Wisdom from Above
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 2014 Jan 27
"All of life is a trial and, therefore, we need God's wisdom." That was our guest preacher's main point yesterday morning, based on James 3:13-18. This Monday morning, I again summarize some of my notebook scratchings for you, and for myself, so that we may continue to be spurred on to love and good deeds and growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
"Who is wise?," asks James (3:13). The first two verses of chapter three answers the question at least by telling us who needs wisdom. First, teachers and leaders need God's wisdom because they will be judged by a stricter judgment (3:1) and, second, every believer needs divine wisdom because "we all stumble in many ways" (3:2). But what is biblical wisdom? It is not intellectual knowledge, but is behavioral in nature. Wisdom is marked by obedience and submission and is, therefore, a matter of the will.
What is a chief trait of godly wisdom? Wisdom is demonstrated by a spirit of meekness (NAS = "gentleness" in 3:13). Meekness was a character trait of Moses (Num 12:3) and Jesus (Matt 11:29). Meekness is a sweet submission to God's sovereignty.
What does worldly wisdom look like? Earthly wisdom, what James actually calls "hellish wisdom" (3:15) is human, sensual, unspiritual, and is the way a demon things and acts. It is not known for the beauty of meekness, but instead is marked by bitter jealousy, selfish ambition (desire for promotion), disorder, revolt and many other unhealthy cravings.
What does godly wisdom look like? Divine wisdom, the wisdom of Jesus Christ, is pure, peaceable ("A person who has met Christ longs for peace."), gentle, reasonable, full of mercy, full of good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy. Simple stated, a wisdom man's life is 'compassion in action.' This kind of wisdom flows from a simple, childlike trust in God.
What is the result of divine wisdom? Verse 18 explains the fruit of godly wisdom as a righteous life that pleases God and blesses other people. The more we grow in the practice of biblical wisdom---meekness in action---the more our lives will glorify our Savior and bless others. May we all continue to ask the Lord for His to shower an abundance of His wisdom upon us! Remember, this is the wisdom that He promises to give to those who ask (James 1:5).