The Book of James Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 2

James 3:13-18

Note: In one sense this entire chapter speaks about the same thing – revealing one’s spiritual

identity (whether a person belongs to G-d – revealed by speech, actions etc – or not). A person cannot consistently have blessing and curse, fresh and bitter ‘water’ flowing out of them at all times. One or the other is going to dominate their lives.

v13: What/Who is the instrument that brings about a change in our lives, so that we can speak and teach the truth of G-d? Only through G-d do we get revelation – wise in the things of G-d and understanding the Word of G-d– which is the catalyst for change.

· A wise and understanding person shows that they are wise and understanding through their behaviour (the production of good works).

· Meekness = humility. Humility and wisdom go together. Sometimes knowledge, especially when it’s secular (worldly) knowledge, will produce pride (1 Cor 8:1). G-dly wisdom, however, is going to produce humility.

v14: But – a word of contrast. The one described here is not like the one described in v13.

· Bitter envy/jealousy – anger and bitterness toward others who have what you don’t have, which leaves you with a desire to take those things (or the joy of those things) away from them so that you can have them for yourself.

· Self-seeking = self-serving. When we belong to Yeshua our motivation and goal is not to serve ourselves. We do not selfishly think about how to fulfil our own desires, but we look for ways to edify and be a blessing to others.

· If we are the kind of people who have jealousy and self-service in our hearts this verse advises us not to boast (rejoice over, delight in) about it as it is false and therefore against truth.

v15: Earthly – Worldly education, although there is nothing wrong with it in and of itself, does not impart G-dly wisdom/education/knowledge to us.

· Sensual – This is a wisdom governed by feelings, the senses, related to the flesh.

· Demonic – When you, apart from the revelation of G-d, rely upon your own mind, what you see with your eyes, what you hear with your ears etc you are opening yourself up for demonic influence.

v16: The order of G-d will be absent in this person’s life. They will be unruly and lack self-control, living chaotic lives. This leads to destruction, which is exactly what satan rejoices over. A life lived in this way is a life that is not going to be fulfilling the purposes/will of G-d and will lead to judgement.

v17: But – another contrast.

· From above (same concept as being born again) – i.e comes down from heaven. It is only when we are governed by a heavenly wisdom (that does not originate here but comes down from heaven) that we are going to be individuals that see things properly and can respond to those things in this world in a G-dly fashion – bringing everything into obedience to the will of G-d.

· Pure – undefiled. Purity is an invitation to G-d to be part of our lives. Wisdom from above ensures that G-d is brought into our lives.

· Peace is always related to the will of G-d. When His will takes centre stage in our lives we live lives that are full of peace. True peace involves bringing people and situations under the authority of G-d so that the will of G-d can be accomplished.

· Gentle – not demanding.

· Willing to yield – it recognizes obedience/submission as good.

· Full of mercy

· Full of good fruits – fruits of the Spirit

· Without partiality – Doesn’t have favourites. Treats everyone the same.

· Without hypocrisy – sincere. No hidden agendas. Wisdom displays a desire within a person to be a righteous influence on others.

v18: This is what we want – the fruit of the will of G-d (righteousness leads to G-dly order in our lives) to be manifested in our lives. Blessed are the peacemakers (Matt 5:3-10) Peacemakers are blessed because they are acting under the authority (and according to the will) of G-d.

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