The Tongue And The Teacher
March 21, 2010
INTRODUCTION: There is every indication that James had a reason for going into this present discussion on the right and wrong use of the tongue, along with the subject of teaching. In Chapters One and Two, James placed emphasis upon works and not words. He spoke plainly of those who say they have faith but do not show the fruit of faith. Now, lest there be those who might be led to feel that it makes no difference what we say, James proceeds to show that words are important.
James mentions the tongue in every chapter (1:19; 2:12, 3:2, 4:11; 5:12) It is here that James, through the Holy Spirit, sums up and brings together the Scriptural teaching on the sacredness of speech, for by the tongue James most certainly has in mind the gift of speech.
The tongue is a tattletale that tells on the heart and discloses the real person. Not only that, but misuse of the tongue is perhaps the easiest way to sin. No wonder God put the tongue in a cage behind the teeth, walled in by the mouth. Someone has observed that because the tongue is in a wet place, it can easily slip.
James uses the tongue as another test of living faith, because the genuineness of a person's faith inevitably will be demonstrated by his speech. James personifies the tongue and the mouth as representations of the depravity and wretchedness of the inner person. The tongue only produces what it is told to produce by the heart, where sin originates.
Matthew 15:19, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies."
Scientists maintain that once a sound wave is set in motion, it continues on a never-ending journey, and that, if we had sophisticated enough instruments, each wave could be captured and reproduced at any time. If that is true, every word spoken by every person who has ever lived could be retrieved. God, of course, needs no such instrumen ...
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