17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. — James 3:17 NLT
Earthly wisdom is the wisdom that leads to quarrels and chaos. It is based on our egos and leads us into all kinds of evil trying to satisfy our fleshly lusts. It leads us to make statements that are boastful and not approved by the Holy Spirit. Earthly wisdom says “me first”. Earthly wisdom is foolishness to God.19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.
” 20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.–1 Cor. 1:19-20 (NLT)
God has given us access to His wisdom. It is there just for the asking. This is the wisdom that is pure, peace-loving, gentle and full of mercy. Godly wisdom leads us to put Jesus first, others second and ourselves last. We are blessed because we become peacemakers and we will reap a harvest of righteousness.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
This was the message that God gave to Moses to give to the children of Israel. Time and again, God would give them this message. Time and again, God changed the hearts of His people. They would disobey and go astray. Being a just God, He was required to discipline them. They would repent and turn back to Him and He would soften their hearts and accept their offerings again. That was the Old Testament. Then Jesus died on the cross for our sins and established a new and better covenant. Now, Jesus says the whole law hinged on two commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. Two commandments that are certainly not hard to understand, but God knew we would fail, so He sent us a Helper, His Holy Spirit. Now, He is closer to us than He has ever been. We don’t need to look for Him anywhere because He abides in us and is all around us. Or as St. Patrick said: “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left.”.
There is no need for us to go anywhere or search anywhere because He abides in us and leads us into all truth. Two commandments, easy to understand, but not so easy to follow on a daily basis.
This may well be one of the best known and most repeated verses in the Bible. What exactly does God want each of us to take away from this verse? Does it mean that we should realize that God is much more intelligent than we are? He is, of course, but is there more here in this verse? Could it be a rebuke to all of those self-help programs that people spend so much time, effort and money on only to find that when they have finished those programs nothing has really changed? Is this verse a directive that says, you can’t help yourself, you need Jesus? Could it be the first step in our coming to salvation? After all, if we could help ourselves, if we could clean ourselves up, then it would have been totally unnecessary for Jesus to die. Jesus died on the cross to accomplish for us what we can never do for ourselves. The natural, carnal mind will never understand this. We must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to have faith in God and to trust Him with all of our hearts. Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance we will never understand the depth nor the width of what God wants to do for us and through us. Our understanding is a broken reed that will support little or no weight. God’s wisdom is a staff of strength that will bear up under any burden. Learn to lean on Him, His wisdom and His understanding in the good times as well as the rough patches.
12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.—1 Cor. 2:12-14 NIV
We are born with the spirit of the world in us which causes us to sin. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive God the Holy Spirit. He comes to abide in us and to lead us into all truth. To understand the truth takes wisdom from heaven. This can only be taught by the Holy Spirit who teaches us spiritual realities with Spiritual words. If we have not received the Holy Spirit, we will not accept the truths that He wants to teach us. The person who has not received the Spirit of God cannot discern or understand Spiritual things. That person considers Spiritual things to be foolishness because of his or her lack of understanding. Those who have truly accepted Jesus as their Savior are Spirit-bred, Spirit-fed and Spirit-led! 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’—John 3:6 NIV