James 3:14-16 - The Description of Defeat PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 02:00

James: A Handbook on Holiness


The Description of Defeat

James 3:14-16


General outline:


  1. The Way to Holiness: The Divine Perspective 1:2-27

    1. The Trial-Temptation Complex 1:2-18

    2. The Word of God 1:19-27

  2. The Principles of Holiness: The Biblical Framework 2:1-26

    1. The Law is the Structure of Holiness 2:1-13

    2. Faith is the Dynamics of Holiness 2:14-26

  3. The Implementation of Holiness: The Christian Experience 3:1-4:10

    1. The Obstacle to Victory: Human Impotence 3:1-9

    2. The Nature of Victory 3:10-18

      1. The Rejection of Compromise 3:10-13

      2. The Description of Defeat 3:14-16

      3. The Description of Victory 3:17-18


James 3:14-16

The Root of Defeat

14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

The Explanation of Defeat

15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

The Evidence of Defeat

16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.


Discussion Questions:


  1. V. 14 – This "bitter jealousy and selfish ambition" means the motives which move you to oppose others and promote yourself. What are some words we use to describe people who are this way? ____________________________________________________________________

  2. If you are this way, you need the correction James gives - "do not boast and be false to the truth." What should you do instead of boast (see v. 13)? _______________________________ What is "the truth" you are denying (see vv. 13, 15)? _________________________________

  3. V. 15 – What specifically is evil about the "wisdom" in "bitter jealousy and selfish ambition"? _____________________________________________________________________________

  4. V. 16 – What outward evils result from "jealousy and selfish ambition"? __________________
    ____________________ Why? _________________________________________________
    Do you see these things in your life? ______________________________________________