Lesson 12 - Chapter 3:7-18

Lesson 12 - Chapter 3:7-18

Lesson for March 23, 2014

The Book of James

Chapter 3:7-18

Verse 7

“For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.”

We have four categories of species mentioned with regard to the lower creation. The Greek word for beasts is “therion” and refers to mammals, wild animals on the land as a rule. The Greek word for birds is “petainon,” which refers to animals above the land. The Greek word for reptiles is “herpeton,” referring to snakes. The Greek word for creatures of the sea is “enalios” referring to all marine creatures. The Greek word for tamed is “damazo” meaning to subdue or to control. While man can control the greatest of these creatures he cannot seem to control his tongue at times. In his mind, man has devised ways to control, to subdue and to tame lower creation. But from the same mind he has not devised a way to control his tongue one hundred percent of the time.

Verse 8

“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.”

But is a conjunction of contrast; the contrast between man being able to subdue and control wild and dangerous creatures and not being able to subdue, tame or control his own tongue. Then we have the Greek word for restless which is “akatastasos,” meaning unstable. The Greek word for full of deadly is “thanatephoros” meaning death-carrying. Poison is the Greek word “ios” meaning venom.

In this analogy the mental attitude sins are the venom while the tongue is the fang which carries the venom to the victim. The sins of the tongue manifest the restless instability of reversionism. Remember that in reversionism there are wide emotional swings, wide mental swings. That is why a reversionist praises a person one minute and curses them the next. Reversionism is characterized by instability. The mature believer with an edification complex of the soul avoids the sins of the tongue. His tongue does that for which it was designed. It expresses capacity for life, enthusiasm for life, and impersonal and personal love.

Verse 9-10

With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”

The sins of the tongue emanate from the sin nature. (Psalm 34:13; James 3:6) The sins of the tongue are motivated and sponsored by mental attitude sins, especially pride, jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability and hatred. (Psalm 5:9) Out of the seven sins that are an abomination to God, three are sins of the tongue. (Proverbs 6:16-19) The habitual function of the sins of the tongue is a sign of reversionism. This can eventuate in the sin unto death or maximum divine discipline. (Psalm 12:3)

Control of the tongue is a sign of the possession of the edification complex of the soul. (James 3:2) The tongue in reversionism can produce enough slander, gossip, maligning, judging, to destroy an entire congregation (James 3:5-6) Since the sins of the tongue can destroy an entire congregation of believers, it is the duty of the pastor to constantly warn against them. (II Timothy 2:14-17) Troublemakers are characterized by sins of the tongue. (Psalm 52:2) Believers are specifically commanded to avoid such troublemakers and separate from them. (Romans 16:17-18) A believer can actually lengthen his life and find great inner happiness by avoiding the sins of the tongue. (Psalm 34:12-13)

In the likeness of God uses the Greek word “omoiosis” for likeness, which means essence and hasa double connotation. First of all, it means all mankind has the same essence of the soul, invisible but real. Secondly, each member of the human race, with the same soul essence, has a different personality, different character, so that he is distinct from all other members of the human race. In other words, all members of the human race are one in essence but many in personality and character, just as the Father, the Son and the Spirit are one in essence but are different in personality.

Verse 11

“Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?”

This is a rhetorical question to illustrate and to teach; not a question to which an answer is sought. The answer is already expressed before the question is asked. “Does the well (opening) emit out of the same opening sweet water and bitter water.” In other words, this rhetorical question establishes an illustration that you cannot get bitter and sweet water from the same well. A spring is consistent in the type of water that comes from it. The principle is established that while nature is always consistent the believer in reversionism is very inconsistent. His inconsistency and instability is expressed by use of the tongue.

Verse 12

“Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.”

There is more than meets the eye here because the fig tree is the national tree of Israel. In Isaiah we actually have the Jews portrayed as a fig tree. The olive tree is the national tree of the Greeks and in effect it is saying it is not possible for a fig tree to produce olives any more than it is possible for a Jewish mother and a Jewish father to have a Greek child. Neither can you get fresh water from dipping into an ocean of salt water. A believer, indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, should not be speaking cursing and blessing. If a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit he will speak only blessing. Speaking cursing is a sign of a believer who is out of fellowship with God. Speaking cursing means a believer is maligning, gossiping about, judging, or lying about someone or something.

Verse 13

“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.”

Wise is a reference to maximum doctrine in the soul, a completed edification complex of the soul and the application of Bible doctrine. The Greek word for wise is “sophos,” and it means insight into spiritual things. The Greek word for understanding is “epistemon,” which means to be a master of a subject; an expert in the field of doctrine. So we have “Who is an expert in the field of Bible doctrine among you?”

The Greek word for show is “deiknumi,” which means to demonstrate. The Greek word for behavior is “anastrophe” meaning manner of life. The phrase his deeds is a reference to divine production. The Greek word for gentleness is “prautes,” which means grace orientation in the mind. The Greek word for wisdom is “sofia” and it means applied doctrine.

Translation: “Who has spiritual insight and who is an expert among you in Bible doctrine? Let him demonstrate by means of his honorable manner of life his divine production in the sphere of grace orientation.”

Verse 14

“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.”

We start out with a conjunction to show that we are no longer talking about the honorable manner of life. We are now talking about a manifestation of a dishonorable manner of life, which is reversionism. The Greek word for jealousy is “zelos,” which means envy. The Greek word for bitter is “pikros,” which is an adjective to describe jealousy. Jealousy always produces bitterness and strife. It leads to the sins of the tongue. Selfish ambition is the Greek word “erithia,” which means self-seeking, rivalry, self-willed, seeking to win followers.

The Greek word for arrogant is “kauxaomai,”which means to boast. The Greek word for lie is “pseudo” meaning to deceive or to falsify. A person in reversionism always does two things. He tries to make himself out to be honorable by boasting about his pseudo spiritual life and his boasting is lying (self-deception).

The Greek word for truth is “aletheia,” which sometimes means doctrine and sometimes it means what are the true facts of the case. Here it is “lying against what is true.” Boasting exaggerates. In the case of lying a person doesn’t tell you the truth because if he did he would look bad. A person who is boasting can only tell you lies since he has to look good. He has to cover his dishonor in reversionism with whitewash, and to do this he must boast and lie against what is true. The facts do not interest him.

Verse 15

“This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.”

Wisdom is the Greek word “sofia,” which is used for the edification complex of the soul. Satan has a counterfeit edification complex of the soul, which is the application of demonic doctrine to experience. This doctrine is not from above, it is false doctrine. The devil is the ruler of this world system and any doctrine he has is false. The earth is the devil’s kingdom and the “wisdom” in this verse belongs to his kingdom. It is the “wisdom” of reversionism. This doctrine is found in the soul of a reversionistic believer (natural) because it belongs to Satan. Where does this false doctrine come from? It comes from demons (demonic).

Verse 16-18

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

We begin with a contrast between the instability of a reversionistic believer operating under Satan’s pseudo edification complex and the stability of a believer who has an edification complex in the soul from Bible doctrine. Wisdom is the Greek word“sofia,” and is used here in the sense of Bible doctrine in the soul of a believer who is advancing spiritually. This wisdom from above is Bible doctrine in the soul of the maturing believer.

Pure is a word which describes deity and everything that belongs to it. It is a technical reference to the edification complex. It is not “pure” simply in the sense of morality but it means pure in the sense of the function of the plan of God, the capacity to receive and to utilize a maximum amount of grace from God. God’s grace has to have a place to go and it goes in the direction of those who have capacity to receive it. So it is purity in the sense of maximum capacity.

Peaceable means producing inner benefits. The word reasonable means a grace response to different situations in life. Gentle is the Greek word “epieikes,”which means teachable; full of mercy means the extensive use of grace, the function of grace in action; good fruits is literally divine production; unwavering means impartiality; without hypocrisy means genuine, not a faker.

The fruit of righteousness refers to a harvest. The harvest is what is being produced in the life of the believer who has developed an edification complex in their soul and is applying Bible doctrine consistently. The Greek word for peace is “eirene,” which means spiritual prosperity and tranquility of soul based on Bible doctrine resident in your soul. There is no more beneficial thing in the world than Bible doctrine.

The Greek word for making is “poieo” referring to divine production in the Christian life. The word means to make or to do, or to produce. As you take in Bible doctrine you are producing for yourself benefits at that moment and benefits in the future. The ones producing benefits are the ones who are consistent in learning and applying Bible doctrine and these benefits also spill over into the lives of others. These are the peacemakers among us because peace means tranquility of soul.