Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: James warns us of the right and wrong uses of our words

Cartoon from shows a line of pews and a sentence being passed from pew to pew.

1st pew: My ear kind of hurts 2nd pew: The pastor has an earache

3rd pew: The pastor got a hearing aid 4th pew: The pastor is having trouble hearing

5th pew: The pastor got a double earring

6th pew: An old lady with a cane is walking out and says”: That does it, I’m outta here! The pastor’s got a double earring.

When you go to the doctor he will ask you to stick out your tongue. He can learn certain things by just looking at the tongue. The tongue is very revealing.

Justin Martyr said, “By examining the tongue of a patient, physicians find out the diseases of the body. Philosophers find out the diseases of the mind, and Christians find out the diseases of the soul.”

The average person spends one-fifth of his or her life talking?

If all of our words were put into print, the result would be this: a single day’s words would fill a 50-page book, while in a year’s time the average person’s words would fill 132 books of 200 pages each! Among all those words there are bound to be some spoken in anger, carelessness, or haste.


1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. Highest calling to a Jew

The reason being, what they say exerts influence over others. Therefore it is important that a teacher of God’s Word be faithful to the Word, influencing people for the good and not to the bad. Barnhouse: If you can be anything else be it.

Actual Tabloid Headlines: 1) World’s oldest woman thrives on lard and booze and probably lives in Vegas. 2) Exorcism cures monstrous zit. 3) Leprechaun ejected by casino. He’s too lucky! 4) Vampire poodles go on a bloody rampage. 5) Lincoln was a woman. Supposed to be reliable?

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 will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. 4 Look at 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. See 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? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

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.

In many ways all of us stumble. We all stumble and fail the Lord in many ways.

By reminding us that we all stumble, he is saying that this includes all believer

a. Spiritual Maturity: he is a perfect man The word “perfect” does not speak of being without

sin or failure. He has just said that we all stumble. The word speaks of spiritual maturity.

He is telling us that our tongue reveals whether we are spiritually mature or not.

Webster defines gossip as a noun and as a verb. As a noun, a gossip is a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts. As a verb, gossip is a rumor or report of an intimate nature.

Rick Warren gave a great definition of gossip and how we know when we are gossiping.

“When we are talking about a situation with somebody who is neither part of the problem or part of the solution, then we are probably gossiping.”

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