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Controlling The Powerful Tongue

Controlling The Powerful Tongue

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Controlling The Powerful Tongue

James 3:1-12

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.

See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

  1. Not everyone should teach. (vv. 1-2)
    • What does this mean? 
    • Why did James make this statement? (vv.1-2)
    • Teachers receive a stricter judgment. (v.1; Matthew 18:6-7)
    • It is very difficult NOT to sin with the tongue. (v. 2)
  1. The tongue is small but powerful. (vv. 3-5)
    • The tongue is like:
    • A small bit that turns a large horse. (v.3)
    • A small rudder that turns a large ship. (v. 4)
    • A small fire that ignites an inferno. (v.5)
    • These are good examples because:
    • We don’t typically realize what damage the tongue can or will do until after it has already happened.
    • What damage does it inflict?
  1. The tongue is not tameable, yet is powerful for good.
    • The tongue has incredible power to harm. (v. 6)
    • Only God can tame the “untameable” tongue.
    • When we accept forgiveness, and receive salvation…the process immediately begins.
    • It is totally inconsistent for Christians to misuse the tongue. (vv. 9-12)
    • What is controlling your tongue?