WISE or UNWISE:
James 3:13-18
{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.
 

INTRODUCTION:
John and Dave were hiking when they spotted a mountain lion staring at them. John froze in his tracks, but Dave sat down on a log, tore off his hiking boots, pulled a pair of running shoes from his backpack and hurriedly began to put them on.

"For crying out loud, you can't outrun a mountain lion!" John hissed. "I don't have to," shrugged Dave. "I just have to outrun you."

The text asks if we have wisdom and then tells us two different kinds of wisdom are available. Please note these points of the text as I develop this message.

1. Wise or Unwise: The Inquiry About . . . . Having Wisdom. v 13-14

2. Wise or Unwise: The Indication About . . Hellish Wisdom. v 15-16

3. Wise or Unwise: The Indication About . . Heavenly Wisdom. v 17-18
 
 
 

1.    Wise or Unwise: The Inquiry About . .
Having Wisdom. v 13-14 
{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.

EXPLANATION

A.    The . . Confirmation of Having Wisdom. v 13

            1. If you have it people will know it.
 

B. The . . Contradiction of Having Wisdom. v 14
 
            1. Bitter Strong's # 4089 pikros (pik-ros'); perhaps from 4078 (through the
            idea of piercing); sharp (pungent), 4078 pegnumi (payg'-noo-mee); to fix
            ("peg"), i.e. (specially) to set up (a tent):

            2. Jealousy Strong's # 2205 zelos (dzay'-los); from 2204; "zeal" Strong's #
                2204 zeo (dzeh'-o); a primary verb; to be hot (boil, of liquids; or glow,
                of solids),

            3. Selfish ambition or Strife Strong's # 2052 eritheia (er-ith-i'-ah); perhaps
                as the same as 2042;

            Strong's # 2042 erethizo (er-eth-id'-zo); from a form of 2054; to stimulate
            (especially to anger):

            4. Arogant or Boast Stro.'s # 2620 (kat-ak-ow-khah'-om-ahee); 2596 and
                2744; to exult
 

ILLUSTRATION     (Lee Roberson page 240-241 )
I read about a gentleman who once entered a store that sold fine glass and Chinaware. Approaching the proprietor he said, "I would like to buy all of the glasses that are pitched in the key of A".

The owner of the store, looking amused, said, "Well, friend we don't buy glasses for their musical qualities, so I cannot tell you which ones have the proper key!"

The inquirer then took a tuning fork from his pocket and struck it on the counter. Immediately every glass pitched in the Key of A on the shelf responded.

When the soul is saved, we respond to the voice of God. We delight in His teachings. We are in tune with His commands.
 

APPLICATION

Do you have wisdom?
 
 
 

2.    Wise or Unwise: The Indication About . .
Hellish Wisdom. v 15-16 
{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.

EXPLANATION

A. The . . Derivation of Hellish Wisdom. v 15

        1. Earthly Strong's # 1919 epigeios (ep-ig'-i-os); from 1909 and 1093; worldly
            (physically or morally):
            Strong's # 1909 epi (ep-ee'); a primary preposition; Strong's # 1093 ge
            (ghay); contracted from a primary word; soil;

        2. Natural or Sensual Strong's # 5591 psuchikos (psoo-khee-kos');
            from 5590;   sensitive, i.e.   animate (in distinction on the one hand from
            4152, which is the higher or renovated nature; and on the other from 5446,
            which is the lower or bestial nature):

        3. Demonic or Devilish Strong's # 1141 (dahee-mon-ee-o'-dace); from 1140
            and 1142; daemon-like:
 

B. The . . Describing of Hellish Wisdom. v 16

        1. Jealousy,
        2. Selfish ambition, (see above)
        3. Disorder or confusion Strong's # 181 akatastasia (ak-at-as-tah-see'-ah);
            from 182; instability, i.e. disorder: Strong's # 182 akatastatos
            (ak-at-as'-tat-os); from 1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of
            2525; inconstant: Strong's # 2525 (kath-is'-tay-mee); from 2596 and 2476;
            to place down (permanently),
        4. Evil thing or Evil work Strong's # 5337 phaulos (fow'-los); apparently a
            primary word;   "foul" or "flawy", thing or work Strong's # 4229 pragma
            (prag'-mah); from 4238; a deed; by implication, an affair; by extension,
            Strong's # 4238 prasso (pras'-so); a primary verb; to "practise",
 

ILLUSTRATION     (page 117-118 Abortion R.C.Sprool )
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a physician who performed thousands of legal abortions before he became utterly convinced that he was destroying human life, made public the initial pro-abortion plan.

First the pro-abortionists asked themselves, "From where will the fiercest opposition to abortion come?" They rightly concluded it would be from the Roman Catholic Church. In order to counterbalance this powerful influence, they sought to enlist the support of mainline Protestant denominations.

The emphasis of the pro-abortion strategy was not to convert people to a clear position of pro-abortion, but merely to get them to affirm each person's inalienable right to choose without government intervention or coercion. This was a standard statement: "I'm personally not in favor of abortion, but I don't want to impose my view on others. It's a matter of individual liberty and private conscience."
 

APPLICATION

That was a wise strategy. Where did that wisdom come from? It is demonic
 
 
 

3.    Wise or Unwise: The Indication About . .
Heavenly Wisdom. v 17-18 
(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.

EXPLANATION

A. The . . Derivation of Heavenly Wisdom. v 17 a
 

B. The . . Describing of Heavenly Wisdom. v 17 b - 18
        1. Pure Strong's # 53 hagnos (hag-nos'); from the same as 40; properly,
            clean,  i.e. (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: Strong's # 40 hagios
            (hag'-ee-os); from hagos sacred

        2. Peaceable Strong's # 1516 eirenikos (i-ray-nee-kos'); from 1515; pacific;
            Strong's # 1515 eirene (i-ray'-nay); probably from a primary verb eiro (to
            join); peace
        3. Gentle Strong's # 1933 epieikes (ep-ee-i-kace'); from 1909 and 1503;
            appropriate, mild: Strong's # 1909 epi (ep-ee'); a primary preposition;
            properly, meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.),
            Strong's # 1503 eiko (i'-ko); a copy; to resemble: KJV-- be like. (DIC)

        4. Reasonable or easy to be entreated Strong's # 2138 eupeithes
            (yoo-pi-thace'); from 2095 and 3982; good for persuasion, Strong's # 2095
            eu (yoo); neuter of a primary eus (good); (adverbially) well: Strong's
            # 3982 peitho (pi'-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or
            false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); , trust,
            yield. (DIC)

        5. Full of mercy Strong's # 1656 eleos (el'-eh-os); compassion (human or
            divine, especially active)

        6. Good fruits Strong's # 18 agathos (ag-ath-os'); a primary word; "good" (in
            any sense, often as noun):

        7. Unwavering or without partiality Strong's # 87 adiakritos
            ad-ee-ak'-ree-tos); from 1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of 1252;
            properly, undistinguished, Strong's # 1252 diakrino (dee-ak-ree'-no); from
            1223 and 2919; to separate thoroughly,

        8. Without Hypocracy Strong's # 505 anupokritos (an-oo-pok'-ree-tos); from
            1 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of 5271; undissembled,
            Strong's # 5271 hupokrinomai (hoop-ok-rin'-om-ahee); middle voice from
            5259 and 2919; to decide (speak or act) under a false part, i.e.
            (figuratively) dissemble (pretend):
 

ILLUSTRATION
A young man got into a financial tangle by loaning a friend in another town $500 without the benefit of a written note. He didn't even ask for a receipt indicating the amount loaned.

When the young man needed his money, he realized he had nothing to document his claim. In desperation he consulted his father. After a moment of consideration, the father said, "Oh, that's easy. Write him and say you need the $1,000 you loaned him." The young man said, "You mean $500." "No," said the father. "You say $1,000, and he will immediately write back that he owes you only $500. Then you will have it in writing."

If an earthly father can be clever enough to devise such a plan, imagine the possibilities available from the heavenly Father. God is the source of all true wisdom.
 

APPLICATION

1. The . . Inquiry about . . Having Wisdom. v 13-14

2. The . . Indication About . . Hellish Wisdom. v 15-16

3. The . . Indication About . . Heavenly Wisdom. v 17-18
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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