Excerpt from the sermon: “Wisdom from the Pit or the Pot?”

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Do you see how wisdom from the pit expresses itself? It does not seek to put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of the Church or even of the individual Christian life. It puts self there. Satan’s in the back seat. He is perfectly content to be there, be a “backseat driver”. Jesus Christ is totally ejected, absolutely out of the picture. And we need to recognize where this wisdom comes from, how it manifests itself and abandon it my friends for the good of the church, and most of all for the glory of the Head of the Church even Jesus Christ. Self has no business in being here. That’s wisdom from the pit.

Well, what’s about wisdom from a pot?
Even Jesus Christ Himself. We are going to go back to the verse 13, just for a moment and then finish off with the verse 17.
Look at the text again:

After his question he says: “Let him show it…” that is wisdom “by his good life”. By deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. Now verse 17:

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 4:17, NIV)

This is the wisdom of the true believer, and that true believer ought to delight in it, to nurture it in his heart.
I want us to observe first of all the spring. The spring should be obvious. James writes:

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; …”

It is absolutely unlike that other spring that I’ve been talking about, previously mentioned, it is holy, it is absolutely free of corruption, it is pure, and it is holy that is wisdom that is pure because it is derived from the One that is pure even Jesus Christ. Very simple co-relation. Now listen closely to this.

When we drink from the well of Christ in the Scriptures, we know that we are gaining true wisdom. When? Here is the clause that I want you to listen to.

When we do so with the intent of knowing and exalting Jesus and abasing ourselves. You see the difference there? We can imbibe spiritual knowledge, we can imbibe the truths, the grand truths of the Bible and not display that in true biblical wisdom. True biblical wisdom imbibes that knowledge, takes it and then abases self and exalts Jesus Christ. That’s true wisdom. Well what other rivers? What does it look like in the individual life? What does it look like in the practical living in the church. Well, it’s going to manifest itself in attitudes, actions and judgment that glorifies our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Look at the attitudes first of all.


That is paramount. When Simeon, Charles Simeon, I’ve mentioned him many times, because I have this paper on my mind that I have to deliver in about a month, and he was counseled as a young preacher, here are the three lessons that you need to learn in Gospel ministry:

Number 1 — humility, number 2 — humility, number 3 — humility.

I dare to say it, they are not only the lessons that I need to learn as a preacher, but we need to learn as people of God. Humility. Dependence upon God. Recognizing that we are weak, that we are apt to error, that we are apt to sin and being absolutely dependent upon God for our aid. That is the first proof of possessing true wisdom, it is humility  and it will show up in every aspect of the life of the true believer of God. Every aspect. It will consistently shun any tendancy towards self promotion. And do we exhibit such humility? If we can answer yes to that, then that is the evidence that we’ve been born from above by the Holy Spirit.

All that we are, all that we have we owe to Jesus Christ, we can claim nothing for ourselves. Humility must be our constant, constant companion. It goes on. It says it must be peace loving. That simply means peace promoting.

Wisdom: From the Pit or the Pot?, SermonAudio.com,  February 4th, 2007,  Glenn Tomlinson, Sovereign Grace Community Church. Link to the original source. Time: 21:51 to 26:50