James 3:3-12

JOHN 6:68 (NIV) "Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life .” [ V. 63— “(JESUS) … The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” ]
MATTHEW 15:11; 17-19 “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” . . . “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”


1.  A bit in a horse’s mouth.
V. 3: ”If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.”
2.  A rudder on a ship.
V. 4— 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.”
3.  A fire.
V. 5— 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!”
MEMORY VERSE: JAMES 3:5:  “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.”

JAMES 3:6-12— " 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, [ a ]  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.  10  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.  11  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12  Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.”
Romans 10:9-10,13 NIV— 9 If you declare with your mouth , “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  1. What do our words tell us about our hearts? Why is the tongue so difficult to control?
  2. How would you counsel another believer whose conversation is often impure?
  3. What are two or three practical ways you can be more careful with your words?
  4. How do James's instructions apply to social media—texts, e-mails, Internet communication, etc.? 
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