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A topical study: Blessings or Curses

POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD

INTRODUCTION

A Bible Study
Presented and prepared by: Pastor Bob Adkins On: December 12, 2007 All scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) 1995 update

MAIN TEXT
James 3:1-3 1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. 3 Now if we put the bits into the horses' mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well.

MAIN TEXT
James 3:4-5 4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

MAIN TEXT
James 3:6-8 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.

MAIN TEXT
James 3:9-10 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

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James 3:1-12 11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.

DEFINITION OF BLESSING

Original Greek:

(ulgia, yoo-log-ee-ah); divine favor, commendation (eulogy), adoration, praise, consecration, benefit, blessing , bounty, fair speech.

In

New Testament translated as: blessing(11), bountiful gift(2), bountifully(2), flattering speech(1)

DEFINITION OF A CURSE

Original Greek

(katara, kat-ar-ah); imprecation (to invoke evil on, to utter curses), invoke a power to harm, execration (the act of cursing or denouncing), curse

In

New Testament Translated as: accursed(1), curse(3), cursed(1), cursing(1).

INTRODUCTION TO JAMES 3

The believers James wrote to were having problems with their tongues (1:26; 2:12; 4:1, 1112).
Of course, the tongue is not the problem; it is the heart (v. 14; Matt. 12:3537).

Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jas 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

WORDS REVEAL CHARACTER


Matthew 12:33-37 33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

QUESTIONS FOR SELF ANALYSIS

In regards to what you say:


1.

Who is in control What will the consequences be What are my motives

2.

3.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jas 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

SELF ANALYSIS: QUESTION 1

Who is in control (14)?


If

your tongue is under Gods control, you will take what you say seriously (v. 1), and your whole body will be under His discipline (v. 2). as a horse needs a rider holding the reins, and a ship needs a pilot at the rudder, so your tongue needs a master; and God is the only one who can do the job.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jas 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Just

SELF ANALYSIS: QUESTION 2

What will the consequences be (512)?


Are

you starting a fire that may get out of control and do a lot of damage? you turning loose a dangerous beast or poisoning a refreshing spring? your words are spoken, you cannot take them back, so look ahead.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jas 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Are

Once

SELF ANALYSIS: QUESTION 3

What are my motives (1318)?


Is

there bitterness in your heart or envy?

Are

you speaking from Gods wisdom or the wisdom of the world? you a peacemaker or a troublemaker?

Are
If

your heart is right before God (Heb. 4:12), He will use your words to produce the right kind of fruit.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jas 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

THE BELIEVERS REST


Hebrews 4:9-11 9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

THE BELIEVERS REST


Hebrews 4:12-13 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

THE BELIEVERS REST


Hebrews 4:14-16 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

A LIVING SACRIFICE
Romans 12:1-2 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

A LIVING SACRIFICE
Romans 12:3-5 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Pouring salt water into fresh produces salt water; and mixing bad fruit with good fruit produces a bushel of rotten fruit. Likewise, mixing the contradictory speech of blessing and cursing will only produce negative results..
Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson's new illustrated Bible commentary (Jas 3:10-12). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers

THINK ABOUT IT!

Of your unspoken words, you are the master; of your spoken words, the servant; of your written words, the slave.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1991). With the word Bible commentary (Jas 3:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

BLESSINGS Are Righteous

CURSES Are Evil

Are Positive
Are Commanded Are of God

Are Negative
Are Condemned Are of Satan

Pronounce Life

Pronounce Death

BLESSINGS VERSUS CURSES

A PRAYER FOR SANCTIFICATION OF THE TONGUE Psalms 141:1-4 O LORD, I call upon You; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to You! May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice deeds of wickedness With men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.