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Sandcastles Before Tide, Part 2

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2023 12:00 am

Sandcastles Before Tide, Part 2

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 1, 2023 12:00 am

(James 3:14-16) This is the conclusion to a sermon that began on our last broadcast. Envy is to our souls what mold is to a house. It spreads unnoticed until it has consumed every facet of our lives.

Listen to the full-length version, or read the manuscript of this message here:


Chlamydia will infect 90 million people this year worldwide. Gonorrhea will infect 30 million people this year.

Many of these sexually transmitted diseases, though treatable, are incurable and will set the stage for cancer, blindness, infertility, heart disease, and death. But not a warning. Why? Because this is a moral issue.

That's why. And you don't touch a moral issue with your prudish Victorian standard. If you do, you're intolerant. We live in a culture that seeks to avoid any mention of or adherence to objective moral standards. Most people believe that they or their culture determine what is moral. The reason for that is that humans have exalted themselves to the position of God.

People are unwilling to submit themselves to God's moral standard. That's one of the marks of worldly wisdom. There are more and we're looking at those marks today. On our last broadcast, Stephen began a message that he didn't have time to complete. We're going to bring you the second half of that message right now. Now what James has actually been doing before arriving in verse 15 is giving us characteristics of worldly wisdom. And he'll give us five of them.

And so let me give them to you for the sake of an outline or to sort of hang your mental hats along these pegs. The first one that we've already seen is that this kind of wisdom is self-promoting. Verse 14. It is also secondly self-deceived. That is it lies against the truth.

Third it's short sighted. James now will say the wisdom of the world is tragically short sighted. He says in verse 15 look there now the wisdom of the world is earthly earthly. By the way it might surprise you to discover that James refers this to this as wisdom.

He says the world has wisdom. Now the worldly wise man knew how to build a house if you go back into that parable and explore it a little more carefully maybe you'll do that at some point or no personal study. He understood like the wise man he understood the principles of engineering and construction and masonry and woodworking. The problem wasn't that he didn't know how to build a house.

He didn't know where he didn't know upon what to build a house that would stand. There is a way that seems right to a man. It seems wise but the other of is the way of what death. So the earth looks everywhere but up. In fact the earth really doesn't look forward. It doesn't look into the future revealed to us by God's wisdom revealed in God's God's word. The tide according to this book is coming.

And in the sandcastles of earth will not stand. The safe house is the wise life built upon the rock of God's wisdom. So James now says that wisdom the wisdom of the world is not only self-centered and self-deceived and short sighted. It is also spiritually blinded.

Look back at verse 15. This wisdom is natural. The word James uses for natural is the Greek word Sukkot. It gives us our word psychology psyche.

It is the study of the human condition the natural condition of man. And depending upon your psychology professor or maybe even your psychologist he may or she may or may not take into account the supernatural creation that you are by God himself. You are more than a psyche.

You are a spirit. In other words God's wisdom James is saying is not according to the psyche of man the nature of man. God's wisdom is not natural. It is super natural. It does not come from within us.

It comes from outside of us. The natural man would say that the answers for your problems are within yourself. We would say they're not in yourself at all. In fact the apostle Paul uses the same word to describe the natural man who considers the things of the spirit of God to be foolishness and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The natural man by his own intuition God given knows there's something out there.

There's something beyond him. He will talk about spiritual things. He'll talk about spiritual experiences. He enjoys using the word spirituality or spiritual. And so a popular phrase today would be I'm not religious on what I'm spiritual whatever that means.

I think I know what he means. It means that he's in tune with something outside of himself and he doesn't need a church or a system of doctrine to tap into it. But according to God's word he is blinded to truth genuine spirituality in Christ because his spirit that connects with God has not yet been made alive by means of Christ's atonement.

Ephesians chapter 2 verse 5. So the unbeliever you meet on the street or you work with on the hallway or you go to class with they'll talk to you about their spiritual feelings or their spiritual experiences. They're fine talking about spirituality. Just don't tell him that the origin of true and lasting heavenly wisdom and spirituality is bound up in the person of Jesus Christ. That's when to walk away I'll say you're nuts you're out of your mind.

How can you be so restrictive. You see the God of this world is blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. Second Corinthians 4 verse 4.

I'll give you an example. Paul writes in first Corinthians one twenty three but we preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block into the Gentiles foolishness to stumbling back to the Jews. Why because they don't have a crucified Messiah. They can't get over the crucifixion that ruin everything. He's not the Messiah because he's crucified. The anointed one would not go through that.

So they stumble at that. The Gentiles can't get past their crucifixion because that's just the most ridiculous thing you could ever think of. Gods don't come and die at the hands of men men die at the hands of gods. That's how it works. A suffering abused rejected God doesn't make sense.

It's foolishness. You must be out of your mind. So you have Celsius a second century Greek philosopher who attacked Christianity throughout his life. If you wrote what happens to be the earliest known comprehensive attack on Christianity writing just after James passed away and he entitled this work that attack Christianity by the way ironically the true word he lived road he wrote that married committed adultery with a Roman soldier named Panthera a rumor that would be perpetuated through the centuries there are people today and liberal pulpits who believe that he went on to say that Mary then was divorced because of her adultery and she raised her son whom she named Jesus in Egypt and that's where Jesus learned sorcery in the dark arts.

Then as a young man he came back to his homeland where he presented himself as a god and substantiated it by performing miracles that were in reality enabled by a cultic powers. In other words Jesus is an Egyptian trained sorcerer who got carried away with his claims to be godlike and ended up dead. That should be the end of the story and Celsius would attack Christians by saying and I quote these Christians worship a dead man and quote but think about it apart from the spirit of God opening your eyes of the truth of the gospel it is absurd. There's nothing more absurd to the natural man than the belief that the blood of a crucified God could actually atone for and remove sin and secure salvation and give everlasting life.

You must be out of your mind. No wonder Paul wrote the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. First Corinthians 1 18. And what is the church doing today in our culture more and more. They're simply taking away the gospel. They're taking out parts of it that they don't like related to the atonement of Christ who was crucified for the payment of sin and the satisfaction of the wrath of God the father and for for the salvation of sinners who believe they don't want anything with that and so the emergent church one of the latest self-absorbed movements and Brian McLaren one of the leaders refers to the crucifixion as cosmic child abuse. The church is removing the gospel from the gospel to have nothing left illustrated well and something I read this past week a church was made a beautiful stone facing with arches and pillars the arch that led into the front doors of the chapel had carved into the stone the words we preach Christ crucified so they did for generations but Ivy slow in its growth but persistent grew up one side of the arch and came up around until it covered the last word until all you could see etched in the stone as we preach Christ and so they did they preached Christ the ideal man Christ the moral example Christ the good teacher Christ the positive thinker Christ the one in whom you tap into so that you could get whatever you want in life if you have enough faith and then the Ivy continued to grow until it simply said we preach I bother with Christ so the church preaches humanitarianism and economics and social issues and book reviews they preach but their preaching has long since ignored the cross of Christ until they finally come to the conclusion why have anything to do with Christ at all somebody came up to me after one of the services that you know the story really should have gone one step further the Ivy kept growing until all you had was the word we I told him I changed the story for this hour and that is all you're left with just us ladies and gentlemen those churches are nothing more than sand castles the wisdom upon which they are built will not stand against the holy tide and the tide is coming the tide is coming hosts of heaven will one day say this to Christ in the book of Revelation the believers will say you Lord you are worthy why because you were slain and you purchased us by your blood evidently the crucifixion matters at the end of time and then the next phrase which is built upon the crucifixion the atoning work of Christ gives this glorious promise and you have made believers to be a kingdom of priests to our God and they will reign with you on the earth listen after the judgment of God is swept away the wisdom of this world and those whose lives have been built upon the wisdom of this world have been judged the wisdom of God will run rampant through the earth like the waters of a flood and we with him will reign how do you know if you have wisdom from the world well James is telling us be warned the wisdom of the world is self-centered self-deceived short-sighted spiritually blinded and one more James adds it is demonic or we could call it self exalting because that's what the father of demons did exalting himself and his throne attempting to to reign over God himself and mankind in in in its disbelief does the same thing I will reign over God I will hope God accountable not the other way around so demonic in fact you could translate a demon inspired the wisdom of the world is devilish rather than divine the idea is it is self exalting to its own destruction if your wisdom is demon inspired it leads you to exalt yourself to reject the cross to justify your sin to trust in yourself it leads you away from repentance and from the Savior who is Christ it leads you into self-sufficiency and self-promotion and self-centeredness and self-deception and short-sightedness and spiritual blindness no matter how smart or beautiful or modern or clever it is fact it struck me as it ever occurred to you that the first time the word wise appears in scripture it appears in the Garden of Eden where Satan has successfully deceived Eve into believing that disobeying God rejecting God and eating that forbidden fruit would make her wise and it did the wisdom of the world she became wise to her nakedness and Adam with her she became wise to sin and rebellion she grasped with this new wisdom her own fear now of God so that she and Adam ran and hid and what would follow lying and blame and treachery and murder so James basically says the same thing in verse 16 look there when you exalt yourself when you follow your own way that is your own ambition when you stir that pot and that's all you ever stir when you follow the wisdom of the world here's what's going to follow you disorder and every evil thing disorder is a word that speaks of confusion you can understand it with the word anarchy it's chaos James phrase every evil thing refers to corruption follow the world's wisdom and what do you get confusion we don't know why right from wrong we don't know from down we're left to ourselves I guess whatever is true for me is true whatever is true for you is true even though they totally contradict I guess that's wise confusion and corruption every wicked and sinful thing becomes possible and even acceptable when the wisdom of God is abandoned and rejected and ignored couldn't think of one of our own culture which is abandoning God's wisdom as quickly as a schoolboy can run from a bully so today and I just pulled up a few statistics as I did a little surfing pages and pages I'll give you a few paragraphs here's our culture eighth grade boys are playing violent video games now an average of 23 hours a week you think where are the where's the wisdom of the parents in that maybe the more telling statistic is that for the first time in American history for the first time based on the census for the first time in American history less than one half of U.S. households consists of married couples in other words we've reached the point where it's tilted now there are more couples cohabiting and raising children than marrying this year nearly three million teenagers will become infected with a sexually transmitted disease three million American teenagers should we sound a warning I went to one site put out by CNN health and the warning give all the warnings you know how to how to be as safe as possible and the last line was good luck have fun and be safe and to the world that's wise you compare however the warnings and the international panic caused by the flu you remember H1 in one you remember that H1 in one people shown in different countries wearing masks and gloves that same CNN health report said that here's how many people died from that specific flu virus that specific flu virus worldwide one hundred and forty five and almost understand those warnings were appropriate one life is worth all the effort consider the lack of warning in that syphilis will infect twelve million new people this year worldwide it will take the lives of tens of thousands of people in fact one person every two weeks will die of syphilis in America have you heard a warning I missed that CNN report I didn't read the article out of the news and observer chlamydia will infect ninety million people this year worldwide gonorrhea will infect thirty million people this year worldwide many of these sexually transmitted diseases though treatable are incurable and will set the stage for cancer blindness infertility heart disease and death but not a warning why because this is a moral issue that's why and you don't touch a moral issue with your prudish Victorian standard if you do you're intolerant just good luck ladies and gentlemen the tide is coming in I visited one country in Africa the population so massively infected by HIV in twenty years it will not exist and still the teenagers line up at night and choose their partner they have nothing to live for the solution is not be safe the solution is be saved at the same time the gospel is being denigrated in our culture the only thing that has any hope the fastest growing religion in terms of percentages in America today is Wicca a neo-pagan religion that is sometime referred to sometimes referred to as witchcraft we are now being castigated by the secular media in new terminology one recent movie like in Christians to Islamic jihadists bent on world domination this past year a woman in Houston Texas was ordered by local police to stop handing out gospel tracts to children who on Halloween knocked on her door we could go page after page of all the darkness it happens to be a wonderful opportunity to know the light the darker it becomes the more brilliant the light of one individual but the world in this darkness is growing more and more confused and more and more corrupt the tide is coming in let me share with you as we close my I think it illustrates well this building the life that we ought to build on the wisdom of God my mother and father bought a couple acres are still serving full time as missionaries they bought a couple acres out on the out on the country it's no longer country and they built a small one-story ranch home they began building it when I left for my freshman year of college they moved they did tell me where they moved to which was nice of them so I could come home I came home just in time to help my father that summer because of their attempts to save all the money they could my father and a contractor friend who had a license as a believer built the house my father did as much as he could and I came home in time in July to put on those long sleeve shirts and get under the house and unroll the insulation it was a great bonding time between my father and I that's a joke all right well anyhow when the flooring when the flooring was finished and the bricklayers were coming in to put in the hearth and the fireplace they worked one afternoon and then they left and my father and I came over he walked into the garage into the little kitchen area you look through the little eating area the counter into the family room and the wall where the fireplace was being built and it had been built the hearth and it was about five and a half feet high and my dad and I looked across and looked at that and just stared for a while and then just leaned I said daddy you think that's crooked he looked at he said Stephen I thought the same thing we called the contractor he came and looked at it he said it's crooked had to tear it down so he had the crew tear it down to the hearth a couple of days later my father and I came in walked in through the garage into the end of the kitchen we looked directly across to the family room they built it up back up about five and a half feet high this time and we both stared at it and I said dad is it crooked to you and he said it's crooked I'm not a builder and sure enough we called the contractor and he said he looked at he said it's crooked he had him tear down in fact they tore out the hearth as well and started at the wooden floor a couple days later my dad and I came over marched in through the garage marched up in there looked right away it was finished all the way up to the ceiling and it was straight I overheard my father talking to the contractor and he asked him what happened and he said the contractor told him he said well you know Keith we're trying to save every penny we can which means we use the lowest bidder and they were a young inexperienced crew and my dad said well what happened the third time the contractor said oh that time I stayed behind and worked with them and we got it right beloved try as you might you will never build your life straight and true on your own that's why God in his grace has given us an inspired contractor called his word and the helper his spirit that applies the word in our lives so that we apply it correctly and we build lives that are right his wisdom is the only way to build in fact his wisdom is the only true foundation upon which we are to build our lives the tide will eventually come in the only place to stand the only place to build your life upon is upon the written word this book and the living word who is Jesus Christ everything else is sinking what sand apart from the wisdom of heaven everything else is like building sandcastles before the coming of the tide so if you do not yet believe I commend to you the gospel of Jesus Christ which is Christ crucified buried and resurrected if you believe in Jesus Christ I commend to you the wisdom of James who says that now as believers we still have the battles of selfish ambition and rivalry in our hearts we will struggle with our hearts we'll struggle with those things we'll wanna to foster and embrace and stir and and keep hot and ready we are to live distinctively different kinds of lives in our darkening culture and they will differ in this as we grow in wisdom will grow away from that which is self-centered and self-deceived and short-sighted and spiritually blinded and self-exalting this is the encouragement and challenge from James these are his words to the wise today we've explored these marks of worldly wisdom things that we need to uproot from our own hearts when we come back next time Stephen will continue through this series to show you the ways of true godly wisdom be sure and join us for that this is wisdom for the heart your Bible teacher Stephen Davey is the president of wisdom international you can learn more about our ministry at visit or call 866-48-bible for information and join us next time on wisdom for the heart. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-01 00:54:09 / 2023-06-01 01:02:51 / 9

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