James 3:1-3:12

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Text: James 3:1-12

The Use and Misuse of the Tongue

I. James urges his readers not to all be teachers of the Word of God - 3:1-2a

1. Because those teaching the Scriptures will be judged by a higher standard than others - 3:1

James 3:1 - My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

2. Because all believers offend - 3:2

James 3:2 a - For in many things we offend all. . . .

II. Only perfect people who are able to control their whole bodies do not offend in what they say - 3:2

James 3:2 b - . . . If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

III. Horses are controlled by bridles and bits placed in their mouths - 3:3

James 3:3 - Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

IV. Ships are controlled by means of a rudder - 3:4

James 3:4 - Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

V. Although small, the tongue is capable of big things in the same way a small flame is able to start a large fire - 3:5

James 3:5 - Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

VI. The tongue can do much wrong and defile one's whole body and stir up passions, and the tongue is inflamed by Gehenna - 3:6

James 3:6 - And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

VII. Although all kinds of animals have been tamed - 3:7

James 3:7 - For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

VIII. No one can tame the tongue because it is an uncontrollable evil, filled with death-bringing poison - 3:8

James 3:8 - KJV James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

IX. The tongue is used to bless God, but it is also used to curse people whom God made in His own image - 3:9

James 3:9 - Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

X. The same mouth is used both to bless and to curse, but it should not be used in this way - 3:10

James 3:10 - Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

XI. To illustrate this, a contrast is shown between sweet and bitter water - 3:11

James 3:11 - Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

XII. A contrast is also shown between figs and olives berries, and between salt and fresh water - 3:12

James 3:12 - Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.