james 3:10 meaning
What comes out of our mouths is usually an accurate index of the health of our hearts. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. If we want a steady heart in an unsteady world, among unsteady people, during unsteady days, we need to be upheld by God. 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 … My brethren, these things ought not so to be." At the beginning of his argument, James had urged his hearers, âYou need to recognize that you have become a new creation in Christ Jesus, indeed a kind of firstfruits of his creationâ (compare with 1:18). A small fire can destroy an entire forest; all it takes is an uncontrolled spark. I am a wretched man! It is from within, âout of the heart,â that the mouth speaks (compare with Matthew 12:34; 15:18â19). We were created as the image of God to bless God. 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. 20) Resolved: To speak words of restoration when I see another wander. The mastery of it is one of the clearest marks of a whole person, a true Christian. I have the privileged status of being a resident alien in the United States. Now, third, a series of vivid pictures flashes rapidly across Jamesâs mind as he thinks about the power of the tongue. Many â although I do not number myself among them â seem to find speech easy. The light has exposed the darkness in its every crevice. In this way Jamesâs words exemplify the central purposes of the teaching and preaching of Godâs Word. But when we are brought to see this, stripped bare of our layers of self-deceit, and led to repentance, then God may make something of us. All the guilt can be cleansed away! . The tongue that is under his lordship always shares that tendency. As we come upon it in chapter 3, he has already shown (1) how spiritual maturity develops through response to suffering, and (2) how spiritual maturity is enhanced by response to the Word. (Read James 3:13-18) These verses show the difference between men's pretending to be wise, and their being really so. You do not begin to be a Christian until your mouth is shut, is stopped, and you are speechless and have nothing to say. A Fire (verse 6). But James does not write as one who has âarrived.â He is conscious of his own shortcomings: âFor we all stumble in many waysâ (verse 2). Specifically, that what one does (or says) proves what they really believe. A World (verse 6). This is a wonderful statement. That sin has twisted and polluted our speech. Woe, woe, woe is me!â. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak. James Chapter 3 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. As words that have been formed in Godâs mouth are digested as the bread of life by us, they begin to form our thinking, affections, and volitions in a wonderful way. When I do, the result is âteaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing. Do you want to follow the example of Jesus? KJV: King James Version . For the truth is that Jamesâs teaching cannot be rightly interpreted without realizing that it is rooted in the teaching of and energized by the grace of âfaith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of gloryâ (James 2:1). âA foolâs tongue,â Bruce Waltke wryly notes, âis long enough to cut his own throatâ (Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs: Chapters 1â15, NICOT [Eerdmans, 2004], 102). Yet, James urges us to consider the … He does so in a series of six woe pronouncements (Isaiah 5:8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22). The spiritual masters of the past understood this to have a double reference. . âIf a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, âGo in peace, be warmed and filledâ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?â (James 2:15â16). James says, “Sho… No matter what graces you may have developed, if you have not gained tongue mas tery, you can besmirch them all by an unguarded and ill-disciplined comment. âWoe is me! You are our most prominent and most eloquent preacher.â, I think I hear Isaiah say in response, âYou do not understand. . The resulting effect will be to âreprove, rebuke, and exhortâ (2 Timothy 4:2). Darkness and distress will ensue â the terrible judgment of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 5:26â30). The young Jonathan Edwards penned a number of his Resolutions around this theme. It expresses a damnable contradiction in our very being. The tongue is like the bit in the mouth of a horse. (From Lutherâs 1522 preface [to the New Testament], cited from Martin Luther, Selections from his Writings, [Doubleday, 1962], 19. James may well have been familiar with this picture from common experience in daily life. The original heavens and earth … Only when we have been thus silenced are we in any position to begin to speak. . I take the author of this little book to have been James, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus. The language expresses the stunned silence felt in the presence of major disaster or death (See, J.A. James 3:10. There is a greater degree of accountability for teachers because they (James 3:8â12). All along James has been focusing on how to live as Christians in the midst of continuing, ever-present trials in a twisted and fallen world. So James sees that the tongue is an instrument of extraordinary power, out of all proportion to its size. Which is not only a contradiction, but unnatural, as well as wicked and sinful: my brethren, these things ought not so to be: in any, and much less in professors of religion: such things are unbecoming men, are a scandal upon human nature, and exceeding … . The tongue is small. Godâs Word sanctifies us. James uses two analogies here to make the point that the tongue is small, but mighty: the bit and the rudder. In the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly tells people to follow him. Are we fighting it? This message appears as a chapter in The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lordâ (James 5:14). And when you know that he has taken Godâs judgment and wrath against your every sinful word, you cannot but come to him and say: âO, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemerâs praise.â. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judgeâ (James 4:11). Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? It is blatant hypocrisy, double-mindedness, and sin to bless God and then casually curse those who have been made as his very likeness. . How appropriate that, when photographically magnified, it would appear like an entire world of death and darkness, full of dangerous craters. Authorship: The author is identified only as James, and there are four men so named in the New Testament. So it is with the tongue. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Teachers should be conscious of the weight and potential influence of what they say because words lie at the heart of the teaching ministry. But people often remind me, âYou have an accent.â (That said, it is one of the wonderful things about the presence and work of Christâs Spirit in preaching that, fifteen minutes into the exposition, it is possible that others cease to notice the accent and hear only his accent.). Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. James 3:1â12 contains the single most sustained discussion in the New Testament on the use of the tongue. The tongue is âa world of unrighteousness.â I remember reading a picture quiz in an in-flight magazine many years ago. The tongue is âset among our members, staining the whole body.â How careful you are as you put on a dress for a wedding, especially if it is your own. It has an inbuilt need to guard its own territory, to destroy rivals to itself, to be the king of the beasts. So it is with the tongue. Chapter 3 The apostle here reproves ambition, and an arrogant magisterial tongue; and shows the duty and advantage of bridling it because of its power to do mischief. âTherefore, confess your sins to one anotherâ (James 5:16). . The more I awake in the morning and feed myself with the Scriptures and the more I am saturated with the Word under a biblical ministry, the more the word of Christ will do the sanctifying work in me and on me, and consequently the more Christ will train my tongue as his Word molds and shapes me. According to statisticians, the average person spends at least one fifth of his or her life talking. Matthew sees our Lord Jesus as fulfilling the prophecy of the first of the Servant Songs in the second half of the prophecy of Isaiah: He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench. Youâre not from around here . âMy brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Rather it may be the questions people ask when you leave the room. Bible Language English. . Do you speak like someone who âsoundsâ a little like Jesus because, born broken in your consciousness of your sinful tongue, you have found pardon and renewal in Christ, and now his Word dwells richly in you? The ship that originally was to transport Paul across the Mediterranean en route to Rome held 276 people (Acts 27:37). Ask the class to follow along, looking for how James described those who do not offend others with their words. In that light we can discern a profoundly gospel-centered pattern in what James is seeking to accomplish as a pastor of the souls of his readers. When I was a child, our family physician used to ask us to stick out our tongues. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. A bit is a relatively small instrument, but when you put it into a horse’s mouth, you can control the entire horse. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. I carry a green card. God jealously yearns for the full devotion of His children. Then we need to grasp a second principle. The same thing is true of a ship’s rudder. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. There is no more powerful passage in the Old Testament than Isaiah 6; but it is often read as if it were detached from Isaiah 1â5. Only when we have been brought to such a recognition do we realize how dangerous and destructive our tongues have been. This tiny appliance controls the enormous power and energy of the horse and is used to give it direction. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. Cancel. Let him sing praiseâ (James 5:13). Is there more to this than meets the eyes? Are we left to go to the local Christian bookstore, or attend a seminar or conference, in order to know how to sanctify the use of the tongue? My tongue is ongoingly cleansed and transformed by (if I may so express it) what comes from Godâs tongue. Both the book of Proverbs and our Lord Jesus spoke with searching clarity about the nature and use of the tongue. âIs anyone among you suffering? Here, as well as in other places, he is completely in harmony with the way the apostle Paul employed all his God-given powers: âHim we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. Guarding the heart involves guarding the tongue. Was this one reason why our Lord visited him, in particular (as he did Simon Peter), after the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7)? âPray for one another, that you may be healedâ (James 5:16). The Christians he is writing to are struggling and their struggles have led them to be tempted to even question God's presence, care, and activity in their lives. 3) Resolved: To set a watch over my mouth. We all use our tongues. Jam 3:9-10 are closely connected with the foregoing; but not as if “the unstedfastness of the tongue is further described” (de Wette), nor as if the duplicity of the tongue is added as a new point (Lange), but for the purpose of prominently showing how the tongue, although it praises God, yet proves itself to be an … The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. Isaiah sees creatures who are perfectly and perpetually holy cover their faces before the glory of the One who is eternally, infinitely, inherently, uncreatedly holy. For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishesâ (James 4:13). It is a word spoken primarily to bring conviction of sin. I sometimes wonder if this is a distinctively evangelical sin. Version. It is an âought not to be,â like a spring that spouts forth both fresh and salt water. Notice Jamesâs axiom: the mature person is able to âbridleâ his tongue. Wow, are you really from Westminster Seminary?â. . One seemed to be a striking photograph of the moon with all its craters â a dark world of death. You are not a Christian unless you have been made speechless! Whether suddenly or slowly, life is eaten away and destroyed. 17) Resolved: To ask for the prayers of others when I am sick. We will examine this teaching in order to accomplish three goals: (1) to âwalkâ through James 3:1â12 in order to feel the weight of its appeal; (2) to set this teaching in context of the whole book of James to discover that it is, in effect, only the tip of the iceberg of what he has to say about our speech; (3) to place these words in the broader gospel context that lies behind the book of James. Was this the place to which our Lordâs body would have been taken were it not for the thoughtfulness of Joseph of Arimathaea? James 1:12, 22-24 - What does the Bible say about perseverance? We do not think the same or act the same because we serve a different Master. Recent generations have, after all, been educated to be able to speak, to contribute to discussion and debate, to express themselves by the spoken word rather than by writing (as was true of my generation â at least in my native land of Scotland). How we use our tongues provides clear evidence of where we are spiritually. . James 1:12 - What are the five heavenly crowns that believers can receive in Heaven? Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. I John 2:17 likewise tells us, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”. For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. That is a parable of spiritual reality. From his assumed security he had pronounced six devastating maledictions. In this connection it is salutary to remember the thrust of Paulâs most basic and powerful presentation of our need for the gospel. Perhaps, in the context of a book coming from a Desiring God conference, we may be permitted to take a leaf out of Jonathan Edwardsâs Resolutions and express the burden of the practical exhortations implicit in James in a similar fashion. All rights reserved. He was all talk but no control, all words but without weight. People need to have their mouths shut, âstopped.â . Nobody â Jesus excepted â has succeeded in mastering the tongue! 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. Since it involves having our eyes opened to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), God ordinarily regenerates us in the context of the truth of the gospel illuminating our minds. In whimsical moments I think I can see Isaiah as he staggers into the house of his friend Benjamin later that day, ashen faced, shaken to the roots by his experience. Presumably out of both biblical knowledge and personal experience. All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Weâre on a mission to change that. Our tongues are so often the most obvious index of that ungodly drive at the center of our being. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”. Large ships were not unknown in the ancient world. The tongue carries into the world the breath that issues from the heart. It involves the ability to restrain the tongue in silence. In typical fashion, James sets his trap and then springs it! As the doors open at my floor and I step out, someone will occasionally call, âYou have an accent. When we are struggling with anxiety, fear, or guilt about our lives we listen easily to the devil's voice about ourselves and our situations. As the clerk looked at the form he gasped: âAre you from the Westminster Seminary?â he asked, and then said excitedly, âThis is amazing. 14) Resolved: To never allow anything but total integrity in my speech. It rarely seems to strike us that it is precisely here, therefore, in our speech, that sin is most likely to abound. James 3:1-12. But notice carefully how God regenerates us: âOf his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creation.â Regeneration is a sovereign work of God, yes; but it does not ordinarily take place in a vacuum. This was the âsecretâ of the Lord Jesusâ own use of his tongue. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Alas for me, it is in the very instrument God has called me to use, in the very area of my life in which others call me âgifted,â that sin has most deeply entangled itself. But the slaying of inner pride and the illumination of our minds in regeneration create a new disposition and affection. 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. NKJV, Ancient-Modern Bible, Comfort Print: One faith. âMy brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sinsâ (James 5:19â20). By the same token, sin may find its easiest exit route from our hearts via the mouth. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within meâ (Colossians 1:28â29). Having found him a room the clerk invited him to fill in the guest form. . The principle is this: what comes out of our mouths is more and more determined by what has come out of âthe mouth of God.â The sanctification of the tongue is a work in us that is driven by the Word of God coming to us as we hear it and indwelling us as we receive it. Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? James walks in their footprints. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Lloyd-Jones, Romans, Exposition of Chapters 3:20â4:25, Atonement and Justification, [Banner of Truth, 1970], 19). Of course, all this is naturally true of the unregenerate man. Answer: Second Thessalonians 3:10 reads, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.’” This verse is set in the context of 2 Thessalonians 3:6–15, … James 3:10 New King James Version 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. The answer is that his mouth is âshut.â I like this forthrightness of the Gospel. 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. âWhere does he come from?â âDo you know where she belongs?â. As the heart hears with open ears the Word of God again and again, it is renewed and begins to produce a transformed tongue. Now he goes on to show that (3) spiritual maturity is evidenced by the use of the tongue. . If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. But James is saying this is not a hopeless circumstance at all. In James 3:1-18 we see that the tongue has power; that it is by nature hypocritical; and that it can only be transformed from above. Articles that contain references to James 3. he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his waysâ (James 1:5â8). Indeed, whenever there is such analysis in the New Testament letters there is ordinarily practical counsel written into the teaching itself. He would later think better of it. James 3:10 (King James Version) 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (Matthew 12:19â20, quoting Isaiah 42:2â3). His gospel method is in three steps. Do you wish you could control your tongue better? For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything . NIV: New International Version . This is Isaiahâs âtwin towersâ day, the 9/11 moment in his spiritual experience. are you?â That is surely a parable of what it is possible for the people of God to become in the way we use our tongues, as by Godâs grace we learn to speak with a Jesus-like accent. One might think here of the ease of speech but emptiness of weighty words in the life of John Bunyanâs Mr. Talkative. 4 And let steadfastness have … The prophet meets with the exalted God whose majestic presence seems to flood the temple. If such words could be spoken to professing Christians serious enough in their faith to experience persecution and suffer privation in a world that was becoming increasingly inhospitable to the followers of the Way â how much more devastating are they when addressed to pampered, often self-indulgent professors of Christianity in the early twenty-first century? It is from such a hell that destructive words arise. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. New King James Version (NKJV), Gain a concise, fundamental grasp of what the Bible is all about with our new, NKJV, Vines Expository Bible, Comfort Print: A Guided Journey Through the Scriptures with Pastor Jerry Vines, NKJV Word Study Bible: 1,700 Key Words that Unlock the Meaning of the Bible, NKJV, The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People. Jesus said: âFor out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaksâ (Matthew 12:34). Delivered, albeit not yet perfected and glorified, your tongue now shows forth his praises. Isaiah has been ripping up the consciences of his sinful contemporaries. I have just recently become a Christian. The answer follows in chapter six. How do you know whether a man is a Christian? To apply Jobâs principle to our present subject, we need to learn to say, âI will make a covenant with my tongue.â. The tongue is also like the rudder in a boat. Yet the evidence unquestionably favors one candidate. [My goal] is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, Philippians 3:10(HCSB) Verse Thoughts. James 3:10, NLT: "And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same … If so, it is difficult not to share with James a sense of disgust. 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. If the mastery of the tongue is a sign of maturity, it is so for all Christians. Temptation, and therefore spiritual compromise, often find their easiest access route to the heart via the eyes. Everything around Isaiah seems to be disintegrating. 3- God’s Remedy (vss. Later experience with antinomianism would clarify his thinking on the importance and value of Jamesâs perspective.). You need to come, conscious of the sin of your lips, and say: God, be merciful to me, a sinner. Those who profess religion ought especially to govern their tongues (v. 1-12). It is relatively small compared to the size of the ship, but with his hand on the wheel or tiller, the pilot can steer a mammoth ship, even in a strong wind.James’ poi… James hereby indicates, that if from one month the bitter (namely, the κατάρα) and also the sweet (namely, the εὐλογία) proceed, this is not only morally reprehensible, to which James 3:10 points, but is something impossible; accordingly, the person who curses man, who is made after the image of God, cannot also bless (praise) … James, however unbelieving he might have been during Jesusâ early ministry, has clearly absorbed his half brotherâs teaching and has been led by it to the multitude of Old Testament word pictures about the power and destructive ability of the tongue. James uses the biblical term Gehenna â the background reference being to the Valley of Hinnom on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. Why does James apparently give no practical counsel about how we are to deal with the tongue? Our only hope as we pursue the discipline of self that leads to mastery of the tongue is that we are Christâs and that we are being made increasingly like him. "For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, … . Guarding the eyes implied guarding eyes in the heart as well as in the head. It is more contradictory than anything we find in nature, like a fig tree bearing olives, a grapevine producing figs, a salt pond yielding fresh water. Introduce poison here and we endanger everything. Whatever its anatomical connections, its most significant connection is to the heart â whether hardened by sin or recreated by grace. Being âafflicted,â therefore, with an âaccent,â brief elevator rides â and the usual brief conversations that ensue there often give me a certain mischievous pleasure. âLet no one say when he is tempted, âI am being tempted by God,â for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no oneâ (James 1:13). Personal experience yet perfected and glorified, your tongue now shows forth his praises your sins to anotherâ... Sometimes Wonder if this is part of the same opening both fresh and salt?! Theology, Reformed theological Seminary are the five heavenly crowns that believers receive. Over my mouth looking for how James described those who are to be so this message appears as chapter. Evil, full of dangerous craters the mastery of it that will be âreprove! 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