Wisdom Not of God: Earthly, Natural, Demonic Part 4  James 3:15

Is my approach to life earthly, natural, and demonic?

Yesterday, we focused on certain characteristics that lie against the truth. 

How did you respond to the Spirit? 

Today, let’s dig into verse 15, to see what else God says about this wisdom that does NOT come down from above’.

Open the App to the Book of James.

TIP: Work in Split View or Toggle (go back and forth) between the App and the Blog.

Before We Begin, Let’s Pray

Oh Lord, as we come to Your holy Word today, are any of us in sin? Is there anything that would hinder us from hearing what You are saying to us? Oh, quiet our hearts right now, show us our hearts. Purify us, cleanse us, let us hear You!

LOOK at What God Says

 Let GODcha guide you in your discovery.

Where will you begin?

READ God’s Word

Read James Ch 3, verses 13-18, asking the 5W’s and H. 

We have seen the wisdom not of God does not come from above, it is bitter, jealous, selfishly ambitious, arrogant, and lying.

Now, let’s focus on this wisdom in verses 15.

What are the next 3 characteristics James uses to describe this ‘wisdom that does NOT come from above’

It is earthlynatural, and demonic. (Jam 3:15)

Isn’t this interesting.  As you consider these 3 characteristics, let me ask: Do you know what the 3 enemies of the believer are? Compare the believer’s enemies to what James has said.

The World – (1Jo 2:15); (Jam 4:4);

The Flesh – (Gal 5:17); and

Satan – (2Co 4:4); (1Pe 5:8)

 

Now, THINK and REASON incorporating ALL the skills we are learning, and

as we do keep asking the 5W and H questions.

Let’s zoom in on these 3 Key words, LOOKING at each one separately. Remember…

  • THINK and REASON by asking questions.
  • LISTEN to God Speak – learning and listening can happen simultaneously.
  • Take your time. Work at your own pace. Your goal is not to get through a passage(s), but rather to engage with God, hear Him speak to you, converse with Him, deepen your relationship with Him.

Let’s Try it!

Understand the Words God Uses

This wisdom which is NOT from above is earthly

Earthlyepígeios; Earthly, arising from the earth and attached to it (James 3:15). Occurs with a moral contrast between earth and heaven (Phil. 3:19 [cf. Phil. 3:14]; Col. 3:2; James 3:15 [cf. James 3:14, 16, 17]).

Understand: Earthly (worldly) is the whole value-system which dominates society, and is contrary to the ways of God.

Understand: Earthly is the man-centered way of life which ignores God, and operates by selfish principles and lives by ungodly standards.

God Uses Truth to Explain Truth

Check out the Cross References that GODcha gives to see what God says about ‘earthly‘ wisdom.

Consider the parallel of the world (one of the 3 enemies of believers) to earthly(1Jo 2:15); (Jam 4:4);

1. What do you learn about earthly wisdom?

God will destroy the wisdom of the wiseAnd the cleverness of the clever He will set aside. (1Co 1:19)

The world through its wisdom did not come to know God. (1Co 1:21) 

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God.(1Co 3:19)

 

2. Now THINK: we have been looking at those who claim to be wise, but they are bitter, jealous, selfish, and arrogant. 

What does God say about those who live according to earthly wisdom?

They are dead in in their trespasses and sins,

Walking according to the course of this world

Living according to the lusts of their flesh,

Indulging in the desires of the flesh and mind, children of wrath. (Eph 2:1-3)

LISTEN…

Do I walk and live according to God’s will and ways, or this world and the lusts of my flesh?

Respond to God…Live it out!

 

3. What does God, through Paul, instruct the Colossians regarding the world?

Not to be taken captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than Christ. (Col 2:8)

LISTEN…

When and how have I been taken captive by the philosophies and principles of the world? 

What must I do to not be taken captive and deceived? 

Respond to God…Live it out!

 

4. What does God say we are to guard and oppose?

O Timothyguard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. (1Ti 6:20-21)

THINK: What would be an example of worldly, empty chatter and opposing arguments that is falsely called knowledge?

LISTEN…

Do I guard the truth?

How quick and diligent am I to avoid worldly and empty chatter, and opposing arguments?

Or,

Am I guilty of countering and contradicting Truth with false knowledge?

Have I gone astray from the Truth?

Respond to God…Live it out!

Let’s LOOK at the next Key word.

Understand the Words God Uses

This wisdom which is NOT from above is earthly, natural

Naturalpsuchikós; in the King James the word is sensual. Natural, pertaining to the natural as distinguished from the spiritual or glorified nature of man. Fleshly, the life of man.

God Uses Truth to Explain Truth

Check out the Cross References that GODcha gives to see what God says about anaturalman?

Consider the parallel of the flesh (one of the 3 enemies of believers) to natural(Gal 5:17)

1. A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them. (1Co 2:14)

Understand: the natural man can’t understand the things of God because he is sensual.  His feelings, desires, cravings are bound and influenced by the flesh and the world.

LISTEN…. 

Am I a natural man or woman? 

Do I reject the things of the Spirit of God because they seem foolish to me?

Why can’t I understand the things of God?

Respond to God…Live it out!

Understand the Words God Uses

And Lastly….This wisdom which is NOT from above is earthly, natural, and demonic.

Demonicdaimonioâdēs; devil; demon like.

Understand: the source of earthly wisdom is Satan and his host of demonic spirits.

God Uses Truth to Explain Truth

Why is this ‘wisdom that is NOT from above’, demonic? What do you learn about Satan?

Consider the parallel of Satan (one of the 3 enemies of believers) to demonic(2Co 4:4); (1Pe 5:8)

1. Satan, an angel rebelled against God. In his pride he exalted himself because he was jealous of God. Because of selfish ambition he wanted to to raise himself above God, but then fell to earth. (Isa 14:12-14)

 

2Satan is now the prince of the power of this world. (Eph 2:2)

 

3. Satan is a murderer, a liar, the father of lies. (Joh 8:44)

We see: the characteristics of this ‘wisdom that is not of God’ (jealousy, selfish ambition, arrogance, and lies) describe Satan.

LISTEN…

Why do I put down others to exalt myself?

How am I being pulled between the wisdom from above and the wisdom of the world?

Am I being pulled away from Truth, by Satan?

Respond to God…Live it out!

What Did We LEARN

Sum Up It Up!

We LEARN:

There is a wisdom that is not from God:

It is foolishness to God.

Those who profess to be wise:

  • Become fools, their hearts are darkened
  • They do not honor God, or give Him thanks
  • They are futile in their speculations
  • Exchanged the glory of God for man
  • Are dead in their sins
  • Are walking in accordance to this world system
  • Are living according to their flesh
  • Profess the faith but gone astray professing false knowledge

This wisdom is:

  • Earthly (worldly),
  • Natural (fleshly),
  • Demonic (Satan)

THINK: how this parallels the believer having 3 enemies: the world, the flesh, and Satan.

Shall We Call it a Day?

Reflect and meditate on what God taught us about this wisdom that is NOT from God, but is earthly, natural and demonic

Save Your Discovery

As we bring this day to a close, journal your discovery and communion with the Lord in your Notes –  save them forever!

Turn What We LEARNED into a Prayer 

OH FATHER, let Your name be blessed forever for wisdom and power belong to You. We come to You today thanking You for Your holy Word that is a sure Word. Thank you for the clarity of Your Word about this wisdom that is NOT of You. May we all examine our hearts today. What is our heart toward You? How are we walking and talking? What do we profess? Oh Father, are we living according to this earthly wisdom, that is natural, whose source is Satan, that is demonic? Do we look to the philosophies of this world, or Christ? Who is our wisdom? Do we put down others to exalt ourselves? Are we being pulled away from Truth by Satan? Do we create strife and conflict? Is there nothing but chaos in our lives? Oh Father, wake us up! Your Word makes us wise to salvation. May we be willing to confess and repent. Purify our hearts oh God. Cleanse us. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen!

Next: In contrast, we will LOOK at the wisdom that IS of God.

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2018-08-13T20:10:16+00:00

About the Author:

Janette has started Bible studies everywhere God has moved her—most filling up to over a 100 men, women, young adults and kids. She continues to make disciples and raise up leaders, training and teaching the Word of God.

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