Preached at Straightway Bible Church on April 28th, 2013. Below you will find the study notes I handed out. We continue our look at WISDOM, in particular “Godly Wisdom”. In the Bible we discover how invaluable Godly wisdom is, that it is worth incredible effort and sacrifice to obtain.
(Click here to see the entire series of “The Book of James – Practical Faith”)
Here are the study notes:
James 3 – The Value of Wisdom, Part One
James 3:13 (NKJV) 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
People seek treasure all the time… we seek money, gold, the stock market, assets, wealth… WISDOM is greater than any earthly wealth and we should “mine” for it like gold. Job 28
• The benefits of wisdom far outweigh what one can receive from earthly riches.
• True wisdom is not merely intellectual knowledge but a transformation of character.
• Proverbs 2 tells us how to pursue wisdom (vv. 1–4) and then sets forth the great benefits of wisdom (vv. 5–22).
• Proverbs explains that God grants wisdom by means of a process. In order to gain this treasure, you must exert effort in digging deep for it. The IF statements show conditions of effort…
• “MINING GOD’S WORD” is the obviously parallel; the same way we mine the earth at great expense, time and effort… we mine God’s word just as passionately for wisdom
• To “receive” is like the ground in a garden, prepared for planting… Is your heart cultivated, plowed and ready to receive God’s wisdom?
• Some people are hard, like the beaten down compressed path in Jesus’ parable of the soils. God’s Word just bounces off them. Others are like the good soil that held the seed fast and bore much fruit (Luke 8:15).
• Do we approach our personal Bible reading, the sermons we hear at church, and Bible teaching with the same passion and dogged determination as gold treasure seeking?
• Merely going through the motions of religion will not make you wise. You must fully exert yourself and dig deeply.
• The fool daydreams and doesn’t pay attention when God’s Word is being presented.
• A lackadaisical attitude towards the Word of God contributes to the hardening of his heart
• We need the Holy Spirit to give us the light and sight of understanding. Without the Spirit’s help, you can’t correctly apprehend God’s truth (1 Cor. 2:14).
• In the same way that only a mother can satisfy a baby, we should want the satisfaction that God’s Word brings. 1 Pet 2:2
• A Christian develops this intense desire by:
1. Remembering that God is the source of all good things in life
2. Eliminating sin from your life, every day, moment by moment
3. Admitting your need for wisdom (we don’t have the answers alone; our wisdom is foolishness compared to Godly wisdom)
4. Wisdom begats wisdom… the more we seek it, the more we want it even more
5. Observing and acknowledging God’s giving of wisdom…when we actively evaluate and thank God that He has kept His Word and given wisdom, we want it even more
6. Search, through diligent study, for wisdom as treasure
• FOOLS GOLD: Perhaps you have valued earthly things, which are like fool’s gold, above the lasting treasures of God, which will bring you joy and success forever.
• Wisdom will transform you as a person (Prov 2:9–11)
• Wisdom will deliver from dangerous people (Prov 2:12–22)
• Wisdom will protect you from evil men (Prov 2:12–15)
The wise person will be repulsed by the values of evil people, their characters, and their lifestyles and will stay far away from them (1 Cor. 15:33).
• Wisdom will deliver you from immorality (Prov 2:16–19)
• WISDOM protects us from immorality
• Proverbs never hides the fact that sin can be appealing.
• The Strange Woman is seductive, offering charm, outward beauty, and sensual pleasures.
• Wouldn’t it be nice if a man could put on a pair of glasses that would make immoral and immodest women look hideously ugly? Proverbs offers you such spiritual spectacles. Wisdom enables you to look beyond the Strange Woman’s outward beauty and seductiveness to see the ugliness of her character.
• The end of immorality due to a lack of wisdom is clear: ‘Her house sinks down to death’ (v. 18a). God judges sexual sin (v. 22; Heb. 13:4).
• We use wisdom to see the process of sin developing , recognizing the outcome of it, and stop it dead in its tracks before it matures
• While the proverb here specifically speaks of sexual immorality, the application can be made to any sin… sin is tempting, sin is appealing, sin can be pleasing at first, sin deceives, sin offers a replacement for god
• Wisdom allows you to see sin for what it is, the “stranger” that doesn’t belong that will entrap you
Wisdom will keep you safe (Prov 2:20–21)
Christ, in whom are the treasures of wisdom (Col. 2:3)
Colossians 2:2–3 (NKJV) 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.