James 3:6-9 - The Root of Human Impotence PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 02:00

James: A Handbook on Holiness


The Root of Human Impotence

James 3:6-9


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 3:6-9

The Nature of the Enemy Within

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness.

The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

The Power of the Enemy Within

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,

8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

The Effectiveness of the Enemy Within

9 With it we bless our Lord and Father,

and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.


Discussion Questions:


  1. V. 6: The tongue is a tool of indwelling sin, which is our enemy within. What things does a fire do that the tongue does also? ____________________________________________________

  2. How is the tongue "a world?" ____________________________________________________

  3. How does the tongue influence your body and life? ___________________________________

  4. Where does the tongue's power & influence come from? ______________________________

  5. V. 7: How does "mankind" differ from all animals' "kinds?" ___________________________

  6. V. 8: What does poison do? _________________ What do we do with it? _________________

  7. V. 9: Indwelling sin can turn us 180°—from __________ to ___________! What can save us? "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" "If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." (Rom. 7:24; 8:13)