Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Enemy Of The Tongue

Temple Baptist Church - 7-11-2010

James 3:1-10


A. I preach on the tongue every now and again because it is not only a potential problem, it is a persistent problem. Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. (The more we say, the more potential that we have for saying what we ought not to say.)

1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (That is strong language! Study to be quiet and mind your own business are words to the wise.)

B. These verses concerning the tongue constitute what is called the Full Mention Principle Of Bible Interpretation. I believe that God said about all that He needs to say concerning that little member “set on fire of hell.” The tongue is influenced, instigated, and stirred up by Satan, to speak evil things but—more often than not—it is our own wicked, sinful flesh that is the problem.

C. Don’t think that I am just preaching to you tonight. I have problems with my tongue just like you do. Preachers are sometimes the world’s worst about talking “out of turn.” There have been so many things over the years that I wish that I had not said and, yet, still “run my mouth” at times. Someone once said, “Never leave your tongue in gear when you brain is idling!”

D. We often say, “Keep your words short and sweet for you never know which ones you will eat.” Speaking without thinking, in times of reaction, or in times of anger can do untold damage. Once words are turned loose, there is neither stopping nor gathering them back up again.

E. One of the greatest tools and most wicked devices that we have is the tongue. Can you imagine being mute? But look at the two ends of the spectrum concerning the tongue:

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Notice that death comes before life. The tongue is so devastating when used in a wicked manner and “what goes around comes around” also.)

F. The tongue must be guarded, even in times of hurt and anger because words spoken cannot be taken back. My wife’s life verse is Proverbs 21:23 and it is a good one.

Proverbs 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

Psalms 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.

Psalms 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

Psalms 39:3 My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: [then] spake I with my tongue,

1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

G. The tongue shows where the condition of the heart.

Luke 6:45 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.

Matthew 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


1. A Divisive Tongue - Proverbs 6:16-19 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

2. A Gossiping Tongue - Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, [there] the fire goeth out: so where [there is] no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

Here are some questions that will stop the gossiping tongue”

a. What is your reason for telling me?
b. Where did you get your information?
c. Have you gone to those directly involved?
d. Have you personally checked out all of the facts?
e. Can I quote you if I check this out?

3. A Backbiting Tongue - Psalms 15:1-3 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Psalms 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I [am] the LORD.

1 Timothy 3:11 Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn [to be] idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

4. A Prating Tongue - 3 John 9-10 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth [them] out of the church.

1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (Not gossipers!)

5. A Deceitful Tongue - Psalms 50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.

Psalms 52:2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

Psalms 52:4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue.

6. A Murmuring Tongue – Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, [This shall be], when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what [are] we? your murmurings [are] not against us, but against the LORD.

1 Corinthians 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Philippians 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

7. A Discouraging Tongue - Deuteronomy 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people [is] greater and taller than we; the cities [are] great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.

8. A Lying Tongue - Psalms 109:2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

Psalms 120:2-3 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, [and] from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?

Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hateth [those that are] afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

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