Summary: christians must must keep a tight rein on their tongues
Let’s continue our worship of God by listening and learning more from James 1:19-27….
Read along with me….
God gives Christians instructions for 2 main reasons: God desires Christiana to live the right way (v20) and for Christians to be blessed (v25).
We have noted to be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, ridding of all moral filth and evil, and actually live out what God says from the Bible.
James Chapter 1 concludes with 3 important reminders: to keep a tight rein with our tongues, to look after orphans and widows, and keep away from being polluted by the world. Before we discuss these in more detail, let us take note the word religion. You see, we need to note that this word religion in James is not the same as one would define it today which is an affiliation to a certain belief.
Religion here from the Greek means being devout. And so what God is saying here to Christians is “If you say you are devoted to God (religious) then represent Him well by doing what He says!”
And let’s keep this in mind: If a person proclaims to be a Christian, then they are proclaiming to be devoted to God!
And so, if one proclaims to be a Christian, then they are to:
1. keep a tight rein on his/her tongue; what does this mean?
Let’s look at other English translations:
NKJV, NASB, NRSV
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.
If you think you are being religious, but can’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless.
So, what do you think God is saying here about keeping a tight rein on one’s tongue??
Be slow to speak, think before you speak, don’t be a blabber mouth, speak with self-control! How can we do this in a practical way when we do have to talk? Let me ask this question, how can a Christian be self-controlled??
The Holy Spirit can empower the Christian to be self-controlled! And so, for a Christian to speak with self-control, do not grieve the Holy Spirit with unconfessed sins!
What’s a simple signal that our tongue is out of control??
Swearing is a sign of a tongue out of control and a sign of not yielding to God the Holy Spirit!
2. Look after orphans and widows in their distress
NKJV, NASB, ESV
….to visit orphans and widows in their trouble…
….to care for orphans and widows in their distress….
Does this mean we are to visit and care for every orphan and widow in the world??
We are to know the troubles and distress of the orphans and widows, then look after them! How can a Christian Church do this in a practical way??
Get to know each other at church! Use our Fellowship Lunchtime; use our Church Directory to call and pray for people!
And the final instruction for Christians in James 1?
3. keep oneself from being polluted by the world
NASB, NRSV, ESV
keep oneself unstained by the world.
keep oneself unspotted from the world.
What type of dirt do you think God is talking about here??
It’s okay to get muddy with soil but Christians are called to be spiritually holy!
And so, I believe another way of saying this verse then is, Christians are not to allow anything from society to negatively impact their godly lives!
I don’t need to ask you what things from our society which can pollute our godly lives; there are so many aren’t there? And so, let us put it to prayer.
God desires the right way of life for us and He wants to bless us. For this morning let us think about and pray quietly for a moment, 2 important things for us Christians:
1. Uncontrolled speech is a sign of grieving the Holy Spirit!
Anything from society negatively impacting my godly life?