The Mark of True Wisdom
SERIES: HOW FAITH WORKS
LESSON SEVEN: THE MARK OF TRUE WISDOM
Rubel Shelly, teacher
Text for This Study: James 3:13-18
1. From 3:13, name the two primary motivations for the sort of dangerous and evil use of the tongue James had pointed to in the opening verses of this chapter.
2. In your own words, how would you define “bitter envy” and “selfish ambition”? How does this type of hellish “wisdom” produce evil speech?
3. What is the source of “wisdom from heaven” or “wisdom from above” for Christians? Does James 1:5 have any relevance to this section of text?
4. In your own words, define the eight traits of true wisdom that are listed in verse 17. What will happen to the character of a believer who prays for and cultivates them?
5. How does this section of text support the central thesis of James that “faith without deeds is dead”?
Close your study by reading the words of Jesus as a final summary of this section – and be reminded that purity in spiritual matters can only come from a renewed heart. For true faith that generates authentic discipleship, the heart of the matter is always the matter of the heart.
“Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.) And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you” (Mark 7:18-23 New Living Translation).