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The best way to reign in your speech is not just to try harder to not say bad things…but to allow Jesus to actually change your heart. Because it’s not just the speech that’s the problem. It’s what your heart believes. And speech reveals things that we typically keep covered up!

This week at Imprint Church in Woodinville, we continued in our “Disruptive Faith” sermon series in the book of James.  In James 2:14-26, we were introduced to the idea of “works.” In this week’s passage, James 3:1-18 is going to tell us that our works – our loving actions and obedience – are not limited to actions alone, they include our words and speech. In fact, our words and speech are among the most important works we can bring under the lordship of Christ. If that’s hard to believe, take this into account: the Bible says that if we learned to control and not stumble in the things we say, we would be perfect.

The words we use are disproportionately influential in our walk with Christ. We all have tremendous influence through our words, and words have tremendous influence on you. One can go so far as to say that the words we choose to use or not use hold a key place in our sanctification.

The point is this…Words stick. They have power on an emotional level and can actually influence our spiritual lives.

Listen to this week’s sermon from Imprint Church in Woodinville to hear what James is going to say about our words as an extension of our faith.

Sermon Recording on James 3:1-18

Download an audio podcast of this sermon or watch the video below to learn more about the message in James 3.

Discussion Questions

  1. Read James 3.
  2. What was James’ warning about becoming a teacher? Why does he give these warnings? Does James’ admonishment about judging teachers more strictly still apply today (see also Luke 12:48)?
  3. James gives several examples of something small controlling or overpowering something larger. What are they? Why do you think James emphasizes the negative example of the fire so much more?
  4. Do you think the words we use are disproportionately influential in our walk with Christ and our relationships with other people? How do we guard our words?
  5. What are some examples of an untamed tongue (if you’re keen, you can look at Proverbs 12:18-19, 13:3, 16:27, 17:7, 18:8, 25:18; Matthew 7:15; Ephesians 4:25; Philippians 2:14)?
  6. If no human being can control the tongue, why bother trying? How do the things we say reveal our hearts?
  7. Have you seen spiritual inconsistencies in your walk with Christ by the things you say?
  8. How do we pursue wisdom and peace with our words and actions?
  9. How are you going to specifically apply the message of James 3 to your life this week?