The Tongue

A Study in the Scriptures

"He who will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, 
and his lips that they speak no guile." 1 Peter 3:10

(c) 1976, 1977, 1981 by Diane S. Dew

I.   The Spirit of God is greatly grieved when the words of our mouths do not edify or minister grace to those around us.
                  Ephesians 4:29-30

          A.    Bitter and sweet waters cannot come from the same well.
                              James 3:10-12

          B.    A bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit; neither can a good tree bring forth bad fruit. 
                              Matthew 7:16-18

          C.    We must separate the precious from the vile ("worthless"). 
                              Jeremiah 15:19

II.   There is great power in the tongue, and it can minister either life or death.

                  Proverbs 18:21

          A.    The tongue can be a destructive and deadly weapon.

                              Proverbs 11:9; 15:4
                              Psalms 57:4

                  1.    It is "like a sharp razor."
                              Psalms 52:2
                  2.    Scripture describes the tongue as a sword. 
                              Psalms 55:21; 57:4; 59:7; 64:3 
                              Proverbs 12:18; 25:18; 30:14
                  3.    "And the tongue is a fire ..."
                              Psalms 57:4; 120:3-4 
                              Proverbs 16:27; 26:20-21 
                              Isaiah 5:24 
                              James 3:5-6
                  4.    It is like the deadly poison of a serpent. 
                              Psalms 58:3-4; 140:3 
                              Romans 3:13 (Psalms 5:9) 
                              James 3:8
                  5.    Words can eat away like gangrene ("canker," KJV = ganggraing, Gk.) 
                              2 Timothy 2:16-17

          B.    But our words can minister life as well. 

                              Proverbs 15:4; 18:21; 10:11, 21

                  1.    There is healing in a soft word. 
                              Proverbs 4:22; 12:18; 16:24; 17:22
                  2.    A kind word can minister grace to the hearers. 
                              Ephesians 4:29
                  3.    A word spoken in season may impart joy and gladness. 
                              Proverbs 12:25; 15:23

III.    We are, therefore, exhorted to guard the words of our mouths. 

                              Psalms 24:13; 39:1; 141:3 
                              Proverbs 13:3; 21:23 
                              1 Peter 3:10

          A.    "When the people complained, it displeased the Lord; and the Lord heard it; and His anger was kindled ..."
                              Numbers 11:1

          B.    "All these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth" are a part of "the old man with his deeds," and must be dealt with accordingly.
                              Colossians 3:8-10

          C.    By our words we shall be justified, and by our words we shall be condemned.
Matthew 12:36-37

          D.    Not what goes into the mouth, but what comes out of the mouth defiles a man.
                              Matthew 15:11, 18 (Mark 7:20)

          E.    Since we are to "speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11), God would rather that we give thanks and edify one another, than cause dissention and strife among the brethren.
                              Proverbs 6:16-19
                              Ephesians 4:29; 5:4

          F.    We are to be an example in speech (see 1 Timothy 4:12), even as Jesus Christ "did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again ..."
                              1 Peter 2:21-23

IV.    "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man..."

                              Job 1:1, 8, 22 cp. 2:9-10 
                              Zephaniah 3:13
                              James 1:26; 3:2 
                              Revelation 14:5