Life lessons from James #24

WISDOM of the World.

“It is frightening to consider how little wisdom governs the world.”


James 3:13-16 (NIV) – *13“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition there you find disorder and every *evil practice.”

*God wants us to be wise and understanding
*Evil means: Morally wrong – Sinful – Causes harm / hurt – Anything that contradicts the

James left NO doubt about the origin of worldly wisdom – It “does not descend from about but is earthly (Secular), sensual (Unspiritual), demonic.”

1 John 5:19 (NIV) – “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”

In Christian Theology, this unholy trinity of spiritual enemies has come to be called:

The World
The Flesh
The Devil

This wisdom of the world originates in the secular* – Its “earthly”
(*not connected with spiritual matters)

This “earthly wisdom” originates in the secular world where our minds are set solely on earthly things and confusion results ®Disorder / Disunity / Disloyalty

Genesis 11 is a prime example – in their quest to make a name for themselves – the descendants of Noah

They chose secular wisdom. Choosing earthly wisdom they began building a tower to heaven.

The result was Mass Confusion!!!

King Saul based his decisions on earthly reasoning and human wisdom; he thought it wise to put Armour on David to face Goliath.

In contrast David was guided by the wisdom of God’s word.

1 Samuel 17:47 (NIV) – “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

How many times do we make decisions like Saul did, Earthly, worldly wisdom with its roots in the secular system around us.

They will never serve us well as heavenly divine wisdom.

In addition to having these secular roots – the wisdom of this world is also rotted in the sensual (unspiritual) ® (Spirit (Only humans have a spirit) – Soul (Personality / Character) – Body (Flesh and bones))

So in describing the wisdom of the world as “sensual”

James was saying that it’s the kind of wisdom animals use

This wisdom is based on Nothing more them our Natural animal instincts

Making decisions solely on the basis of the senses (The sensual)

The wisdom of the world that originates in the secular and the sensual ignores the spirit.  ®We were once there

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV) – 1“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”

This explains why so many people live by “If it feels good, do it.”

This guideline for life gives priority to feelings over faith.

It is sensual at its roots: I will believe it when I see it – or touch it – or smell it –
or taste it – or hear it.

Worldly wisdom has no place for the Spirit.

Worldly wisdom cannot connect man with God so it can’t be the source of true wisdom.

The ruler of this world Satan is ultimately behind it’s so called wisdom.

To find the beginning of the worlds wisdom we need to go back to Eden where Satan deceived Eve.

Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV) – 16”And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Then came the satanic untruth of the world…

Genesis 3:2-5 (NIV) – 2”The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ 4’You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. 5’For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

Note: Genesis 3:6 (NIV) – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it.”

She chose the world’s way and the result..? Exactly as James described “Envy and self-seeking…. confusion and every evil thing” became Eve’s lot in life.

Following the wisdom of this world will result in envy; defined as:” The displeasure we take in someone else’s good fortune”

When God accepted Abel’s sacrifice envy motivated his brother Cain to kill him. Envy motivated Joseph’s brothers to throw him in a pit and sell him to Slavery.

Another outcome of applying only worldly wisdom is what James referred to a “Self-seeking”

Philippians 2:3 (NIV) – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

People motivated by selfish ambition will plot, scheme, lie and use any means necessary to gain their end result.

In addition to envy and self-seeking, confusion and disorder also results from the world’s wisdom.

Instead of bringing Unity and people together, it divides and tears individuals apart.

Paul reminds us: 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV) – “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

We need to apply the Wisdom of the Word.

Psalm 119:98 (NIV) – “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.