13 September 2016

Choosing God's Way

Family Theme: Godly Conduct

Text: James 3:1-4:12

Know: Godly conduct includes controlling our speech, living humbly and wisely, and submitting to God's will.
Think: Adopt the mindset of submitting to God and resisting the devil.
Do: Submit to God's will every day, resisting the devil's temptations to sin.

Notes and questions:
B1 Outline
  • Two types of speech—James 3:1-12
  • Two types of wisdom—James 3:13-18
  • Two things we can submit to—James 4:1-12
B2 James 3:1-2, what are two things we need to be careful when we teach? (We will be judged by God on what we teach and what we say).
B3 James 3:3-6,
  • Why is the tongue compared to a horse's bit and a ship's rudder?
  • Why is the tongue and what we say compared to a forest fire?
B4 James 3:7-8, why is it that humanity can tame all types of animals, fish, and fowl but cannot tame our speech?
B5 James 3:9-12, if we are to show our faith in what we do, how can we show our faith by what we say? How is what we say showing mixed signals?
B6 James 3:13-16
  • How can we show we are a Christian by what we say?
  • What is bitter envy and strife? Give some examples. (The word for bitter envy is pikros zelos and means literally something piercing, biting, as in the sense of taste and harsh in the sense of speech. The word for envying is zelos and means zeal, excitement of the mind. It is used here as envy, because this harsh speech is used to put down someone (verbal abuse) to elevate one's status in the church, etc. The word for strife is eritheia and means strife. It is used here to describe one who is campaigning for some office or honor. This primarily takes place in our hearts, i. e., when we talking to ourself. The word for glory is katakauchaoma and means puffing up ourself to be so much better than another. People inflate their abilities, qualifications, and resume to make a false impression, hence the words do not lie against the truth).
  • What is the source of that type of wisdom?
  • Explain the adjectives, earthly, sensual, and devilish, used for this evil wisdom. These are terms used for the lowest and worst types of wisdom. {Some may think that this is the method to promote themselves and get a position, but it is not God's way, rather it is the devil's way).
B7 James 3:17-18,
  • Explain why the wisdom from above is superior?
  • List the 8 characteristics of the wisdom from above. (pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy, good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy).
  • Briefly explain these.
    • Pure is the sense of innocence. This would be speech that would be true, sincere, and holy.
    • Peaceable is the sense of making peace. It would be speech that is not accusing or abusive.
    • Gentle is the sense of reasonable, fair, impartial, and without bias.
    • Willing to yield has the sense of approachable. Someone feels comfortable to ask us a question or talk with us.
    • Full of mercy has the sense of showing mercy and compassion.
    • Good fruits is the sense of our words, thoughts, desires, and actions when others see us. It is the opposite of the evil work of James 3:16.
    • Without partiality would relate to speech not changed by the socio-economic status of any individual. We wouldn't speak one way to the rich and another to the poor.
    • Without hypocrisy has the sense of sincerity and not pretending to be someone false, to say something false or act in a false manner.
  • Why is being a peacemaker better than trying to divide people? (One would be that trying to make peace is better than trying to divide people with anger, false accusations, and verbal abuse).
B8 James 4:1-3,
  • What is a quarrel? (An argument with emotion and passion, and as such there is often anger). Ever have a quarrel? What is the motive, cause, of a quarrel?
  • When is desire, wanting something, wrong? Give some examples.
  • What would be one reason that God does not answer our prayers the way WE want Him to?
  • Lust and desire would be something that we set our heart on.
B9 James 4:4-6,
  • Why does James call these people adulterers?
  • Give some examples of friendship with the world. (Same attitudes and desires as non-Christians).
  • What kind of jealousy does God have? (He wants people to show respect and reverence to Him rather than to themselves. He wants truth rather than lies. He wants purity rather than unclean).
  • Why does God prefer humility instead of pride?
B10 James 4:7-10,
  • How do we resist the devil? (If we yield to God, instead of yielding to the devil, we resist. If we have true doctrine and understanding of the Scripture, instead of ignorance. If we have humility to ask God and help, instead of relying on ourself. If we avoid a situation, place, or object, instead of thinking we will be OK in the presence of those things).
  • How do we draw near to God? (This is asking God for help)
  • What does cleansing our hands mean? (We have committed sins but have not confessed and forsaken them. We still love sin, instead of hating it).
  • Why does a double-minded person have an unclean heart? (Because they may really want to sin and their ask for help in not genuine).
  • What is James 4:9 talking about? (Repentance).
  • Humbling ourselves is to admit we are wrong. We are not good.
B11 James 4:11-12,
  • Why is slandering each other wrong?
  • What is the right way to judge things and the wrong way? (The right way would be those things that are true and according to Scripture. Wrong things would be those of personal conviction or convenience. We might miss the real motivation of another).
  • We are to judge correctly.
B12 What should be the purpose of what we say?

B13 What about telling the truth? Would that be evil? If we tell people, "Here is God's law. Are you a good person?" would that be evil speech?

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