Vance Pitman

A Word of Wisdom

The Book of James
Jan 17, 2021

In this message, Pastor Vance kicks continues our study of the New Testament book of James and teaches what wisdom is, where it comes from, and what the obstacles are for us getting wisdom!

Sermon Notes

A Word of Wisdom
The Book of James

Socrates—critical philosophical thinking obtained through asking and answering stimulating questions

Yoda—sage advice gained from some master of experience in a certain discipline (Mandalorian shout out—shocker at the end of season 2)

Einstein—advanced intellectual accumulation of knowledge

“Wisdom is not knowledge. It is far more than the accumulation of information and intellectual perception. The fact is, man, thorough his vast accumulation of knowledge, has learned to travel faster than sound, but displays his need for wisdom by going faster and faster in the wrong direction! Man has amassed a huge store of information about the world but shows his abysmal lack of wisdom by failing to live any better in the world.”—R. Kent Hughes (James: Faith that Works, p.24)

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that person ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Now the brother or sister of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; but the rich person is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so also the rich person, in the midst of his pursuits, will die out.” - James 1:5-11

I. WHAT IS WISDOM?

“For James, wisdom is more than wide knowledge or that mental intelligence that can express itself in subtle rhetorical distinctions or obscure arguments…James viewed wisdom as related to the practice of righteousness in daily life. It is that moral discernment that enables the believer to meet life and its trials with decisions and actions consistent with God’s will.”—D. Edmond Hiebert (The Epistle of James, p.79)

Wisdom is the ability to see life from God’s perspective

II. WHERE DOES WISDOM COME FROM?

A. Wisdom comes from God—“let him ask of God” (v.5)

“Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”—Romans 11:33-36

God, being infinitely wise, knows the greatest potential outcome for every moment in your life and He knows the absolute best way for you to achieve it

B. Wisdom comes from God as a gift—“let him ask of God who gives” (v.5)

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”—Proverbs 2:6

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”—1 John 5:14-15

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread for the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”—Isaiah 55:10-11

a. Be in the Word daily
b. Sit under the Word weekly
c. Fellowship with others around the Word consistently

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”—Colossians 3:16

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”—Proverbs 12:15

C. Wisdom comes from God as a gift generously and without reproach

“God gives wisdom generously, abundantly, liberally. He pours it out to all without discrimination, without question, and without hesitation. This is the God of the universe saying, ‘I will impart My wisdom to you.’”—David Platt (Christ-Centered Exposition: James, p.8)

III. WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES TO OBTAINING WISDOM?

“We must realize that when we are truly seeking to know the will of God, He will not reveal that will to us as an option. Some would have God lay His will out on the table, along with all the other options. But they reserve the final decision for themselves. Though they definitely want to know God’s will, they will follow it only if they think it is their best option. Their major concern is their own will, not God’s. Before they can know God’s will, they must be willing to follow it no matter what it might be.”—Clyde Cranford (Because We Love Him, p.249)

Sermon Notes
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