2 ...If any man offend not IN WORD, the same is a PERFECT MAN, and able also to BRIDLE THE WHOLE BODY.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, THAT THEY MAY OBEY US; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, WHICH THOUGH THEY BE SO GREAT, and are driven of fierce winds, YET ARE THEY TURNED ABOUT WITH A VERY SMALL HELM, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 EVEN SO THE TONGUE IS A LITTLE MEMBER, AND BOASTETH GREAT THINGS. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And THE TONGUE IS A FIRE, A WORLD OF INIQUITY: so is the tongue among our members, THAT IT DEFILETH THE WHOLE BODY, AND SETTETH ON FIRE THE COURSE OF NATURE; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 FOR EVERY KIND OF BEASTS, and of BIRDS, and of SERPENTS, AND OF THINGS IN THE SEA, is tamed, and HATH BEEN TAMED OF MANKIND:
8 But the tongue can NO MAN tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 THEREWITH BLESS WE GOD, even the Father; AND THEREWITH CURSE WE MEN, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 OUT OF THE SAME MOUTH PROCEEDETH BLESSING AND CURSING. MY BRETHREN, THESE THINGS OUGHT NOT SO TO BE. - James 3:2-10
In this lesson we are going to learn about the purpose for which the tongue has been created. In our opening text we read in verse two that if any man is capable of not offending with his words, than he is a perfect man. That might sound a bit far fetched, but remember, God never tells us that something is possible if it isn't. First of all, God cannot lie. Second of all, His Word says that ALL things are possible to him that believes. Nevertheless, attaining to perfection is not the subject here. The word "perfect" in this verse, like many other verses in the Bible, is referring to spiritual maturity. Also, notice that this spiritually mature man is able to "...BRIDLE THE WHOLE BODY." What does that mean? It means that the whole body can be brought into subjection with the tongue. James goes on to say in verse three that in the same manner a horse is tamed with a bridle bit, so also is the whole body bridled with the tongue.
Isn't it interesting how many people in certain religious circles have condemned the doctrine of "confession" as though it were a plague? Yet, the Apostle James says a spiritually mature man is one who can dominate his body with the Word of God. I am not just talking about the temptation to sin. I'm talking about sickness and disease trying to infiltrate your body. We can command our bodies to come in line with the Word of God and they have to obey us (vs. 3).
Let's move forward to verse four. It says that though the ships of the sea are so great in size, yet, they are steered in direction by a very small helm. Our text says in verses five and six that the tongue is also a little member of the body, but it is able to chart the course of a person's entire destiny. How? Words. My friend, you better get a hold of this teaching once and for all, because words are the infrastructure of this universe. The Bible says that the planetary system is held together by the Word of God's power (Hebrews 1:2-3).
Now verse seven says that every kind of animal creation has been tamed by man, but verse eight says that no man has ever tamed the tongue. Why? You yourself cannot dominate your body without the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13 / Hebrews 9:13-14). The sole purpose of the Holy Spirit in helping you tame your tongue is to teach you how to talk. Again, our text in verse six says that the tongue is a "...WORLD OF INIQUITY..." As a member of your body, your tongue knows how to do one thing - SIN! Until you got born again, that's all your tongue did and knew how to do very well (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Now that you're born again, your tongue has to be retrained. You have no choice. Otherwise, you are destined to destroy yourself. You have been programmed by the spirit of this world to speak death and destruction. You say or have said things like "My back is killing me. I'm never gonna get ahead. This thing is just going from bad to worse!" And the list goes on and on. C'mon, keep it real! You know Brother Gomez is telling the truth! Therefore, it's time to change that.
Our text says in verses nine and ten that out of the same mouth we bless God and curse men, who are made in the image of God! The Apostle James says that's got to stop! Cursing should not be coming out of our mouths; towards ourselves or others. God didn't predestinate us for that. He created us in His image to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, and subdue the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). The primary way that we accomplish that mission is with our words. That's one of the ways we imitate God (Ephesians 5:1, AMP).
You see, beloved, this is why the Bible is so adamant in Romans 12:1-2, where God's Word exhorts us to presents our bodies (the tongue) as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. We do that by not allowing ourselves to become adapted to the spirit of this world. We do that by allowing ourselves to become transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is how we can discern what is the perfect will of God concerning the words that proceed out of our mouths (Ephesians 4:23-27, 29). I remember one day I was disgusted with myself because I had a problem with profanity. So when I was in prayer the Lord said to me "If you'll spend more time praying in tongues, you'll spend less time cursing." And the Lord showed me in Jude 20 and 21 where it says:
20 "But ye, beloved, BUILDING UP YOURSELVES on your most holy faith,
PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST,
21 KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD...
Glory be to God! The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 14:4 "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue EDIFIETH himself..." Therefore, we know that Jude 20 is talking about praying in tongues, because the word edifieth in 1 Corinthians 14:4 means "to build up". So, Jude 20 and 21 are saying that if you will spend more time building yourself up by praying in tongues, you will spend more time keeping yourself in the love of God! I'll tell you what, that sure was a revelation to me! Now do you see how we can put to death the deeds of the body by the power of the Holy Spirit within us?
Proverbs 18:21 says "Death and life are in THE POWER OF THE TONGUE: and they that LOVE IT shall eat THE FRUIT thereof." This verse of Scripture is one that hundreds of thousands of Christians are truly ignorant of, yet, it is one of the most important in the Bible. God is telling us that we hold the power of death and life in our tongues! If you haven't figured it out by now, that's serious business man! Why do you think the Bible says that we will give account for every idle word we have spoken? However, I believe that if you and I will be quick to repent of the destructive use of our words against ourselves and humanity, that God is merciful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from that unrighteousness. God is so merciful and kind to us. He didn't just issue these indictments in His word and not give us any recourse for how we should live? In Deuteronomy chapter thirty we read:
11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, IT IS NOT HIDDEN FROM THEE, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, WHO SHALL GO FOR US TO HEAVEN, AND BRING IT TO US, THAT WE MAY HEAR IT, AND DO IT?
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, WHO SHALL GO OVER THE SEA FOR US, AND BRING IT TO US, THAT WE MAY HEAR IT, AND DO IT?
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, IN THY MOUTH, and IN THY HEART, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.
15 SEE, I HAVE SET BEFORE THEE THIS DAY LIFE AND GOOD, AND DEATH AND EVIL;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, THAT THOU MAYEST LIVE AND MULTIPLY: and the Lord thy God SHALL BLESS THEE in the land whither thou goest TO POSSESS IT.
17 BUT IF THINE HEART TURN AWAY, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that YE SHALL SURELY PERISH, AND that YE SHALL NOT PROLONG YOUR DAYS UPON THE LAND, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth TO RECORD this day against you, that I have set before you LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, THAT BOTH THOU AND THY SEED MAY LIVE:
- Dueteronomy 30:11-19
God has recorded this day that you are reading this teaching on the purpose of the tongue. He is letting you know that as of today, you are no longer exempt from being responsible to do His will by speaking His Word and speaking His Word ONLY. You know that death and life are in the authority of your tongue. Now you must choose how you will live. Will you live in the blessing? Or will you live in the curse? The choice is up to you and God has given you a free will to do so. It says in verses seventeen and eighteen that if you turn away from the blessing, you will surely perish. That's the curse! God wants you and your family to live long and prosper, but Proverbs 18:21 says whatever you love is what your going to receive. It is my prayer that you will begin to renew your mind and learn how to use your tongue to experience the blessing of God's in your life.
CONFESSION OF FAITH:
Heavenly Father, I make a quality decision today to consecrate my tongue to you. I choose to speak words of life and blessing, and refrain from speaking corrupt communication that does not edify me or others around me. You have predestinated me to be conformed to the image of Your Word. I choose to meditate in the Your Word day and night so that the Your Word will not depart out of my mouth. I chart the course of my destiny with my words. I will think the right thoughts, say the right words, and make the right decisions in every situation I face. I will no longer be sick, broke, sad, or fearful another day in my life. I am the redeemed of the Lord and I say so. Glory be to God!