James was a leader of the first Christian community ever. He was in a leadership role for 20 years and during this time the church fell on hard times; famine, persecution, and poverty. James lived with wisdom and courage during this difficult time. The book of James is really a letter of wisdom. Instead of writing to one church community, like Paul did, James wrote to all of the Christians to encourage them to live out their faith. For this series I will write some of the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.
Small Group Questions | Two Kinds of Wisdom | James 3:13-18
As we move into the second half of the book of James we see a continuation of James 3:1. James taught us that not many of us should be teachers of the word of God. To help explain that, James gives a presentation on wisdom. In our passage James brings a contrast between worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is not the same as Godly wisdom. Worldly wisdom looks slick and polished while Godly wisdom is full of Godly characteristics that impact a generation for Christ. James teaches us that wisdom is made evident by our actions. Let’s study the passage further and see how we can live out Godly wisdom while living in the world.
1) Neal opened the sermon with an example form the life of King Solomon. Solomon encountered a difficult situation that required Godly wisdom (see 1 Kings 3:16-28). Who is the wisest person you know? What makes that person so wise?
2) Read James 3:13-16. Wise people show their wisdom by deeds done in humility (read Psalm 25:9, Proverbs 3:34, Micah 6:8, and 1 Peter 5:6). Thinking about these passages, and your life, where do you need to grow in humility?
3) James gave three describing words for what composes worldly wisdom: selfish, boasting, and deceitful. Paul said that we used to live in this manner (read Ephesians 2:1-3). How we move away from worldly wisdom while living in the world?
4) The contrast to worldly wisdom is Godly wisdom (read James 3:17-18). James starts the list with living a pure life. How can we live a pure life while living in the world? Read Psalm 19:9-10, 119:127, Proverbs 22:11, & Matthew 5:8.
5) Looking at the entire list that James writes in James 3:17, what is one characteristic of Godly wisdom that you desire to mature in? Thinking about that characteristic, what needs to change in your life today so that can be a reality?
6) Thinking about Godly wisdom, read Galatians 5:22-23. We read about the Fruit of the Spirit. It seems that Godly wisdom comes to those who are rooted in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7) and seeking the Lord. Who do you want to emulate that displays Godly wisdom in their life?
7) James teaches us that peace-makers sow in peace and will reap a harvest of righteousness. We all know that if you sow corn you will harvest corn. What does it look like to sow peace in our lives? (John 14:27, 16:33, Acts 9:31 & Romans 5:1).
Close your time in prayer.
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