Summary: This sermon expounds the truths from this passage of scripture. It shoots an arrow at the use of our tongues. It speaks to the professor’s tongue, the tongue of the populace, and the problem tongue.


James 3:1-12

{1} Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment. {2} For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what

he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. {3} Now if we put the bits

into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, we direct their entire body as well.

(4} Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still

directed by a very small rudder, wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. {5} So also the

tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a

forest is set aflame by such a small fire! {6} And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets

on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. {7} For every species of beasts and

birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race.

{8} But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. {9} With it

we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness

of God; {10} from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these

things ought not to be this way. {11} Does a fountain send out from the same opening both

fresh and bitter water? {12} Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce

figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.


Today a review of a movie might well say it contains adult language. This designation warns one of the use of profanity. The language is not so much adult as it is gutter language.

Adult Language Includes Words Like, Character! Integrity! Commitment! Forgiveness! Sacrifice! Determination! Moral Values! Sexual Purity! and Love. The text today speaks to us concerning the use of the tongue in an Adult manner..

1. Adult Language and the . . Professor’s Tongue.

2. Adult Language and the . . Populace’s Tongue.

3. Adult Language and the . . Problem Tongue.

1. Adult Language and the . . Professor’s Tongue. v 1

1} Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a

stricter judgment.


A. The . . Prohibition to the Professor. v 1 a

1. Therefore determine to . . Teach the truth.

2. Therefore determine to . . Live the truth.

B. The . . Promise to the Professor. v 1 b

1. You will be judge, you will receive a stricter judgement.

a. Note Luke 17:1-2

And He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! {2} "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.


When I studied at Southern Illinois University In Edwardsville Illinois I had a unique experience in the cafeteria. A person sat down at my table and we began to talk. He asked what my major was. I said "I am a speech major." He then asked if I planned to teach and I responded "no I am a minister and plan to go from here to seminary." I related that the church I pastored had a parsonage in which I lived and they allowed me to attend college.

This young man asked "can I get a job like that?" I hid my laughter and then said "well maybe; are you saved?" He then asked "saved from what?" At that point I knew he was to eager to enter the ministry. I further related to him concerning salvation but he was not interested.


Do you know the average Baptist pastor preaches at least 100 times a year? He is expected to have something fresh on Sunday Morning, Sunday Night and on many Wednesday nights. Those sermons equal a chapter each so he will produce 10 books of 10 chapters each. Occasionally there will be a bad chapter and maybe even a book that is not outstanding.

You should not rush into the ministry of preaching or teaching but enter only after being sure of the Lord’s call.

2. Adult Language and the general . . Populace Tongue. v 2

{2} For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a

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