Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/ev/ev19990321.htm
JAMES: OVERCOMING DEAD RELIGIOSITY IN OUR BACKGROUNDS
Part II: Overcoming A False Spirituality's HEARTLESS Errors In Relating To Other Believers
A. Overcoming A False Spirituality's Damaging Unbridled Speech Habit
(James 1:26-27; 3:1-18)
Lesson: (1) To overcome the habit of speaking abusively, we must realize that this habit signals a false spirituality, and confess it as sin to God, 1 Jn. 1:9. (2) Then, we must lean on the Holy Spirit to control our speech (Gal. 5:16-23), (a) see king to be ACCURATELY upright as a priority in all we say, and adding to it (b) humble peaceableness, (c) gentleness, (d) a willingness to cooperate with others, (e) mercifulness, (f) impartiality and (g) sincerity. Then we will exhibit true godlines s!
- A generation ago, children used to say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!" In reality, words really can hurt the inner man, creating lasting damage that is hard to heal!
- James addresses the issue of verbal abuse that signals a false spirituality in the abusive party, and shows the abusive party how he is to overcome it as follows:
- Overcoming A False Spirituality's Damaging Unbridled Speech Habit, James 1:26-27; 3:1-18.
- The believer who tries to be pious but who does not control his speech because he lives by the power of his sin nature needlessly injures people with his speech, revealing his piety to be a false one, Jas. 1:26; 3:2-16:
- In speaking of one's being "religious" (KJV and NIV) in James 1:26a, James used the word thrayskos which actually means "god-fearing" or "pious," Theol. Dict. of the N.T., vol. III, p. 156.
- Thus, the writer of James taught that if a believer considered himself (cf. NIV) to be a godly Christian, but did not bridle his speech, he deceived himself, for his piety was an artificial one, James 1:26.
- James 3:2-8 expands on the idea of unbridled speech to give us a clearer picture of what it means:
- Unbridled speech is basically uncontrolled speech, James 3:2b-3.
- Unbridled speech, being uncontrolled, tends to offend and hurt its hearers, James 3:2a.
- The way it hurts hearers is described as follows: (a) uncontrolled speech arises from the sin nature having the liberty to hurt the hearers by exalting the one speaking out of pride, 3:5; (b) Uncontrolled speech allows the sin nature the liberty to act out other lusts in an uncontrolled manner, the lack of control itself doing harm due to thoughtlessness, Jas. 3:6-8; (c) Uncontrolled speech allows the sin nature the liberty to curse men, speaking spiteful, negative things about others that damages their feeling and causes great indignation, James 3:9-10, 11-12. (d) Uncontrolled speech allows the sin nature the liberty to vent one's envy and strife, James 3:14. (e) Uncontrolled speech allows the sin nature to expose its earthly value system orientation, creating disturbances and worthless ministries in its wake, James 3:15-16.
- Conversely, one who is truly pious in controlling his speech because he lives by the power of the Holy Spirit humbly relates to others so that his speech edifies, revealing a true piety, James 1:27: 3:1, 17-18:
- James contrasts the man of false piety of abusive speech (1:26) with the man who humbly nurtures those who cannot repay him (such as widows and orphans) and lives separate from the world, James 1:27.
- In greater depth, James hones in on the qualities of the speech of a truly pious person, James 3:1, 17-18:
- A truly godly Christian who is controlled by the Holy Spirit does not yearn to be a teacher as an ego trip, but realizes it is an awesome task for which he will be accountable to God, James 3:1.
- A truly godly Christian does not let his sin nature vent itself in his speech, avoiding havoc and hurt in his listeners, but does the opposite : (a) Controlled, godly speech primarily strives to be accurately righteous, James 3:17a; (b) Controlled, godly speech is peaceable, seeking to produce unity and calmness in its hearers, 3:17b; (c) Controlled, godly speech is gentle, tending to edify rather than tear down others, 3:17c; (d) Controlled, godly speech is compliant, seeking to adapt without compromising so as to get along with others, 3:17d; (e) Controlled, godly speech is very merciful and produces wholesome things for its listeners, 3:17e; (f) Controlled, godly speech is impartial and very sincere, 3:17f. (g) Controlled, godly speech especially given by a truly godly teacher gives out the truth in a peaceful wa y to yield a righteous harvest of godly living in his hearers, 3:18 NIV.