The Book of James, Message Nine
IV. Accountability of Teachers. James 3:1-18
A. Control (Godly). 3:1-12
B. Content (Godly). 3:13-18
James now refers back to his initial statement as given in chapter 3, verses 1 and 2. He gave a warning about the leader’s character as it is revealed in his speaking. Now he turns to the leader’s character as revealed through his conduct. James defines the character of two kinds of leaders – The Counterfeit teacher and the Consecrated teacher.
1. The Counterfeit teacher James 3:14-16
a. He has defective impression of self. 3:14
He is told to “…glory not…”, saying that he is not to have pride in his own wisdom!
His told to “…lie not against the truth.”, saying that he is not to justify himself.
As if he was a spiritual doctor, James diagnosed –
1). The condition of the heart. 3:14a “…bitter envy and strife…”
James prescribed –
2). The confession of the truth. 3:14b
He must admit that his wrong thinking is because –
a. He has a deceitful heart –
Psalm 36:1-3 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
b. He has defective information. 3:15 Because of defective information –
c. He has defective results. 3:16
A wrong heart readily accepts wrong information which will always result in wrong actions. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for having this attitude –
John 5:41-44 I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
The counterfeit teacher is seeking to be full of self and promote his own image instead of seeking to glorify God and grow into the fulness of the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
We must always endeavour to keep before us the admonition of Paul to the Ephesians –
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
With this exhortation, we turn to –
2. The Consecrated teacher. James 3:13, 17-18
John 17:16-17 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
In chapters one and two, James presented a measure for our faith. Here he is presenting a measure for our motive in our service and conduct – for the glory of the Lord or for the glory of self.
The consecrated teacher –
a. He is consistent in faith and practice. James 3:13
“…let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”
The Lord is telling us through James that we need to be known by our works and that those works should be with “meekness of wisdom”. In order to show “meekness of wisdom”, we must know what it is – we need to define what is being advised.
1). The definition of meekness – ‘humility, submission to God’s will’
2). The definition of wisdom –
a). According to Webster’s dictionary, a concise definition of wisdom is –
“The right use or exercise of knowledge…”
b). According to God’s Word, we are to pursue it –
Proverbs 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Roy Zuck in his Theology of the Old Testament lists how we should pursue wisdom –
(1). He is to listen for it. Prov. 1:33; 2:2
(2). Seek it. Proverbs 8:17.
(3). Acquire it. Proverbs 4:6–7
(4). Love it. Proverbs 4:6; 8:17
(5). Esteem or value it. Proverbs 4:8
c). According to God’s Word, wisdom is to be found in the Lord.
Proverbs 2:4-6 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
The consecrated teacher is to be humble, relying on the Lord (Meekness) and teaching others about the Lord and His will through His Word.
b. He is consistent with the characteristics of Godly faith. James 3:17,18
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
1). The fruit of righteousness define his character. James 3:17 Who he is.
d). Easy to be intreated
e). Full of mercy and good fruits
f). Without partiality
g). Without hypocrisy.
2). The fruit of righteousness is manifested in his life. James 3:18 What he does.
The difference the consecrated teacher makes is bringing people in unity to fulfill the will of God, having a testimony that honours God and glorifies Him through their witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the will of God –
John 17:20-23 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Today – are you saved and living for the Lord, having this testimony – serving Him in the “meekness of wisdom”?
Do you know that you have done all that God wants you to do up to this point in time? Nothing is left undone.
Are you saved? Have you repented of your sin and called upon the Lord for salvation?