Summary: There should be no separation between speech and life.

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James 3:1-12

“The Merger”

“There should be no separation between speech and life.”

Sunday Morning Sermon


Intro: – “your three words video” – posted on their website – it’s good and some of the words are very powerful.

(Start with Title and Text)

Our words are important. The words we say, how we say them and when we choose to express them – are all very important. When we were kids we’d repeat something – “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…” Words are very powerful. It doesn’t take much effort to always say what you think. It takes a whole lot more effort to think about what you say.

Have you ever known someone to say one thing and do another? We generally have a word for them – Hypocrite. It’s not a very pretty word to put on someone – because it means so much. What happens so many times is what I call a great separation between what we believe or claim to believe and application in every day life. The exposure to that separation will get you labeled hypocrite, it’s not very pretty.

What I hope to do this morning is merge those two back together. When people look at our church I want them to see that merger between what we claim to believe and what show we believe with our actions, is the same. If we are a service oriented church – let’s back it up. If we want to reach people for Christ – regardless of the baggage or weirdness they might bring with them – let’s back it up.


The last part of Chapter two, in the book of James, deals with our actions, faith and deeds. Our text this morning – deals with the tongue. The church that James is writing to – was having a problem with the merger. What they were claiming to believe, was not the same as what they were showing. He wants what I want this morning for that merger to take place between the words we say and the belief we claim.

There should be no separation between speech and life. I don’t want to fill this up with cliché after cliché but – you’ve heard the old saying – actions speak louder than words – I want to suggest that if we make our words mean something, they will be the standard by which we are judged. You have to have action to follow it up. But we aren’t judged by our words because many times they don’t mean anything, and people want to see something real, they want something true – but they don’t see the words we speak as both of those things. That’s what we are dealing with this morning.

If you have your Bibles turn with me to James 3:1-12 (Read) (advance)

I see three things this morning – talking about the merger between our speech and our lives. He speaks specifically to the leadership, to everyone else, and then about the merger.


I. Inside the Church – Leadership

a. “Teacher”

Was a place of honor, it was a position of authority – it carried weight. Jesus was called teacher by the scribes as well as the disciples – this is just one example: (advance)

Matthew 8:19 (NIV) – Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."

“Teacher” in the early church was overlapped with other types of leaders, like preachers, missionaries, elders and apostles.

b. We have to watch out for pride – we who teach

i. Thinking we are better than others – God uses us more, or that we have some connection with God that others don’t.

So this role of teacher is special – and not everyone qualifies. (advance) James 3:1 not many of you should presume to be teachers… Understand preacher/teacher was probably interchangeable. The problem was – not that good people, qualified people, educated people, gifted people standing up and explaining God’s word – The problem was just people standing up wanting to talk. Maybe use the pulpit or the teaching position to set people straight – preach politics, or do something other than what God had called them to do. I believe a heavy weight should be placed on the words preached, and the word of God that is preached.

Just like I’m not qualified to play QB in the NFL for the super bowl champs – these people were not qualified to preach and teach the word of God – I can throw a football, but I can’t take a hit – I’m shorter than most football players, I’ve got more of a belly than most football players – I would get killed. When it came down to judgment time I would lose.

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