by Steve Wagers

The Two Ways of Wisdom
Steve Wagers
James 3:13-18

As you know, we have already touched upon the subject before us tonight. Back in chapter 1:5, James exhorted us to wise up by saying, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. . ." It would stand to reason that if James takes the time to discuss this area of wisdom twice in his epistle, then there must be a point that he's wanting to drive home.

It is no surprise to us that our day is filled with great knowledge. However, there is, again, a vast difference between knowledge and wisdom.

O. S. Hawkins defines wisdom as, "the ability to take facts and put them into action at the point of need." However, I believe that Dr. H.B. Smith described it best by saying, "Wisdom is that attribute of God whereby he produces the best possible results with the best possible means!"

It is remarkable to note that even outside of Biblical history and data, wisdom has always been associated with the deity of God. The great Socrates, who did around 400 B.C., refused to be called 'sophos', which is the Greek word for wise. But, he chose rather to be called 'philosophos', which means a "lover of wisdom."

We know from the scriptures, that true wisdom comes from God. However, in this particular section of his epistle, James seeks to differentiate the Wisdom of the World, and the Wisdom from the Word. Therefore, let's take a look at these verses, and see first of all:


In these verses, James describes to us, in great detail, the wisdom that comes from the world. In verse 13, James exhorts those who are wise, and "endued with knowledge," or understanding, to demonstrate that in his conduct, and behavior. Simply put, James is saying, "One cannot practice what one does not possess!" Therefore, he goes to verse 14, and informs us that if there be things such as bitterness, strife(self-seeking) in our heart, then this is ...

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