[Adrian Rogers has entitled his message on this
"The Meanest Member Of Our Church."
I think this is the most appropriate title for this text so I have used
the same title. As a matter of fact
I am borrowing much from Adrian Rogers message on this text in this message
[There is a mean
member in our Church and today I intend name names and call out the meanest
member of our Church. So as not to
give this scoundrel away I will refer to him in the neuter sense. This member is
so mean that it is able to destroy people’s lives in but a moment of time.
It can render a lifetime of accomplishment useless in but a moment
destroying every bit of self esteem its victims might have had.
It is so mean it can set one’s life on fire consuming all of one’s
personal value in a blaze as hot as brimstone.
It is vicious, often ruthless and feared by almost everyone in this place
tonight. Do you know who the
meanest member of our Church is?
You’ll know by the time we finish reading our text tonight.]
[Who is the meanest member of our Church?
Well it is clearly the smallest member of our Church and that is your
[This whole text
deals with the development of Mature Conversation.
We need to get our words under control so our conversation will be godly
and graceful. The Bible says,]
Let your speech be
alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer
every man. ]
[It seems in our day that too many people just want to give
people a piece of their mind, but would your piece of mind be godly and
In this study we discover,
The Influence of the Tongue (vs 1-5)
[- What can your tongue do? What is
the power of our words? James uses three illustration to reveal just how
powerful this meanest member of our Church really is.
How powerful is your tongue?]
["The Tongue can direct. The Tongue can
destroy. The Tongue can delight."]
Three Illustrations For The Tongue:
(vs 2- 3) [-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. 3 Behold, we put
bits in the horses'
mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
- A little piece of metal in a horses
mouth controls the whole horse. All
of the mighty power of the horse is control by that little bit in the horse’s
[Just a bit of a word can control the whole destiny of
[Isn’t it amazing that a little bit can control such a
What does it take to control you words?
Do you know that your words are far more powerful than a horse in all his
Rudder (vs 4) [- Behold also the
ships, which though they be so
great, and are driven of fierce
yet are they turned
about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
- A little rudder can turn a very large ship.
The rudder can bring a ship into the safety of the harbor.
A Rudder is incredibly important for a ship.]
Fortress of the Germany Navy, with a special hull armour that could fend off a
normal torpedo. Because of its
special hull the Bismark was a terror to the British fleet.[
[On May 21,
1941, the "unsinkable" German battleship, the Bismarck,
was sighted in the North Atlantic. Immediately
planes and ships from the Royal British Navy sped to the scene with orders to
sink her at all costs. As the
Bismark headed toward the German-controlled French coast where it would be safe
from attack, to the astonishment of all, the massive battleship suddenly swung
around and reentered the area where the British ships were massed in greatest
strength. At the same time, she began to steer an erratic zigzag course, which
made it much easier for the British to overtake her. You see, a torpedo had
damaged her rudder and without its control the "unsinkable" Bismarck was soon sunk.
That little rudder was critical to that massive ship and was her
this smallest member of our Church, the tongue is critical to the well being of
our fellowship and can be our undoing.
This meanest member of our Church can destroy the effectiveness of the
body of Christ. Don’t underestimate
the importance of this little member.]
(vs 5) [- Even so the tongue is a
little member, and boasteth great things. Behold,
how great a matter a
little fire kindleth! - A spark is all that is needed to start a
large consuming fire.]
[Mrs. O'leary (1871), in Chicago was milking her cow when her cow
kicked over a lantern and started a fire.
In that fire 17,450 building were destroyed and more than 250 people
can warm or fire can burn - Words can bless and words can burn.]
The Iniquity of the Tongue (vs 6-8)
[- Four Things.]
Defiles Like A Broken Dripping Sewer (vs 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. -
Beware of the gutter mouth.]
(Gk) - a spot, stain. To defile, spot, stain (James 3:6; Jude 1:23).
Many understand that this expresses a spot as in to soil.]
[This means to spot as in becoming soiled, perhaps like
a broken dripping sewer. Who would
want to be around raw sewage? Hence, our words can be like raw sewage.]
Destroys Like A Hellish Fire (vs 6; Prov 16.27-18) [-
And the tongue
is a fire,
a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the
and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Beware of the arson tongue.
Gossip is like this.]
27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil:
and in his lips
there is as a burning fire.
28 A froward man soweth strife: and
a whisperer separateth chief friends. ]
[There was a woman who was waiting for the bus.
As she waited she leaned up against a wall upon which a freshly printed
newspaper hung. It printed these
words upon her dress, "Daily News."
She didn't know it was there, but people laughed at her all day.
When she got home she asked her husband to look at the back of her dress
and to tell her if there was anything there that ought not to be there.
To which he replied, "No mame, nothing at all."]
Devours Like A Wild Beast (vs 7; Gal 5.15) [-
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:
Beware of the biting tongue.
15 But if ye bite and devour one
another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. ]
Deadens Like A Vile Poison (vs 8; Prov 18.21) [-
But the tongue can no man tame;
it is an unruly evil,
full of deadly poison.-
Beware of the darts of the
tongue. This speaks
of our words acting like poisonous arrows.]
Death and life are in the
power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. ]
The Inconsistency Of The Tongue (vs 9-12)
Therewith bless we God, even the Father;
and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth
blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the
same place sweet water and
bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my
brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so
can no fountain both yield salt
water and fresh. - The type of inconsistency spoken of in our text is
impossible in the natural world.
What is impossible in the natural world ought not to be found in the spiritual
The Contradiction of the tongue (vs 9-12) [– The
type of inconsistency spoken of in this text is impossible in the natural
world. What is impossible in the
natural world ought not to be in the spiritual world.]
["We go from the Gloria to the
gossip, from the creed to the criticism."]
[There once was a little girl who was sitting on her
daddy's lap and hugging his neck.
While she was hugging his neck she saw her little brother across the room and
stuck out her tongue at him. Her
mother saw it from the other room and chided the girl by saying, "get your arms
off of your daddy's neck. You can't
love your father will sticking your tongue out at your father's son."
This is the lesson James is teaching us.]
[To curse a man does not mean to cuss a man.
You can curse a man with criticism, gossip, and slander.]
["If you love God then let it be
shown in your speech toward other men."]
The Conclusion Of The Tongue (vs 8; Matt 12.34; Luke 6.45) [-
But the tongue can no
it is an unruly evil, full of
deadly poison. - You cannot control your tongue on your own.]
["You might as well try to control
gun powder in hell,
as to try and control your tongue apart from God."
[Where do your
words come from? - Our words pour out of our heart.]
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye,
being evil, speak good things?
for out of the abundance
of the heart the mouth speaketh.]
[Luke 6:45 45 A good man out
of the good treasure of his heart
bringeth forth that
which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart
bringeth forth that which is evil:
for of the abundance of
the heart his mouth speaketh.]
["What's in the root of the tree will
show in the fruit of the tree."
"What's in the well will show in the
[The Holy Spirit is our only hope to control our words.
The only way for you to control your words is for you to be saved and
filled with the Holy Spirit.]
["While there is a bit in the horses
there is someone who holds the bridle.”]
[“While there is a rudder on the
there is someone who holds the helm."]