Wisdom and Faith?
James pt 4
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 4 November 2018
The announced sermon title was “Wisdom and Faith.” That is the sort of title I do not like, a combination of two abstract nouns. It is bad communication as abstract nouns, particularly words like faith, are often understood as different things by different people. We really need to work on being understood. Fortunately, the sermon itself had content to explain what was meant.
But before the service was set up time. I arrived shortly before the end of the early service in order that my percussive things would be ready for a before service practice. This was because there was a choir concert the previous night, so there was no gear left set up from Friday’s rehearsal. The early service was over before 10 am, so we were not too rushed. We ran through a few things and were able to leave silence before the service.
As for the service, it is hard to be objective as I was involved, but there were a couple of things in the sermon which struck me. What follows is my impression of the sermon. It does not include all that is said and may contain details not in in the original sermon.
Our words are important as they dictate the direction our lives will take in the same way a rudder directs a ship. Words can be positive, such as the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr or negative, like the words of dictators that can start wars. Watch what you say and how you say it.
The wisdom of God:
There are two types of wisdom, the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world.
God’s power and wisdom is Jesus. What God wants is for us to have a relationship with him and each other through Jesus in love. The wisdom of the world, which shows itself in putting yourself first and boasting, has its source ultimately demonic according to James 3:15.
God cannot ignore sin – there has to be judgement. That is bad news, but the Gospel is the good news that God’s wisdom is shown in the cross. God cannot overlook sin, but loves us. This is illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son.
God takes responsibility for sin in Jesus, breaking the power of sin on the cross. When we know the love of God through the Holy Spirit the attributes in James 3:17 will start to flow naturally in our lives. We are under the Grace of God and these things are the evidence of God in our lives.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
All we have in the Holy Spirit is wrapped up in Jesus. We already have it, it is a gift from God. Let us live it as a reality.