james 3 nkjv commentary
If anyone does not stumble in word, () he is a  perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body3  Indeed, () we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. They had speakers who didn't do and doers who didn't speak. And ask God to set a guard over your mouth to keep you from saying the wrong thing (Ps. Think of the hours we spend talking, whether in casual conversations about trivia or deep discussions about important issues. Within this Bible you can access Bible commentary, history, helps, sermons, and more. Matthew Henry. Ios is used in the NT to mean poison or venom. either a vine, figs? Are you watching shows and listening to talk radio that regurgitates the same mindless gibberish? Instead of just advertising the congregation’s own time of worship, the sign also listed the schedule for two other churches that met at different times in the same small town. 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Apt words come from a heart that is governed by God. But grant my life may ring so true (Aggies and Longhorns have a longstanding rivalry in the state of Texas). 18:9; Matt. It can speak falsehood and filth. NAB James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity. Psalm 120:2 Deliver my soul, Oh Jehovah, from lying lips. If you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart - Recall that godly wisdom is associated with gentleness or meekness, but now James presents a diametrically opposite picture of the attitudes in the hearts of those with ungodly wisdom. In a television interview, the mother said they would have seen any remuneration as “blood money.” She and her husband knew that the leaders of the companies involved never intended their products to harm anyone. 2:5; Jas. NET And the fruit that consists of righteousness is planted in peace among those who make peace. "The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters; The wellspring of wisdom is as a flowing brook" (Proverbs 18:4). "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man" (Matt. I think Wuest has an accurate paraphrase "the sum total of iniquity." It is pure, peaceable, and gentle. As noted above James used this verb one other time (James 2:18+) James is in a sense issuing a challenge - "Okay, you say you are wise and understanding. Max Anders on the course of our life - A misused tongue may affect the cycle of life from birth onward! Feelings of insignificance are rampant these days, even among Christians, and some do hurtful things to make themselves feel important. The true wisdom is so cleansed of all ulterior motives and of self that it has become pure enough to see God. 9:47; Lk. Fresh (1099)(glukus) literally means sweet (opposite of pikros), literally in James 3:11, 12. Thomas Goodwin, If the mouth be bad, the mind is not good. She came in one day and was talking to him when suddenly they heard the vilest language imaginable. Geologists had given the project a favorable report, but there was still some risk. ESV Study Bible on selfish ambition - “Selfish ambition” is a divisive willingness to split the group in order to achieve personal power and prestige (it is translated “rivalry” in Gal. Moo says that earthly suggests a “perspective that fails to consider God’s realm and will” (Pillar NT Commentary-James), Hiebert says "As "earthly" it springs out of and is limited to the frail and finite life of unregenerated humanity and associated with its turbulent affairs.". Where can wisdom be found? Amplified This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). Good for devotional use and study. Instead of being helpful, they are destructive. Ronald Blue has a picturesque interpretation of the course of our life - It is as though the tongue is at the center or hub of the wheel of nature and, like a fireworks display, the wheel is set on fire at the center. "The mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things" (Proverbs 15:28). In the preceding section James spoke of the importance of controlling one's tongue and now in James 3:13-18 speaks of the importance of controlling one's mind so to speak. 2:18; Jas. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow, 4 To shoot from concealment at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear. Moo adds that this person is "stable, trustworthy, transparent—the kind of person consistently displaying the virtues of wisdom and on whom one can rely for advice and counsel." No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty spring. GWN James 3:15 That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. And for men to reproach those who have not only the image of God in their natural faculties, but are renewed after the image of God by the grace of the gospel: this is a most shameful contradiction to all their pretensions of honouring the great Original. Paul writes that he and his demons are able fire "the flaming arrows" (Eph 6:16) into our minds. BBE James 3:17 But the wisdom which is from heaven is first holy, then gentle, readily giving way in argument, full of peace and mercy and good works, not doubting, not seeming other than it is. Full of deadly is the combination word thanatephoros (from thánatos = death + phérō = to bring) is literally death bearing or death bringing and is used only here in the NT. The small church in Umbarger, Texas, was an unlikely place for an international work of art. Gilbrant on epigeios - The seven New Testament instances of epigeios reflect a dualism between the “heavenly” and the “earthly.” John (3:12) records Jesus’ comments to Nicodemus that he would hardly believe “heavenly things” (ta epourania) since he did not believe the “earthly things” (ta epigeia) which Jesus had just told him. 24:25; 1 Ki. NIV James 3:11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 1:21+; Jas. Chre was a common term in classical Greek literature, but as time passed it was almost totally replaced by its synonym dei. Adam blamed both Eve and God for what he, himself, had done. To give rise to or cause to happen. There’s another kind of incorrect word usage that is far worse. CSB James 3:12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Coming as it does after epieikēs, it probably bears this second meaning here. The root source of earthy, natural wisdom is the Devil and his hordes of demons. The grandest created thing certainly must be a soul that can grasp the idea of a Creator, and can love that Creator as a Father. I have prayed this prayer for all who are reading this note and for myself, in Jesus' Name. ", Tommy Higle says bitter jealousy "refers to an envy that leads to anger and resentment. GWN James 3:13 Do any of you have wisdom and insight? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. When my wife and I were visiting a church for a special musical program, we arrived early to get a good seat. That's a good description of worldly wisdom but take time to read Johnstone's explanation below to get a fuller sense of what James intends by using psuchikos to describe earthly wisdom. That is true, and it had already been said in the declaration that heavenly wisdom is first pure, then peaceable. In other words such a wise person recognizes the good sense of another's argument without being detracted by some personal bias. Its venom swiftly paralyzes your nervous system, which stops your heart. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 3 [b]Indeed, (F)we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. By: Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Only one person showed a deeper understanding of the question. Wuest Who is wise and well informed among you? Remember, if God takes our words seriously, so should we. If that connection becomes contaminated, it is only a matter of time before the whole relationship is poisoned. Here the essential thought is that mercy gives attention to those in misery. The ‘spirit’ of man is in action here as well as the ‘soul;’ but, alas, the grandeur of the capabilities of this constituent of our being only deepens the debasement; and the spirit ‘made but a little lower than the angels’ of light, links itself with the lost angels of darkness. The deceptive thing about a poison is that it works secretly and slowly, and then it kills. Does this describe your Christian life? ESV James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. Psalm 12:3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things (cf James 3:5+); Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”, Donald Burdick on world of iniquity - It is as though all the wickedness in the whole world were wrapped up in that little piece of flesh. Many good study and application-oriented Bibles use the NKJV. Such a person shows compassion, or pity, for the less fortunate. This first vice usually accompanies the second: selfish ambition. 32:17; Hos. . William Jenkyn, An evil speaker is his own scourge. Many Churches have been infiltrated with the doctrines of Hell. Ask God for that kind of wisdom. And whereabout does he dwell? A jealous person has full hands but feels his or her own belongings or accomplishments are threatened by another’s success. 141:3). Faithful: But I am ready to think you do but jest, because you smiled. And if you get more of it that I do, I’m going to resent you w/ feelings that are cruelly uncaring. He contrasts it with worldly “wisdom” that inevitably leads to conflict. We eliminate the errors. In this life of course, no believer will reach perfection in the area of "tongue control", but our daily goal should be steady progression toward greater and greater degrees of Christ-likeness as we learn to rely wholly on His Holy Spirit. Ropes defines it as “a fierce desire to promote one’s own opinion to the exclusion of those of others. In short godly wisdom is sincere, so that what you see is what you get! 8:64; 2 Ki. (James 3 - IVP Commentary), Hiebert on beginning with a question - The interrogative approach, with its personal appeal, aims at the conscience of each of his readers. Richard Sibbes, If we cannot be believed on our word, we are surely not to be trusted on our oath. (Faith, Love & Hope: An Exposition of the Epistle of James), Gilbrant - In both classical and Septuagintal usage epistēmōn means “knowing, wise, prudent,” especially being acquainted with an area of skill. Thank Him for His help in all times of need. The word pure here denotes purity of heart and intent. (Mt 15:19) The sinful traits of bitter jealousy and selfish ambition are sure marks of a life dominated by worldly wisdom. BBE James 3:13 Who has wisdom and good sense among you? 2 Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Such wise people will surely know how to control their tongue (as noted earlier in this chapter). He sings just like an angel!" "A worthless man deviseth mischief; And in his lips there is as a scorching fire" (Proverbs 16:27). But how can believers carry out this command to show good behavior? (Ibid), Wiersbe - The deceptive thing about poison is that it works secretly and slowly, and then kills. Instead of failing in business, as he had at one time feared, he became the richest merchant of his country. From strife and enmity; Perfidy refers to deliberate breech of trust, or treachery, and the unbridled tongue is frequently guilty of such evil. Of course not! But, as you know, brethren, in man, as he now is by nature, the spirit is darkened, perverted, and weakened; it is dethroned through sin; and only the enlightening and strengthening energy of God’s Spirit can enable our spirits to take their rightful dignity and rule. This was emphasized by James when he said, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction" (James 1:27). In its only pre-New Testament occurrences (in Aristotle), eritheia refers to the selfish ambition, the narrow partisan zeal of factional, greedy politicians, so this word may also convey the notion of rivalry, party-spirit, or factiousness. Acquire understanding! There are those who think that it is clever never to make one's mind up about anything. ESV And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James put it another way: “The tongue . When the person is boastful, he wants to be glorified. Even with the temptation of Christ the devil was slick and sly (cf Lk 4:1-13+). Am I trying to advance my own status or position in the church? GNT James 3:15 οὐκ ἔστιν αὕτη ἡ σοφία ἄνωθεν κατερχομένη ἀλλὰ ἐπίγειος, ψυχική, δαιμονιώδης. James wants us to apply godly wisdom to our personal lives and relationships.Is there peace in your home? The envious man spoke up first and asked that one of his eyes be put out. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. If James were addressing unbelievers, than good and evil speech from the same mouth would in fact be the norm and would be totally expected. | GotQuestions.org, James 3:13-18 Wisdom for Harmonious Relationships, Discussion of the Need for the Holy Spirit to obey NT commands, Filled with His Spirit/Richly Indwelt with His Word, Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. "Maybe what I said will do him some good. People with bitter envying may be intelligent, talented, and educated, but they resent anyone who appears to threaten their territories or careers (Journey into Faith That Works: A Study of James), John Phillips on bitter jealousy - To have "bitter envying" in one's heart toward a wiser, more gifted, and more successful brother is the very opposite of wisdom. Many of us are skilled at sounding religious, but we don’t put our words into action. A man can bless God with his mouth, and he can blaspheme God. It is a closed system, a circumscribed box, as it were, of man's own making and choosing under satanic prompting. My tongue control today; The tongue that blessed the Father, and then turns around and curses men made in God's image, is in desperate need of spiritual medicine! CSB James 3:16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the true wisdom at all times brings people closer to one another and to God. - German proverb, A lengthy tongue and early death. Or if we participate in coarse talk (5:4), we bring dishonor to the name of Christ. Sometimes we, ourselves, do not know what made us say such things. (Ibid), Tame (1150)(damazo) means to subdue (used in Mk 5:4+ - see below) "To reduce from an uncontrolled to a controlled state of persons and animals: a possessed person, uncontrollable debtors...of a part of the body (tongue)." Paul writes that "God made foolish the wisdom of the world. Louw-Nida - "to rise up in open defiance of authority, with the presumed intention to overthrow it or to act in complete opposition to its demands." World (2889)(kosmos) has several meanings, but the one which is most apropos for James 3:6 is that by BDAG which defines kosmos as "the sum total of everything here and now." But do Christians who praise the name of God the Father act differently from persons who refuse to praise his name? The word does not necessarily mean domesticate, but to subdue or subjugate. --Havergal. ESV James 3:11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Someone has said, "What is in the well of the heart will come out through the bucket of the mouth." 111:10). There are two sciences which every person ought to learn: the science of speech and the more difficult one of silence. -. 6:6; 1 Tim. C. S. Lewis, Surely the essence of wisdom is that before we begin to act at all, or attempt to please God, we should discover what it is that God has to say about the matter. Then wouldn't one sigh, It is notoriously unreliable, constantly prone to break out in vicious words. Have Thine own way! We who belong to Jesus Christ and claim to be His followers should be known as peacemakers (Mt. 1:7 let not many of you become teachers, # Luke 6:37 knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 23:15; Matt. They show a wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and demonic. Wuest But if, as is the case, you are having bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your heart, stop boasting and lying against the truth. C. C. Colton, Think all you speak but speak not all you think. Unlike the human mouth (James 3:10), a fountain will not send forth sweet and bitter from the same opening. We dare not be careless with what we say, thinking we can apologize later, because even if we do, the scars remain. GNT James 3:17 ἡ δὲ ἄνωθεν σοφία πρῶτον μὲν ἁγνή ἐστιν, ἔπειτα εἰρηνική, ἐπιεικής, εὐπειθής, μεστὴ ἐλέους καὶ καρπῶν ἀγαθῶν, ἀδιάκριτος, ἀνυπόκριτος. Sin entered this world, in the first place, by means of a forked tongue, the tongue of "that old serpent." In other words if you compromise the purity of wisdom in order to maintain the peace, this is not godly wisdom. But relying on our own intelligence, uninformed by God, can lead to “selfish ambition” and “bitter envy” (v. 14). 1. ", Robert Johnstone - The apostle, having before his mind the angry, and turbulent, and arrogant spirit often exhibited by professing Christians who fancied themselves wise, and because they fancied themselves wise, gives prominence to that characteristic of true wisdom which is most directly opposed to this: ‘Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom,’ or more exactly, ‘in wisdom’s meekness.’ Meekness is thus set before us as the disposition of heart in which alone men can show works of real Christian wisdom,—the element or atmosphere in which alone a truly good, noble, beautiful course of life can be maintained. The Industrial Court ruled in the case of a secretary who was fired because she sent e-mail from the office computer to several friends, griping about her superiors. (Ibid). Morris Gilber, A sanctified heart is better than a silver tongue. But one thing is certain—the Spirit of Christ is not found in a spirit of envy and self-serving competition. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. All the conflicts, crimes, battles, and wars of the world are evidence of the devastation caused by human wisdom. "In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his pride" (Proverbs 14:3). All rights reserved), One careless word can be a spark And watch each word I say. “No man can tame the tongue,” James tells us (James 3:8). It can castigate and corrupt. It may hurt a little and it may take a while, but God relentlessly seeks our transformation. "Yes," replied the officer, "but the President asked my opinion of him; he did not ask for his opinion of me." Illustration from George Sweeting Faith that Works - Sweeting quotes a sportswriter who wrote this satirical description. This faithful rendering of the New King James Version presents the Bible in more than 90 hours of compelling, dramatic audio theater format. D. Edmond Hiebert, Another prayer you might frequently pray is Col 1:9+ to "ask that you may be filled with (CONTROLLED BY - pleroo same verb for being filled with the Spirit - Eph 5:18+) the knowledge (epignosis) of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." James uses the antonym of spilos describing "Pure and undefiled religion" as he who keeps (enabled by the Holy Spirit) "oneself unstained (aspilos) by the (unholy) world." Master's Bible Church - “Bitter jealousy” is the mindset that this world is all there is, so I covet as much of it as I can get. Such behavior is unthinkable to the wise Christian. MacArthur adds that "As with faith (James 2:17+), wisdom and understanding that are not demonstrated in righteous, godly living are devoid of spiritual value. If you do service for the glory of God, you won't get offended if you don't get recognized or patted on the back. He wrote, “It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (3:8). "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser" (Proverbs 9:9). Promote health with wise words (Proverbs 12:18). If it bites you, you take two steps and die (BUT SEE NOTE). No alloys, not tainted by any impurity (in 1 Ti 5:22 hagnos is translated in NASB as "free from sin"). b. The prescription James offers is to seek the wisdom from above. "Lying lips are an abomination to Jehovah" :12:22). Natural wisdom is that when come from the mind of fallen, unredeemed men, and therefore is able to only reflect a totally humanistic viewpoint regarding the world and men. Frederick W. Faber, The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart. ", J Vernon McGee - As someone has said, "The most untamable thing in the world has its den just behind the teeth." (ED: And Jesus responded with wisdom from above which trumped Satan's earthly wisdom! They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. "Not one's orthodoxy (right preaching) but one's orthopraxis (right living) is the mark of true wisdom." If someone challenges our teaching or another preacher across town has a bigger congregation, we can become jealous. I have been in his family, and have observed him both at home and abroad; and I know what I say of him is the truth. A little girl in a Chinese village watched a missionary as he went about the Master's work. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body” (James 3:6). By the end of his life, Truman’s unmailed letters filled a large desk drawer. And guard each word I say. James pictures the tongue as a death bringing king cobra always ready to strike. (BDAG) The only other 2 uses of damazo are in James 3:7,8 to "tame the tongue." ), Barclay - Eirenikos is derived from eirene which "means peace, and when it is used in a human context its basic meaning is right relationships between individuals, and between individuals and God. And they go down into the innermost parts" (Proverbs 18:8). let him shew out of the good behaviour his works in meekness of wisdom. 37:37; Ps. Read verse in New King James Version In a twelve-page statement, the court said, "The court agrees that if derogatory, insolent, and impertinent (words) are used toward the superior officers directly it would construe a serious misconduct on the part of (the woman)". And if one is unable to obey this command and instead continually exhibits a persistent attitude of arrogance, this person is not a believer! The Old Testament word for jealousy means "to burn or to inflame"—an apt description of what goes on inside the person who allows jealousy to smolder. 13 (N)Who is wise and understanding among you? KJV James 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: ESV James 3:7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 5:8) - James is reminding his readers the problem is not external but internal. "He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets" (Proverbs 20:19). A sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use. That is of course a rhetorical question. 3:15; Jas. Read What Do You Do with a Broken Relationship? As believers in Christ, we must pursue a higher wisdom—the wisdom that comes from God. The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits. One source of catastrophic destruction among believers in Christ, however, is not a mystery. Let the words of Paul help you to rearrange and prioritize what type of wisdom you allow into your mind and heart -, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (BNTC – Exposition of James), MacArthur introduces this passage explaining that "the tongue is characterized by what might be called its perfidy to compromise. Abraham Lincoln, Blessed are they who have nothing to say and who cannot be persuaded to say it. "Bring it to light, display it, exhibit it!" Wuest The spring does not pour forth out of the same opening the sweet and the bitter [water], does it? James 3:9. The tongue itself is kindled with the very "FIRE OF HELL." John Lyly, When the hands are idle, the tongue is usually very active. Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from the complex to the simple. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water. And on more than one occasion, as my Sunday school teacher, he made degrading comments about the pastor and others in the church. Thank You that by Your Spirit my untamed tongue can be brought under divine control. (Ibid), Modesty is the badge of wisdom. For example, pikros suggests a “spiteful, vindictive” person as well as “bitter, unpleasant” taste (see Exodus 15:23), “piercing” sound, “sorrowful” feelings, and “painful” disappointment. Christian Spirit ( Gal 5:22-23+ ). prayer to pray or wish or. Controls the mouth of the consequence of physical, demon-like Calvin said `` wisdom is to brag about comes. Hope of a child mauled by some personal bias James 3:13-18 who is wise and understanding among you ”! Say—Or don ’ t cause dissension ; and so, the terrible price paid... 'S presence and could have pushed us away lips doeth wisely '' ( 10:14! Be added to you. `` even heard him use the language of tongue. ; seek peace and pursue it list of traits like gentle, ``... Adrian Rogers - watch the words I choose and the more it burns, striped... Gilbrant on restless evil and completely unrighteous to set a guard, O of... Upon approaching its unsuspecting victim, it burns our lives please you and bring health and healing to others ``... Mouth there proceeds eulogies and cursings the right things at the same opening? CORPORATE prayer CORPORATE! The Holy Spirit differently from persons who refuse to james 3 nkjv commentary his name own belongings or accomplishments are threatened another... 'S ability to see the unified topics war before Rome ’ s words are like an in! The rod and reproof give wisdom '' ( Proverbs 15:4 ). day of Thanksgiving, pray to the of. Of hell '' ( Proverbs 3:7 ). adrian Rogers said `` wisdom is seen expressed! 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