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Geneva Study Notes
James Chapter 3

James 3:1
3:1 My {1} brethren, be not many masters, {2} knowing that we
    {a} shall receive the greater condemnation.

 {1} The sixth part or place: Let no man usurp (as most men
     ambitiously do) authority to judge and censure others
     harshly.
 (2) A reason: Because they provoke God's anger against
     themselves, who do so eagerly and harshly condemn
     others, being themselves guilty and faulty.
    (a) Unless we cease from this imperious and proud finding of
        fault with others.

James 3:2
3:2 For in many things we offend all. {3} If any man offend not
    in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to
    bridle the whole body.

 (3) The seventh place, concerning the bridling of the tongue,
     joined with the former, so that it is revealed that there
     is no man in who can not justly be found fault as well,
     seeing as it is a rare virtue to bridle the tongue.

James 3:3
3:3 {4} Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may
    obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

 (4) He shows by two comparisons, the one taken from the bridles
     of horses, the other from the rudder of ships, how great
     matters may be brought to pass by the good control of the
     tongue.

James 3:5
3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great
    things.  {5} Behold, how great a matter a little fire
    kindleth!

 (5) On the contrary part he shows how great inconveniences
     arise by the excesses of the tongue, throughout the whole
     world, to the end that men may so much the more diligently
     give themselves to control it.

James 3:6
3:6 And the tongue [is] a fire, a {b} world of iniquity: so is
    the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole
    body, and {c} setteth on fire the course of nature; and it
    is set on fire of hell.

    (b) A heap of all mischiefs.
    (c) It is able to set the whole world on fire.

James 3:9
3:9 {6} Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith
    curse we men, which are made after the {7} similitude of
    God.

 (6) Among other faults of the tongue, the apostle chiefly
     reproves slandering and speaking evil of our neighbours,
     even in those especially who otherwise will seem godly and
     religious.
 (7) He denies by two reasons, that God can be praised by the
     man who uses cursed speaking, or slandering: first because
     man is the image of God and whoever does not reverence him,
     does not honour God.

James 3:10
3:10 {8} Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.
     My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

 (8) Secondly, because the order of nature which God has set in
     things, will not allow things that are so contrary to one
     another, to stand with one another.

James 3:13
3:13 {9} Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among
     you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with
     meekness of wisdom.

 (9) The eighth part, which goes with the former concerning
     meekness of mind, against which he sets envy and a
     contentious mind:  in the beginning he shuts the mouth of
     the main fountain of all these mischiefs, that is, a false
     persuasion of wisdom, whereas nonetheless there is no true
     wisdom, but that which is heavenly, and shapes our minds to
     all types of true discipline and modesty.

James 3:17
3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then
     peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of {d}
     mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without
     hypocrisy.

     (d) He sets mercy against the fierce and cruel nature of
         man, and shows that heavenly wisdom brings forth good
         fruits, for he that is heavenly wise, refers all things
         to God's glory, and the profit of his neighbours.

James 3:18
3:18 {10} And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of
     them that make peace.

 (10) Because the world persuades itself that they are miserable
      who live peaceably and simply: on the contrary, the
      apostle states that they shall eventually reap the harvest
      of peaceable righteousness.



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