NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION FOR AUGUST 30, 2020 : TOPIC – TWO KINDS OF WISDOM
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Date : Sunday, August 30, 2020.
TOPIC: TWO KINDS OF WISDOM
James 3:13-18; 5:7-12.
James 3:13-18; 5:7-12.
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 3:17
Primary Learning Outcome/Indicators:
Learners will demonstrate the virtues of faith and wisdom and indicate achievement of this by:
Comparing the characteristics of heavenly and earthly wisdom as used in the passage;
Suggesting how to eradicate the use of earthly wisdom and its characteristics in the church and community;
Expressing their willingness to possess godly wisdom rather than the earthly one.
We live in a world in which two types of wisdom operate, the earthly and godly wisdom. The earthly wisdom is often associated with pride, tricks, envy, selfish ambition and satanic intrigues. People with earthly wisdom do things without consciousness of God’ gift and the promise of eternity. But the godly wisdom is characterized with the fear of God, fairness and love for humanity. It is assumed that all that love and fear God operate under godly wisdom, while people who lack the fear of God are dominated with earthly wisdom. Unfortunately, those who possess the earthly wisdom are increasing daily because of the increase in knowledge in the world today. The world of information and communication technology (ICT) has made almost everyone wise in their own eyes. There is competition on who is the wisest and strongest nations of the world and this has caused wars and troubles.
In today’s text, James addresses the matter of wisdom. He contrasts seven characteristics of human wisdom with seven qualities of divinely inspired wisdom. He, therefore, admonished Christians to shun earthly or devilish wisdom, but embrace heavenly or godly wisdom. This is in line with Job’s confession, He said, “And he said to man, ‘The fear of the Lords- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28) Heavenly or godly wisdom and its characteristics have power to dispel earthly or devilish wisdom and its characteristics just as light dispels darkness. Believers should embrace godly wisdom rather than earthly wisdom, which is for self-gratification.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
1. THE HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY WISDOM COMPARED: [JAMES 3:13-18]
James started by an admonition to his readers to prove their wisdom and understanding through exhibiting good life and deeds in the humanity that comes from wisdom. Thereafter, he listed the characteristics of earthly wisdom as the harbour of bitterness, envy and selfish ambition, disorder and every evil practice. According to verse 15, he affirmed that such wisdom originates from the devil thus it is unspiritual. Therefore, the people who exhibit the characteristics of earthly wisdom but call it godly or heavenly wisdom are practicing empty, boastful religion and are lying against the truth. He refuted their lies and called their wisdom earthly, demonic, and sensual. But the wisdom that comes from God is humble, pure, peace-loving, submissive, and merciful; it bears good fruit, and relies on God’s leadership and guidance. More so, it is impartial and sincere. These verses show the differences between humans and pretending to be wise and their being really wise.
From the passage, it is obvious that earthly and godly wisdom have different sources and characteristics. James, therefore, advocated that his recipients should prove their type of wisdom by their conduct or good works, which is done with complete humanity and meekness. Apostle Paul also advocate the need to exhibit heavenly or godly wisdom in his letter to the church in Corinth when he stated, “…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Apostle Paul affirmed that God has rendered foolish the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 1:20, 24b). Since humility in the Bible signifies total dependence God and fear of the Lord means absolute obedience to God through Jesus Christ. James then listed the characteristics of heavenly wisdom as purity, peaceable, willingness to yield, full of mercy, good fruits and impartiality. James concluded that this godly wisdom causes peacemakers to sow the fruit of righteousness in peace. These characteristics are comparable to the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
1. Let class members discuss their views about some people who claim to be wise but eventually acted foolishly and what was responsible for such foolish act.
2. Mention and discuss the characteristics of earthly and godly wisdom.
2. HEAVENLY WISDOM AND PATIENCE IN SUFFERING: [JAMES 5:7-12]
As James concludes his letter; he admonished his readers to exhibit godly wisdom in time of suffering. He said, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming…” (v.7b). In other words, believers are to look forward patiently to the Lord’s return, even in the midst of persecution. He illustrated his messages with the farmer who waits patiently for the autumn and spring rain, with endurance until he reaps his crops. In verse 8, he repeated the need to be patient and stand firm because the second coming of Christ is near when true believers will be raptured and reign with Christ in His kingdom. He, however, sounded a note of warning against grumbling so as to escape being judged. He called on believers to receive encouragement from the prophets of old who endured persecutions and remained faithful until the end, using Job as an example. He endured suffering, even though he was described as righteous and blameless, yet because he endured, his end was more glorious than his beginning (Job 42:12-16). God remains compassionate and merciful to help believers in times of suffering (v. 11c), and to be consistent in their speaking the truths so that it becomes unnecessary to swear when speaking. They are to do this to escape condemnation.
James’ admonition to his readers to endure suffering is also applicable to contemporary Christians, especially these days when there is severe persecution of Christians. Our hope should lie on the fact that the present suffering cannot be compared with the glory that shall be revealed at the end of age (Romans 8:18). Therefore, we should continue to endure suffering until Jesus’ return. We should not murmur against God or one another. Above all, believers in Christ should avoid the habit of swearing purposely to convince people of the truth; rather, we should be firm in our confession so as to escape the judgment of God.
1. Are there some justifiable cases when Christians can swear in order to convince people of the truth? If yes, give some biblical example.
2. How can Christians be motivated to endure suffering in this present world?
3. What preparation do we need for the second coming of Jesus?
COMMITMENT BASED ON TODAY’S LESSON:
My personal Commitment_______
Commitment to My Church_________
Commitment towards My Relationship with Others________
* Appreciate God for granting you heavenly wisdom to persevere in times of suffering.
* O Lord our God, help us to be conscious of Your second coming and live according to Your standard.
* Help me, Lord, not to be condemned in Jesus’ Name.
FELLOWSHIP AND MINISTRY BUILDING ACTIVITY:
– Discuss how members of your class may employ heavenly wisdom to transform and develop your church and community.
– God is the source of godly wisdom while devil is the source of earthly wisdom.
– The demonstration of wisdom in times of suffering is a sign of spiritual maturity.
– Christians should endeavor to embrace and exhibit godly wisdom always
– Suffering is inevitable in our spiritual journey.
– Christians should endeavor to purse godly wisdom above all things.
– All Christians should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and discard the display of earthly wisdom.
– Christians should be consistent in telling the truth at all times.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!