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Supernatural – Part 5
Archived – January 30, 2022

Supernatural – Part 5

January 30, 2022


James 3:2–12 

Three Key Words in This Passage for Our Illustration

  • The bridle – “the headgear used to control a horse, consisting of buckled straps to which a bit and reins are attached” (Oxford Languages with Google)
  • The bit – “By definition, a bit is a piece of metal or synthetic material that fits in a horse’s mouth and aids in the communication between the horse and rider. It’s part of the bridle and allows the rider to connect with the horse via the reins.” (https://www.horsehealthproducts.com/horsemans-report/horse-care/a-bit-about-bits)
  • The horse


Two Key Comparisons

  1. Tongue Compared to the bit (similarity – it controls the body)
  2. Tongue Compared to the horse (difference – it can’t be tamed)

The Main Idea

You be quiet so that Holy Spirit can speak through your tongue.

How to Spot a Christian

James 1:26–27

  • “bridle his tongue” (What we say)
  • “keep oneself unstained from the world” (What we do)
  • “visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (How we care)

The Three Cs of Christian Practice

  • Conversation 
  • Conduct 
  • Compassion 

James 1:26 (ESV): 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

The scripture is clear: You cannot tame the tongue, but you can bridle it.

Not only can you bridle your tongue, but you are expected to. It is a .

The Christian Triple Threat

James 1:19–20 

  • Quick to Hear
  • Slow to Speak
  • Slow to Anger

Shut your mouth. Open it on the Holy Spirit’s cue.

Let the Holy Spirit Guide Your Speech

Why is speech so important?

Imitating God is a command and speech is one of the ways we fulfill it. (Ephesians 5:1)

Speech is a vital part of our Christian experience:

  • Prayer
  • Tongues
  • Interpretation
  • Prophecy
  • Praise
  • Worship
  • Forgiveness
  • Confession of sin
  • Moving mountains
  • Scriptural meditation
  • Exercising spiritual authority
  • Resisting the devil
  • Rebuking evil
  • Encouragement
  • Comfort
  • Edification
  • Teaching
  • Preaching
  • Spreading the gospel
  • Thanksgiving
  • Making commitments/oaths
  • Testimony
  • Storytelling
  • Honor

The Holy Spirit guides our speech in two ways:

directly and indirectly

The Holy Spirit guides your speech indirectly through your and character.

  • Luke 6:45 
  • The good treasure of the heart is the word of God (Proverbs 7:3; Psalm 119:11 )
  • Galatians 5:22–23 

Watch Your Mouth

  • Ephesians 4:29
  • Ephesians 4:31
  • Ephesians 5:4 

The Holy Spirit guides us directly through inspired speech:

When you are filled with the Spirit, one of the first things God does is take control of your tongue.

It is a biblical pattern:

  1. Luke 1:41–42 
  2. Luke 1:67
  3. Acts 2:4 
  4. Acts 4:8
  5. Acts 4:31
  6. Acts 13:9–10

Being Filled with the Spirit is a Command

Ephesians 5:18–20


The Beauty of Spiritual Language

When the Holy Spirit guides our speech directly, He bypasses the mind.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:2–3 
  • 1 Corinthians 14:13–15 
  • Romans 8:26 

What Must I Do to Be Full of the Spirit and Full of His Words?


1 Corinthians 14:1


Colossians 3:9–10 


Luke 11:13 

© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2022

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