June 3, 2016

James 3:8-12

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

What does it mean to be Double-Tongued?  According to the dictionary at, the term is an adjective meaning “…marked by deliberate deceptiveness especially by pretending one set of feelings and acting under the influence of another.”  In other words, it’s saying one thing to one person and saying or doing something different to another!  The Greek word is di-lo’-gos, and it is used only once in the New Testament, in I Timothy 3:8:  “…deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued….”  Strong’s Dictionary of the Greek Testament defines it as, “equivocal, that is, telling a different story.”  While the word is not used, the idea of being Double-Tongued is strongly set forth in James 3:8 through 12:

      But no man can tame the tongue.  It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poi-
      son.  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who
      have been made in the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceed
      blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be so.  Does
      a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?  Can
      the fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?  Thus no
      spring can yield both salt water and fresh.

Blessing God and cursing men!  Why is this so?  We are supposed to bless God!  We have been taught that fact in church from childhood!  After all, the Bible tells us to bless God 23 times, seven times in the 22 verses of Psalm 103 alone!  So we are taught to say in various ways:  “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).  But do we mean it, or is it too often just words?

Man is God’s highest creation!

•      Only of man is it recorded,Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….’  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26, 27).

•      Only man was given jurisdiction over all the earth (see Genesis 1:26, 28).

•      Only as a man was Jesus incarnate upon the earth.  He came not as an angel, or any other being of creation, but as a human being (see Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7).

•      Only man – and the creation over which he was given dominion (see Isaiah 11:6-9; Romans 8:19-23) – will experience the salvation Jesus provided!  Angels can only marvel – but not experience – redemption (see Ephesians 3:10; I Peter 1:12).

Using the same logic of identification which Jesus used in Matthew 23:16 through 22, if we bless God and curse men, we are in a very real sense also cursing God!

Why do we curse other people?  We are stuck living in the midst of them!  God, on the other hand, is too often thought of as dwelling afar off – somewhereout there!  And you know how close proximity to others can sometimes bug you.  Some wag once said, “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand!”  And there are people who just seem to delight in annoying others!  There are some who, if they owned a cat, would pet it………..UP!

And so we curse other people!  Too often these others are fellow Christians – brothers and sisters in the Lord!  What did Jesus tell us we must do with our brothers and sisters?  In John 13:34 and 35 He said:

      A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have
      loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you
      are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

And Paul wrote in Romans 13:8 through 10:

      Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another
      has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, “You shall not commit
      adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not
      bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other com-
      mandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your
      neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to a neighbor:  therefore love
      is the fulfillment of the law.

If you love your neighbor, you will not curse him or her! (See also I John 4:20, 21).

James, in our featured Scripture, uses basic logic from nature:

•      “…a spring [does not] send forth fresh water and bitter…salt water…from the same opening….” (James 3:11, 12).

•      “…a fig tree [cannot] bear olives…” (James 3:12).

•      “…a grapevine [cannot] bear figs…” (James 3:12).

It’s obvious!  And neither should a Christian be Double-Tongued – saying one thing and doing another!

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