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
- Tongue Compared to the bit (similarity – it controls the body)
- 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
- “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
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
- 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:
- Confession of sin
- Moving mountains
- Scriptural meditation
- Exercising spiritual authority
- Resisting the devil
- Rebuking evil
- Spreading the gospel
- Making commitments/oaths
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:
- Luke 1:41–42
- Luke 1:67
- Acts 2:4
- Acts 4:8
- Acts 4:31
- Acts 13:9–10
Being Filled with the Spirit is a Command
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
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2022