Acts + Letters Lesson 29 Day 2

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James 3

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)

3. a. For we all stumble in many things. 

James begins by pointing out the greater accountability for teachers because they speak a lot of words. 

“The ancient Greek word translated stumble does not imply a fatal fall, but something that trips us up and hinders our spiritual progress.”So a teacher has more opportunity to cause someone to stumble.

Examples of stumbling:

Boasting, exaggeration, and selective reporting1

Criticism, gossip, slander, cruelty, being two-faced, and anger; or with flattery and insincere words meant to gain favor.1

Complaining, lying, 

b. What we say reveals our inner character.

Jesus said it this way: “You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34-37)

4. My words should encourage and uplift others.

If the Spirit prompts me to offer correction, my words should be loving, gentle and filled with hope. 

If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Phillips)

I should be “swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” (James 1:19)

Submit myself to God. “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. . . . [Then] “my mouth will declare your praise.” (Psalm 51:10;15)

5. a. Wisdom

Earthly wisdom is superficial, unspiritual, even devilish. 

Its fruit is pride, jealousy, contention, rivalry, confusion, disharmony, and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

Heavenly wisdom is undefiled, peace-loving, gentle, impartial, and sincere. 

Because we know the source of godly wisdom, it brings humility.

b. Personal assesment

I need more heavenly wisdom. 

As James wrote in James 1:5, if we lack wisdom, we can and should ask God for it. 


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2 AWM Living Commentary

Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 29 Day 2

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