Sermon/Study Guide: James
Author: Steve Hixon
Table of Contents
Wise Living in a Foolish World
Just when you think James is a man who only talks about external actions, he comes along and writes this section about the inner workings of the heart. Obviously he believes that a wise life is lived from the inside - out. So if you’ve ever wondered what wisdom looks like, you’re in the right place!
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something." Plato
"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life." Sandra Carey
What are the characteristics of the first kind of wisdom?
See if you can dig into the meanings of "earthly" and "unspiritual" by using some of your Bible reference books.
Read the list of the fruit of Spirit and works of flesh in Galatians 5. Then read Paul's description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. How do they compare with James' portrait of wisdom here?
You know, Lord, how I serve You with
great emotional fervor In the limelight.
You know how eagerly I speak for You
At a women's club.
You know how I effervesce when I promote
A fellowship group.
You know my genuine enthusiasm
At a Bible study.
But how would I react, I wonder, If you pointed to a basin of water
And asked me to wash the calloused feet of a bent and wrinkled
Day after day, month after month, In a room where nobody saw
And nobody knew.
Ruth Harms Calkins
Greek "hagnos" = pure enough to approach the gods.
Greek "eirenikos" = right relationships
Greek "epieikes" = the most untranslatable of all Greek words, "The man who knows when it is actually wrong to apply the strict letter of the law. He knows how to forgive when strict justice gives him a perfect right to condemn." Used in classical Greek to describe tame animals, a gentle breeze, soothing medicine
Greek "eupeithes" = "easy to persuade, not rigid but is willing to listen and skilled in knowing when wisely to yield."
How did David exhibit this trait in 1 Samuel 25?
I am like James and John, Lord.
Lord I size up other people in terms of what they can do for me,
how far they can further my program, feed my ego, satisfy my needs, give me strategic advantage.
I exploit people, ostensibly for Your sake, but really for my own sake.
Lord, I turn to you, to get the inside track, and obtain special favors,
Your direction for my schemes,
your power for my projects, You sanction for my ambitions,
Your blank check for whatever I want.
I am like James and John.
Change me, Lord.
Make me a man who asks of You
and of others,
What can I do for you?
Robert A. Raines
Greek "anupokritos" = does not deal in deception.
7 without hypocrisy
Greek word for hypocrisy meant "wearing a mask".
Read Acts 15 and see how James himself became a peacemaker at the Jerusalem Council. Have you ever had an opportunity to be a peacemaker? Is there a situation right now in which God could use you as one?