Who can honestly say that they have complete control of their speech? Although the tongue is a small part of the body, it is arguably the most powerful. It has the capacity to do great good, but can also cause absolute chaos. The natural tongue is humanly untamable, but Alistair Begg assures us that when God changes a heart, a changed tongue will follow.
3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6And 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,1 and set on fire by hell.2 7For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,3 these things ought not to be so. 11Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Wisdom isn’t a matter of age, education, or experience. It’s the product of God’s Spirit at work in a life that has been transformed by the grace of God. In Volume I of this series of messages from James, Alistair Begg examines the Christian’s call to live God’s way in God’s world. This biblical wisdom is demonstrated through patient perseverance in trials as the Christian finds joy in God’s purposes. It is seen as we endure the onslaught of temptation. It is experienced as the members of the Body of Christ learn to love one another radically and with great sacrifice. Godly wisdom is a work of God Himself expressed in every aspect of our lives.
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|When Trials Come, Part Two||James 1:2-4|
|Asking God for Wisdom||James 1:5-8|
|Rich Man, Poor Man||James 1:9-11|
|The Genuine Article||James 1:12|
|When Tempted...||James 1:13-18|
|The Word of Truth||James 1:18-21|
|Don't Kid Yourselves!||James 1:22|
|Do What It Says!||James 1:22-25|
|Religion, Part One||James 1:26-27|
|Religion, Part Two||James 1:27|
Genuine faith results in action motivated by thankfulness for all that God has done. In volume 2 of this series, Alistair Begg helps us discover what true faith looks like in the life of a Christian. True faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces godly wisdom, which is demonstrated by how we conduct ourselves toward God and others. James gives us tremendous insight into temptations Christians often face - from showing favoritism to having an uncontrolled tongue. As God’s Spirit enables, we can learn true wisdom and find strength to serve God and each other.
|Favoritism, Part One||James 2:1-4|
|Favoritism, Part Two||James 2:1-7|
|Favoritism, Part Three||James 2:8-13|
|False Faith||James 2:14-17|
|Faith: True or False?||James 2:14-26|
|Abraham and Rahab||James 2:21-26|
|A Warning to Would-Be Teachers||James 3:1-2|
|The Power and Danger of the Tongue||James 3:3-12|
|Who is Wise?||James 3:13-18|
|The Wisdom from Heaven||James 3:13-18|
|Such "Wisdom"||James 3:14-16|
The Christian life involves a constant battle against sin. Christians are often guilty of “respectable” sins that may not seem gross by the world’s standards, but about which the Bible speaks quite strongly. As Alistair Begg continues our study in James, we see how far short we fall of God’s perfect standard. God’s law reveals that we are desperately proud, prone to controversy and slander, and often inclined to mismanage our time and money. This wonderfully practical study reminds us of our great need of a Savior and points us to the Cross, where we find complete forgiveness and peace. Having peace with God compels us to resist these sins as God draws us ever closer to Himself.
|Fights and Quarrels||James 4:1-6|
|Submitting to God, Part One||James 4:7-10|
|Submitting to God, Part Two||James 4:7-10|
|Saying No to Slander||James 4:11|
|Only One Judge||James 4:11-12|
|Planning Properly, Part One||James 4:13-17|
|Planning Properly, Part Two||James 4:13-17|
|Listen, You Rich Men||James 5:1-6|
|Ill-Gotten Gain, Part One||James 5:1-6|
|Ill-Gotten Gain, Part Two||James 5:1-6|
Alistair Begg ends this series in James by highlighting important principles that help Christians live in an unjust world. We may be prone to grow impatient toward God’s plans, which can cause us to become complacent in bearing Christian fruit. When we realize that everything in life is under the control of God and will ultimately be made right, we can live in a way that is contrary to human nature. The way we talk, worship, and pray becomes God-centered, not man-centered. Viewing the world from this perspective is a gift that can only be given to us by God’s amazing grace. When His grace captures a human heart we have a new song to sing and a loving Heavenly Father to whom we can humbly bring all of our cares.
|Be Patient, The Lord is Coming, Part One||James 5:7-11|
|Be Patient, The Lord is Coming, Part Two||James 5:7-11|
|Telling the Truth||James 5:12|
|Prayer and Praise||James 5:13|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part One||James 5:14-18|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part Two||James 5:15|
|Confession and Prayer||James 5:16-18|
|Bringing Back the Wanderers||James 5:19-20|