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September 30, 2022 12:00 am
The Apostle James gives us a rather surprising warning in James 3:9-12 that our worship won't get past the ceiling if our love for God doesn't flow out into love for others. So join Stephen in this message as he shows us why those two things are so closely intertwined.
So to go one layer further in Jameses's is making a point. God is as interested in what we say to each other out there as he is and what we need to him in here and saying what we say to him in here does not give us a free pass on what we say. The waters out there.
You cannot bless God in here and we let all everybody else in your world language in your tone sound different in church that it doesn't work you speak differently with your pastor and you do with your spouse or children are there settings where you let your guard down. Regarding your time. We need to learn to guard our tongue in every and any situation in God's word is going to help us with that today. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi and Stephen continues through his series entitled speech therapy for Saints. I did find it interesting as I was researching this paragraph in James chapter 3, which you can turn to now that the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson literally dream the plot of one of his novels back.
One of his best in his dream he ended up crying out so loudly that his wife will come up, fearing for him and a goner saying we shouldn't of awakened me. I was in the middle of dreaming that I was literally being transformed and will make a wonderful book within six days of that fevers, writing Stevenson's unconscious thoughts between good and evil took the form of this short novel entitled the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The stories told in the eyes of an attorney. If you read it in middle school or high school the attorneys. A friend of Dr. Jekyll's but is concerned because Dr. Jekyll has his long periods of absence and isolation.
Unknown to him and the rest of society. Dr. Jekyll had actually invented a potion that allowed him to transform into someone that he went about saying a call himself. What was Mr. Hyde. He's able to prowl around town getting involved in all sorts of sinful love behavior and he does it without ruining or dirtying sullying the character of the good upstanding Dr. Jekyll. The trouble is that I will continues the evil Mr. high gains more and more power is stronger and stronger over Dr. Jekyll until he is able to transform without Dr. Jekyll drinking the potion or willing he's unable to control. Mr. high, the evil side of Dr. Jekyll is growing more and more powerful.
Dr. Jekyll writes a letter explaining the battle and then takes his own life in order to end the life of Mr. Hyde was only recently actually committed murder is dying moments. Jekyll transforms in the Mr. Hyde who can do nothing to save himself, and when the authorities arrived they find Mr. Hyde dead wearing the clothing of Dr. Jekyll. The mystery solved by the letter which explains the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are one and the same man.
The book became a bestseller. Most critics believe it to be so because it played out this what everyone struggles with it played out in flesh and blood of this battle within one man is upright and responsible. The other is wicked and evil and murderous. To this day hundred 25 years after the first publication we had that phrase that we will use of someone who is one way and then he transforms into another reason Jekyll and Hyde interesting as I studied this text that came to me that James is effectively describing us in the same way only he is in writing fiction in this letter from James moved along by the spirit of God. James, the half-brother of our Lord will reveal that we have this battle within and it finds its way out and through our mouths are speak. He has told us that the tongue is a bit like a bit to the horses mouth, a writer ship. It's small, but it is directive powerful.
He went on the right, in our last session of your witness.
The tongue is like a forest fire is like a venomous snake. It is a restless animal waiting to define the skate we covered eight different descriptions given to us by James of the tongue in her last session I gave them to you and they all began with a D. The tongue is destructive, depraved, the filing determinative, diabolical, disobedient, dangerous and deadly, and we could in this message continue the ideal of the ninth point calling the tongue duplicitous mature to good idea to use words and points that we don't spell 70 came up to me afterwards and just say it's divided that's an excellent word. It has a dichotomy, built in II think it was simplest spoken by that Indian chief of the old Western. He probably saw were where the old chief looks into into the camera and he says white man speak with what fork tongue is the truth no matter who you are. By the way, because the tongue is not a problem of nationality. It is a problem of nature or human nature. We all have living with us within us is fallen, though redeemed, believers a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
And it is a struggle for life because Mr. Hyde is always wanting to take over. The battle goes back and forth. That's what James confesses to we left off with verse nine. Let's pick it up there with what will call James honest confession he writes in chapter 3 verse nine with it. That is the tongue we bless our Lord and father, and with it we curse men, who've been made in the likeness of God from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.
My brother in these things ought not to be this way. Now it's encouraging the James again shifts back to using this first person plural pronoun we get is Orion and he doesn't say all you out there getting this letter you got a problem. He says we will do this. Whether you are a mature disciple of Jesus Christ or newborn believer. You have discovered your involved in a battle. It's a bad Jekyll and Hyde proportion battle within so I want to do is take a closer look at this battle. James writes in verse nine with the same tongue we can bless our Lord and father, which happens to be the highest and noblest employment of the tongue. It is true when we say together. Moments ago. To God be the glory.
I stand in awe of you. Jesus paid it all in Christ alone. My hope is found. He is my lights, my strength, my song we could not have directed our mouths and use our tongues with anything more holy and honorable and glorious than that is one of the blessings of the assembly were coerced by our brothers and sisters around us to raise our collective voices and forget about ourselves and focus on the glory and the sufficiency and the honor of our Lord and father whom we bless. James says we use our times to bless God.
The word blesses interesting, it's you would human the compound word you EU meaning good or well analog DOS meaning word good word were delivering good words were speaking well of someone you legume and gives us our transliterated English word eulogy. We contained the context of that word to a funeral where the deceased is eulogized he is spoken well all good things are said about him. No matter how badly he live no matter how wickedly she may have led somebody will think of something good to say which is a good thing to eulogy. According to James eulogy is not reserved for funeral that will eulogize more often. Only the living, but our Lord, not the dispersed Jewish believers to whom James was writing would've immediately understood the context of the concept of eulogizing God blessing God. Whatever the name of God was spoken at his hearing.
He was to respond with, blessed be he, blessed be he, blessed be he, three times a day about you and James generation.
Even to this day they will repeat in the Jews.
The badges will repeat prayers called eulogy and every one of them begins with the words, blessed be thou. Oh Lord, so James is saying understood by them immediately and to us after explanation it's easy to bless God to eulogize God to say good things about God is a bless God praise God whatever and then with the same mouth curse another person word curse isn't a reference to profanity by the way, vulgarity. There are other verses in the New Testament for that. It's a word carries the idea of demeaning cutting unkind condescending words to call down curses, which is a literal translation of the it's a reference to slander, gossip accusation, which in this context, by the way, is referring to those within the faith. Referring to those who follow after God we would say today, those inside the church so to speak.
There's another nuance of his work as well. The Christian does this kind of cursing. This kind of demeaning speech only because they view themselves as better than the person to whom their speaking. So that's the nuance you are calling down curses you are speaking down to someone else.
That means your hire out in your view, your about that you're placing yourself on the pedestal and from there your open season believer has that idea. He is literally using his mouth for both blessing God then and because he views himself as better than another, curses man, people might say the unit is not so bad we can't think about of the lease were not saying that things about God saying bad things about people but Elise were singing hymns and choruses in church, saying, bless the Lord, we we will pray several times this week. Perhaps before we eat. Or maybe some quiet time in is a one of the things of God. When is a bad things to him, so it can't be that bad and James effectively says I know you'd say that.
I knew you'd be thinking that way. So let me just tie off that loophole which he does in the very next phrase and with our tongue we curse men, who'd been made in the likeness of God is a volume in their where blessing God work cursing man. James is may I remind you that those you are cursing had been made in the likeness of God.
Let me pause for a moment because of his great doctrinal truth here even though mankind is fallen, even those who do not believe sin has the final but it is not destroying the image of God stamped uniquely upon mankind infect the perfect tense of this verb in verse nine who have been made means that the image of God as unique qualities of conscience. Moral reasoning objective will they have been made which means those qualities were not entirely obliterated following the fall, we still bear the mark. One of those Odyssey would be conscience which uniquely binds man to the right and condemns man when he does wrong, those who believe in those who do not believe show they have the image of God and that they both know what's right or wrong mankind. Ladies and gentlemen is not some slightly more evolved animal that is true that even the mentor. One of the mentors of Darwin said if we do believe that man then has the freedom to act like an animal. Animals can kill their young were more than is James exaggerating the connection between insulting mankind and insulting God.nothing so vexing with this. I suppose you're invited over to a home for dinner and you walk in with others in your walking with your wife by painting you see on the wall and whispered to your wife. I hope they didn't pay much for that verbal only to discover that the artist is your post. Who overheard so what would you say you don't take it so hard look I wasn't criticizing you.
I was only criticizing your were that's the point. You cannot separate the two. Anyone who insults another human being with unfair, unkind, meaning condescending, gossiping, criticizing speech has just insulted the artist because the artist created that as his work.
So to go one layer. Further, in James is is is making the point God is as interested in what we say to each other out there as he is in what we say to him in here and saying what we say to him in here does not give us a free pass on what we say daughters out there.
You cannot bless God in here and be let all everybody else in your world. James is that is exactly what were doing with her speech. This is our battle now after this honest confession which we would all appreciate because we find ourselves in the same kettle. James delivers an earnest confrontation with verse 10 he says this in its point blank again. James never did put the gloves on.
They've always been all throughout the entire my brethren guineas, including himself with his talking to believers as well, my brethren, these things ought not to be this way. This ought to be to strong negative effect. The only time it appears in the New Testament. It is here. This ought not to be interesting to say. That way, and we need to make sure we understand what is earlier in the letter. James has effectively said this is how it will be.
If you are a believer works will follow your faith. This is how it will be if you're a believer now. He says this is how it should be, but might be if you're a believer. James is not saying that a believer will never speak out of both sides of his mouth.
He is saying that a believer should not do these things ought not to be this way. There is absolutely no loophole in that there is, it is your battle. It is my battle and you cannot excuse it.
There's no loophole, no, no escape clause. This is, it shouldn't be this way. Like the voice you might hear in your head. Shame on you stop that what he said, convicting, and convicting his thinking.
We defend because what can we take a break in the study something easier to grasp what election free will is reason to study this is to apply according to James imperatives and speaking with imperative is telling us that when God redeemed our spirit.
He gave us through his Spirit. The capacity to renovate her speech as we surrender to that spirit and be aware that renovation project is going to take a lot longer than it did to the kitchen with an upstairs bathroom without walking at the Lester lifetime, but will be worth every step because of the power of your tongue to bless the heel that you're like most people involved in one of those renovation projects. Pictures help don't think in James does just that now gives us three outdoor pictures to describe what we are pursuing the sanctified speech he shows us pictures of a fountain, a fig tree and freshwater for the most part self-explanatory. Look at verse 11 says does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water application at the same time, James is by the way, not referring to a man-made fountain is referring to a gushing fountain from a mountain crevice the strata of earth underneath that mountain may include both sweet and bitter water.
His plane is out of the same opening there will come water of one kind or another.
Not both at the same time.
So what kind of fountain are we what's coming out of the opening. I like the metaphor. One author who said it this way, said within the mountain of self. There's a great struggle for there are two streams within, but only one opening. It got a minute otherwise would've created us with two mountains, one for blessing God, and another for cursing our fellow man, but he created only one. So the more practical question would be what kind of fountain will you and I be today.
What will be delivered what will gush out bitter water or sweet.
Verse 12 can a fig tree, my brethren, produce islands, or find a reference to the grapevine can grapevine produce fig. These questions are expecting the reader to respond with absolutely not. We we know that can't be so, here, here James says look you want to check the progress the temperature of your heart, which no one can see. Check out the fruits of your words of your lips you found to be true. Haven't you as you battle when your heart is rights. Your words are right when your heart is pure.
Your words are pure when your heart is surrendered to the spirit of God, your words or sweet and satisfied again in the last phrase in verse 12, nor can salt water produce fresh water.
Literally assault spring will not produce sweet or fresh water now to follow this carefully. James point is that one kind of water cannot transform itself into another kind of water by itself in the same way our tongue which have been natural conduits for evil ever since the fall cannot produce good things on our own. James is doing more than exposing the problem even though he ends abruptly and in the mind of the believer.
If you've been in the faith very long and you got to know some of the New Testament your mind as minded goes immediately. The Galatians chapter 5 where we we we are given the record of fruits, love, joy, peace, patience and kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 522 and 23 and how does that fruit appear to go back and look at those words.
Most of it makes an appearance through by means speech words, the tongue.
So James is showing us that her speech has the power to direct, to determine to destroy and to delight because there's nothing more refreshing cold water when you're thirsty or fruit when you're hungry.
Solomon wrote this way. Proverbs 1218, the tongue of the wise person brings health.
Paul wrote to the church in Rome. He said listen is my prayer request that when I come to you. I might refresh to great progress is Lord help me today as I mingling here in this idol even as I show up at work tomorrow and whatever I that I will refresh with my words.
Paul wrote to the Colossians.
This way, but your speech always be accompanied by grace.
Colossians chapter 4 verse six.
So what is that look like when your home your marriage, your church, relationships should be marked by these fruitful refreshing quality. James is saying we must choose to be the fountain from which sweet water, we must choose to be the tree from which right fruit grows, we are the ones who should speak. James is not telling us in this paragraph how to listen to Encouraging Word. In fact, we frankly don't need a lesson on that is telling us that we speak speech therapy for Saints don't ever forget.
He writes, to whom you are speaking, especially in the context of the faith. Imagine when we speak to one another we are actually speaking the sons and daughters of God headed for credible CS Lewis wrote these powerful words along this line in the provoke my thinking in his book entitled the weight of glory, a series of addresses CS Lewis portrait of Narnia mere Christianity number of others. He said he said it this way. Listen from us and remember that the dullest and most uninteresting believer you talk to will one day be a creature which, if you saw him as he will be you would be strongly tempted to worship him is in light of this, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics is immortals whom we joke with work with Mary snob and exploit. There are no ordinary people you have never talked to a mayor mortal. What a reminder best way to get started is to join in with James in this honest confession.
If this is James battle.
It is our can we not confess man came up to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism was centuries ago and he said Mr. Wesley. After the sermon. He said I wanted another my talent is reviewed which Wesley responded.
I believe God would be happy if you buried that and we pursue all surrendered to Christ in daily renovation.
Get your tools ready in the middle. We are in need of God is worthy of we are in need of it. And God is more than worthy of every surrendered his glory with that Stephen brings to a close this three lesson series called speech therapy for St.'s since this series is so important and so practical you might want to listen to it again or share it with a friend. We've taken this series and posted it to our website wisdom online.org you can go there to listen anytime free and on-demand also bounded together as a set of CDs.
So if it would encourage you to have this series in your collection of biblical resources. Give us a call number is 86 648 Bible. Thanks for listening and join us next time. For more wisdom for the heart