September 11, 2011
POWER UNDER CONTROL
A. James 1:19 “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to
anger.” James 2 Faith without works is dead.
B. James 3 zeros in on the use of the tongue
1. It can be used to comfort, encourage, instruct in
righteousness, to build up others, etc.
2. At times that tongue can be very sharp and tear down, do
C. James 3:2 “For we all stumble in many ways. If any one does
not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man able to bridal
the whole body as well.”
1. In the Greek it says we all sin over and over again
2. If a Christian does not sin in his words, he has achieved
D. Wow!! Controlling the tongue must be really important
I. The tongue is a powerful instrument
A. Small but powerful - Three Illustrations (v.3-5)
1. A small bit turns a large horse
2. A small rudder turns a large ship
3, A small spark can set a whole forest on fire
4. The tongue is a small part of the body with great power
B. Warning: The tongue is a fire (v.6)
1. Sin finds expression through the tongue : Covetousness,
idolatry, blasphemy, lust, and greed
2. That expression looses fire that defiles the whole body
(Individual or Church)
3. That fire changes the course of life - its direction and
4. That fires source is hell (Gehenna)
V.7 C. All animals have been tamed by man, but not the tongue
V.8 D. But not the tongue it is full of deadly poison
V.9 1. With the tongue we praise God and curse men
V.11 2. Does a fountain give both fresh and bitter water?
V.12 Can a fig tree produce olives? (Our speech in time reveals
the true nature of the heart)
E. James seems to be saying we have a problem with our tongue
1. Political Debates: Is the goal to explain ones posi- tion or
to tear down the other candidates?
2. Our society glorifies in your face trash talk
a. Athletes, movie stars, musicians
b. Those who can chew up people and spit them out with their
words are admired
3. We never tear one another down in the church with our words,
F. James makes it sound like there is no hope, so how are we to
get our tongues under control
Control of the tongue comes from the right wisdom (vvs.13-18)
A. There is an earthly wisdom - (V.14) Bitter jealousy, self-
ish ambition and arrogance (This is what he has just dis -
B. Verse 17 describes the wisdom from above
1. Pure - Free of contamination
a. A person who partakes of the character of God.
b. Following after God with unmixed motives
2. Peaceable - Not looking for a fight, controlled by an inner
a. Not driven to make something happen my way
b. Trust God to guide one through the situa- tion and to
accomplish His purposes
3. Gentle - To be fair, moderate, courteous, consider- ate, kind
to all and patient when wronged.
4. Reasonable - A good listener, recognizing the good points in
5. Full of mercy and good fruits - Mercy, not hold- ing onto the
faults of others, but abounding in com- passion. Then actively
working for the good of others.
6. Unwavering - With no uncertainty, undivided in ones
allegiance to God.
7. Without hypocrisy - Never seeking to deceive or to manipulate
C. Controlling the tongue by wisdom from above
1. First realize that “the mouth speaks out of that which fills
the heart.” (Matthew 12:34b)
2. Fill your heart with Christ - Controlled and empowered by
a. We cannot be controlled by what we do not know so be an
obedient student of God’s word
b. We can only be controlled by things when they determine our
c. Practice spiritual breathing
1) Confess your sins
2) Ask God to fill you with His Spirit
D. We cannot control our tongue in our own strength - its like
trying to hold a ball under water
E. This wisdom is available to all Christians
1. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who
gives to all men generously.” (Js. 1:5)
2. Do you need to ask Christ to purify your heart with this
wisdom from above?
A. Remember the dangers of an uncontrolled tongue.
B. God wants to use the power of our tongue to be a blessing to
us and to those around us.
C. The man who is able to bridle the tongue can bridle the whole
1. Being filled with the wisdom from above equips him in all
D. The spirit filled life is really power under control.
September 4, 2011
FAITH THAT SAVES
A. Today we come to the communion table of our Lord. We remember
and contemplate our faith in Jesus our Lord.
1. The bread helps us remember how He took our sins in His own
body on the cross.
2. The cup speaks of how He gave His own life to pay the penalty
for our sins
B. We also come to the table to renew our commitment to follow
1. Last week we were challenged to look into the word of God to
see how it applies to us.
2. Then we are to choose to be effectual doers and not forgetful
C. To help us prepare to partake of the Lord’s table we will
review what our faith is and look into James 3.
Salvation: The Gift of God
A. Key passages:
1. Ephesians 2 :8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as
a result of works, that no one should boast.”
2. Romans 3:28 “For we maintain that a man is justi- fied by
faith apart from works of the Law.”
3. Acts 16:30-31 (Philippian Jailer) “Sirs, what must I do to be
saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall
B. Jesus’ completed work needs nothing added to it by us.
C. Man tends to want to justify himself before God by his own
1. All the religions of the world are based on works: none has
forgiveness of sin
2. Jews wanted to depend on the fact that they were God’s chosen
people and that they kept the law.
3. People today have some of the same tendencies
a. We know He is in heaven because he was baptized in this
church as a baby.
b. Want to do something to “make up” for our sins.
D. Our faith is based on what Jesus did and not on what we might
1. Jesus paid the penalty in full—resurrection is proof
2. We quit running and received the free gift
James asks, “If a man says he has faith, but has no works, can
faith save him?” (v.14)
v.15- A. Story of one needing clothing and food, but only gets
1. “Go in peace, be warmed and filled.”
2. Were words sufficient or did they need some action?
V.17 B. “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead.”
1. In the story the words with out works are empty
2. Faith without works is that just empty words?
V.18 C. “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith
without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
.19 D. “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons
also believe and shudder.
1. The demons knew who Jesus was and all about Him
2. The demons shudder at that knowledge because they know they
are doomed, but no good works.
3. v. 14 Isn’t this like the man who said he had faith, but no
V.20 4. You foolish fellow, faith without works is useless
a. There may be a type of “faith” that does not issue forth in
b. Such faith is useless, it has no saving power
V.21 E. Abraham was justified by works when he offered up Isaac
V.22 1. Faith was working with his works, and as a result of the
works , faith was perfected (completed)
V.23 a. Some 30 years earlier “Abraham believed God , and it was
reckoned to him as right- eousness.”
b. On mount Mariah; Abraham’s faith was at work when he sought
to obey God.
c. Faith was perfected - the fruit of faith was Abrahams works.
d. Therefore James could say that Scripture was fulfilled
V.24 2. “You see that a man is justified by works and not by
V.25 F. “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so
also faith without works is dead.”
1. Works is an integral part of real faith
2. Saving faith will always have works growing out of it.
A. Saving faith must show forth in good works.
B. Focus verse: Romans 10:10 “For with the heart a person
believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation.”
1. Believes = Faith — Results in righteousness =
Justified — Right standing before God
2. Mouth confession = salvation
C. Faith and works are together from the beginning
1. We are saved by grace through faith.
2. If it is saving faith it will produce good works.
3. Early good works
a. Confession or profession of faith
c. Joining a church
d. Studying God’s word
D. Let God help you remember your salvation by faith
E. Let the spirit examine our walk of faith - are there evident
August 28, 2011
A. What would a bridle for the tongue look like?
1. Most of us know what a horse bridle looks like
2. A bridle gives more control than a halter
3. It must be something to control the tongue
V.21 B. “Receive the word implanted”
1. Receive means to hear and yield to the working of the word
2. (Medical) Some cancers are treated by implanting radioactive
pellets in the diseased organ
3. (Medical) Cornea implant: They take out the dis - eased
cornea and put in a healthy one
a. If the body receives these they make you healthier
b. If our bodies reject them they do no good
4. God has implanted His word in us but we must choose to
a. God wants that implanted word to bring us to salvation
b. God wants that implanted word to conform us to His image
V.22 C. “Prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely
hearers who delude themselves”
D. In verse 19 James gets specific about an area God wants to
see that implanted word at work
I. Be Quick to Hear
A. Quick to hear what God has to say to us. Why?
1. Isa. 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways declares the Lord.”
2. God has to disclose Himself to me or I will not know Him or
B. Also be quick to hear one another
1. As you have done it unto the least of these you have done it
2. So we are to be quick to listen to each other
C. How easy is it to listen?
1. Has your mind ever wandered during a sermon or while having a
2. Think you already know what a verse or person has to say
3. In a hurry or thinking of other things
4. They do not have anything to say you need to hear
D. How can we work on listening?
1. Take notes
2. Ask questions for clarification
3. Repeat what you have heard them say
Be Slow to Speak
A. Why does he follow “Quick to hear” so quickly with “Slow to
1. How much listening do you do while you are talking?
2. When you shift to talking it is easy to
shift from seeking to understand to making your point.
3. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never
hurt me. (Not True)
4. You never hurt anyone while you are truly listening - you are
5. When you open your mouth to talk you need to do so carefully
because you may hurt people rather than encourage them.
B. How do you gain understanding of what was said and how God
would have you respond?
1. Is it by giving a quick response?
2. Do you need to ask questions for clarification?
3. Do you need time to think about what was said and how you
C. We are not told we should never talk at all but that we
should be careful.
1. Have I listened and processed enough?
2. What is God wanting to accomplish here?
Be Slow to Anger
A. Why does he move quickly to add “Slow to anger?”
1. When our emotions rise it is easy to shift into attacking
2. We begin to listen only to find points of attack
B. What about righteous indignation?
1. Caution: If we claim righteous indignation we are claiming to
speak for God.
2. When we are angry are we in tune with God
enough to speak for Him?
C. We need to be able to share our views or speak against sin
with conviction without attacking people.
A. This applies to our relationship with God
1. Quick to hear when God speaks
2. Slow to make excuses or defend ourselves or to teach others
before we have understood
3. Slow to anger when God seems to be slow or says no
B. It also applies to our relationships in the church
1. Quick to listen to understand others
2. Slow to defend our point of view
3. Slow to anger - not only watch our words but also our tone
V.23- C. Hear and not do is like looking into a mirror and
V.25 D. What are you going to do with what you have seen as you
looked into God’s word today?
1. Will you be an effectual doer?
2. Or will you be a forgetful hearer?
E. Practice putting on the “Tongue Bridle”
1. Practice really listening to people this week
2. Practice not speaking until you have really listened
3. Anger means you are not ready to speak yet
August 21, 2011
TRUSTING OUR GUIDE
A. Pastor you sure have made this simple prayer complicated.
B. Jesus was able to say a lot in a few words.
C. Today we look at “And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil”
A. The word translated “Temptation” is a neutral in the Greek -
either good or evil
1. When we are tempted to tell a lie Satan tries to con- vince
us it is alright or even better to lie.
2 In that same situation God wants us to learn to resist evil
and tell the truth and thus become stronger spiri- tually.
3. So whether the situation is good or evil depends on what we
choose to do.
B. Two things we know about God and Jesus
1. God does not tempt anyone
a. James 1:13 “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being
tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He
Himself does not tempt anyone.”
b. Why would God ask us to pray that He would not lead us into
2. Encountering various trials is a good thing
a. James 1:2-3 “Consider it all joy, my breth ren, when you
encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith
b. Maybe we aught to ask God to lead us into various trials
C. What is Jesus saying we should be praying for?
Understanding these last requests
A. Ken Bailey tells about going out into the desert
1. You need to choose an experienced and reliable guide
a. One who has been there several times
b. One who knows where the watering holes are
c. One who knows the dangers and how to deal with them
2. You are entrusting your life into his hands
3. As you move into the hot, unmarked desert and the place you
left from disappears, you may be com- pelled to say to your
guide, “Don’t you get us lost out here.?”
a. “Your not saying “I do not think you know how to get there
b. You know very well that without the guide you will not make
c. You are saying, “I am going to stick close and do all you
tell me to do.
B. John MacArthur:”Jesus is here not speaking of logic or
theology but of a heart desire and inclination that causes a
believer to want to avoid the danger and trouble of sin.
1. When we honestly look at the power of sin we know it is
stronger than we are
2. We see our weakness and sinful propensity
3. We realize our inclination to excuse our sin
C. Some believe that we in the USA suffer from a congenital
disease - an obsession with material blessings at the expense of
1. In our affluent society we grow up wanting more and more
2. We have many more time saving devices today and yet we have
less time for God
3. We may even have more money but more things to spend it on
and less “left over” to give to God
4. As retired people how do you know how much you are to spend
on living the good life and how much do you spend building the
kingdom of God?
5. Can we get so busy that we do not have time to spend with or
do much in the way of ministry?
D. Lead us not into temptation is not so much a call for deliv-
erance as it is a recognition of our need for help in living the
1. It is like an unmarked desert - how do you know when you are
off track or unbalanced with out God’s working in your life
2. There are many mirages out there - they look good but when we
get them they are only good for a sea- son
E. Deliver us from evil is recognition that we need to have I
Corinthians 10:13 to be true
1. “No temptation has overcome you but such as is common to
man;” Others have faced it and over come it in Christ
2. “And God is faithful,” He is always available and able to
meet our need
3. “Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what we are
4. “But with the temptation will provide the way of escape also,
that you may be able to endure it.”
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
A. This benediction is not in the original text
B. This benediction acknowledges God’s kingdom, power glory, and
presence as we endeavor to live out this prayer
C. What does the Amen at the end of a prayer mean?
1. The prayer is finally over
2. In Jewish tradition it meant “So be it”
a. A commitment to do what has just been prayed
b. Amen was not the end but the beginning of the commitment
A. Amen applied to this request
1. Seek to be aware of my need for a guide
2. Commitment to be filled with the Spirit
3. Look for the way of escape when tempted
4. Trust God to supply all I need when tested
B. These are expressions of commitment and dependence
August 14, 2011
FATHER, FORGIVE US
A. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
1. Do you really want God to forgive you in the same way that
you forgive others?
2. Think about the way you forgive the one who cuts you off in
B. What do you do with verses like this that make you uncom-
1. Skim over it and act like it does not apply to you?
2. Try to find some possible explanation that you are
3. Seek to be teachable as the Lord applies it to you?
C. Debts or trespasses
Jesus teaching on forgiveness (Matthew 18:21-35)
V,21 A. Peter asks, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin
against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
V.22 1. “Jesus said to him, … up to seventy times seven.”
2. Did Jesus really mean 490 times?
a. How long would it take before we figured out that Jesus may
have had something in mind beyond counting?
b. Forgiveness is more than numbers and law
B. Jesus goes on to teach using a parable
V.23 1. A king decides to settle accounts with his slaves
V.24 2. One slave owed 10,000 talents and could not pay - A
talent was more than 15 years wages for a laborer
3. Slave begged not to be sold and the king forgave the debt in
V.28 4. This slave found another slave who owed him 100 denarii
(1 days wage) and had him thrown in jail when he could not pay
5. The king hears of it and has the first slave given to the
torturers until he repay all that he owed the king
a. He could not pay the monetary debt and the king had forgiven
V.33 b. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave as I
had mercy on you?
V.35 C. Jesus says that’s what God will do if we do not forgive
from the heart
1. Forgiveness is not just the saying of words but an attitude
of the heart.
2. Worthy of preferential treatment
3. Forgiveness begins with God changing your heart -
removing any hurt or anger
II. Jesus lived out forgiveness (Luke 23:33-38)
A. Jesus from the cross, “Father forgive them ; for they do not
know what they are doing.”
1. Who was Jesus talking to?
a. People standing by looking on (v.35)
b. Rulers sneering— “He saved others let Him save Himself”
c. Solders mocked Him - “If you are the King save Yourself”
d. Disciples stood a far off
2. Webster on forgiveness - To give up resentment against or the
desire to punish; stop being angry with; pardon
a. Jesus shows no resentment, anger or desire to punish.
b. Holding nothing against them Jesus asks the Father to put
their sins on Him.
B. When Jesus forgave them He went on to complete God’s plan for
their and our salvation.
1. How could Jesus forgive such acts of cruel injustice?
a. Jesus dealt with His emotions as He prayed in the garden
b. Jesus chose obedience in the garden
2. For that forgiveness to be real to all those there that day
they had to confess their sin and receive it
C. Important elements in learning to forgive
1. Begins with our commitment to facing our emotions and
choosing to seek God’s will
2. Facing our differences and choosing to seek God’s plan.
3. Learning to let God love and give others preferential
treatment through us
D. Forgive us our debts
1. We pray this in the midst of community
2. Our forgiving one another is essential to our functioning as
a. When we disagree we can not tear each other down
b. When we disagree we have the opportunity to trust God to work
out His plan and not ours
c. We must give preferential treatment to each other
d. We must endure and not allow anything to get us off track
A. “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear
me.” (Psalm 66:18)
B. In Luke 6:36-38, Forgive and you will be forgiven.
“Be merciful , just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge,
and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be
condemned. Forgive, and you will be for- given. Give and it will
be given to you. A good measure , pressed down, shaken together
and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the
same measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
1. At times we may say “I just can not forgive so and so for
what they have said or done.” Is that true?
2. Does not God command us to forgive?
3. Would God ever command us to do something we can not do?
4. God is ready to supply everything we need to for- give.
5. Not only that He wants to bless us.