Don't Be Fooled By Wisdom!

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Dismiss children to children’s church up through the third grade.
Sopho Moros were two Greek words I learned in in high school my sophomore year. I was taking Greek since I was failing Spanish. These two Greek words comprise the English word we know as sophomore. this intrigued me until I discovered the meaning...
σοφόςb, (Sopho)pertaining to understanding resulting in wisdom—‘prudent, wise, understanding.’
English word Sophisticated
μωρόςb, (Morose) pertaining to thoughts devoid of understanding and therefore foolish—‘foolish, nonsensical, to be nonsense.
English word Moron
Essentially a sophomore is a sophisticated fool or sophisticated moron!
· armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous!
· not enough time to realize the application needed of said knowledge in ones life…
James 3:13-18 is going to be challenging the believers to take a heartfelt look at wisdom… James warns his readers not to be fooled!
James 3:13–18 NASB95
13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Who is Wise Among You?

James begins by ask a question that needs reflection and to be answered.
· This is not a question directing to pride, rather a question directing the believers to understanding.
· Can we discern among us who the wise ones are? James’ statement here in his letter would indicate YES!
· James challenges the readers to look at the fruit!
o Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, Ephesians 5:15
Ephesians 5:15 NASB95
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
o There are those who walk even in our churches as unwise…

James Contrast Two Origins of Wisdom

1. One comes from Heaven
2. One comes from this world
James has had a theme of double-mindedness throughout this letter… to know Christ yet have the world’s wisdom:
· James knew the difference of being religious vs relationship…wisdom is a heart issue

What is wisdom?

· wisdomthe capacity to understand and, as a result, to act wisely[i]
· Proverbs 1:1-7 (what true wisdom is and what it is for)
Proverbs 1:1–7 NASB95
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, 3 To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity; 4 To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, 5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
· Proverbs 2:2-6 (how we get wisdom from heaven!)
Proverbs 2:2–6 NASB95
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Discerning the WHO…

· Verse 13blet him show… demonstrate one’s knowledge
· Show one’s wisdom by what you do and say… guarding the tongue
o Better for people to think you a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt
· “in gentleness of wisdom” or meekness
o A powerful horse under control
o Professor… a dialog w a student without getting angry
o One who is under control… a fruit of the spirit!

Discerning YOU…

· James shits from him/her (others around you) to looking at ones self
· Do you in your “wisdom” have:
o Envy / Jealousy
o Selfish Ambition
o In Your Heart!!!
· DO NOT boast…arrogance proud of the knowledge ( I know the bible… no need for more)
o Illustrate by sharing the two different times of sharing the gospel with those going door to door.
o This was not wisdom, it was knowledge used with selfish ambition, boasting, lies!
· These attributes are not foreign to the church of James’ day… nor our churches today
o Philippians 2:3
Philippians 2:3 NASB95
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
o Jealousy creeps in
o Ambitions take over
o Pride and boasting well up in the hearts… even in leaders, pastors
· If these exist, then true wisdom is absent!

If not wisdom from heaven… What is it then?

· Verse 15
o Earthly… worldly wisdom
§ Listening to man over God
§ Seeking what man seeks over what God desires
o Natural… human nature
§ What man naturally seeks
§ 1 Corinthians 2:14
1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB95
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
§ It is foolishness to the natural world
o Demonic… of Satan
§ Knowledge of scripture does not prove wisdom
§ The more we stray from God’s wisdom it gets progressively worse

Don’t be double-minded

· We can start with good intentions… (sophomore) but we should progress towards God’s Wisdom
· We can however allow the sophomore mentality to blind us, allowing ourselves to be fooled by wisdom and seek the wrong wisdom
o Solomon… sought out wisdom from God
o Blinded by the amazement of men and women
o Subtly pursued the wisdom of the world
o Known as the wisest man who ended life as a fool.

Church don’t be fooled by wisdom not from above!

[i] Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 383). New York: United Bible Societies.
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