James – Session 6 (James 3:1-12)
James has something to say about how we speak. After giving a warning to those who would seek to be teachers, he describes the tongue using harsh words illustrating its destructive power. Much to meditate through this week as we prepare for worship this Sunday.
The Study: Here are some questions to think through as you process this passage for this coming Sunday:
- What is the warning James gives in 3:1?
- How many illustrations does James give to illustrate the power of small objects in 3:3-5?
- How many negative descriptions of the tongue does James talk about in 3:5-8?
- Which description of the tongue stands out most to you in 3:5-8? Why?
- How many illustrations does James give to illustrate a required consistency in our speech in 3:9-12?
As the Lord leads, read through James 3 this week. Meditate on James 3:1-12. Hide God’s Word in your heart as you memorize James 3:6.
The Memory Verse: James 3:6, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.”
The Passage: James 3:1-12 (ESV)
[3:1] Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.  For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.  Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.  So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.  For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.