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Scripture Reading 1 Cor 13:1-13
Good morning church family.
Thank you all for attending this morning.
If you are new or visiting us today I want to welcome you.
If you have any questions about the service today or want me to get in touch with you, you can use a connection card in the seat back in front of you.
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Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt.
I am rubber you are glue everything you say bounces of of me and sticks to you.
I remember these as a child on the playground of school.
As we were mocked and teased and taunted, we used these quips to deflect the words of the attackers.
Didn’t is seem so simple back then.
We spouted these off and went about our way.
But we neglected something in the use of these.
We neglected to understand and process the actual fallacy of these sayings.
That they are just not true.
Last week Josh from Green Acres brought the word.
He showed us James’ teaching on Faith and Works.
That a living faith produces righteous works of God in the lives of the believers.
James is obviously dealing with some behaviors and attitudes in the church that needed to be addressed.
Today we will be going into one of the most direct sets of scripture that deals with the human condition that we still live in.
The message today is as applicable to the church today as it was back in James time.
The living faith that James talks about causes changes in the lives of the believer.
Today we are going to look at speech.
The words we use, the effects of them, and the warning to use correct speech.
James will use this metaphor of the tongue to get his point across.
If you recall back in chapter 1 that James made a claim that “If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, his religion is useless and he deceives himself.
Stand with me as we read our main passage today.
James 3:1–12 (CSB)
1 Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.
2 For we all stumble in many ways.
If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.
3 Now if we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we direct their whole bodies.
4 And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
5 So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things.
Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest.
6 And the tongue is a fire.
The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members.
It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 Every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish is tamed and has been tamed by humankind, 8 but no one can tame the tongue.
It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness.
10 Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth.
My brothers and sisters, these things should not be this way.
11 Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers and sisters, or a grapevine produce figs?
Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.
Free speech.
What a wonderful idea but the issue is that those little quips we used on the playground do not address the reality of our words.
The effects of the words we say and use.
Yes we are free and we fight for freedom to say what we want without censorship but just because we can do something does not mean we are actually free to say what ever we want.
True free speech would be without limits.
Without constraints.
It would be a world that did not have any restrictions on what we say.
However there is a problem with this.
As a believer in Christ and in the Word of God our speech is not free.
It has boundaries and constraints.
There is a difference between God honoring speech and self honoring speech.
James is addressing this issue within the community of believers.
He is going to go step by step in breaking down what the consequences are when Christians forget that everything we do should glorify God.
Unlike many things in our lives,our speech is not either good or bad in itself but it is how we wield the words of our mouths that has consequences for good or evil.
James starts with one of the issues that the church was dealing with, teachers.
James 3:1–2 (CSB)
1 Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.
2 For we all stumble in many ways.
If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is mature, able also to control the whole body.
The people of God have always had teachers among them.
In James time these men were greatly honored.
They were esteemed in the community and highly regarded.
Those that taught people about God were placed in places of honor.
Of course whenever there are people that are elevated to a place of honor, envy, coveting, and pride soon follow after.
Men would seek the position to teach because they wanted the honor and recognition that other men recieved.
In the synagogues of the time, any respectable man could come forward and speak.
In scripture we see Paul and Jesus both go into the synagogues to teach.
There were men that were going forward and not teaching what God’s word says but their own message.
James says that teachers will receive a stricter judgement and doesn’t go into what that judgement is but as you read scripture you see that the early church constantly fought against false teachers and frauds.
2 Peter 2:1–3 (CSB)
1 There were indeed false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.
They will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved ways, and the way of truth will be maligned because of them.
3 They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories.
Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
The teachings of men and women claiming to be God’s messengers is not something to take for granted.
Peter said they are here amongst us and they cause some of the most destructive work of the enemy.
Why is that?
God’s teachers are supposed to teach His truth, and only his truth.
These false teachers do amazing damage to people because they convince people to believe lies as truth.
There are religions and cults that fall in this category.
Men who have decided to teach other than the truth of God, have created massive organizations for false teachers.
But the horrific part of this reality is that they are unaware they are wrong.
They believe the lies and then they passionately teach the lies to others.
As Peter says many will follow because it will make sense to man.
The work and will of God does not make sense to man, it makes sense to the Spirit.
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