Study # 53
September 23, 1998
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: The domination of the tongue by man is fundamentally impossible. Introduction: For a brief review, in our last two studies, we have attempted to establish 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 is a succinct way of saying that man's antagonism toward God as One Who is unyieldingly just and inalterably opposed to status-seeking at others' expense results in his burning opposition to God at every turn and that results in his consuming of everything and everyone he touches in his lust for position. This evening we are going to pursue this one further step: James' declaration of the impossibility of human control over the tongue, given his condition as a status-seeker.