Summary: This sermon outline illustrates four truths concerning the tounge.

I. Introduction

a. Book of James

i. Written as a pastoral encouragement

and rebuke

ii. The book caused a lot of controversy in

the early church.

b. James uses the term we in these passages

i. Many of us can think of times when we

have stuck our foot in our mouth.

ii. James is not talking about the use of

four letter words, he is talking about

the tearing down of others.

iii. James gives us Four Truths about the


II. First, the tongue is not easily controlled


a. James says that the person who can control

his tongue is a perfect man.

b. Even animals are controlled by their


c. We use our tongues to gossip.

d. We often shout at others when we are driving

in our cars.

e. We lie, put others down, we boast and


f. Rumors destroy lives.

III. Second, no man can control the tongue (3:5b-8)

a. Only God can control the tongue

b. We either allow God to control our tongue or

our tongue controls us.

c. A ship is out of control or a horse is out

of control.

d. A “fire from hell”

IV. Third, the tongue can be used for good or evil


a. We sing praises to God, but curse others on

the way home.

b. Our words can destroy.

i. 1 John 4:20 - “If someone says I love

God yet hates a brother he is a liar.”

ii. Proverbs 12:18 - “Reckless words pierce

like a sword, but the tongue of the wise

brings healing.”

c. Our words should be used to encourage people.

i. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome

word proceed from your mouth, but only

such a word as is good for edification

according to the need of the moment, so

that it will give grace to those who


ii. Hebrews 3:13 says, “encourage one

another day after day, as long as it is

still called today, so that none of you

will be hardened by the deceitfulness of


V. Fourth, what I say is a reflection of who I am


a. Jesus said, “But the things that come out of

the mouth come from the heart, and these

make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart

come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual

immorality, theft, false testimony,

slander. These are what make a

man ‘unclean.’”

b. Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the

heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings

good things out of the good stored up in

him, and the evil man brings evil things out

of the evil stored up in him. But I tell

you that men will have to give account on

the day of judgment for every careless word

they have spoken. For by your words you

will be acquitted, and by your words you

will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34-37)

VI. Closing

a. James 1:26 says, If anyone thinks himself to

be religious, and yet does not bridle his

tongue but deceives his own heart, this

man’s religion is worthless.”

b. James says that we should show our

Christianity by what we say.

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