Main point summary
Heaven's wisdom is true, humble and on display in one's life. Hell's wisdom is false, boastful and has evil internal intentions.
Who is wise and understanding among you?
m By his good conduct let him show his works n in the meekness of wisdom.
But if you have bitter o jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast
and be false to the truth.
This is not p the wisdom that comes down from above,
but is earthly, unspiritual, q demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there will be disorder and every vile practice.
But r the wisdom from above is first pure,
then s peaceable, gentle, open to reason, t full of mercy and good fruits, u impartial and v sincere.
And w a harvest of righteousness x is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Jealousy selfish ambition connect to 16a Boasting with words... Contrary actions
The showing and works of James 2 is seen here again. Don't just boast, but show works. Boasting vs showing
Rhetorical question Question: who is wise and understanding? What does it look like to be wise and understanding?
Jealousy and selfish ambition is not wisdom from above but wisdom from the earthly. Not only from earth but also unspiritual even demonic
Disorder which is contrary to unity
A few thoughts... -James continues to direct us towards the out-working of faith in the life of the believer. Faith that is truly from above, works its way into the believers life. -We see a difference here between wisdom (and understanding) and knowledge. Mere knowledge may make great boasts, but it has not gone past the head to the heart where it might be processed and enjoyed and acted upon. -Wisdom from above is first pure. And it is also full of mercy and good fruits. We could conclude that, although the same pure message (gospel) be proclaimed to two different people, without the light of understanding as a gift from God, there will only be boasting and evil inward intentions. That is to say, I see a difference between the wisdom from above and the message from above. -"in the meekness of wisdom". The importance of humility. Blessed are the poor in spirit (Matt 5). The believer arrives empty before God. A true knowledge of God's character and the depravity of his soul results in hunger, thirst and great need. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). But humility does not leave him. Following the example of the humble servant (Phil 3), the Christian continues in humility even in the working out of his faith. John Bradford echoed Paul in 1 Cor 15, "there but for the grace of God, go I". (See also James 2:5 and 1 cor 1:27) Let him who boasts, boast in God. (Jer 9:24; 1 cor 1:31; 2 cor 10:17)