Each Christian Must Refrain His Tongue from Evil (1 Peter 3:10-11)
1. In vs.10 Peter mentioned a special blessing -- "loving life and seeing good days." 2. To enjoy this blessing we must follow the instructions that follow. 3. In our lesson we are concentrating on the fact that "each Christian must refrain his tongue from evil." 4. In studying this subject we are examining a text of Scripture that deals with "controlling the tongue" (James 3:2-12). 5. James began by pointing out that . . . Discussion: I. THE TONGUE IS TO BE CONTROLLED (vs.2-4)
A. (vs.2a) Because we are human we all stumble in many ways. 1. This refers to sins we commit through weakness. 2. (vs.2b) However, if a person does not stumble in what he says he is a perfect individual who is able to control his whole body. B. (vs.3-4) James gave 2 illustrations. 1. (vs.3) The first illustration involves a horse. a. A horse may be large and powerful, but if he has a bit in his mouth his entire body will be under control. b. With no bit in his mouth he will not be under control. 2. (vs.4) The second illustration involves a ship. a. A ship may be very large, but a small rudder will cause it to go in the direction that the captain desires. b. With no rudder the ship will not be under control. C. The point: Christians must have their tongues under control. 1. What good is an uncontrolled horse or an uncontrolled ship? 2. What good is a Christian who has an uncontrolled tongue? (see 1:26) II. (vs.5-8) THE UNCONTROLLED TONGUE IS DESCRIBED
A. (vs.5) In comparison to other parts of the body the tongue is very small. 1. However, if it is not controlled it is capable of boasting great things. 2. Even though the tongue is very small it can start a great fire. B. (vs.6) The tongue is said to be a fire and a world of iniquity. C. (vs.7-8) The tongue is said to be untamed. 1. Man has tamed all kinds of animals. a. However, no man has been able to tame the tongue. b. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison [like a poisonous snake]. 2. The tongue can be tamed, but only the person who owns it can tame it. a. Each person is responsible for controlling his own tongue. b. The key is having good things in the heart (Matthew 12:34-35). III. (vs.9-12) THE TONGUE IS TO BE USED CONSISTENTLY
A. (vs.9-10) We use our tongues inconsistently if we bless God and curse men. 1. This includes sins such as gossip, slander, railing, backbiting, whispering, talebearing, and murmuring. 2. Concerning such, James said, "My brethren, these things ought not so to be." B. (vs.11-12) James gave 3 illustrations. 1. Does a spring bring forth both fresh and salt water at the same time? 2. Can a fig tree bear olives? 3. Can a grapevine bear figs? C. One who blesses God and curses his fellow man uses his tongue inconsistently. Conclusion:
1. A person who has things in his heart such as envy, uncontrolled anger, hatred, and vengeance will likely have a problem controlling his tongue. 2. A person who has things in his heart such as gentleness, compassion, mercy, and patience will likely not have a problem controlling his tongue. 3. The key to having the right things in the heart is thinking on the right things (Proverbs 23:7a).