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James Chapter 3

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  • (James 3:1 KJV) My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Those at the top, those who are in charge, have more responsibility to lead others in the right direction. It would be better not to teach than to teach false doctrine or lead people astray. We have to answer to God if we teach or preach the wrong message.

  • (James 3:2 KJV) For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Verse two is a verse that speaks of much wisdom. If we just could think first before speaking we would bring forth good fruit. Speak things that edify, that will heal, save and bless. Teach truth, righteousness and things that save the soul and deliver from hell. Have no part of gossip, false accusations, and evil speaking.

  • (James 3:4 KJV) Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
  • 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

So much power is in the tongue to do well or do evil. Remember Adolph Hitler. His hate speeches stirred up a whole nation and led them astray. His words caused the death of millions of innocent people. Beware of stirring up hate against anyone.

I remember a person who used her tongue to cause peace between people instead of hate. Instead of repeating something bad a person said about the other, she would repeat something good. For example: "Jonie said that she was very happy to have met you." "Nancy commented on the good job you did last week."

Very rarely do I hear people who repeat good things that cause peace instead of hate. Too bad that person is no longer with us because we need more like her.

  • (James 3:6 KJV) 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.

The tongue has so much power and it is up to us to choose how it is used. Oh if we could only use our tongues to further the gospel, to edify the body of Christ, to bring peace, joy and love. We also have a responsibility to correct wrongs, to speak out against evil and speak truth. I don't believe James is talking about false flattery here because then he would be in contradiction of the scriptures. Example: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend." Godly correction when a brother or sister goes astray is showing love not stirring up hate. Gossip, backbiting, evil speaking, false accusation etc. is stirring up strife.

  • (James 3:7 KJV) For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
  • 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

The tongue is the hardest to tame. It is full of poison. It should grieve us to hear gossip and we should try our best not to repeat it.

  • Colossians  4: 6 "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

That verse in Colossians is one of my favorites if I could pick a favorite. Its a good prayer to have in our hearts.

  • (James 3:9 KJV) Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
  • 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

Something is wrong with our lives if we praise God and then turn around and curse human beings that are made after the image of God. This is why we need daily to yield to the Holy Spirit who in turn will shed the love of God into our hearts. It all falls back on the second commandments Jesus gave, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

We would not want people talking about us and speaking evil, spreading gossip or pointing out our faults behind our backs. If that is the case we should not do this to others. If we do, we do not love our neighbor as ourselves.

  • (James 3:11 KJV) Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
  • 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

James uses good comparisons here. A fountain cannot bring forth good water and bad at the same time. If we try to worship and praise God and have a grudge against someone, something is wrong. Wars and fighting among us is a great hindrance to prayers.

  • (James 3:13 KJV) Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Have wisdom with meekness, not with a holier than thou attitude. Have conversation that is fruitful and brings forth righteousness.

  • (James 3:14 KJV) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

This verse reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13. That chapter is the summary of the whole gospel. Love does not envy, love does not lie and love seeks peace and truth.

  • (James 3:15 KJV) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
  • 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Here James is showing where evil speaking is from. It comes straight from the wicked one to cause hate, envy and strife in order to hinder the work of God and the salvation of the human race.

  • (James 3:17 KJV) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

This is what we should seek always. Read 1 Corinthians 13. It along with verse 17 of James 3 sums up what Christianity should be all about. This is the fruit of a victorious Christian.

  • (James 3:18 KJV) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

God wants us to get along and live in peace as much as possible. Wars and fighting are not the fruit of His spirit. However, this doesn't mean we use false flattery or lying. The spirit of God is always the spirit of truth.

  • Hebrews 12: 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:


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