I have been blessed to have a number of godly elders here at Berean Baptist. Craig Carlton has been one of them. This is my second of three interviews with Craig. I trust it will be a blessing to all of you.
We are going to have another snow storm this weekend! If church must be called off again I will hang a shingle on my study door that says, "Closed for the winter!" Wow! I have never seen it like this before!
Sunday's message in James will be dealing with the contrast between the wisdom of God that is from heaven and the wisdom of man that is from hell. Pray for me that this important topic will be a help, a blessing, and a warning to all who attend and worship with us this Sunday. Here are a few of my notes for this message. Our text is:
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18
Over the years I have had a few people come into my study to meet me over some issue and at times they came with anger, rage, outbursts of temper, arrogance, and argumentative spirit, harshness, without a willingness to yield or die to self, no mercy, no evidence of the fruit of the Spirit, and filled with partiality. Every pastor has met professing Christians like that. And then how many times have we gone into committee meetings, annual church meetings, deacons meetings and met men and sometimes women who carried on in such a shameful way that we were left wondering if we were presiding over a group of people that were demon possessed. These things ought not to be and must surely grieve the Holy Spirit.
Another observation made here from our text is how vastly different Christianity is from Islam. James tells his readers to demonstrate and prove they have wisdom by purity of life, being full of peace, being gentle, having a spirit willing to die to self and to be full of the fruits of righteousness. How different this is from the Koran that teaches it followers to slay the infidels wherever you find them, lay in wait and ambush them, persecute them and force them to convert.
The wisdom that is from above is full of purity, peace, meekness, and the fruit of the Spirit. The wisdom from below is full of bitterness, anger, confusion, jealousy and envy. This is the wisdom that is demonic and inspired out of the pit of hell.
May the Lord give us the wisdom that is from heaven and may we be filled with the Holy Spirit in all that we do. Lord willing I will see you all on the Lord's Day!
Yours in Christ,