“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show 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 entreated, 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).
James describes God-given wisdom as being pure, which infers that it must be holy, blameless and undefiled by the so-called wisdom of the world, false science and false religion. Such purity in wisdom can only be evidenced in those who truly know Christ as Saviour. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).
Purity of heart
The truly wise person will seek to follow Christ in obedience, holiness and faith. The wisest thing we can possibly do is please God. This is what the apostle Paul desperately wanted to do when he wrote in Romans 7:15-21, “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” True wisdom declares that only God can cleanse a person of sin. “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).
Pure wisdom, not only agrees that God alone can cure the sin-sickness in man, but must be willing to let Him do the work. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:3-4). God will have to cut deep to rid the soul of sin, because false wisdom has corrupted it at the root. “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). Only then can holiness rule in our hearts instead of sin and the death it brings. In other words the old life, and all it holds dear, must be completely destroyed. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him , that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7) … “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22).
The blessing of a pure heart
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). The pure in heart desire to follow God’s wisdom, and as a result will be eternally blessed. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). These are the people who live according to God’s standards of wisdom until the day He calls them to Himself. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) … “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16) … “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).
Man seeks wisdom without Christ, but it is impossible to find. Those who seek the world’s wisdom ensnare and damn their souls. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20). The redeemed have cast off the wisdom of the flesh, and are willing to be considered fools, so that they may obtain the wisdom that leads to eternal life. “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18). Only those who are armed with God’s truth can reveal it to others and bring them to salvation in Christ. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).