James 3:1-5 - The Fact of Human Impotence PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 02:00

James: A Handbook on Holiness


The Fact of Human Impotence

James 3:1-5


General outline:


  1. The Way to Holiness: The Divine Perspective 1:2-27

    1. The Trial-Temptation Complex 1:2-18

    2. The Word of God 1:19-27

  2. The Principles of Holiness: The Biblical Framework 2:1-26

    1. The Law is the Structure of Holiness 2:1-13

    2. Faith is the Dynamics of Holiness 2:14-26

  3. The Implementation of Holiness: The Christian Experience 3:1-4:10

    1. The Obstacle to Victory: Human Impotence 3:1-9

      1. The Fact of Human Impotence 3:1-5

      2. The Root of Human Impotence 3:6-9


James 3:1-5

The Warning

1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

The Ground

2 For we all stumble in many ways, and if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

The Illustrations

3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.

4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!


Discussion Questions:


  1. V. 1: Should every Christian seek to become a teacher? Consider 1 Cor. 12:29, 31; 1 Tim. 3:1-2. _________________ Should every Christian be a teacher? _______________________

  2. V. 2: Why does James say not many should become teachers? __________________________

  3. Vv. 3-5: How are the tongue's effects like that of a

    1. Bit in a horses' mouth? ______________________________________________________

    2. Ship's rudder? _____________________________________________________________

    3. Small fire? ________________________________________________________________

  4. Where this week have you let your tongue get out of control? Where has it set something on fire? Ask God to help you control your tongue.


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