Respect the Image: God, the Image, and the Gospel
November 14, 2020
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look 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. 5 So 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! 6 And 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, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. – James 3:1-10
- These are tough words. They bring quick conviction.
- There are three great needs in our lives:
- Three conclusions after many years of ministry
- We need more of God
- We need more of the gospel
- We need to learn how to communicate
- We need to learn how to listen and how to talk in a way that respects the image of God in others.
With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. – James 3:9
- When we understand what it means to be human, it will radically alter how we talk to one another.
- What we value highly we treat carefully. How much we value people determines how well we will treat them.
- Neighbor love that is both holy and just will treat people in keeping with their true value as measured by God.
I. What is the value of each person as measured by God?
- Check the label. Who made this person and in whose image were they made? (Verse 9)
- Check the price tag. God sent His Son to die for us.
- Check the boarding pass. The person you are struggling with is destined for eternity.
II. How then should we treat each other in keeping with their value?
- We must do the opposite of sinful speech.
- We must treat people as not mere mortals.
- We must respect, honor and love them.
III. What does this look like in everyday communication and life?
- Open up
- Mean what we say
- Make time
- Understand what we hear
- Nourish others with grace
- Initiate Peace
- Celebrate others
- Assume that we are wrong
- Think the best
- Examine our own hearts
We don’t do this well. Recommendations:
- Humble yourself and repent of sinful speech.
- Trust in grace. Receive forgiveness and power to change.
- Reorient our hearts. Draw near to God.
Questions For Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, James 3:1-10. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- Read notes from point #1 in the Sermon Recap (Check the label, check the price tag, check the boarding pass). How should these three realities impact our communication?
- Review each of the points in Tim’s acrostic “Communicate” under point #3 in the Sermon Recap. Ask the group to summarize each point in the acrostic–what it means and why it matters.
- When you consider your own communication, which of these points in the Communicate acrostic do you personally struggle the most to apply to your own life? What steps might you take to seek to grow?
- Take time to pray that God would help us individually and as a church to continue to grow in this area of communication.