The Book of James Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 1

We go on to James 3:1-12

The Holy Spirit is going to work in the life of every believer in order to equip that believer to

serve G-d (i.e. carry out His will)

v1: James begins this chapter with a warning to those who think of themselves as teachers. True Biblical teachers are individuals that believe strongly in the authority and the perfection of the Word of G-d.

· Not many of you – this role is not for everyone, and nor is it for a large number of individuals. Within the local congregation there ought not to be just anyone teaching the Word of G-d. Sharing the Word comes with responsibility/accountability for what you share – as this is going to be carried out/effect the lives of other people.

v2: All believers stumble (fail G-d) in many different ways. If a person is able to control their mouth (their words) then that (spiritually mature/perfect) person would also be able to control their actions.

v3: James gives an example of what he is talking about. What is in the mouth of the horse can control the horses entire body and actions. James is laying the foundation for teaching us that if an individual can control their speech (what comes out of their mouth) that is a sign that that one is able to bring all of the members of his body under submissiveness to the purposes of G-d.

v4: James gives us another example of how another small thing (the rudder) can steer a huge vessel. As an application to us as individuals – our tongues are a great source of revelation – revealing where we are at spiritually.

Note: These examples can also be linked to verse 1 – a small number of wise and G-dly teachers are able to steer the entire congregation toward obedience and submission to G-d (as the tongue does in v3) and to keep the congregation on the right course – like the rudder does the ship.

v5: James is now getting to the heart of the matter. Something really small (our tongues) have the potential to cause great damage.

v6: The tongue is able to accomplish a lot in this world of unrighteousness. If our tongues are not under the L-rdship of Messiah Yeshua they can cause a great deal of harm or destruction.

When the tongue is speaking under the influence of this unrighteous world it can be used to ignite. Our tongue is going to reflect whether we are connected to hell or not. satan is about

destroying things – if we belong to the Kingdom of G-d our tongues will be used for building up and not for tearing things down.

v7: Animals have been brought under the authority of humanity. G-d, in a unique way, has chosen man to be his instrument in this world and every individual (male and female) will be either under the influence of the Kingdom of G-d or under the influence of hell.

v8: Left to ourselves, within our own ability, we can’t control our speech.

· Unruly – a word that relates to disorder. When things are out of order nothing can be done. There has to be order in order for there to be production.

· Evil – not in line with the purpose or will of G-d.

· Deadly poison – when our words are not brought under the authority of G-d they don’t bring about repentance in others, but they bring about death.

v9: Similitude of G-d = image of G-d.

v10: This is not the way that we should behave – saying good things (praising and worshipping G-d) and then saying bad things. Bad things (that roll off a tongue that is not submissive to the instruction and revelation of G-d) would include cursing someone, tearing them down, saying things that humiliate or embarrass them etc. It is disastrous for people to behave in this dichotomous way, but even more so when the one who is behaving in this way (unable to control his tongue) is a teacher of the Word of G-d.

v11: Another example. This is an impossible scenario. Only one type of water can come out of the spring – either bitter (undrinkable and not life sustaining, bringing about death) or sweet (edifying or building up).

v12: And yet another example of impossible things 😊 What flows out of a man (through his speech) will be consistent with his/her character.

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