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Faith Tested by the Tongue (8 of 17)
Series: The Epistle of James
As we go through James, the tests keep coming. Our faith is tested by trials, by people, by works, by wisdom by the world, by the sick, by weeping, and here in chapter three, by the tongue.
The tongue is a very sensitive subject. The easiest way to offend is with the tongue. We have all experienced "the slip of the tongue." The Scripture is clear that we shall give an account "for every idle word."
"If your lips would keep from slips,
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak; of whom you speak;
And how, and when, and where."
-- William Norris
On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a gravestone with this etching:
"Beneath this stone a lump of clay
Lies Arabella Young,
Who, on the fourth of May,
Began to hold her tongue."
We have already been warned in chapter one, verse 19 ... Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath," and verse 26 ... "If any man among you seem to be religious and bridleth not is tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
We are going to consider the test of the tongue from three points of view or three aspects ... "THE TEACHER," "THE TALKER," and "THE TAMER."
FIRST, THE TEACHER. (Leaders) (Verses 1 and 2)
The word for "master" in the King James Version is "did-as-kalos," and it means "teacher," but it is a master-teacher, a leader-teacher. Teachers are to be leaders, and leaders are to be teachers. James begins with the leadership of the Church. He is saying that the test of every teacher is his tongue. The test of every leader is his tongue. The leader, the teacher, must be careful with his tongue. Why?
1. He can teach the wrong thing. (False doctrine)
2. He can teach with the wrong motive. (Pride, vanity)
3. There is a greater judgment for teachers, if we mess up.
4. He can offend.
5. He can be misunderstood! ...
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