Study # 52
September 2, 1998
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: The tongue is the primary instrument of man's self-destruction as he strives against the justice of God. Introduction: Last week in our study we spent most of our time establishing the thesis that the tongue is the principle tool of man's attempt to achieve status apart from the status-grant to be found in the love of God. James' words are that the tongue is the kosmos of the iniquity. The references to iniquity (adikia) in the New Testament are unified in their focus upon man's attempts to exalt himself in the eyes of others. The use of kosmos is, apparently, James' way of saying that the fundamental tool of self-exaltation is man's tongue (a metaphor in itself for speech, words, and world-view messages). But he goes on to say that the tongue is a flame that has its origins in Gehenna and has its impact in the realm of what he calls the "circle (or wheel) of the generation". This evening we are going to try to discover what he meant by those words.