“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.”
Following his emphasis on action, James describes wisdom by what it does, as he defines his terms.
Why is heavenly wisdom first pure? How is it accommodating?
#wisdom #James #VOTD
“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20 NKJV)
What results from one returning to the truth out of error? No less than four things (according to the above verses); plus one I can’t keep from including:
- a personal blessing
- a reversal (a personal and honest acknowledgement) that leads to freedom from the trap of the particular error
- salvation (deliverance) from the cost of the error (spiritual death)
- the hiding (a veiling, or doing away with the knowledge) of a multitude of sins
- a reason for the angels of Heaven to rejoice!
“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”” (Luke 15:10 NKJV)
This week’s ‘Gospel Advocate’ lesson over James 5:1-12 asked an important question … a question the Bible discusses hundreds of times (seems that way). “What example should Christians set when it comes to wealth?
Here are some answers that I took note of: Continue reading
Last week, in the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations Series, Adult Bible Study” covering “Christian Growth in James in Jude”, the question, “Why do you think we make plans without considering God?” was asked in contrast to James’ admonition, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”” (James 4:13-15 NKJV)
Here are a few answers that immediately come to mind: Continue reading
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 NKJV)
The source of pure wisdom is above us. It’s not beyond us, but it doesn’t originate with us. It’s given to those who ask for it with the right intention (James 1:5-8).
The source of wisdom reminds us about the importance of meekness and humility. If it doesn’t originate with us, the right to claim ownership disappears. In other words – a spoon-full of wisdom’s source keeps a pound of arrogance away!
Knowledge alone has the ability to puff-up one’s ego (1 Corinthians 8:1), and such a mindset leads to the very things James’ warned about: a heart filled with bitter envy, self-seeking interests, confusion, and many evil works (James 3:14-16). After considering these warnings and the solution, it’s no wonder why James talks the way he does in “James 4:1-6“.
Wisdom from above is first pure (even in relation to the remaining characteristics of verse 17) … because if it doesn’t start pure, it didn’t come from God.
“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 NKJV)
“The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;” (Psalm 19:8 NKJV)
James 2:26 isn’t a very popular verse with advocates of the faith-only doctrine. But regardless of how translators may feel about the conclusion (to their detriment), none have the nerve (to their credit) to change what it says. As a matter of fact, nearly all major (and minor) translations say the same thing when it comes to the verse in question.
Per Bible Hub, here is how 25 translations handle James 2:26: Continue reading
“But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?” (James 2:6-7 NKJV)
In a context dealing with faulty favoritism, James reproves any idea of treating someone any better, or any worse, than someone else simply based on that individual’s outward appearance or possession of earthly wealth. He then follows up the point with a poignant question (that I’ll paraphrase), “Why are you favoring someone who favors persecuting you?”
To me, an immediate modern-day application would be a Christian’s support of Hollywood. There are organizations, actors and actresses in Hollywood who constantly use their wealth, fame, influence and even clothing lines as a platform to oppress, persecute and blaspheme the very way of righteousness which produces one’s faith in Jesus, but yet these said individuals still receive the adulation, the re-tweets and the Instagram likes from the very people they seek to humiliate. As James would no doubt say to us – “Wake up!”
Don’t look up to people who look down on Christianity. We can love them without supporting their views with a social-media heart.
“Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.” (James 1:9-10 NKJV)