Bible Studies

JAMES CHAPTER THREE
(Please understand that these are only "expanded" Bible Study "summaries".)

James 3:1-18

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (judgment-reproof)

We are not to give ourselves the "attitude" of teachers. We are not to take on a stance of elegance or pomp and circumstance, or grandeur. We are to speak with the humility and spirit of learners. We are not to criticism one another, as if all must be brought to our standards.

Everybody should not try and be a teacher (master or overseerer-leader) They receive the greater judgment or reproof. Masters or pastors are held to a greater responsibility that other Christians.

Teachers are not to judge to harshly either. God will judge us in the same manner. If we are overly strict and severe with others, so will our God be to us.

Matt 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Many times the words of a teacher spoken prematurely or too harshly will offend others. This goes for "all" Christians though, not just teachers. If we do not unjustly offend others in word, we are a perfect person. We keep the "great" commandment, "love thy neighbor as thyself". How often do we "offend ourselves" by what we "say of ourselves". Let us learn to be severe in judging ourselves, but charitable in our judgments of other people.

James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

When we bridle (put a Bridle or bit ) in a horse mouth, we control it’s "whole body". We don’t just control the horses’ mouth, we control the whole body.

Ps 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

James 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Even ships in a storm which are hard to control, are controlled by a very small rudder compared to the size of the ship. The ship will go whithersoever (wherever) the governor (helmsman-person who steers the ship) listeth (wishes-has a mind to go)

James 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

The small tongue can do great things. It can do a great deal of good, or a great deal of harm. It can cause a great flame, or fire. How great a manner (fuel-wood) a little fire can kindleth (light) The tongue can control the rest of our body and mind. Without a bridle (self control) it can run wild like a horse or a ship.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

The tongue can cause the "whole body" to sin. It is a "world" (not just a little-a great bunch) of iniquity. (unrighteousness)

Eccl 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

Do not say it was not on purpose, but rather repent. The damage has already been done. Many good works will be "burned up". (the work of our hands)

The Holy Spirit came as cloven tongues of fire in Acts 2. When the Holy Spirit guides our tongue, we are guided by fire from heaven, and we have good thoughts, love and affection, and active undertakings and we serve the purposes of God. But if we do not keep it bridled the fire of hell guides it and we serve the purpose of the devil.

Wonder why it was a CLOVEN (divided-split-parted) Strong’s Bible Greek/Hebrew Dictionary says (literally in distribution, figuratively in dissension).

Literally in distribution—Different gifts of the Spirit and different measures of the Spirit.

Figuratively in dissension—disagreement-division. The same tongue can be used for good or bad. There is division and disagreement between good and bad.

Measure—a degree, a limited proportion-

Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

We Christians get a "measure" of the Spirit but Jesus Christ received the "fullness of the Spirit. Think of what we could do with a greater measure. The Apostles received a greater measure, and they could do even more works, (not greater) than Christ. Jesus "alone" was healing and working other miracles. Now "twelve" men were doing so.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater (more) works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

James 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

Man has dominion (control) over the earth.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

He can tame everything but his tongue.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

God can control the tongue though. The Lord has controlled it in the lives of many to bring great blessing to mankind

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

The tongue is also inconsistent. It is used to fulfill its highest purpose, specifically to bless God, but it is also used to curse men. Such inconsistency, especially in the case of Christians (My brethren), ought not to be. The illustrations of the fountain, fig tree, and vine show that "such inconsistency of behavior is a revolt against nature, where everything holds to an orderly course of good or bad

James 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Nothing in nature holds a straying course like the human tongue. All other creations are "consistent" or harmonious.

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

A man that is endued with knowledge (able to understand or comprehend- discern scripture) should show by good behavior his works as teacher, pastor, ect. in humility of wisdom or knowledge. The pride of knowledge has almost always been the evil sin of competent teachers.

James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

No one should be envious of a gifted teacher. If the teacher is noticeably gifted and truthful, do not lie about him of his teachings out of envy and strife and selfish ambition.

James 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

If the teacher/pastor exalts himself or boasts of his knowledge and strives for selfish ambition, he is living a lie. He may preach some truth, but the reason for preaching will be a lie. This kind of wisdom does not come from God, but is natural reasoning without any supernatural light.

The teacher will be the cause of this most likely. Arrogance, conceit, self-importance can be seen-detected in this type of person. This causes discontent, confusion and discord in others.

James 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

THIS kind of wisdom is not from above. Evil work is of the devil. God is not the author of confusion.

1 Cor 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

There will be pure truth. If a mistake is made it will not be intentional. It will not be made to impress someone. The truth will be taught or preached kind-heartedly. It will be easy to appeal to the people because of the way the truth is brought to bear. The truth put to the people in a meek and humble manner will be more appealing to them than truth put to them in a self-righteousness and harsh, condemning manner.

Truth put to people in a spirit of compassion and mercy without favoritism (equal concern for all) and without a sanctimoniousness attitude or a pretense of virtue or piety will bear much good fruit, or works.

James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If we teach, or whatever we do, in the right manner or attitude and for the right reason, good will come of it. If righteousness is preached in peace and sincerity fruit will be borne (bear) in peace.