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James 3:2



2 For [gar] in many things [polus] we offend [ptaio] all [hapas]. If any man [ei tis] offend [ptaio] not [ou] in [en] word [logos], the same [houtos] is a perfect [teleios] man [aner], and able [dunatos] also [kai] to bridle [chalinagogeo] the whole [holos] body [soma]. KJV-Interlinear



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. NASB



Before we start this study, remember that anything that an unbeliever can do, anything that a fallen angel can do, is not the spiritual life.


So, as James is going to explain the control over ones tongue and equate that to a state of perfection, we have to look deeper into the spiritual life, in order to see the meaning of this illustration.


But first the verse. Stumbling here, means the many flaws and weaknesses inherent with being human.We are all born with a sin nature, and as such, in our sinful state, in these physical bodies, it is absolutely impossible for any human being to be, or to become perfect.


There are two exceptions in history. First, there was Adam and Eve. Ok there will be three exceptions.


First there is Adam and Eve. They were created perfect by God. They lived in the Garden and could have lived there forever if they had never sinned. But they did sin and that was the fall of all of humanity. 'For by one man, Adam, all have sinned.' That is the genetically passed sin nature that we all get from our parents.


Eve was fooled in the Garden and sinned, but Adam knowingly sinned when he saw Eve's fall. So the sin nature passes to humanity from Adam.


The next person is Jesus Christ. He was born of the seed of the woman. Joseph was never involved in Mary's pregnancy. Jesus was born perfect and therefore never had a sin nature.He was not born from joint parents in the usual way.


Jesus was born perfect, lived His life in perfection, and went to the Cross in perfection, was beaten and nailed to the Cross in perfection and died while in perfection. Jesus was in a state of fellowship all of His life. He depended on the Holy Spirit for His earthly spiritual power.Jesus never once delved into His own powers of deity, but remained completely human all of His earthly life.That made Him the perfect candidate to pay the price demanded by sin and death, in our behalf.


We, on the other hand, are imperfect from within our own essence.


But, we can become perfect by following Gods fellowship rules.When you sin you are out of fellowship.When you confess your sin(s), then you are placed back into fellowship. God forgives those sins (your sins were judged at the Cross, not forgiven), and once forgiven, which God can do because Christ has already paid the price for them, then you are placed immediately back into fellowship.And there you remain until the next round of sins in your life.


The tongue is a tiny member of your body. It is driven by your thoughts. And often times many people seemingly speak without thought, but that is sort of a blonde joke. What is in your mind will eventually drive your tongue.


If you can control your mouth, then you have half the battle won. The spiritual battle that is. The spiritual life is a battle, and most of that battle comes from within your own thoughts.So, self-discipline and self-control are key elements in your ability to maintain control over your spiritual life.


James will use the bridle on the horse, and the rudder on the ship to explain the correlation between mans tongue and mans life.


If your tongue is the driving force, then you have virtually complete control over your entire body, if you control your tongue. If you have the self-discipline to control what you say, in every situation, then you more than likely will have very good control over every other action you do in life.


Since your mind (soul), contains what you think, and that controls your tongue, then with tongue control, you more than likely will possess other controls over the way you think, and decide, and do things in life.


If you do not stumble into sin, then you will be residing in fellowship or in a state of spiritual perfection, even though you as a human being are essentially imperfect.


In this life, you can live only in a carnal state (out of fellowship), or in a spiritual state (in fellowship). There are no other choices or realms of existence.


Do not be fooled by this 'tai chi' stuff, or the ability to control or direct the 'energy' within and around you, and accomplish harmony with nature, as in Taoism.You probably remember the coverage it received in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last weekend.


The Bible is very clear on this point. Man cannot attain peace or perfection or harmony, from the source of his own will or effort. The spiritual life is defined by God and not by man.


The energy, or the force, which surrounds your life is the Holy Spirit, and when in fellowship, He is in control, not you, and you cannot perceive, feel, sense, detect or otherwise have any emotional connection with the Holy Spirit.In our dispensation that connection does not exist, but it will exist in the Millennium.


Anyway, your first battle in life is self-discipline. Control your tongue, control your thoughts, and therefore control your whole existence. Slow dancing, or humming, or chanting will get you nowhere.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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