james 3:10 meaning

At the end of the day, that is what spiritual maturity looks like — or better, sounds like — because of the transformation of our use of the tongue. “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?” (James 2:15–16). Sanctification in any area of our lives always expresses this double dimension — a putting off and a putting on, as it were. 17) Resolved: To ask for the prayers of others when I am sick. Please consider this request from John Piper and become a monthly partner by December 31. Why does James apparently give no practical counsel about how we are to deal with the tongue? I have the privileged status of being a resident alien in the United States. James 3:10, NASB: "from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. . How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! My brethren, these things ought not to be this way." We’re on a mission to change that. For a judicious assessment, see Dan G. McCartney, James, BECNT [Baker Academic, 2009] on 3:1–12). “Therefore, confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16). Revelation 3:10 Context. It is an example of pure religion (chapter 1), and an evidence of living faith (chapter 2). I carry a green card. And why? I sometimes wonder if this is a distinctively evangelical sin. The language expresses the stunned silence felt in the presence of major disaster or death (See, J.A. It has an inbuilt need to guard its own territory, to destroy rivals to itself, to be the king of the beasts. Jesus said: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). The Father opened the ear of his Son; the Son was not rebellious. How we use our tongues provides clear evidence of where we are spiritually. The tongue is “set among our members, staining the whole body.” How careful you are as you put on a dress for a wedding, especially if it is your own. All rights reserved. And when you know that he has taken God’s judgment and wrath against your every sinful word, you cannot but come to him and say: “O, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise.”. He or she thinks the unthinkable and speaks unspeakable contradictions. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1–4). The exhortation of Proverbs to “keep your heart with all vigilance” is immediately followed by an exhortation to “put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” (Proverbs 4:23–24). At this stage James is chiefly concerned that we should have a sense of the convicting power of his teaching. If we want a steady heart in an unsteady world, among unsteady people, during unsteady days, we need to be upheld by God. But the slaying of inner pride and the illumination of our minds in regeneration create a new disposition and affection. 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 doors closed, and I suspect everyone in the elevator almost instantaneously had the same thought: “She has been smoking!” In this confined “smoke-free” environment her breath could not be disguised. Out of the same mouth proceedeth, &c.— So that "out of one and the same mouth come forth blessings and praises in one mood, and curses in another. James often treats the matter of incongruity and shows that one cannot do two contradictory matters at the same time (cp. This tiny appliance controls the enormous power and energy of the horse and is used to give it direction. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." There is a “something” — almost indefinable — about the person who has clearly been converted to Christ. Only when we have been thus silenced are we in any position to begin to speak. How do you know whether a man is a Christian? So it is with the tongue. James Chapter 3 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. I have felt the pollution on my tongue. 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 — at least in my native land of Scotland). He was silent because of every word that has proceeded from your lips; because of every word that provides adequate reason for God to damn you for all eternity, because you have cursed him or his image. They are worth noting: How easily the failure to master the tongue can destroy the effect of every grace that had taken years to build into our lives! (D.M. . Perhaps, in the context of a book coming from a Desiring God conference, we may be permitted to take a leaf out of Jonathan Edwards’s Resolutions and express the burden of the practical exhortations implicit in James in a similar fashion. That is a parable of spiritual reality. Taken out of the pit and from the miry clay, on your lips is now a new song of praise to your God. . En route to give this address, I rode the hotel elevator with several others. . 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. 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. “Pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). (James 3:8–12). With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. For the truth is that James’s teaching cannot be rightly interpreted without realizing that it is rooted in the teaching of and energized by the grace of “faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (James 2:1). 6) Resolved: To speak in the consciousness of the final judgment. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. . But for the sensitive Bible reader the appearance of six woes creates an expectation that a climactic seventh woe is about to be pronounced. Why is there no practical counsel? The tongue is so set among our member… . 20) Resolved: To speak words of restoration when I see another wander. But why doesn’t that call ring out in the rest of the New Testament? Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? And yet, everyone still stumbles. He who thinks well, or he who talks well, is not wise in the sense of the Scripture, if he does not live and act well. In comparison with these, the epistle of St. James is an epistle full of straw, because it contains nothing evangelical. A Fire (verse 6). Perhaps here there is an echo of Genesis 3 and the deadly deceit of Eve by the serpent — with all its deadly and hellish consequences. The original heavens and earth … First a repetition of the saying in brief expressive combination, by which the accent is placed on αὐτοῦ. Of course it is by no means exclusively so. The same thing is true of a ship’s rudder. Humility, grace, peace and love are the precious spiritual fruit that should be evident in the life of all God's children.. who have gained wisdom and been given godly understanding - and the Lord Jesus Himself was the embodiment of all holy wisdom.. and the personification of godly humility. In this, as Isaiah’s song teaches us, our Savior is our Exemplar. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything . When I do, the result is “teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing. 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 … The mastery of it is one of the clearest marks of a whole person, a true Christian. God’s Word sanctifies us. It expresses a damnable contradiction in our very being. But he is not only, nor is he first of all, an exemplar. 9) Resolved: To resist quarrelsome words as marks of a bad heart. 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. This is the method of grace from beginning to end. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. Perhaps he remembers how he misspoke about Jesus, demeaning him during the days of his ministry. 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. 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 1–5. The spot need only be a small one, but it ruins everything. He is able to answer that prayer, and its companion petition: “Be of sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and power.”. In this connection it is salutary to remember the thrust of Paul’s most basic and powerful presentation of our need for the gospel. A World (verse 6). 12) Resolved: To always speak as one who is subject to the providences of God. But thank God that I am not the old man that I once was! A sharp word, a loose sentence, a callous aside can cause a conflagration that cannot be extinguished. Of course, all this is naturally true of the unregenerate man. It is in the very giftedness God has given that sin has been at its most perverse and subtle! My brothers, these things ought not to be so. We must know the power of the tongue (3:1-8) Most people want to be heard. Indeed, whenever there is such analysis in the New Testament letters there is ordinarily practical counsel written into the teaching itself. Authorship: The author is identified only as James, and there are four men so named in the New Testament. In this way James’s words exemplify the central purposes of the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. We live in a created order marred by sin. James 3:10-11. He bore in his body on the tree the sins of my lips and my tongue. It is blatant hypocrisy, double-mindedness, and sin to bless God and then casually curse those who have been made as his very likeness. When he stood before the high priest and the judgment seat of Pontius Pilate, he accepted a sentence of guilt. So, says Jesus, the tongue projects the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Yes, there needs to be rigorous activity — but it is in order to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” It is a receptive activity! With the words οὐ χρὴ ταῦτα οὕτως γίνεσθαι, James adds the condemnation of the conduct … Yet there is another side to this, a wonderfully encouraging side. 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. Turning to check the answers I was astonished to find it was in fact a photograph of a human tongue! . What better way to be heard as a believer than to be a teacher of the gospel? For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:28–29). The tongue can be the most powerful, destructive member in the entire body. Only then do we cry out to God in repentance and run to him with tears to seek forgiveness in the gospel. He had seen powerful Roman military horses and had probably heard stories of chariot races. Notice James’s axiom: the mature person is able to “bridle” his tongue. To apply Job’s principle to our present subject, we need to learn to say, “I will make a covenant with my tongue.”. James is blood earnest as he rips up the consciences of his contemporary readers, many of whom were, perhaps, once members of his dear flock in Jerusalem before being scattered abroad. The work of the Word inaugurates the Christian life, but it also sustains its progress. “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty” (James 2:12). . The tongue is small. Rather wonderfully, this is what James helps us to do throughout his letter. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. 10) Resolved: To never speak evil of another. Those who trust God, who really believe Him, begin to be changed in their speech, as well. A Restless Evil (verse 8). Truth in the mind forms truth in the heart, the very thing for which David prayed (Psalm 51:10), and which he realized would lead in turn to transformed speech: How important for us to recognize the power of new birth to create new affections, which in turn come to expression in the new speech patterns of the gospel! A small fire can destroy an entire forest; all it takes is an uncontrolled spark. James 3:10. His words are intended to be a sharp two-edged sword “piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The tongue is like the bit in the mouth of a horse. 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. Now he goes on to show that (3) spiritual maturity is evidenced by the use of the tongue. (Matthew 12:19–20, quoting Isaiah 42:2–3). Two that were insignificant in the early church were James … He asks (3:13a), “Who among you is wise and understanding?” Perhaps some of the self-appointed teachers were thinking, “I’m glad that you recognize my talents!” Then in his no-nonsense style, James springs the trap (3:13b): “Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.” It’s easy to claim to have wisdom. Cancel. . James 3:10, KJV: "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. It is a word spoken primarily to bring conviction of sin. It is that you “stop talking.” The trouble with the non-Christian is that he goes on talking. You are our most prominent and most eloquent preacher.”, I think I hear Isaiah say in response, “You do not understand. . Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. 8) Resolved: To never claim a reality I do not experience. He does so in a series of six woe pronouncements (Isaiah 5:8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22). We will examine this teaching in order to accomplish three goals: (1) to “walk” through James 3:1–12 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. James may well have been familiar with this picture from common experience in daily life. We must seek to do so for a very important reason. 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? The answer is that his mouth is “shut.” I like this forthrightness of the Gospel. Do you wish you could control your tongue better? Both the book of Proverbs and our Lord Jesus spoke with searching clarity about the nature and use of the tongue. “Whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped” (Romans 3:19). In order to help us to grasp how James does this, it will be helpful, further, to consider how this teaching fits in with the rest of the book. 3: 10-12). . My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”. That sin has twisted and polluted our speech. Version. Whether suddenly or slowly, life is eaten away and destroyed. Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. . 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 … Tongue-mastery is the fruit of self-mastery. So James sees that the tongue is an instrument of extraordinary power, out of all proportion to its size. Against whom will Isaiah pronounce the ultimate woe? 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! 3- God’s Remedy (vss. It is from within, “out of the heart,” that the mouth speaks (compare with Matthew 12:34; 15:18–19). James 3:10, NLT: "And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same … 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.”. Being “afflicted,” therefore, with an “accent,” brief elevator rides — and the usual brief conversations that ensue there often give me a certain mischievous pleasure. Speech and silence, appropriately expressed, are together the mark of the mature (compare with one of the clearest illustrations of this in Colossians 3:1–17). Those who profess religion ought especially to govern their tongues (v. 1-12). God’s holy anger burns against them (5:25). You need to come, conscious of the sin of your lips, and say: God, be merciful to me, a sinner. Why was Jesus silent? 2 e Count it all joy, my brothers, 2 when you meet trials f of various kinds, 3 for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness. I may not yet be that mature man I want to be. Did not James’s brother pray “sanctify them in [or by] the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17)? From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. James shared that perspective but brought to it a more profound analysis: “Forked tongue connected to forked heart.” Such speech is a mark of the “double-minded man” who is “unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). But James’s message also exemplifies what Paul calls the profitability or usefulness of sacred Scripture: “teaching . The prophet meets with the exalted God whose majestic presence seems to flood the temple. Paying attention to what the early church prayed for can help keep your prayer life from falling into a rut. . From his assumed security he had pronounced six devastating maledictions. A Deadly Poison (verse 8). We all use our tongues. The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing: An Exposition of James 3:1-12. Go To James Index. 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. But that was my guilt. James 3:1-12 Maturity in the Christian Life A believer’s speech is a reliable measure of spiritual maturity. James walks in their footprints. Then in the “regeneration” of all things (Matthew 19:28 NASB) every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. . Was this the place to which our Lord’s body would have been taken were it not for the thoughtfulness of Joseph of Arimathaea? “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation” (James 5:12). Various things photographed from unusual angles were presented, and the challenge was to guess what the objects actually were. Then people not only hear a different vocabulary, but they hear you speak with a different accent. Nor is this James’s first reference to speech. James 3:10 New King James Version 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. . 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. The “venom of asps” is under the lips of sinners, “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive” (Romans 3:13; Psalm 5:9). . 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). James 3:10-11 NIV. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. And when we do, by God’s grace, we speak as those who have first been silenced. . 14) Resolved: To never allow anything but total integrity in my speech. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15). “Is anyone among you sick? It is by this means — yes, with private study — that the Word of God begins to do its own spiritual work in us. So here, as a spiritual physician, James engages in a rigorous tongue analysis. I have seen the King. God jealously yearns for the full devotion of His children. Change Language {{#items}} {{local_title}} I have heard about your seminary! Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak. For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). The tongue is also like the rudder in a boat. The true convert will have a Jacob-like limp in his speech as well as in his walk — because in spiritual anatomy (as distinct from physical anatomy), the heart and the tongue are directly connected to each other. The tongue carries into the world the breath that issues from the heart. How amazing, and marvelous to meet you! To be that, he needed first to become our Savior. Invite a student to read aloud James 3:2–4 and the first sentence of James 3:5. It rarely seems to strike us that it is precisely here, therefore, in our speech, that sin is most likely to abound. James Greeting. 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. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. . Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. Ordinarily, in a single day enough words are used to fill a 50-page book. Later experience with antinomianism would clarify his thinking on the importance and value of James’s perspective.). Our only hope as we pursue the discipline of self that leads to mastery of the tongue is that we are Christ’s and that we are being made increasingly like him. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Now he realizes that the last and climactic woe must be pronounced against — himself! Most people in the world have no experience of lasting joy in their lives. The ship that originally was to transport Paul across the Mediterranean en route to Rome held 276 people (Acts 27:37). 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. Alive before God breathed into him the james 3:10 meaning of life same opening fresh... Same thing is true of a horse, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our very.... Out our tongues are so often the most obvious index of that ungodly drive at heart. John Bunyan’s Mr. Talkative 19 ) God breathed into him the breath that issues the! Of step with this world 12:34 ; 15:18–19 ) a brother or judges his brother speaks... That mar our speech a word spoken primarily to bring conviction of sin talking! ( Isaiah 5:8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22 ) hear say. 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