We have examined the origins of wisdom. We have reviewed the nature of earthly wisdom. In this essay we’ll discuss the nature of heavenly wisdom. Our thanks to Dr. Mark Copeland for freely providing the original outline for this study. A video presentation can be seen on You Tube.
The nature of heavenly wisdom is described in James 3:17
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Heavenly wisdom is first and foremost pure. Above all else heavenly wisdom is true to God’s will. In its purity heavenly wisdom does not compromise truth for the sake of peace.
Heavenly wisdom is peaceable or peace-loving. The peace that comes through heavenly wisdom is not lost while holding firmly to the truth. Truth is the greatest ideal involved with heavenly wisdom.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
God cautions each and everyone of us to be mindful of peace. There are disagreements in the Christian community. There are divisions between denominations that are difficult if not impossible to bridge. But, even in those disagreements “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Live at peace even with those who hate you.
The Truth can be and should be spoken in an attitude of love.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
I know that denominationalism is improper. God has led me to understand there are problems with separating myself from other believers simply because of a denominational system of doctrines. I can tell my Baptist friends or my Methodist friends, even my “non-denominational” friends that we error when we choose to be associated with a denomination over being simply Christian.
It is not impossible to love the man who hates me. In fact, by loving that man or by speaking to him in love it is to God’s glory and for my benefit.
Heavenly wisdom is gentle. It is imperative that with heavenly wisdom we will treat others with dignity and respect. We do not have to be harsh and dogmatic. It is good to “be quick to listen, to be slow to speak and to be slow to anger.”
2 Ti 2:24-26
And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Heavenly wisdom is willing to yield. Truth will always win the day. We should never surrender the truth. But when it comes to opinion it is important not to pass judgement.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
Almost every doctrine, every ritual, every lesson is a disputable matter. My opinions do not follow the opinions of others. God makes it clear that I am to make room for those with whom I disagree. I do not have to surrender my understanding or faith for the sake of peace. But, at the same time I do not have to become belligerent or rude to protect my opinion from others.
The one doctrine that is not disputable is the Gospel of Christ Jesus. It is most important that we believe and strive to bring others to see the Light.
Heavenly wisdom yields in matters of liberty.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
Perhaps the only Christian doctrine that truly matters is the Gospel of Christ Jesus. It does me no good to fight to convince any other person to believe as I believe. If my goal is to practice tenets of heavenly wisdom, then it becomes completely unnecessary to debate or convince anyone.
Wisdom that is heavenly is full of mercy. Being merciful is to quickly forgive others for offenses you have suffered at their hands. Being merciful is to forget the harm others have done to you.
Because of heavenly wisdom we know the need to show mercy and to be merciful.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
I am grateful to our Father for this lesson in particular. The Father knows my heart better than I know my heart. I know my life. I praise Him for His mercies. I thank Him for giving me grace upon grace.
Those who seek and possess heavenly wisdom will produce good fruits. We are to demonstrate true wisdom in our daily walk.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
A producer of good fruit possess the wisdom that takes him from being a HEARER to being a DOER.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
It should not be a difficult concept for us to grasp. Love Him, Love others should not be “undoable.” Scripture reports God’s command to love. His word records His love for us. For all of us. I think this command is the easiest to comply with, but I also think it the command least obeyed.
It is written in Scripture that a converted man will produce fruit that brings glory to God. It is also clear that good Christian works will be the result.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
It should not be construed in anyway that doing a Christian work for the purpose of receiving a reward reaps a reward. God knows when the work is genuine or if the work has an ulterior motive behind it.
Heavenly wisdom is without partiality. Favoritism is particularly problematic in Christ’s Bride.
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?
The man or woman possessing heavenly wisdom will treat all persons the same.
Lastly heavenly wisdom is sincere. It is without hypocrisy. With heavenly wisdom we act from our hearts. Our behavior and our love is not an act or airs or put-ons. Our thoughts and our actions are first to be pleasing to our Father and second to lift up others. There is not a need in our beings for power, position, privilege or prestige.
The pursuit and possession of heavenly wisdom is superior to that of earthly wisdom. The origin of heavenly wisdom is superior. The nature of heavenly wisdom is superior.
Seeking heavenly wisdom is what God had in mind when He instructed us to seek “her”. James completes this discourse by providing more proof that heavenly wisdom is superior to earthly wisdom.