Monday, July 18, 2011

James 3:13-1 - Wisdom Makes Peace - 110717AM@TBC


> Possibly the first book of the NT to be written, probably 45-49 AD.
> Written to the Hebrew Christians scattered throughout the empire.
> Not especially theological, more about what we do than what we believe.
> Presents Jesus as “the coming Lord.”
> Theme: “The characteristics of true faith.”
It is preceded by a discussion of the tongue (what we say). 
James 3.1-12
the tongue… 9 with it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
It is followed by a discussion of how our passions and pride create conflict and can stand between us and God.
“...a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

C. BIG IDEA: “The wisdom of faith makes peace.”
Colossians 2.3
Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
James 1.5
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Look at how many words in this passage deals with our relationships with others.
show    meekness (humility)
self-seeking (jealousy)    envy (jealousy)   
selfish ambition
envy (jealousy) — selfishness — confusion (disorder)
peaceable — gentle — willing to yield (open to reason) — mercy
makes peace

I. Who is Wise?  (v. 13)
II. Wisdom is not…  (vv. 14-16)
III. Wisdom is…  (v. 17)
IV. Make peace.  (v. 18)
It is interesting that our passage spends as many verses telling what godly wisdom as it does telling what wisdom is.  Why do you think that is?

I. Who is Wise?  (v. 13)
13 Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let him show by good conduct
that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
wise σοφς sophos:  a) skilled in a handicraft or art
b) skilled in letters, cultivated, learned
c) forming the best plans and using the best means for their execution
understanding πιστμων epistēmōn : to be acquainted with, to understand
ylt—intelligent;  kjv—endued with knowledge;
nasb, nkjv, esv, niv, nlt—understanding;  wuest—well informed;
>>good conduct  ναστροφ anastrophē;  [verb form (lit.) to turn upside down, overturn; 2) turn back; 3) to turn hither and thither; (metaph.) to conduct one's self, behave one's self, live]
ylt, nasb—behaviour; kjv—conversation; nkjv, esvgood conduct; niv, nlt—good life; wuestgood and beautiful manner of life
meekness  πρατης praÿtēs:  mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness  
ylt, kjv, nkjv, esv, wuest,—meekness; nasb—gentleness;
niv, nlt—humility

A. Good Conduct
> “Wisdom is not measured by degrees but by deeds.” —Ronald Blue in The Bible Knowledge Commentary
> Godly wisdom is demonstrated by actions not words.
> “With this phrase, James is saying that a wise person is someone whose life is changing in accordance with the truth of God’s Word.”  —Charles Swindoll in James: Practical and Authentic Living (Bible Study Guide)
> “Knowledge is proud that she has learned so much,
Wisdom is humble that she knows no more.”  —Marvin Vincent in Word Studies in the NT

B. Meekness
“Then gentleness meant bringing a high-spirited horse under control.  The spirit and strength of the horse weren’t lost, simply harnessed.”  —Charles Swindoll in James: Practical and Authentic Living (Bible Study Guide)

APPLICATION: Where is your focus?
(Our life is the reflection on our wisdom.)
But let each one examine his own work…and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”
Galatians 6.4a

II. Wisdom is not…  (vv. 14-16)
14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts,
do not boast and lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom does not descend from above,
but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist,
confusion and every evil thing are there.
A. Ambitious attitude. (14)
14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking                                 
in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
A scholar and a teacher is always under a double temptation.
(i) bitterness
bitter πικρός, pikros : 1) originally “pointed,” “sharp,” e.g., of arrows  2) then more generally of what is “sharp” or “penetrating” to the senses, a pervasive smell, “shrill” of a noise, “painful” to the feelings , esp. “bitter,” “sharp” to the taste
envy  ζλος   zēlos:  1) a earnest concern; 2) jealousy; 3) extremely
Zēlos need not be a bad word.
kjv, nkjv, niv—envy(ing);  ylt—zeal;
nasb, esv,  wuest, nlt—jealousy;
> One of the most difficult things in the world is to argue without passion and to meet arguments without wounding.  —Barclay, William inThe Letters of James and Peter.
> Jealousy begins with full hands but is threatened by the thought of losing what it possesses.  James is saying that an unwise person is someone who tends to be suspicious, resistant, and given to rivalry. —Charles Swindoll in James: Practical and Authentic Living (Bible Study Guide)

(ii) the temptation to arrogance.
self-seeking   ριθεα eritheia:  electioneering as a desire to put one's self forward: partisanship
ylt—rivalry; kjv—strife; nasb, esv, niv, nlt—selfish ambition; , nkjv—self seeking; wuest—contentiousness
> The word he uses for selfish ambition is eritheia...
It originally meant spinning for hire and was used of serving women and then it came to mean any work done for pay. 
Then it came to mean the kind of work done solely for what could be got out of it. 
Then it entered politics and came to mean that selfish ambition which was out for self and for nothing else and was ready to use any means to gain its ends.  —Barclay, William inThe Letters of James and Peter.
> They are used to being listened to and to having their words accepted. 
> All unconsciously they tend, as Shakespeare had it, to say,  "I am Sir Oracle, And when I open my lips let not dog bark!"  The Merchant of Venice; Scene 1
—Barclay, William inThe Letters of James and Peter.

 (iii) do not boast and lie against the truth.
boast  κατακαυχομαι katakauchaomai: to boast about something by downgrading something else
ylt, kjv—glory; nasb—be arrogant; nkjv, esv, niv, wuest, nlt—boast
> The attitude of the “worldly, faithless wisdom” argued against the message is proclaimed.
> “You’re actions are speaking so loud, I can’t hear what you are saying.”
Don’t live in a way that is degrades and misrepresents the truth of God’s word.

B. Natural orientation. (15)
15 This wisdom does not descend from above,
but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
(i)  earthly  πγειος epigeios: pertaining to human, earthly activity (primarily in contrast with divine activity)—‘human, of people.’ οκ στιν ατη σοφία νωθεν κατερχομένη, λλ πίγειος ‘this kind of wisdom does not come from God; it is characteristic of people’ or ‘this is the kind of wisdom that people produce’ Jas 3:15.
> It measures success in worldly terms; and its aims are worldly aims.  —Barclay, William inThe Letters of James and Peter.

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