24th August 2017

James: Week 9 (Thursday, August 24 2017)

(from www.insightforliving.org.uk)

 

James 3: 14-18

 

LET’S BEGIN HERE

In this penetrating letter, the author, James, made clear that the wisdom we ought to seek and desire is the wisdom that comes from God. God’s wisdom forms in us by His Spirit the fruits of the Spirit. Those byproducts are produced and grow in us as a result of our faith. In this second lesson on godly wisdom, let’s take a closer look at the genuine results of putting the wisdom from the Scriptures into action.

 

Getting Started: Water for the Desert of Our Lives

Paying particular attention to James 3:14 – 18, make some initial observations about what you see — for instance, are there any repeated words? Did James use any connecting words that offer clues into what he was emphasizing?

Take some time to make notes on a separate sheet of paper about what you discover.

 

Your Turn in the Scriptures

One of the most helpful processes to pursue when looking at a passage of Scripture is to determine the genre it represents. James, for example, is an epistle, or letter, that is part of the New Testament. But in content, it has echoes of much of the Wisdom Literature in the Old Testament. Wisdom Literature is found mainly in the

poetry books

- Job through Song of Solomon, including the Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Take a few moments to scan through the pages of a few of these books. Look for the theme of wisdom and how it is developed. In the space provided, makes some notes

about what you see, writing down specific Scripture passages that you find helpful.

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What connections do you see between Old Testament principles on wisdom and what James was teaching?

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Summarize in one sentence the overall biblical teaching on the value of gaining godly wisdom in contrast to trusting in human wisdom. (Hint: See 1 Corinthians 1:18 – 25.)

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Now take a few minutes to respond to the following questions using the study resources you have available. James took great care in explaining the characteristics of divine wisdom in James 3. He mentioned several. Let’s take a closer look at each.

But the wisdom that comes from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy

( James 3:17, emphasis added).

Purity - What is the significance of purity in the New Testament? What other passages in the New Testament come to your mind on the fruit of purity in the Christian life?

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An excellent correlating passage is 1 Peter 3:1 – 2. Read that passage and make some notes about how Peter’s teaching compares to James 3:17 in respect to purity of motives.

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Peace- What form of the word peace did James use in this verse? What do you feel is the significance of someone who is peaceable? In other words, explain how you cannot be peaceable without having the fruit of

peace.

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How might being peaceable as a result of God’s wisdom in your life help you be a more effective member of the body of Christ?

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Gentleness- Read through your commentary on this section in James 3. Locate the information on verse 17. Most commentaries offer specific insight to main words in the passage. In this case, what do you find on the word translated “gentleness”? How would you differentiate between being “peaceable” and being “gentle”?

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Reasonableness- James described a fruit of God’s wisdom as “reasonableness.” Again, by turning to the Old Testament, you can find many of these New Testament principles on full display in the lives of those who walked with God by faith.

Abraham is a sterling example of reasonableness in action. Read the story in Genesis 13:1 – 9. What evidence do you see of Abraham employing reasonableness in his response to the situation? Be as specific as possible in your response.

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Using the above questions as a guide, and using the resources you have, explain the significance of the remaining results of embracing the wisdom of God. Include in your response an Old Testament passage where the principle is on display and a correlating New Testament passage

Full of mercy and good fruit

Old Testament passage:

Details of the story or example:

New Testament passage:

Unwavering

Old Testament passage:

Details of the story or example:

New Testament passage:

Without hypocrisy

Old Testament passage:

Details of the story or example:

New Testament passage:

 

A FINAL PRAYER

Father, thank You for offering Your wisdom to us from Your Word. Thank You that Your perfect wisdom has ultimately been revealed in the person of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Make me more and more into His likeness. For the praise and glory of Your great name, amen.


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