The Power of the Tongue by Johnny Hunt

The Power of the Tongue
Johnny Hunt
James 3:2-5a
April 11, 2010

INTRODUCTION: In Scripture, the tongue is variously described as wicked, deceitful, perverse, filthy, corrupt, flattering, slanderous, gossiping, blasphemous, foolish, boasting, complaining, cursing, contentious, sensual, and vile.

"we all stumble" - offend; speaks of a repeated action; sin, moral lapse, a failure to do what is right. "All" is emphatic, all including James. Stumble, but not a fatal fall.

James moves quickly from the ministry of the tongue
(teacher v.1) to the misuse of the tongue (stumbling v.2).

Proverbs 18:21a, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue"

James, in v.1, talks about the teacher's responsibility and then quickly moves to the teacher's accountability. Since the tongue is the teacher's tool, a teacher is to guard the manner of its exercise.


"for we all stumble in many things" - all is emphatic, all persons stumble, including James

"stumble" - offend (James 2:10) sin, trip up, means failure in a Christian duty, moral mistake. None of God's children are perfect. There are no perfect people who always remain guiltless of a slip of the tongue, or who never utter an idle or empty word.
Proverbs 10:19, "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise."

"stumble" - is present tense indicating repeated stumbling, but not a fatal fall.

"many things" - means in many ways.

James is reminding us of the fact that the choicest saints are not always right in what they do and say.


Job Job 1:8, "Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?'"

Job 40:3-5, "Then Job answered the LORD and said: 'Behold, I am vile;
What shall I answer You?
I lay my hand over my mouth.
Once I have spoken, but I will not answer;
Yes, twice, ...

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