a Test Series - James 3:1-12
Intro: It is one of the hardest tests you will ever take. The use of this real small body part can make or break, can destroy a marriage, split a church, ruin relationships. It’s nothing but a little tongue: But in might as well be a stick of dynamite, because it can blowup, might as well be a stick or stone, because it can break you bones. It might as well be a knife, because it can stab you right thru the center of your heart and stop you from moving. It can hurt beyond explanation. It can make you jump out of a window. It can make you give up your own flesh and blood because you can’t stand it, you hate that person who lives with you… What a trauma the tongue can create. But “It can be a good tongue!” It can be used for good with the simple statement: I LOVE YOU, the tongue can shared the gospel of Christ and convict the soul of the witness you were a part of. The tongue can change a frown into a smile. It can transform a sad into a happy person: “It can be a good tongue!” It doesn’t have to destroy, it can bring joy and this can turn into a test you passed with flying colors!
For "He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:10-11 THAT’S IT! REFRAIN YOUR TONGUE FROM EVIL AND YOU WILL HAVE A GOOD TONGUE! Just gave you the answer.
Text: James 3:1-12
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”
Application: God wants his people to control their tongues and to display true wisdom.
1. A Warning to the World’s Talkers: vs. 1-2
What is the first temptation common to us all, but especially to teachers? That of misusing the tongue. Those who misuse the tongue receive God’s condemnation. God’s Word does not discourage people from assuming the position of a teacher. It raises the dignity of the position by pointing out the dangers and responsibilities of the office for those who might otherwise neglect these requirements. It seeks to restrain the rush into the office by those who lack spiritual qualifications for it.
No believer—no matter how great a teacher he or she is or who he or she is—is free from stumbling and falling. Just the word patience and the lack of it say so much about the warning! One method of complying with the biblical warning about the tongue would be enforced silence. We must learn to control our tongue; the tongue is the way to becoming a perfect or mature and fully developed person. A person's maturity can be measured by the control of the tongue. The tongue is the way by which we can learn to control the whole body with all its appetites and passions. If a person will learn to control his tongue, he can learn to control any passion or appetite of the body.
2. A Wise Tongue is controlled: vs. 3-6
The tongue is a small organ, but it can control and influence major events in life. This muscular structure that forms part of the floor of the oral cavity is a gift from God; mankind wants to make it a curse to its recipients.
Interesting how such a small item can destroy so much: To explain this James illustrates three items; a bit, a rudder and a spark. A tongue is a very powerful item!
The tongue can be a little fire that sets ablaze and consumes a whole forest of people and relationships.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” Ephesians 4:31
3. A Wicked or Worthy Tongue: vs. 7-12
James describes the tongue as it is by nature. By nature the tongue could serve as a divisive instrument of evil. By grace the tongue can become an instrument of positive blessing. We must not conclude that our tongue is doomed to be an instrument of discord and strife. God can mold an abusive tongue into a force for good and righteousness: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:6
The wicked are not tamed and for many they will never be, the worthy can be tamed. Verse 7 mentions four classifications of earthly animals men have subdued or tamed: animals which could walk, fly, crawl, or swim. Although human beings can tame animals, they cannot tame their own tongues. The tongue is a restless evil, always busy creating more mischief. We must always keep the tongue under careful guard and never give it freedom to roam relentlessly, for it is full of deadly poison. Like the tongue of a serpent, the tongue deals out death.
The tongue is unruly, that is, restless, uneasy, unstable, always roaming about. And it is full of deadly poison. It can bless God in one breath and curse men in the next, men who are made in the image of God. It blesses God and curses men. Imagine! The very same tongue that blesses is the same tongue that curses. How many sit in church on Sunday or at meals blessing God and then turn around on Monday and curse or use foul and off-colored language? It is the same tongue that does both. How restless it is! It is just difficult to hold the tongue still, and when it speaks, it is just as liable to speak some curse word as it is to speak some blessing. The tongue must be controlled by believers. It is not fitting or right for a believer's tongue to be untamed. It is totally inconsistent for a believer's tongue to be untamed. A believer is just like a fountain, a fountain for God. Does a fountain that is supposed to bring forth sweet water bring forth bitter water? It is contrary to the nature of believers to have an untamed tongue. A believer is just like a fig tree. Does the fig tree bear olives? Or a vine, figs? No fountain yields both salt and fresh water. No good tongue yields both words of blessing and words of cursing. Only an evil tongue could do this. Wicked or Worthy, bitter or sweet water, it is a multiple choice answer, which one do you check off?
"While no man can tame the tongue, there is One who can. The Lord is no less able to control a lying, blaspheming, slanderous, gossiping tongue than He is to deliver the drunkard from alcohol, the gambler from the game table, the narcotics addict from drugs, or the lustful person from adultery."
It can be a good tongue – is it? The preparation for this test takes a life time are you studying? There is a review book, there is a tutor, there is guidance, and you can have a good tongue!
In : Sermon
Tags: "life is a test series" "book of james"
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