James 3.13-4.10

James - A Faith That Works  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:21
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Worldly Wisdom or Godly Wisdom?

Luke 16:1–8 ESV
1 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
How do you define wisdom?
Would you consider yourself to be wise?
How do you know?

An old proverb says, those who know not and know they know not, teach them. Those who know not but know not they know not, shun them.

I want to be wise have the wisdom of God not just wise by worldly standards!!
A - God our Father in heaven we praise your Holy name. We are so thankful for your presence with us, your spirit in us. We thank you for sending your son to die for us that we might be adopted into your family as a new people.
C - LORD we confess that we do not always practice true Godly wisdom. We confess that we are often quarreling and fighting with one another because of our own selfish sinful natures. Father we ask that you might change our hearts even now today. Give us more of your spirit that we might be pursuing and receptive to your perfect wisdom.
T - Thank you Father that you have promised us that when we ask in accordance with your will you are quick to act. Therefore we with bold assurance come today to seek, to knock, to ask for your wisdom, your will to be done in our lives.
S - LORD God we lift before you now this text this morning in James. We lift our hearts and we lift our hands. Speak to us we do pray in the name that is above all names, Jesus. AMEN!

Two Pictures of Wisdom

James 3:13 ESV
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

Worldly Wisdom Or Godly Wisdom

False Wisdom Examined
James 3:14–16 ESV
14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Comes from Hell
Is motivated by self-centered ambition
Results in Disorder and Evil
True Wisdom Esteemed
James 3:17–18 ESV
17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Comes from Heaven
Is motivated by God-centered humility
Results in Peace and Righteousness
Exalting Jesus In James Godly Wisdom (3:17–18)

• Pure: “The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God” (Matt 5:8).

• Peace-loving: “The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God” (Matt 5:9).

• Gentle/Considerate: “The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5).

• Compliant/Submissive: “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs” (Matt 5:3).

• Full of mercy: “The merciful are blessed, for they will be shown mercy” (Matt 5:7).

• Full of good fruit: “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled” (Matt 5:6).

Jesus is the Wisdom of God!!
He was peaceable. That did not mean that He was a pacifist. - cleansed the temple - cursed the Pharisees … Matthew 10:34 “34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
He was gentle. How gently He dealt with the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1–11) and with the city woman who wept at His feet in the Pharisees house (Luke 7:36–50). How gently He dealt with poor, backslidden, broken Peter (John 21:15–22). How gently He dealt with the discerning mothers who brought their little ones to Him (Matt. 19:13–15).
He was easy to be entreated, the most friendly and approachable of men. He said, John 6:37 “37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
He was “full of mercy.” It was mercy that brought Him down from heavens heights and mercy that caused Him to become God incarnate so that He could redeem us with His blood.
He was “full of good works.” Indeed, Peter, after spending three and a half years in His company, could think of no better way to describe Him to the Gentile Cornelius than to say that He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).
He was “without partiality.” He was as earnest with Judas as He was with Simon Peter. He took time to meet with nicodemus as well as to teach children.
And He was “without hypocrisy.” He was absolutely transparent, completely, even disconcertingly, honest.
Jesus is the Wisdom of God
1 Corinthians 1:27–31 “27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.””

Two Pictures of Friendship

Friendship with the World Or Friendship with God

A Worldly Warning
Warning against a Fleshly Appetite
James 4:1–2 ESV
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
Romans 7:22–23 “22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.”
The Acquired Taste…
Galatians 5:24 “24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
1 Peter 2:11 “11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
1 Corinthians 6:9 “9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? …
Waring against a Faulty Argument
James 4:2–3 ESV
2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
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Proverbs 1:28 “28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.”
1 John 3:22 “22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”
1 John 5:14 “14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
Romans 8:26–28 “26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Warning against a Fatal Association
James 4:4–5 ESV
4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?
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1 John 2:15 “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Matthew 6:24 “24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Romans 8:7 “7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”
A Godly Goal
We are entreated to Repent
James 4:6 ESV
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:7 ESV
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Matthew 11:28 “28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Luke 13:34 “34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
John 3:16–18 “16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
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We are encouraged to Resist
James 4:7 ESV
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Ephesians 6:11 “11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
1 John 4:4 “4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
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We are enjoined to Renew
James 4:8–9 ESV
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
James 1:8 “8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Luke 15:20 “20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”
Isaiah 1:16 “16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,”
Jeremiah 4:14 “14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you?”
1 John 3:3 “3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
Luke 6:25 “25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”
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We are enabled to Rejoice
James 4:10 ESV
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Romans 8:17 “17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Matthew 6:33 “33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
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Group Questions
1. Who in your life has exemplified and imparted godly wisdom? What characteristics mark his or her life?
2. How does the world’s definition of wisdom differ from Scripture’s definition?
3. According to James 3:13, why can’t someone whose life is marked by immorality be considered wise?
4. What’s the difference between knowing facts and possessing godly wisdom?
5. Explain what it means to be a friend of the world.
6. What is God’s role in keeping us from pursuing sin? What is our role?
7. Practically speaking, what does it mean to submit to God and resist the Devil?
8. How would you define repentance for someone who has no Bible knowledge?
9. How is it in James 4:11 that speaking evil against a brother is speaking evil against the law?
10. How is intentionally engaging unbelievers different from pursuing friendship with the world?
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