“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (James 3:13–18, KJV)
For this one, the sentence diagramming tool in Logos really comes handy. It’s written almost like old computer programming – if then go to.
Definition – wise man – one who shows by how he lives the effect of a godly lifestyle, and the fruits of salvation, with meekness.
But if you’re envying and have strife in your heart… then you’re NOT a wise man!
The next verse is a contrast also – the wisdom shown by an unwise man is from below, not from God.
FOR. we now learn the REASON or the RESULT with a FOR statement. Envying and strife produces confusion and every evil work.
CONTRAST. We see the contrast of the fruits of envy, versus the wisdom from above and it;s fruits.
The word FIRST lets us know that these are SEQUENTIAL – you first get purity, then peace, then gentleness.
Think on these things.
Let him show it. Here is an original “show and tell.” Wisdom is not measured by degrees but by deeds. It is not a matter of acquiring truth in lectures but of applying truth to life. The good life and deeds are best portrayed in the humility of wisdom, or “wise meekness” (prautēti sophias). The truly wise man is humble.
J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 828.