James 1:26, 27
James has, in the previous verses powerfully driven home the point that if we are merely hearers of the Word, we have deluded ourselves, for we must also be doers of the Word. Now he warns against another danger - - that we deceive ourselves with religious doings. Now James is not suggesting that our doings are bad, but ritualistic doings that are not performed out of a motivation of worshipping in Spirit and Truth can delude believers with a deceptively comfortable sense of religiosity.
Christians have their vocabulary, social conventions, and worship. (How to detect Ephraimites who pretended to be Gileadites--Shibboleth, right attitudes of thinking, morals, religion-outward worship)
I Dimension 1: Control of the tongue.(v.26)
This first dimension cuts like a hot knife through warm butter, dissecting all the cant and pith of the self-satisfied religious: "If any one considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."
(tight rein---Idea of riding a wild 1,500 lb. horse)
It has been said, "A true test of a man's religion is not his ability to speak or act, but rather his ability to bridle his tongue."
Jesus, in a heated exchange with the Pharisees, said, "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything food? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." The tongue will inevitably reveal what is on the inside.
The tongue comes out with many things. Often its filth. Paul says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,(Eph.4:29). Lying, "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor (Eph.4:25). Gossip is another product of the tongue. It isn't so much the things that go in one ear and out the other that hurt a ...
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