Jas 3:14-16 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. (15) This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (16) For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
Most all of us know now that RASNs (revilers, abusers, sociopaths, narcissists) regard themselves as better. As superior. As entitled. Everyone else is inferior, undeserving, and certainly not better. That is how these children of the devil think. This is what drives their actions and words.
The truth is that ALL of us enter this world dead in sin, hostile to God, selfish, and fleshly. Only by the new birth in Christ can we be set free of that old man and the devil. But the person who is propelled by bitter jealousy and selfish ambition (the RASN), that kind of person is demonic. Fleshly. Devoid of the Spirit. They create chaos, disorder, and their practices are vile. They may disguise themselves as a child of God, but in fact they are servants of Satan.
This is why James warns us so carefully about this business. He tells us to first look to ourselves and understand that we were born in sin just like all the rest. Paul reiterates the same in Ephesians 2. We must not exalt ourselves above our brethren in Christ. But just think carefully – how many professing Christians in your church (or in your past church) exalted themselves. There is that professional man who regards himself as far above the blue collar worker. Or that attorney. Or the lady with all the Bible answers – head of women’s ministries. This disease is ubiquitous. (Had to use that word. I think it means everywhere).
What right do any of us have to see ourselves as better than our fellow believers? And Scripture is warning us that if this arrogant superiority is the pattern of life in a person, that person is animated by demons. No, that is not an overstatement. It is what God’s Word says.
One of the things we watch for in our church now, having learned hard lessons, is that a true Christian, led by the Spirit, is humble. They look to serve others out of real love. They are teachable. They are open to biblical correction. They are not divisive – quite the contrary.
Here then is a really excellent biblical test to see if someone who claims to be a Christian, really is. Just watch for this demonic “wisdom” which is from below. Watch for that jealousy and selfish ambition. These things are some of the very earliest warning signs that someone is not at all what they appear to be.