James 3:1-18 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Teachers Will Be Judged More Strickly
Comments for Study 1

James 3:1-18
Memory Verse: 17

BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

I. Tame the Tongue (3:1-12)

>1. Why might someone presume to be a Bible teacher?

* James 3:1 "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

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>Though many can teach any subject what makes them a good teacher?

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>According to verse 1 will those in the family of God be judged all the same?

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>2. What does it mean "we all stumble in many ways" in regard to the fact that we will all be judged?

* James 3:2 "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check."

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>Can anyone claim to be never at fault in what they say?

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>Why should a teacher, who uses his tongue tongue be careful with their words?

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>3. What is common in the three allegories in verses 3 thru 5?

* James 3:3-4 "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark."

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>Why do people boast and why can't a Bible teacher boast?

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>4. According to verse 6, what other effect can our words have? (Matt. 12:33-37)

* James 3:6 "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."

* Matthew 12:33-37 "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

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>Since we can't tame the tongue is there any hope that it to be tamed? (7-8; Mark 10:27)

* James 3:7-8 "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

* Mark 10:27 "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

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>5. What does it mean to curse men and why is this wrong? (9-10)

* James 3:9-10 "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."

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>6. How is the heart a water spring?

* James 3:11-12 "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

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>Considering all these allegories, what must a good Bible teacher do? (John 15:1-4)

* John 15:1-4 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

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II. Wisdom (3:13-18)

>7. Where does wisdom and understanding come from? (Deut. 4:5-8)

* Deuteronomy 4:5-8 "See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?"

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>How does this add to the understanding of verse 13?

* James 3:13 "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom."

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>8. Examine your heart before the Lord Jesus against verse 14. Where do you stand?

* James 3:14 "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth."

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>How does the world view envy and selfish ambition? (15)

* James 3:15 "Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil."

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>what is the truth behind these? (16)

* James 3:16 "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."

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>9. How can we know if words are wisdom from God? (17)

* James 3:17 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."

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>10. What is promised to peacemakers?

* James 3:18 "Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

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>How does Matthew 5:9 add to the truth about peacemakers?

* Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."

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