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Righteous Living Comes From Godly Wisdom ()
Believers are called to display genuine wisdom in daily living.
James is directing his attention to some of the leaders that are in a teaching role, and he found that they were involved for selfish reasons.
Some of these teachers were seen as being eager to win arguments and come off more holy than others around them.
However, this passage is not merely directed at teachers of the word, but towards all of us who claim to be followers of Christ.
As James shares in chapter 2; “faith without works is dead”, this too applies to wisdom.
Wisdom doesn’t just “know” the good, but most importantly, wisdom “knows” how to do the good.
Understanding has seen what wisdom in action looks like and the benefit that can be to other believers and those far from God.
In this next passage of scripture, we will see how faith without good deeds means a life of evil deeds.
Wisdom then concerns the conduct of one’s life.
“The wisdom from above gives birth to deeds and a way of life that grows in understanding.”
the wisdom from above gives birth to deeds and a way of life that grows in understanding
Richardson, K. A. (1997).
James (Vol.
36, p. 163).
Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.\
Humility- opposed to arrogance and self-seeking.
This is our natural human tendency and we all battle this to a certain degree.
We are to demonstrate a gentle and kind attitude with those around us.
Christians are called to display the presence of spiritual wisdom in their lives by deeds of humility and goodness.
(Demonstrating gentleness and kindness with someone you disagree with) Have you been there before when that is not the case?
You walk away from the conversation and the Holy Spirit convicts you of your selfishness.
Bitter envy and selfish ambition are contrary to humility
Bitter envy and selfish ambition are contrary to humility (vs.14-16)
These two words are pretty self explanatory.
Individuals that camp here are out for their own interests at the expense of others.
The Apostle Paul
Envy- a desire to promote one’s opinions over others
Selfish ambition- seeking to push for a cause
I think about our missionaries and guests speakers that visit us frequently and the common thing I hear is…unity is apparent in your church body.
The conversations that are going on before service, the smiles on their faces, the worship to the King, etc.
This is who we are at FBC Moses Lake.
We don’t just put on a show for our missionaries, guest speakers, and visitors.
What I know in that, because I have had to come to some of you for forgiveness, is that it doesn’t come without the hard work.
To go to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ and walk through disagreement.
To clarify misunderstanding.
If we get to a place of pride where “it just isnt that big of a deal” or “Ill get to it later” we open ourselves up for bitter attitudes to creep in.
We have a community of people far from God that are watching us as individual believers and as a body of Christ.
What are we showing them?
23 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.”
Prov 28:26
26He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
The conduct of a heart full of bitter envy and selfish ambition is opposite of the wisdom that comes from God.
When James shares this “wisdom” is demonic in vs 15, he is bridging up to the next verse which will lay out the sinful attitudes he wants to address with his readers.
This is merely a way for him to speak to the actions of individuals that were in direct opposition to God and His Spirit.
This idea of seeking to insert themselves onto the throne of God because He clearly missed something.
This is how blind one can get in their selfishness.
At the end of the day, as followers of Jesus we are faced with two choices.
Will I live for Christ or for myself?
It happens with students and adults alike.
Pastor Andy has shared this with me since I was in youth group here at FBC.
He would tell me he is praying that all the false wells in my life would run dry and I would turn to the living well.
As I’m sure I drove Andy nuts during those years, I do know that he was relying on the Holy Spirit to do the work on my heart.
A prideful heart “that has all of life figured out” can only last so long before destruction takes place.
Whether thats a friendship, a job, a marriage, or even a church family.
10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas.
Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
People who cater to selfish ambition need never expect to develop any fruit which is godly, righteous, or helpful to others.
True Wisdom (vs.
It is ‘pure’.
This means it is free from all the things that characterize false wisdom.
• It is also ‘peaceable’.
It delights in peace and promotes peace.
• It is ‘gentle’.
It is not combative and abrasive.
It is reasonable and courteous.
• It is ‘willing to yield’.
It is open to reason.
It doesn’t insist on its rights and its own way.
• It is ‘full of mercy’, that is, it shows compassion to those who are in need.
• It is ‘full of … good fruits’.
That means it is rich in good deeds.
• It is ‘without partiality’.
It does not show favouritism.
• It is ‘without hypocrisy’.
It is sincere and genuine.
It doesn’t put on a front.
Through True Wisdom we can experience peace and the enjoyment of relationships that are in harmony.
The hardest part is making that move towards wisdom.
God I am nervous to talk with that individual?
What if it..But..And…The list goes on.
Church, we are called by God to preach, reach, and teach.
Let’s BE The church this week in Moses Lake.
May God get all the glory for what He will accomplish in and thru us.
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