Friday, February 22, 2013

Bible Study: NT Proverbs - James - Chapter 3

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of James, although they are a bit better formatted than former efforts. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, summer 2009, things are looking increasingly bleak with the economy, health care and unemployment, there is a renewal and increase of racism, and godly principles of living being disregarded. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 3 of the book of James. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

Self-control – begins with thoughts

Our walk with Christ is not a competition with other Christians.

Tame the tongue! (“Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth!”)

3:1 – Those who teach will be held accountable because of their influence.

3:2 – everyone makes mistakes. Including teachers.

3:3 – A device placed in a horse’s mouth can steer the whole animal! What can we put in our mouths to do the same? Praise.

3:4 – The rudder of a ship is small but steers the whole vessel. What is your rudder?

3:5 – The tongue is small, but has great influence. Like a tiny spark, it can start huge fires – good and bad.

Perhaps the tongue is compared to fire because words can spread destruction quickly. They can also smolder beneath the surface where you don’t realize damage is being done. (“Only you can prevent forest fires.”)

3:7 – the tongue is wilder and more unruly than the wildest animal. Take a moment to think about that. What is the wildest animal you can think of? What makes that animal wild? Your tongue is wilder!

3:8 – says “…no man can tame the tongue…” So what’s the point of the passage? Jesus can do it.

The untamed tongue:
Gossips, puts others down, brags, manipulates, spreads false teaching, exaggerates, complains, flatters, lies. This is the poison the tongue is filled with.

Is what I’m going to say true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

“It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

3:9-12 – We praise and curse with the same tool. This is ridiculous! It’s like pouring glue and acid from the same bottle. The fresh and salt water analogy is a good one. And the grapevine… As part of the body of Christ, are you bearing sweet fruit or sour grapes?

3:13 – Our actions reveal our wisdom or lack thereof. Need wisdom? Ask God for it. See 1:5.

3:14-15 – Worldly wisdom is not wisdom at all. It’s from the devil. Do a word study on wisdom. Begin with verse 17.

3:14 – Bitter envy… – we should seek God’s wisdom instead of comparing ourselves and our possessions to others.

3:16 – Envy and selfish ambition lead to disorder and every kind of evil!

3:17 – Wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, full of good fruit, impartial, sincere. Cite examples of how you’ve seen these qualities manifested in Christians you know.

• The book of James is called the “Proverbs of the New Testament”. What pearl of wisdom have you harvested from today’s reading, and how will you apply it to your life?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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