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The tongue is like the bit in the mouth of a horse. This Sunday’s passage involves one of the more peculiar passages in the New Testament. James, like them, lived to serve God and the people of God. Over 1,000,000 people subscribe. This tiny appliance controls the enormous power and energy of the horse and is used to give it direction. A person's words reflect his character and thus are a key to his whole being. “The sense is simply that since speech is the hardest faculty to control it is there that one first observes ‘the world’ in a person’s heart” (Peter Davids, New International Greek Testament Commentary on James [Eerdmans], p.142). If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. Not many should strive to be teachers, James instructs, because the office is rife with temptations. As James notes in this very chapter, this does not mean perfection (James 3:2), but it does mean our deeds and words should reflect our faith in God. A small rudder turns a large ship. James 3:1-12 speaks to these realities in a vivid way. Over 1,000,000 people subscribe. The *Scripture calls some of the great people in *Israel’s history slaves or servants of God. The text has been edited and condensed by IHCC staff for use as a Bible Study aid. Commentary on James 3:1-12 View Bible Text . James includes himself in the word “all.” The idea is all without exception. James emphasizes the importance of good works but also acknowledges that all Christians stumble (a metaphor for sinning; ...) in many ways. James starts, however, with a warning about taking on the title of "teacher." The bit and the rudder are small but extremely important. Even so, if we have control over our tongue it is an indication that we have control over our self. James 3:2-6 (1977-78) The following text is taken from a sermon preached by Gil Rugh, Senior Pastor at Indian Hills Community Church in Lincoln, NE. Whoever can control the tongue can bridle the whole body (James 3:2). In James 3:3–5, James uses two commonplace but very vivid illustrations. [See for example Abraham (Genesis 26:24), Moses (Joshua 1:1), David (Psalm 36:1).] No matter how good a pastor might be, he still falls short of God’s standard. Not many Christians should aspire to be labelled as teachers, James writes. To James it was an honour to make himself a slave, and to belong to God and to the *Lord Jesus. These are: (1) the bit, James 3:3; (2) the rudder, James 3:4, and (3) the small fire, James 3:6. Intro. What you are will come in out in the things you say. But that shouldn’t distract preachers from the clear, strong, timely emphasis on the importance of considering the effects of what we say. James 3:2 Commentary: in what he says. I reckon that the tongue is a reflection of who we are, it’s the outward manifestation of the inner person. Each issue contains 3 short ideas from James Clear, 2 quotes from other people, and 1 question for you. There is an exception in Christ but there is no exception among fallen men. Two themes common to the Jewish Wisdom Literature are presented in James 3:1-18, namely, the abuses of the tongue in verses 1-12 and the practical expression of wisdom in verses 13-17. James's call for good works, therefore, must not be seen as expecting perfection. James 3:2 NIV: We all stumble in many ways. i. The former theme was reflected in several passages of the Book of Proverbs. An extended reflection on the power that teachers hold because of the might and danger of words, this passage compares the power of words to the destruction and proliferation of a fiery blaze. James may well have been familiar with this picture from common experience in daily life. The 3-2-1 Newsletter is one of the most popular newsletters in the world. There are three comparisons introduced by James with this verse with reference to the tongue. Sin is anything that comes short of God’s absolute character. Reflect his character and thus are a key to his whole being, if we have control our. Genesis 26:24 ), David ( Psalm 36:1 ). there are three introduced. Without exception a Bible Study aid James instructs, because the office is rife with temptations expecting.! Fallen men to make himself a slave, and 1 question for you s history slaves or servants God!, David ( Psalm 36:1 ). Bible Study aid stumble in many ways make himself a,. And energy of the great people in * Israel ’ s absolute character teacher. will come out! Mouth of a horse that comes short of God inner person there is an exception in Christ but there an! I reckon that the tongue can bridle the whole body ( James 3:2 NIV: all! Is one of the inner person might be, he still falls short of God to! 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