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Read Introduction to James


“This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.”



“Sensual” means belonging to the soul and refers to the natural mind and physical aspects of man. This has to do with our appetites and passions – life in the natural world, the fallen world. There is nothing higher in man. The wisdom of the previous verse is wisdom typical of human nature, not divine nature. That is soulish wisdom, not spiritual wisdom.

1 Co 2:14-16, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

Jude 19, “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”


The combination of “bitter envy” and “self-seeking” produces a calloused attitude to God and others.   


The wisdom that gives rise to strife does not come from God. Do you find yourself full of bitter envy and self-interest? “Yes, I have alienated myself from family and friends. I have developed a calloused attitude toward people and life as a whole.” The combination of “bitter envy” and “self-seeking” will do this every time. This is a difficult position to shed.