Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Tongue and Teachers - James 3:1-12

These sermon notes were taken from Pastor Tony Butler's sermon preached at Fountain of Grace Church on September 30, 2007
James 3
1Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

Teachers will receive the greater judgement and are held to a more strict standard because they are telling people what God's word says and means.

Make sure you know the context of the passage when you're teaching a class.

A mature or perfect man is at the place he was intended to be. It's a person who is never at fault with his speech. If a man can control his tongue, the discipline in that person's life is so great that he'll control his whole body.

3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Every one of us (especially teachers) are potential arsonists since we have tongues. The context of this passage is teachers, but the application is to everyone. The only thing that prevents forest fires due to to our tongues is maturity in Christ. The more mature we are in Christ, the less we feel the need for people to fulfil us. It's good to be content with God and satisfied with meditation on Him.

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water

If you don't control your tongue, it messes up your whole life.

Note to ladies: Keep your phone conversations short and your words brief when in conversations in a group.

Your tongue stays lit 24 hours a day. It's a world of evil and its source, if we're not controlled is hell itself. We nee to go to God far more than to other people. Be still and know that He is God.

It's impossible for you to tame the tongue, but not for God. We must understand how deadly the weapon we possess really is.

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