
those things which are desired.
3. Having addresses at length the
dangers of the unruly tongue and the graphic conclusions (see vv. 8-12)
concerning it, he proceeds to the matter of the heart. My mouth shall
speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of
understanding. Psalms 49:3
True wisdom (the right use of knowledge) is personified in Christ and so
it is in truly seeking Him we may realize the fruits of righteousness
reaped in our own hearts and in benefits to others as well.
question of identity (v. 13)
1. This rhetorical question sets the
stage for that which is to follow.
1) It is to be noted that many
claims may be made to knowledge and wisdom that are betrayed by the
2) These are things that are generally recognized by all but
the one making the claim.
2. It is first to be recognized that in
either case one is endued (given a particular quality or ability) with
that which shows forth in his character.
3. There is an inherent
claim where one thinks himself to be have knowledge and such is sure to
be tested: (the following is suggested by Kistemaker
1) There is
examination who is among you indicating that this is for us and not
the world at large.
2) There must be demonstration (show it) True
wisdom is rare and where it exists needs to be displayed in a God
honoring and Christ imitating life.
3) There is to be affirmation
As in action speaks louder than words.
4. True wisdom produces
II. The wisdom of the world (vv. 14-16)
potential to bitterness and strife appears attended with a stern
1) The you is plural, so he is addressing a people and not
just an individual a cultural context.
2) Like that which is to be
desired, it is such untoward character abides in the heart
3) And in
fact many take great pride in being outspoken and contentious in that
they think it to promote their image among men.
4) Self-glorying and
lying against the truth seem to go hand in hand.
2. Such wisdom has
no heavenly connection but is known by its origin:
1) Earthly in that
it stands in direct contrast to that which is from above
in that it pertains to the corrupted senses and is thus in opposition to
that which is spiritual it appeals to the desires of the flesh and the
mind in a worldly context.
3) Devilish in that such a person is
living a lie the connection with the father of the lie in his most
direct manner James declares that such is of the devil.
3. The end
result is found to be in direct and distinct contrast to the order of
III. True wisdom from above (vv. 17-18)
1. The simple
truth is that true wisdom has its origin in Jesus Christ our Lord in
that it displays the essence of who He is in the person possessing it.
2. It is a gift from God and therefore there is found no cause for
boasting: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to
all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James
3. The characterizations of wisdom:
1) Pure reflective of
the purity and holiness of God And every man that hath this hope in
him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1 John 3:3
2) The next of
these are express a proper attitude
3) The next speaks of action:
i. Full of mercy
ii. Good fruits
4) The rest of judgment:
ii. Without hypocrisy
4. And so James concludes with the obvious and
delightful outcome to righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
characteristics of the Kingdom of God.
1) See He that goeth forth
and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126:6
2) As in
prayer and all spiritual activity, the first fruits are to the ones so
engages and so we are reminded: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they
shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9
3) And: And the work
of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness
quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17