Teachers should be conscious of the weight and potential influence of what they say because words lie at the heart of the teaching ministry. A sharp word, a loose sentence, a callous aside can cause a conflagration that cannot be extinguished. Click a link to see an entire chapter. Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1). My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Christ can deliver you from the misuse of the tongue. A seminary colleague once told me how, because of flight delays, he arrived late and very weary at a hotel where he had booked a room. At this stage James is chiefly concerned that we should have a sense of the convicting power of his teaching. The tongue is “a world of unrighteousness.” I remember reading a picture quiz in an in-flight magazine many years ago. Our tongues are so often the most obvious index of that ungodly drive at the center of our being. Various things photographed from unusual angles were presented, and the challenge was to guess what the objects actually were. Presumably out of both biblical knowledge and personal experience. Words can consume and destroy a life. The potential for multiplication of influence requires a canon of judgment that takes the measure of both responsibility and opportunity into account. But it also means being able to control it in gracious speech when that is required. But people often remind me, “You have an accent.” (That said, it is one of the wonderful things about the presence and work of Christ’s Spirit in preaching that, fifteen minutes into the exposition, it is possible that others cease to notice the accent and hear only his accent.). NIV: New International Version . A Restless Evil (verse 8). 7) Resolved: To never stand on anyone’s face with words that demean, despise, or cause despair. What is your life? James is not yet finished with his devastating analysis of the tongue. “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. He draws attention to a fourth characteristic as the analysis now rises to a crescendo of exposure: No human being can tame the tongue. This is a wonderful statement. "For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, … Are we fighting it? The answer is that his mouth is “shut.” I like this forthrightness of the Gospel. 4) Resolved: To be constantly quick to hear, slow to speak. he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5–8). We all use our tongues. “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door” (James 5:9). The answer follows in chapter six. For all the saints. in word or deed, do[ing] everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father” (Colossians 3:16–17). It mimics Satan in this respect, who, having rebelled against the God of peace, can never settle. This message appears as a chapter in The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. Here, then, are twenty resolutions on the use of the tongue to which the letter’s teaching gives rise: 1) Resolved: To ask God for wisdom to speak and to do so with a single mind. In this way James’s words exemplify the central purposes of the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. He was all talk but no control, all words but without weight. Delivered, albeit not yet perfected and glorified, your tongue now shows forth his praises. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Greetings.. 7-10) [7] Submit yourselves therefore to God. Bible Language English. Why does James apparently give no practical counsel about how we are to deal with the tongue? James Chapter 3 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. How do you know whether a man is a Christian? Later experience with antinomianism would clarify his thinking on the importance and value of James’s perspective.). I still recall the shivers that went down my spine on first reading, in 1970, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s exposition of these words: Paul now points out . The tongue is so set among our member… That sin has twisted and polluted our speech. The tongue that is under his lordship always shares that tendency. I have heard about your seminary! What a great way to think about an ordinary Christian life! And when we do, by God’s grace, we speak as those who have first been silenced. As the clerk looked at the form he gasped: “Are you from the Westminster Seminary?” he asked, and then said excitedly, “This is amazing. . Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. “Is anyone among you suffering? By the same token, sin may find its easiest exit route from our hearts via the mouth. So it is with the tongue. Now he realizes that the last and climactic woe must be pronounced against — himself! A Fire (verse 6). “If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth” (James 3:14). 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. James 3:10 NASB - from the same mouth come both blessing - Bible Gateway. He would later think better of it. The tongue carries into the world the breath that issues from the heart. He has discovered he is a “man of unclean lips.”, I think I can hear dear Benjamin reply sympathetically — worried that his friend of many years is becoming unstable: “Not you, Isaiah; you are the last person of whom that is true. He or she thinks the unthinkable and speaks unspeakable contradictions. Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Cancel. Where do you come from?” As I watch the doors begin to close, I say with a smile, “Columbia, South Carolina,” and watch the puzzled faces whose expression says, “Come on! Testing of Your Faith. My weary friend, who had had a miserable day, lost some self-control and started a small verbal blaze around the unfortunate employee, as if the problem were of the young man’s making. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. Temptation, and therefore spiritual compromise, often find their easiest access route to the heart via the eyes. . It is clear that he is steeped in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament Scriptures and also in the teaching of the Lord Jesus, to which his own teaching has many parallels. in faith with no doubting. Let him pray” (James 5:13). They teach everything you need to know for your salvation, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or hear any other teaching. God’s holy anger burns against them (5:25). But James’s words are applicable far beyond those who are called to teach. 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” (James … 13) Resolved: To never grumble, knowing that the Judge is at the door. It is by this means — yes, with private study — that the Word of God begins to do its own spiritual work in us. He was willing to be “oppressed and afflicted.” As he experienced this in his trial and condemnation, “he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). A bit is a relatively small instrument, but when you put it into a horse’s mouth, you can control the entire horse. Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:1–12 contains the single most sustained discussion in the New Testament on the use of the tongue. ], 77 ) a hopeless circumstance at all to pray for another. 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