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 (James & 1, 2 Peter)
The Meekness of Wisdom
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7: The Meekness of Wisdom (Jas 3:13-4:12)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

James has dealt with the subject of speech in the previous passage to illustrate the principle of faith and works. Now he takes up another example, which naturally extends from the discussion of the tongue—strife among believers. It is quite obvious that strife was a serious issue that plagued the community of believers. Thus James uses strong words of admonition to point out their sin and show them what they must do to remove the sin from among them.

B.     Key Verse

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (4:7).

II.    Observation

A.     Outline





III. Key Words/Phrases

A.     General Analysis

Generally speaking, which paragraphs in the passage are about the problem? Which ones offer the solution?

What kinds of evil does this passage discuss?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     3:13-18

1.      Does verse 13 remind you of the themes we have studied in this epistle?

2.      How is “meekness” (13) essential in dealing with the problem that James is addressing?

3.      Why do many people, including some believers in this case, consider envy and strife as “wisdom”?

4.      What is the source of such wisdom?

5.      According to James, what is the root of confusion and evil in the community of believers?

6.      Are you at odds with another fellow believer? What can you learn from this passage?

7.      Why does purity come first with respect to the wisdom from above (17)?

8.      Explain the analogy of verse 18.

B.     4:1-3

9.      What kind of “wars” and “fights” do you think existed in the congregation?

10.  Have you seen similar problems in today’s congregation?

11.  According to James, what is the cause of such problems?

12.  What can we learn from verse 3 about the motive of prayer?

C.     4:4-10

13.  What is “friendship with the world”?

14.  Why is this equivalent to “enmity with God”? Can’t we be friends with the world and with God?

15.  Why does James call them “adulterers and adulteresses”? (cf. Jer 3:8, 20; Hos 2:2-5; 9:1)

16.  What kind of jealousy is meant in verse 5? (Ex 20:5; 34:14)

17.  It is a great encouragement to know that God “gives more grace.” How is God’s grace pertinent to the present discussion?

18.  James exhorts us to submit to God and resist the devil (7). Based on your study of this passage, explain why this is the key solution to the problem of envy and strife?

19.  How can you “draw near to God” in your life (8)?

20.  What do “hands” and “hearts” each represent in verse 8? What does it mean to cleanse and purify our hands and hearts?

21.  What kind of a person is “double-minded” (8)?

22.  Why should we lament, mourn, and weep? (cf. Mt 5:4; 2Cor 7:10,11)

D.     4:11-12

23.  Why is speaking evil of a brother and judging a brother equivalent to speaking evil of the law and judging the law?

24.  What should and should not be our role in respect to the law? Why?


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