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March 15, 2022 4:00 am
James says control your tongue and that is the greatest sitting member of you and if you control your job you'll control all the rest because the spiritual dynamics that control your tongue will therefore control all lesser spiritual battles with various other parts of the judge later by saying what I said actually what comes out of our mouths. Even in anger is a pretty clear indication of what's really going on in the heart, the truth is we didn't mean it. We just didn't mean for it to show today. John MacArthur considers the tongue's role in diagnosing your spiritual health. As John continues his practical study on grace to you titled taming the tongue. So far John has explored several reasons to control your tongue among them its potential to condemn its power to control and its ability to corrupt John will review a bit to set the context for today's lesson. So turn to James chapter 3 and here's John James says control your tongue and that is the greatest sitting member of you and if you control your time you'll control all the rest because the spiritual dynamics that control your tongue will therefore control all the lesser spiritual battles with the various other parts of your humanness. So when you apply the means of grace to the discipline and sanctification of the time it will cover all other areas because the tongue is the leader in sending you soon with more frequently than any other part of your body. You can stand with your tongue by simply saying something. As I said last time you can't do everything, but you can sure say anything. See you soon most easily with your tongue. So why we sin most readily with our time. We send most potently with our time.
In verses two through five. He was simply saying the tongue control didn't say it was bad. He didn't say that was good just at the tongue is a controlling member notice for sex again. It says the tongue is a fire and then this a world or a system because my ass out of iniquity.
It is a network that reads evil. Second, notice how this begins to expand. Secondly, the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body it in itself is a system of evil, and then it defiles the whole body swiped smoke from a fire stains everything that doesn't burn look at.
Thirdly, this is really incredible. It expands again and it sets on fire the whole course of nature's is the authorized a better translation is setting present tense on fire.
The circle of life. Resentment. The thought is expanded. First is the system of wickedness. Second, exchange the whole person. Now it sets ablaze in the Greek is the wheel of birth or the circle of life was at me the whole machinery of your life.
It not only stains you but it touches everything you touch it, it affects the whole machinery of your life goes beyond the body to touch every participant in the circle of your life.
People know you by how you talk right they know you by how you talk tongue reaches beyond your mouth to stay in your body it reaches beyond your body to touch the whole network of people that are touched by you gossip that repulsive thing. Rumors, slander, false accusations, Elias evil speech can sustain, pollute and destroy the whole family whole group of people at school or church or community. Many speaks of 1/4 factor in this the most devastating statement on the danger of the tongue.
He says finally at the end of her six it is set on fire of or by hell present tense is habitually being lit as it were by hell.
What a vivid vivid thought. The word here. Hell is Gehenna and that term Gehenna needs to be explained is only used in all of the New Testament in the Gospels with this one exception is the only time it appears outside the gospel, Matthew Mark and Luke the Lord uses at least 10 times recorded and he always used the word Gehenna to refer to the eternal place of burning were damned souls will go and you can read in Matthew and in Luke the times that he used.
It is the place where the fire never goes out where the worm never dies where the thirst is never quenched. Is that eternally burning place and so notice that the tongue is a system of evil on its own, but it affects the whole person by spewing out its filth and it sets its filthy stain and fire on the whole machinery of life as far-reaching as the network of the influence of a person and that thing that starts it all. It is set on fire by hell itself. In other words, behind it all is Satan that tongue that you have and that I have is a tool of Satan to pollute your whole person to corrupt your whole circle of life. And it all comes right out of the pit of hell.
And it all leads right back to the pit of hell lambing. That's a pretty strong description is what a description of the peril of the tongue to corrupt, so dangerous, so dangerous that no wonder James is so greatly concerned that we bring the tongue into control to the honor of God because of its tremendous potential. You remember Psalm 5521 where David says the words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart.
His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. Sometimes the tongue is so subtle, we think that it intends well when it intends evil, it must be controlled in every believer realizes that in his fallenness and his flashing is humanness, there still remains the power of the tongue to devastate your tongue dear friend is not yet glorify will be wonderful to have a glorified tongue that does nothing but praise God and speak righteousness so we must control the tongue because of its potential to condemn its power to control its peril to corrupt, fourthly, will you notice verses seven and eight for every species of East and of birds and the serpents end of things in the seas came and has been tamed by mankind, but the tongue can no man tame a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Now what he saying is the tongue is untamable is primitive in that sense it is on civilized undisciplined, humanly untamable. That's why it's so dangerous and unregenerate tongues are all the more dangerous in the tongue can be cannot be tamed and James is God gave man the power to control animals go back to Genesis chapter 1 and even after the fall, God reiterated to Noah that he'd be able to get all the animals in the ark when God said your agreement to buy to God gave Noah the ability to control his animal to make sure they got in there to buy to antedate man still dominates man still was able to tame animals you been to the circus and you seen lines that are tamed. You've seen a guy stick his head in the mouth of a lion you seen people ride killer whales. I mean, for the most part man is able to tame the wild animals ferocious large strong beasts, the fiercest of them. The deadliest of them. I've even seen people and you have to with snakes crawling all over the able to tame them and so he says in verse seven, every kind uses every species and any names to that walk and fly and he names those that walk in flight and those that swim and crawl those and walk in flyer beasts and birds and those that crawl and swim are snakes and things in the sea. Of course the most noble animals are those that walk and flying the least noble are those that swim and crawl beasts that word beasts very on is never used a of the domesticated animals. But man containing the wild animals and he can tame the birds and he could tame the reptiles and he can tame the creatures of the sea. We all know that they're all tame present tense continuously being subdued, and they have been all through man's history subdue by no one can tame the tongue.
No one among men can tame the tongue. No one is able to do it due to time, no one has the power to do that, even in believers. The tongue breaks out of its cage right we can control it.
James doesn't say Marcus doesn't say it can't be came. He says man can tame it. There's a difference to get that he doesn't say it can't be tamed. He says man can't tame but who can tame God can by his power. If the first recorded soon after the fall came from an untamed tongue and it did Loretta blame God than the first act of the new creation in the church was the taming of the tongue because the first thing that happened after the Holy Spirit came was everybody received visit were cloven tongues of fire. They all immediately spoke the wonderful works of God. The first sin was a sin of the tongue and the birth of the church.
The purified tongue spoke the wonderful works of God. But here James says the seriousness of man's inability to control his wild savage tongue is because it is a restless evil. It's always ready to breakout it fights against restraint. It doesn't want to be held back restless is the same word translated unstable in James 18 archetypes to time in day since it's an evil poison or deadly poison is not only like a caged animal, a monster of inconsistency wanted to break out of its restraint, but when it breaks out, it carries a death dealing with venom like a snake's tongue.
Romans 313 says the poison of asps is under their lips. You remember Psalm was at 140 verse three they have sharpened their tongues like a serpent adders poison is under their lips. The tongue is like it deadly snake it spews out deadly poison, the tongue, the tongue is an assassin in Psalm 64 just the 10 verses in this Psalm listen to what they say hear my voice so God in my prayer preserve my life from fear of the enemy hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity who went there tongue like a sword.
That's to sharpened the wet means to sharpen a sort who sharpen their tongue like a sword who bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words, that they may shoot in secret at the perfect the perfect ones the righteous one suddenly do they shoot him in fear not encourage themselves in an evil matter. They speak of laying snares secretly they say who shall see them. They search out iniquities. They accomplish a diligent search both the inward thought of every one of them and their heart are deep but God shall shoot them with an arrow. Suddenly, they shall be wounded, so shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves and that she them shall flee away goes on from there. God's going to turn their tongues against them, but their tongues are like arrows and spears and swords. The tongue is an assassin. You remember the snake mouthed princes of Ammon spoke lies against David accusing him of hypocrisy and honoring they hash their king and his son Hannum. The result was that the king put together an army of his own thousands and added mercenaries numbering 30,000 foot soldiers, plus others and sent them to destroy David because of that life for no reason, and the result was a terrible slaughter of 700 Syrian charioteers and 14,000 horsemen and their commander.
All because of the live one and you remember the poisonous tongue of Haman was to be the satanic tool for the extermination of the Jews by the Medo Persians in the book of Esther and God saved them through Mordechai and Esther and Haman who plotted it all with his evil tongue was hanging on the galaxy. It made for the Jews. Many people have died because of the deadly poison of the tongue, even our own Lord.
Fire retardant haters of the gospel secretly induced man to lie about Stephen and say he spoke blasphemy against Moses and against God, and they stirred up the people with their words and stoned him to death. Acts chapter 6 tells us when Paul arrived in Jerusalem and asked 21 the Jews from Asia stirred up the people against him, falsely accusing him of bringing a Gentile in the temple and they drag Paul out the killing, but he was rescued by the Romans as they were trying to beat him to death.
He spent the next 2+ years in prison and it goes on and on. The power and peril of the tongue is a deadly deadly poison.
A deadly weapon killing reputation killing joy killing peace, killing love, killing everything in its wake. So tongue must be controlled because of its potential to condemn its power to control its peril to corrupt in its primitiveness to combat it fights against everything finally and this was a very tough P defined in our outline. Perfidy means treachery means deliberate means of breach of trust.
A deliberate breach of trust.
It means faithlessness, hypocrisy, inconsistency, duplicity, the tongue and its perfidy to compromise the tongue is a hypocrite hole. Is it a hypocrite. It'll say one thing one time and another thing another time, will it not, has it not. Of course, notice that the tongue can be noble. Verse nine there with that is with the tongue we bless God, even the father now wonderful your tongue my tongue can be used. Bless God, even the father. This is very relevant by the weight of the Jews to whom James writes because whenever they mention the name of God. They always followed it with these words. Blessed be he, blessed be he, and so what there tongue. They were ever and always blessing got three times a day. They had to repeat the shaman I asked for the 18 prayers called eulogies or benedictions and every one of those 18 prayers that they said three times a day ended.
Blessed be doubtful God, and it was customary for the Jew with his time to be a blessing God all the time. The Psalms are full of such blessing, and the most wonderful function of the tongue is the blessed God. So in verse nine he says therewith bless we God, even the father yet follow further and therewith curse we men who are made after the likeness of God, there is the duplicity there is the hypocrisy. There is the perfidy of the time it's treachery the same time that blesses God curses those made in his image, slanders them, criticizes them, accuses them abuses them in anger and jealousy and envy and hatred and bitterness. The curse means to wish evil on someone in man is made in the likeness of God.
And so is made in the image of God and how can man bless the God and curse the man when the man is made in the image of God. And so in verse 10 he says, out of the same mouth proceed. Blessing and curse out of the same mouth blessing and curse. That's right.
And there is illustration after illustration about that, not only in the Scripture, put, certainly in the lives of all of us why the same malls of the Pharisees that in one breath, blessed God cursed Christ, and that I always think of the mouth of Peter who says thou art the Christ, the son of the living God, and a few weeks later is cursing venomously saying I know not the man, the same mouth the mouth of the apostle Paul speaks glorious wondrous truth and then the next 23 curses the high priest of God in language that has no place in the mouth of a servant of God. God's might you you Whited wall. He says from the same mouth my mouth your mouth the mouth of all of us comes blessing and cursing and so he says at the end of verse 10.
My brothers these things ought not so to be isn't right, that's a strong negative by the way, choose only here in the entire New Testament very strong or a crate isn't right to say that's not right. Any profane speeches inconsistent. It's unacceptable. It's a compromise. God has saved us and when God saved us he transformed us and when he transformed us. He gave us the capacity for new speech, and he expects us to speak that way. It's an impossible compromise to tolerate. James illustrates the obvious with three pictures. Verse 11 does a fountain send forth. At the same place sweet and bitter. What's the answer. Answers no does a fountain send out the verb send out means to burst forth her gosh from the same opening the same. Okay the same holders put in the rock freshwater and bitter water. Of course not. It's impossible. And the question here expects a no answer. Métis expects a no answer. It can't be Dooku that sweet in the Greek and also to Karen unbreakable simple illustration is you can have one fountain sending out sweet and bitter water.
Verse 12 and the fig tree, my brothers bear ABOUT this.
A vine fix utterly impossible, utterly impossible, but nature teach you what is obvious you can't have sweet and bitter water coming out of the same fountain you cannot have olives on the fig tree and you can have figs on a vine and then comes the statement of fact that ends the passage verse 12 so so conclusion no fountain can you both saltwater and fresh. That is a conclusion, my friends, not a question he is saying a clean hearts a fresh start can't produce bitter water and a bitter heart can't produce fresh water. So the taste of the product tells the nature of its source right so is right back to where he started. True believers will be revealed in the speech. And if you're a true believer. It should be able to be seen by your speech. It will be seen by your speech is a way to minute once in a while there's a little is a little bitter water among the fresh. I know that but James is drawing exact lines for us and he is saying it is a truism that saltwater can come out of the fresh mountain and it is a truism in your life that if you have been transformed by Christ. Your speech will show it. That's what he say the fig must have the fig tree at its source. A great must have a vine at its source and all it must have an olive tree at its source. Saltwater has Saul as its source. Sweetwater has Sweetwater as its source come from a bitter heart, critical words come from a critical heart, defamatory, unloving speech issues from a heart where the love of Jesus is a stranger. Believers will be revealed in their speech and must be revealed in their speech and so James comes at this with the tension in view. One time he saying if you're Christian. This is how it will be another time you say if you're Christian. This is how it must be. And so while saying it is true he calls us to be sure that it is true. That's the tension we have to live in Luke six, verse 43 Jesus had a good tree brings not forth corrupt fruit. Neither does a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit for every tree is known by its fruit for from thorns. Men do not gather figs nor from a bramble bush gather the grapes a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good and evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil for of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And I believe James had that in mind when he wrote this he was really referring to what our Lord said the true believer is known by his speech true believer speaks with the tongue that is under control. Peter says the true believer will love life. First Peter 310. See good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips that they speak no deceit on the one hand, we will, on the other hand, we must and so does James warn us about two things. One that we are revealed by our mouth to that our mouth has tremendous potential for disaster and so he calls for us to have attained tongue, and if we do, it's evidence that were Christian and if we do, it's evidence that were walking in obedience. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us today. John wrapped up his study on taming the tongue with a simple message. How you react when evil speech comes from your mouth is critical to your spiritual effectiveness in power and John, this has been a great series and its personally challenging but very helpful.
So as a sort of final word on the subject of taming the tongue. What's your impression on how Christians tend to think about our words would you say it's a subject that deserves more attention than most of us give to it hope for certain, because apart from sins of thought sins of word sins of speech are the easiest sins to commit behavioral sins take a little while. Take a little effort to take a little work but sinning with your tongue can happen any time any place in any moment, so that I think that's why Isaiah said, I'm a man of unclean lips when he was when he was wanting to say to God in that vision in Isaiah 6 that I recognize your holiness and I recognize my sin. He picked the. The primary area where sin is most readily consistently and easily demonstrated and that's in her speech and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So the sin of the heart. There's going to be sin most readily in the speech so learning to tame the tongue is that the very heart of having a godly life and it starts with the with the heart attitude because, as I just said, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So whatever condition your heart is going to show up in your speech. So we've had an opportunity in this series to look at this issue of taming the tongue, and in some ways I would say this may be a series you'd like to listen to again and again and again because there is such a quick and easy impulse to sin with your tongue that you need and I need constant reminder in that regard regarding our words is at once one of the Christian life's greatest challenges and at the same time. One of its most rewarding pursuits. Every relationship in our lives will benefit from pure speech so the series has been very helpful to us and would like to let you know it is available.
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