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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for James 3:15

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"Worldly Wisdom"
Intro. The Bible declares that God has made foolish, the wisdom of this world. For the world by it's wisdom knew not God. That the wisdom of this world comes to nothing. That the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
A. The paper this week announced that researchers have found the fossil of the oldest flower ever discovered, it is 142 million years old. The previously oldest flower was 130 million years old.
1. How do they know that it is 142 million years old?
a. Maybe it is only 140 million years old.
b. Maybe it is less that 10 thousand years old.
2. I once asked a professor of Archeology how they determine these dates, and he told me that if it isn't the oldest ever discovered, it does not make news, so it has to be older than any ever discovered or no one is interested in your find. I asked, "You mean that is it?" he answered, "Precisely."
3. This article went on to say that this plant was in the early evolutionary stage when plants were just developing the flowering system that later evolved into fruit, grain, brilliantly colored and fragrant flowers in order to attract insects and other pollinators so that it could develop into fruit or grains to feed the animals.
B. There was another report in the paper this week where the researchers have caused major mutations in fruit flies that they believe is possibly proving the punctuated equilibrium theory. You see the evolutionists have a real problem with the fossil record because of the absence of transitional forms. If you ask them why we see no transitional forms today they will answer because they evolve so slowly you cannot observe them. If you ask them why we do not see them in the fossil record, they will tell you that they happen so rapidly that they do leave a record in the fossils. That a snake laid an egg and a bird flew out, thus no transitional forms between the reptile and the birds. If you ask me, their explanation is for the birds.
1. The wisdom of this world says there is no God.
2. Everything exists as a result of millions of years of fortuitous occurrences of accidental circumstances.
3. The bible says that the fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
C. Not only the world by it's wisdom knew not God, but by it's wisdom is seeking to eliminate God.
D. Paul described it well in Romans 1, "Who when they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were they thankful, they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, for they worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator."
E. We have all heard the fairy tale of how by the kiss of the princess, the spell of the wicked witch was broken and the ugly frog became a handsome prince. Do you believe that story really happened? The wisdom of this world embraces the story as scientific fact. Only the change was gradual it took millions of years for the frog to become a man.
1. In the study of the DNA of a frog, it is far more complex than the DNA in human beings. Perhaps we are going the other way, and man is becoming a frog.
2. There are those who believe in your next life, you might become a frog or a fly.
I. IN OUR TEXT JAMES SPEAKS OF THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD.
A. He declares that it is earthly, sensual, and devilish.
1. It is earthly.
a. The Bible says that the world by its wisdom knew not God.
b. In the denial of God, you have the great problem of your existence. Where did you come from?
c. The complex intricate design of the body would suggest a Master Creator of infinite wisdom.
d. The alternative suggested by the wisdom of the world is that you spontaneously began when lightening struck the ooze of some primordial sea.
2. It is sensual, that is it appeals to the sensual part of man's nature.
a. It encourages man to seek immediate sensual gratification without any thought of consequences.
b. The wisdom from above would say, find out where that path can lead before you take it.
3. It is devilish.
a. Note that in the Garden of Eden when the devil came to Eve to tempt her to disobey the command of God he appealed to the lust of her flesh, the lust of her eye and her pride.
b. The wisdom of the world said, God is not true, you will not die, if you eat, you will become as God.
B. There is a wisdom that comes from God, and a wisdom that comes from the devil.
1. The wisdom that comes from the devil seeks to deny the existence of God, and appeals to the sensual part of man's nature.
2. The wisdom that comes from God causes the prudent man to consider the consequences of foolish choices, and living completely for the present.
C. The fruit of worldly wisdom.
1. Bitter envying and strife in your heart.
2. Your life is filled with unfulfilled desires, which leads to bitterness.
a. You begin to envy what others have, and you lust to have them for yourself.
b. This leads you to devise schemes by which you can take that which they have for yourself. If not by guise, then by force.
c. Look at all of the crime that stems from this worldly wisdom.
d. Look at all the wars that have been provoked by worldly wisdom.
3. Chapter 4:1 Where do all the wars and fights come from? Do they not come from your lusts that war in your bodies? You lust and have not: you kill, and desire to have more, but you cannot obtain. You fight and war, but still are not satisfied.
4. This is where worldly wisdom leads you.
5. Solomon by his earthly wisdom amassed a greater fortune than any of his predecessors, yet he ended up cynical, frustrated, and unfulfilled. "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity."
6. Worldly wisdom leads to confusion.
a. Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil."
b. We are living in that day when it is good to accept deviant sexual behavior, and evil to condemn sin.
7. Worldly wisdom leads to every evil work.
II. IN CONTRAST, "THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE." THE WISDOM THAT COMES FROM GOD.
A. It is pure. Pure wisdom leads a man to pure living.
1. It is not tainted by worldly philosophy.
2. It is not governed by worldly maxims.
a. Get, while the getting is good.
b. Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
c. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.
B. It is peaceable.
1. Whereas worldly wisdom leads to wars, the wisdom that is from above brings peace.
a. First we have peace with God.
b. This results in inward peace.
c. This will bring peace with my brother.
C. It is gentle.
1. Listen to these wonderful qualities. Pure, peaceful, gentle.
2. These are the qualities in the man that has the wisdom that comes from God.
3. Gentle does not mean weak.
a. It takes greater strength to hold one's temper than to let it fly.
b. Anybody who takes leave of their senses can scream in rage.
c. It takes great strength to control your emotions.
D. Easy to be entreated.
1. That is, it is reasonable.
2. It can see what is right and equitable and can bend when it is necessary.
E. Full of mercy and good fruit.
1. Having obtained mercy it is important that we show mercy.
2. Jesus gave a powerful parable to illustrate this point.
3. How merciful do you want God to be toward your mistakes and wrongs. That is how merciful you should be toward someone else's wrongs.
4. Worldly wisdom would say, "It was his fault, he had it coming to him." But the wisdom that is from above would show mercy.
F. Without partiality.
1. In chapter two he had rebuked them because they were prone to show partiality.
2. James pointed out to them the fact that when men stand before God, we all stand on the same level, for God is no respecter of persons, He treats all men alike.
3. They had a tendency to curry the favor of the rich, while they had disdain for the poor.
G. Without hypocrisy.
1. The world is filled with hypocrisy.
2. It is almost laughable how some say that they are not interested in christianity because their are too many hypocrites in the church.
a. These same people are often avid wrestling fans.
b. Or they head for the theater instead of church to see their favorite actor.
c. The Greek word hupocrites is the word for actor. It was one who hid behind a mask.
3. The wisdom of the world says, "Put up a good front, hide your true feelings."
III. ALL OF OUR LIVES ARE BEING GOVERNED BY WORLDLY WISDOM, OR THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE.
A. Is your life filled with turmoil, confusion, unfulfilled desires? That is a good sign that you are following worldly wisdom.
Sermon Notes for James 1:22-27 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for James 4:4 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Hebrews 1:1 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for 1 Peter 1:3 Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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