Preached at Straightway Bible Church on May 5th, 2013. Below you will find the study notes I handed out. We continue our look at WISDOM, in particular “Godly Wisdom”. Wisdom will protect us from the great deception that will fool the world in the last days and will keep us from falling into sexual immorality.
(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.
Verses on Wisdom
(Note: I can’t remember the reference where I found this list of verses… I don’t claim authorship of it; if anyone recognizes it, let me know so I can credit it properly)
We are commanded to be wise!
- Be wise as serpents (Matt. 10:16);
- be wise as to good, innocent as to evil (Rom. 16:19);
- conduct yourself wisely toward outsiders (Col. 4:5);
- be sober, be watchful (1 Pet. 5:8);
- act according to your wisdom (1 Kgs. 2:6);
- let him become foolish that he may become wise (1 Cor. 3:18).
- The tree was desirable to make one wise (Gen. 3:6);
- the wisdom of this world is folly with God (1 Cor. 3:19);
- your wisdom and knowledge deceived you (Isa. 47:10);
- the Greeks seek wisdom (1 Cor. 1:22);
- do not say, ‘We have found wisdom’ (Job 32:13);
- do not make yourself overwise (Eccles. 7:16);
- to preach not in wise words (1 Cor. 1:17);
- the wisdom of the wise will perish (Isa. 29:14);
- I will destroy the wisdom of the wise (1 Cor. 1:19);
- the wise are put to shame (Jer. 8:9);
- God captures the wise in their cunning (Job 5:13);
- God turns the knowledge of the wise to foolishness (Isa. 44:25);
- you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour (Ezek. 28:17);
- lest you be wise in your own estimation (Rom. 11:25);
- God has made foolish the wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 1:20);
- if anyone thinks he is wise in this age (1 Cor. 3:18);
- not in fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God (2 Cor. 1:12);
- let us deal wisely with them (Exod. 1:10);
- this wisdom is not from above, but is earthly (Jas. 3:15);
- do not be wise in your own eyes (Prov. 3:7; Rom. 12:16);
- lest the fool be wise in his own eyes (Prov. 26:5);
- the sluggard is wise in his own eyes (Prov. 26:16);
- woe to those who are wise in their own eyes (Isa. 5:21);
- the rich man is wise in his own eyes (Prov. 28:11);
- there is more hope for a fool than for a man who is wise in his own eyes (Prov. 26:12);
- he does not regard any who are wise of heart (Job 37:24);
- do you limit wisdom to yourself? (Job 15:8);
- by my own wisdom I did this (Isa. 10:13);
- let not the wise man boast in his wisdom (Jer. 9:23);
- how can you say, ‘We are wise’? (Jer. 8:8); he has ceased to be wise (Ps. 36:3).
- I considered wisdom, madness and folly (Eccles. 1:17; Eccles. 2:12);
- where does wisdom come from? (Job 28:20);
- who has put wisdom in the mind? (Job 38:36);
- where can wisdom be found? (Job 28:12);
- God knows where wisdom is to be found (Job 28:23);
- I have taught you the way of wisdom (Prov. 4:11);
- Wisdom personified cries out (Prov. 1:20–33; Prov. 8:1–36; Prov. 9:1–6);
- I, Wisdom, dwell in prudence (Prov. 8:12);
- who is wise and understanding? (Jas. 3:13);
- wisdom is with the aged (Job 12:12);
- many years should teach wisdom (Job 32:7);
- wisdom will die with you! (Job 12:2);
- with the humble is wisdom (Prov. 11:2);
- wisdom is justified by her deeds (Matt. 11:19);
- wisdom is justified by her children (Luke 7:35);
- wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding (Prov. 14:33).
- Get wisdom! (Prov. 4:5);
- consider the ant’s ways and be wise (Prov. 6:6);
- hear instruction and be wise (Prov. 8:33);
- seek for wisdom as for silver (Prov. 2:4);
- buy wisdom (Prov. 23:23);
- fools, learn wisdom! (Prov. 8:5);
- the beginning of wisdom is, get wisdom! (Prov. 4:7);
- would that they were wise! (Deut. 32:29);
- blessed is the man who finds wisdom (Prov. 3:13);
- if your heart is wise my heart will be glad (Prov. 23:15);
- say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister!’ (Prov. 7:4);
- make your ears attentive to wisdom (Prov. 2:2);
- teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (Ps. 90:12);
- to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just (Luke 1:17);
- teach and admonish one another in all wisdom (Col. 3:16);
- to know wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1:2);
- Joseph taught the elders of Egypt wisdom (Ps. 105:22);
- I set my heart to know wisdom (Eccles. 8:16).
Benefits of wisdom
- Wisdom strengthens a wise man (Eccles. 7:19);
- wisdom brings success (Eccles. 10:10);
- wisdom is good with an inheritance (Eccles. 7:11);
- wisdom is protection just as money is (Eccles. 7:12);
- wisdom keeps the life of him who has it (Eccles. 7:12);
- better to get wisdom than gold (Prov. 16:16);
- wisdom is sweet to the soul (Prov. 24:14);
- wisdom exceeds folly as light exceeds darkness (Eccles. 2:13);
- the fountain of wisdom is a flowing stream (Prov. 18:4);
- good sense is a fountain of life (Prov. 16:22);
- a poor wise lad is better than an old foolish king (Eccles. 4:13);
- the wisdom from above is pure, peaceable etc. (Jas. 3:17);
- he who gets sense loves himself (Prov. 19:8);
- wisdom is better than: coral (Job 28:18); crystal (Job 28:18); glass (Job 28:17); gold (Job 28:15; Job 28:16; Job 28:17; Job 28:19); silver (Job 28:15); silver and gold (Prov. 3:13); jewels (Prov. 3:15; Prov. 8:11); onyx (Job 28:16); pearls (Job 28:18); sapphire (Job 28:16); strength (Eccles. 9:16); weapons of war (Eccles. 9:18); topaz (Job 28:19).
- God is wise in heart (Job 9:4);
- with God are wisdom and power (Job 12:13; Job 12:16);
- wisdom and power belong to God (Dan. 2:20);
- the Lord is great in wisdom (Isa. 28:29);
- God’s wisdom and insight (Eph. 1:8);
- the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! (Rom. 11:33);
- the only wise God (Rom. 16:27);
- blessing and glory and wisdom be to our God (Rev. 7:12);
- by wisdom the Lord founded the earth (Prov. 3:19);
- the Lord established the world by his wisdom (Jer. 51:15);
- in wisdom you made them all (Ps. 104:24);
- the Lord is wise and brings disaster (Isa. 31:2);
- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding (Isa. 11:2);
- the wisdom of God sent prophets and apostles (Luke 11:49);
- God’s hidden wisdom (1 Cor. 2:7);
- that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known (Eph. 3:10);
- in the wisdom of God the world could not know God by wisdom (1 Cor. 1:21);
- no wisdom can avail against the Lord (Prov. 21:30).
God gives wisdom
- The fear of the Lord is wisdom (Job 28:28);
- the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 1:7; Prov. 9:10);
- it is sound wisdom to fear your name (Mic. 6:9);
- the Lord gives wisdom (Prov. 2:6);
- that God may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation (Eph. 1:17);
- may the Lord give you prudence (1 Chr. 22:12);
- you will make me know wisdom (Ps. 51:6);
- the Lord will be a store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge (Isa. 33:6);
- to the man who pleases him God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy (Eccles. 2:26);
- wisdom will enter your heart (Prov. 2:10);
- would that God would show you the secrets of wisdom! (Job 11:6);
- God gives wisdom to the wise (Dan. 2:21);
- those I have filled with the spirit of wisdom (Exod. 28:3);
- Bezalel was filled with the Spirit in wisdom (Exod. 35:31);
- if any one lacks wisdom, let him ask God (Jas. 1:5);
- the word of wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8);
- you have given me wisdom and power (Dan. 2:23);
- I will give you a mouth and wisdom (Luke 21:15);
- God gave him favour and wisdom before Pharaoh king of Egypt (Acts 7:10);
- we do speak wisdom among those who are mature (1 Cor. 2:6);
- Paul wrote according to the wisdom given him (2 Pet. 3:15);
- not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13);
- a wisdom not of this age nor its rulers (1 Cor. 2:6);
- filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9).
God’s word gives wisdom
- Keeping the statutes is your wisdom (Deut. 4:6);
- your commandments make me wiser than my enemies (Ps. 119:98);
- the law of the Lord makes the simple wise (Ps. 19:7);
- proverbs giving prudence to the simple (Prov. 1:4);
- pay attention and gain understanding (Prov. 4:1);
- the scriptures make one wise to salvation (2 Tim. 3:15);
- rejecting the Lord’s word, what wisdom is theirs? (Jer. 8:9).
- Christ the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24; 1 Cor. 1:30);
- all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ (Col. 2:3);
- Jesus was filled with wisdom (Luke 2:40);
- Jesus increased in wisdom (Luke 2:52);
- where did this man get this wisdom? (Matt. 13:54);
- what is the wisdom given to him? (Mark 6:2);
- worthy is the Lamb to receive wisdom (Rev. 5:12).
- The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom (Ps. 37:30);
- my mouth will speak wisdom (Ps. 49:3);
- on the lips of the discerning wisdom is found (Prov. 10:13);
- give [instruction] to a wise man and he will be still wiser (Prov. 9:9);
- those who are wise will give understanding to many (Dan. 11:33);
- a man’s wisdom causes his face to shine (Eccles. 8:1);
- he who walks with wise men will be wise (Prov. 13:20);
- by wisdom a house is built (Prov. 24:3);
- those who are wise will shine (Dan. 12:3);
- this I saw as wisdom (Eccles. 9:13);
- be silent and let that be your wisdom (Job 13:5);
- is there no wisdom remaining in Edom? (Jer. 49:7);
- when the scoffer is punished the simple becomes wise (Prov. 21:11);
- a wise man will know the time and the way (Eccles. 8:5);
- him we proclaim, warning and teaching every man in all wisdom (Col. 1:28);
- let him show by his good conduct his deeds in the meekness of wisdom (Jas. 3:13);
- the sons of this generation are shrewder than the sons of light (Luke 16:8).