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“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”


is first pure,

James lists eight characteristics of divine viewpoint in verses 17 and 18. The first is “pure.” It is first logically. This is the starting point of this list because of its importance to the rest of the list. If we do not have “pure” wisdom, we distort everything. Only the pure in heart can see God and fellowship with Him.

The word “pure” carries the idea of immaculate, free from fault, free from defilement. “Pure” is something not contaminated with something else and thus is free from blemish. This word does not mean pure in the sense of morality but in the sense of a capacity to receive divine truth and apply it to experience without mixing it with human viewpoint. This person can utilize a maximum of God’s grace in his soul. This is purity in the sense of maximum capacity to relate to the principles of God’s Word and apply them to experience.

The Bible calls God Himself “pure,” His wisdom is pure. It does not distort the divine viewpoint. Therefore, if we have God’s wisdom, we have a pure viewpoint.

1 John 3:3, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

When the Christian operates on God’s wisdom or divine viewpoint, his heart is pure in his judgments.

2 Co. 7:11, “For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

1 Tim. 5:22, “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

The first characteristic of wisdom, leading the seven which follow, is “pure.” It is “first” because there are many fake kinds of peace, mercy, etc. Purity comes before peace because it guides all successive virtues. It is first in time and rank.


There is no coexistence between divine viewpoint and human viewpoint because they are mutually exclusive.


God’s holiness and human sin cannot coexist. When we allow the divine viewpoint to take hold of our hearts, it cannot do anything but issue actions that please God. There is an integral relationship between divine viewpoint and the action of a believer. That is why God concerns Himself most with “pure” wisdom. The redeemed heart has the potential to be a wise heart with a wise viewpoint on life.