Scriptures

The Wisdom From Above, Part 1

Introduction

‘Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.’ James 3:13-16

We have already seen from the first chapter of the letter of James that wisdom is crucially important to our Christian lives. In the third chapter, James classified wisdom into two: terrestrial (earthly) and celestial (from above). He listed the features of both classes of wisdom.

Firstly, this segment of the third chapter links wisdom with understanding and then associates meekness with the wisdom that comes from above. ‘Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice’.

Nothing can be clearer than this! Earthly (or terrestrial) wisdom is one that conceives evil. It is associated with every vice including bitterness, envy, selfish ambition, disorderliness and everything that can be described as the works of the flesh.

The Holy Writ describes this earthly wisdom as unspiritual and demonic. This clearly suggests that such wisdom is not from God. Our God is not the author of confusion or anything that pertains to darkness.

‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 5:1-20

Prayer

Our dear loving Father, we are grateful for your unfathomable love. May we be truly transformed by the renewing of our minds as we offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to You.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16

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