James, Lesson 4

James, Lesson 4


Heavenly Father, we pray for Godly and heavenly wisdom from You. We pray that You will help us to control our tongue to pronounce blessing, encouragement, and life to others. Help us be humble and conduct our lives worthy of Your calling, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

James 3: 1-18, the untameable tongue, heavenly wisdom, and earthly wisdom

VV 1-5, 1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in words, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

The judgment for a teacher of God’s words is very much stricter than teachers of other trades. Correct theology and doctrines are matters of life and death. Teaching false doctrines leads innocent people to hell. Teaching false doctrines and incorrect theology are serious offences. The tongue is a very small member of the body, yet it is the most difficult part to control. The tongue had a tendency to boast, brag, gossip, and get out of control.

VV 6-12, 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water
and fresh.

The tongue is like a forest fire that can spread rapidly and uncontrollably. Mankind is able to tame every kind of wild beast but is unable to tame the tongue. The tongue has the ability to bless and curse, to bring life and destroy life, to encourage and discourage, to uplift and tear down. We should use our tongue wisely to bless, give life, encourage, and build up.

VV 13-1i, 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Godly and heavenly wisdom results in good conduct and humility. Demonic, earthly, and sensual wisdom results in bitterness, envy, self-seeking, boasting, and lying. Godly and heavenly wisdom is pure, peace-loving, gentle, submissive, merciful, fruitful, impartial, genuine, and devoid of hypocrisy. Godly and heavenly wisdom produces the fruit of the Holy Spirits, Galatians 5:22-23.

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.


The judgment on a teacher of God’s word is very strict. Teaching false doctrines is a serious offense. We must control our tongue and use it wisely to bless, build up, encourage, and give life. We should pray for Godly, heavenly wisdom, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.


Heavenly Father, help us to conduct ourselves above board with wisdom, humility, kindness, and meekness. We pray for Godly and heavenly wisdom which is pure, peace-loving, gentle, merciful, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit that only You can give to us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.