The Unruly EvilBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, May 13, 2007.
THE UNRULY EVIL I. Man's tongue is his glory. PSA 30:12; 16:8-9 c/w ACT 2:25-26. A. Man is distinguished from the brute creation by his faculty of diverse and complex oral communication. 1. Man has the capacity to think concretely and abstractly and to communicate both orally to others. 2. When was the last time anyone heard a chimpanzee explain a reasoned process to his neighbor or paint a touching word picture of his love for his mate or tell a fairy tale? B. Man was made after the similitude of God (JAM 3:9) Who communicated to man His will by His mouth in intelligent language. DEU 8:3; NUM 12:8. C. The importance of intelligent language as a means of communication is seen in the name of the Second Person of the Godhead, Who is not the Noise, the Sound, the Feeling or the Impulse, but the WORD. JOH 1:1-3. II. Sin corrupted man's speech. ROM 3:13-14. A. By nature, our first action following birth is a perverse use of the tongue. PSA 58:3. B. Other members of the body can each commit sin but the tongue has a capacity to commit many different sins, including: 1. Cursing. JAM 3:9. 2. Blasphemy. LEV 24:11. 3. Lying (including false accusation, deceit, seduction). EPH 4:25; 1TI 4:2. 4. Railing (uttering abusive language). MAR 15:29. 5. Backbiting (slander, defamation of character). 2CO 12:20. 6. Whispering (malicious insinuation, secret slander). 2CO 12:20. 7. Debate (ungodly dissension, quarrelling, wrangling). ROM 1:29. 8. Talebearing (unsolicited spread of private matters for malice or idle curiousity). PRO 20:19. 9. Flattery (false or insincere praise). PRO 20:19; 29:5; PSA 5:9. 10. Boasting (bragging, extolling oneself). ROM 1:30; JAM 4:16. 11. Inconvenient (unsuitable, inappropriate) jestings/foolish speech. EPH 5:4. 12. Filthy communication. COL 3:8. 13. Murmuring/complaining. JUDE 1:16. 14. Praising the wicked. PRO 28:4. 15. Praising devils/false gods/idols. DAN 5:4 c/w 1CO 10:20. C. Satan has a particular bent towards mouth sins. JOB 1:11; LUK 20:20 ct/w TIT 2:8. D. The sinful use of the mouth is high on God's hate list. PRO 8:13; 6:16-19. E. God will have the last word. ROM 3:4, 19. III. The management of our tongue is a weighty concern. A. An ungoverned tongue invalidates religion. JAM 1:26. B. Our speech is a gauge of our heart. MAT 12:34-35. C. Our speech is a consideration in the judgment. MAT 12:36-37; JUDE 1:15. D. Our relieving hope is grace. ISA 6:5-7. IV. James elaborates on the tongue in the third chapter of his epistle. A. The person who can control his tongue has a "leg-up" on controlling the rest of the body. JAM 3:2-4; PRO 21:23; 1PE 3:10. 1. Like the horse, the tongue must be taught obedience. PRO 16:23 c/w PSA 32:9. 2. It must be brought into subjection. 1CO 9:27 c/w PSA 106:32-33. 3. A firm resolve is needed beforehand. PSA 39:1. 4. Taming a lion is an easier task. JAM 3:7-8. 5. Through faith the tongue can be tamed. 1JO 5:4; PHIL 4:13. B. Like a small fire, an unconfined tongue can cause widespread damage. JAM 3:5-6. 1. Fire is a good servant in the hearth, but a terrible master when loose in the rest of the house. 2. So is the tongue: a blessing when controlled, but a curse when not. 3. Mouth sins defile the whole body. An unrestrained tongue is often a doorway to other sins. ECC 5:6. C. The tongue has the capacity for good and evil. JAM 3:9-12; PRO 18:21. 1. Why use the tongue for destructive purposes when it can be used for edifying purposes? PRO 12:18; 15:1; 25:11. 2. Christian temperance means leaving the cursing to God. ROM 12:14. V. Here are other considerations in the government of the tongue. A. There is a time to be silent. ECC 3:7. B. Don't be hasty to speak. JAM 1:19; PRO 18:13; ECC 5:2-3. 1. Think before you speak. PSA 39:2-3. 2. "Think twice before you speak once." C. Limit speech. PRO 10:19; 29:11 ct/w 17:28. D. Think scripturally; speak scripturally. 1PE 4:11. E. Don't be too hasty or stringent in judging others for errors in their speech. ECC 7:21-22; ISA 29:20-21. VI. Consider these holy and constructive employments of the tongue and embrace them: A. Praying. EPH 6:18. B. Praising God and giving thanks. HEB 13:15; EPH 5:19. C. Comforting one another. 1TH 4:18. D. Exhorting and admonishing one another. ROM 15:14; HEB 10:25. E. Confessing Christ. MAT 10:32. F. Witnessing and defending the gospel. 1PE 3:15; JUDE 1:3. G. Speaking up for those who can't defend themselves. PRO 31:8. VII. The ultimate model of excellent speech and a governed tongue is the Lord Jesus Christ. 1PE 2:22; LUK 4:22 c/w Col.4:6. A. Christ was not dainty in speech but spoke with authority and rebuked as needed. MAR 1:22; MAT 23:13-39; MAR 8:33. B. Good words and fair speeches may be misused. ROM 16:18; 2PE 2:18. VIII. Let us embrace David's prayers. PSA 141:3; 19:14.
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