A. THE OLD TESTAMENT ENCOURAGES US TO SEEK WISDOM (Prov. 3:13-18; 4:7-9).
B. THE NEW TESTAMENT ALSO EXHORTS US TO WALK IN WISDOM (Eph. 5:15-17).
C. BUT THERE IS MORE THAN ONE KIND OF WISDOM (James 3:13-18).
D. JAMES DISCUSSES AND CONTRASTS EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY WISDOM.
A. EARTHLY WISDOM IS NOT FROM ABOVE (vs. 15)
1. It is EARTHLY. epigeios, upon the earth, earthly, terrestrial (2 Cor. 5:1) (Thayer).
a. A preoccupation with the things of this world (Phil. 3:19).
b. Reasons from this perspective, taking no thought for eternity (Luke 12:16-21).
c. But this wisdom is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 1:18-21; 3:18-19).
2. It is SENSUAL. psuchikos, governed by the psuchee i. e. the sensuous nature
with its subjection to appetite and passion (Thayer).
a. Used in 1 Cor. 2:14-15. Again, a perspective that serves the fleshly appetites.
b. A sharp contrast (Rom. 13:11-14).
c. Who is in control (Jude 18-19).
d. If it feels right, it must be … follow your heart (Jer. 17:9).
3. It is DEMONIC. daimonioodes, resembling or proceeding from an evil spirit,
a. The Nature of demonic wisdom is to Deceive (2 Cor. 11:3).
b. Satan’s wisdom leads to Sin! (1 John 3:7-8).
B. THE WISDOM FROM ABOVE IS CONTRASTED (vs. 17).
1. It comes from GOD (Jas. 1:17; Jas. 1:5; Prov. 2:6).
2. It begins with a fear of God (Prov. 10:9; Psa. 111:10), and leads to Obedience!
A. TWO PRONGS OF EARTHLY WISDOM (vs. 16)
1. Bitter Jealousy.
3. This wisdom extols as virtues such qualities as:
a. Power b. Position c. Privilege d. Prestige
4. What is the source? (James 4:1; 1 Cor. 3:1-3). Controlled by earthly passions.
B. THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE (vs. 17).
1. It is first PURE, true to God's Will and PURE in its Motives (1 Tim. 1:5).
2. Then it is PEACEABLE (Rom. 12:18; Matt. 5:9).
3. GENTLE, kind in one's dealings with others (1 Pet. 3:8; Gal. 6:1).
4. EASY TO BE ENTREATED - eupeithees, compliant, approachable.
(A.T. Robertson) easily obeying, compliant (Thayer)
a. Approachable (James 1:19) “Swift to hear.”
b. Other versions: reasonable (NASU), open to reason (RSV), submissive (NIV),
willing to yield (NKJV). SOMEONE YOU CAN REASON WITH.
5. FULL OF MERCY, Quick to forgive others (James 2:13).
6. And GOOD FRUITS, Associated with mercy (Luke 10:37)
a. Good deeds the fruit of righteousness (Phil 1:11). (Robertson)
b. Wisdom takes one beyond being a HEARER to being a DOER (Jas. 1:22; 2:24).
7. WITHOUT VARIANCE, Partiality,
a. adiakritos, 1. undistinguished and undistinguishable, 2. without dubiousness,
ambiguity, or uncertainty (Thayer).
b. "Unhesitating," not doubting … like the man in James 1:6. Here only in the New
Testament. This wisdom does not put a premium on doubt. (Robertson)
8. WITHOUT HYPOCRISY, anupokritos; sincere (Strong)
a. Deceit is the result of hypocrisy (1 Pet. 2:1). Do we put on a show?
b. No guile with one another (Rom. 12:9; 1 Pet. 1:22).
A. EARTHLY WISDOM (vs. 16).
1. Causes CONFUSION (Eph. 4:17-19). Darkenend understanding (1 Cor. 1:14-15).
2. And EVERY VILE DEED. (Evil Work – KJV)
a. God’s wisdom is revealed in the Gospel (1 Cor. 1:21-24).
b. When man refuses God’s wisdom … (Rom. 1:28ff).
B. THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE (vs. 18). PEACE, instead of confusion and
RIGHTEOUSNESS, instead of every evil thing
A. WHO IS REALLY WISE? IT WILL SHOW IN HIS LIFE (James 1:13).
B. IF WE FOLLOW THE WORLD, WE CANNOT DENY IT. IT WILL SHOW (vs. 14).
C. THE WISE COURSE IS TO BE HONEST AND REPENT.