Who is Wise and Understanding?
James 3:13-14 ESV
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.”
If we are wise with the wisdom that comes from God, and not with the wisdom of this world, it will be revealed in the things that we do and say. It will be evident by how we live, not necessarily in absolute perfection, but in consistent walks of faith and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. Our conduct will be holy and righteous, not giving way to the sinful pleasures of the flesh.
We will also not be boastful and proud, living in self-righteousness, but we will be humble, realizing where we came from and that we do not deserve God’s grace and mercy. And so we will be very grateful and thankful that God reached down and he drew us out of deep waters and that he saved us from our slavery to sin, and that he now empowers us, by his grace, to live godly and holy lives to his praise and glory.
But humility is not seen in willful and deliberate and habitual sin, thinking that if we keep on sinning that we can relate to other sinners and that they won’t think we are high and mighty. Humility is not about what others think of us. It is about seeing ourselves for who we were and are without Christ and realizing that the only way we can live for the Lord is by his grace.
Some people who are still walking in sin will try to fake humility and righteous living. And one of the reasons they might do this is out of jealousy of others who are living righteously and who do have God’s divine approval. And, so out of selfish ambition they will try to appear righteous while in secret they are living a double life, so they are being false to the truth.
James 3:15-16 ESV
“This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
Earthly and unspiritual wisdom caters to the desires of the flesh and to selfish ambitions. So, it makes up its own gospel and its own truth and wisdom that suits its own purpose and not the purposes nor the will of God. It is all based in self and not in God at all. And many people are flocking to this earthly and unspiritual wisdom because it tickles their itching ears and it tells them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.
This “wisdom” will tell people that they can “believe” (undefined) in Jesus Christ, have their sins forgiven, be guaranteed heaven as their eternal destiny, but that it doesn’t have to impact how they live their lives. For they tell them that their faith secures heaven for them and that it can never be taken away from them no matter what, and people like to hear that.
And so this earthly wisdom (the false gospel) gives its adherents carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual and premeditated sin against the Lord and against other humans guilt free. And it requires no repentance (turning away from sin) nor obedience to the Lord nor submission to Christ as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives.
So, it is definitely of the devil who wants us to keep on sinning and who wants us to not obey the Lord nor submit to him as Lord. And thus there will be disorder and every vile practice, for this earthly wisdom does not require death to sin and living to righteousness, so its adherents feel the liberty to continue on in their sins while claiming heaven as their eternal home.
Wisdom from Above
James 3:17-18 ESV
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Yes! Praise Jesus! If you are believing the true gospel, then you will be taught that faith in Jesus Christ means dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. You will be taught that you must forsake your sinful practices and that you must now walk in obedience to your Lord, by his grace. You will be told that sin should no longer be your practice but that now righteousness and holiness should be your practice.
You will be taught the Scriptures in their context, in truth, and you will learn that faith in Jesus Christ results in changed lives, not in continuing to live in sin guilt free. You will learn that Jesus died for us on that cross in order that our old self might be put to death with him in order that we might no longer live as slaves to sin but that we might now live as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And your heart will desire the Lord to obey him.
You will want to live a pure life, holy and pleasing to God, because you love your Lord, and you are so thankful for his grace and mercy to you. You will not be looking for a loophole to try to get out of obedience to the Lord so that you can continue in your sin unhindered, because you hate your sin and you don’t want to live in it any longer. And this is reasonable for Jesus died to set us free from our addiction to sin, not so we’d go on living in sin.
So, if we are wise with the wisdom that is from above our lives will be surrendered to Jesus Christ to do his will for our lives. By the grace of God we will be being conformed to the likeness of Christ, taking on his character and not the character of the world. And we will be doing and saying the kinds of things Jesus did and said, and that the Scriptures teach that we ought to do as followers of Christ, because we are thankful for God’s mercy.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
His Tender Mercies
An Original Work / January 26, 2014
Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.
Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.
Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.