Thoughts on the Sunday School Lesson
by Pastor Artee Williams
Sunday, February 11, 2017 (Previous Lessons Click Here)
Subject: A Disciplined Faith/ Taming The Tongue
I. Key background scriptures
Psalm 57:4 Proverbs 16:27 Proverbs 18:21
The book of James contains instructions for believers regarding the necessity of profession matching practice. James encourages believers to live out in practice what they profess to believe.
In James chapter 2, believers are told that the world will know who we are by what we do/ good works.
In James chapter 3, believers are told that the world will know who we are by what we say.
James teaches that believers will not only demonstrate the reality of their faith through good works, but also through the ability to control the tongue.
The key message in James 3: 1-12 is self-control.
Believers demonstrate their spiritual maturity through self-control not only of the tongue but the entire body.
James utilizes illustrations and strong rebukes to challenge his readers to strive for spiritual maturity.
So good works, controlling the tongue and body are signs of spiritual maturity.
Spiritual maturity is a strong witness to the world.
III. Points to ponder
1. James appeals to his brethren or fellow believers in verse 1, that they not be so quick to become teachers. James is warning those who may not be fully qualified to teach because of the weight of responsibility connected to teaching. In others words James was concerned with what those teachers would say or teach. James warns that teachers will be judged by what they teach.
2. In verse 2 James warns believers about the power of the tongue to offend or cause others to stumble or fall.
3. In verse 2 James also teaches that the “perfect man” or spiritually mature man is disciplined in his speech ( self-restraint) and is also able to keep his body in check.
4. In verse 2 James also teaches that the tongue can either encourage or discourage others.
5. Using the illustration of a horse and ship in verses 3-4 James points out that both appear difficult to control, but can be controlled. James is teaching that it is illogical for a believer to think he is free to say whatever he wants because he cannot control his tongues, if horses and ships can be controlled so can the tongue.
6. In verse 5 James teaches that the tongue though small can ignite a big fire. In other words the tongue has destructive power. Words do matter. If a spark in the woods can cause a wildfire, imagine the damage that can be inflicted by a boastful tongue.
7. In verse 6 James teaches that the root cause of a destructive tongue is the influence of hell. Those who refuse to control the tongue are being influenced by a hellish influence. Left to this type of influence, the tongue can destroy lives and ruin reputations.
8. In verses 7-8, James points out that it is impossible for a man to tame or bring under control his tongue in his own power. Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible for a man to control his tongue.
9.In verses 9-10 James gives his readers a strong rebuke against cursing( wishing ill on a brother or sister ) For James cursing is not profanity but having the audacity to wish evil on someone who was made in the imagine of God. James is emphatic in saying these kind of things should never be the mark of a believer. In other words James is teaching that the greatest use of the tongue is for praising God.
10.In verse 10 James demand an immediate end to the practice of cursing a brother or sister and shames his readers by saying it is not becoming of believers. The speech of believers must be consistent, it cannot alternate between blessing and cursing.
11. In conclusion James teaches that consistency in speech is a sign of the believers spiritual maturity and the best use of the tongue is not for cursing others but for praising God.
IV. Compelling challenge
The world can know that believers practice what we believe by what we say and do.
What we say and do can make a difference in the home, community, church and even the world.
Are you willing to be the difference that makes a difference ?
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