My lips will pour forth praise,
for you teach me your statutes.
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
Sinclair Ferguson spoke at the Desiring God Conference last evening and was brilliant. His message was entitled, "The Tongue, the Bridle, and the Blessing: An Exposition of James 3:1-12."
He was Christ-exalting; God-glorifying; and Spirit-empowering. He preached not as one consumed with self-promotion or trying to appeal to an audience. But he preached to an Audience of One as a man who trembled at God's Word and as a tried and tested servant of the Lord Jesus Christ from behind the sacred desk.
He was thoroughly biblical, theological, doctrinal, expositional, exegetical and practical. He spoke with authority; he spoke with grace, but wielding the double-edge Sword of the Spirit with the skill of a surgeon's scalpel and not the recklessness of a machete. He did not frustrate grace, insult the Lord, turn the truth of God into lascivious comedy, contextualize the message, succumb to cultural pragmatics, or introduce demeaning ribald speech marked by the ordure of depravity to communicate these great truths of the Bible.
But with dignity, grace. and truth, he brought honor to the Lord, glory to His gospel, and reverence to His Word.
May his tribe increase.
How I thank the Lord for this faithful soldier, disciplined athlete and hard-working farmer of the faith (2 Tim. 2:3-6). Clearly, this is a man approved unto God, a workman unashamed, who cuts straight the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15).
The bar has been set beloved; and it is set very high.
Here is Sinclair's resolutions on the taming of the tongue taken from the book of James. They are powerful, convicting, humbling and encouraging. May they stir your heart as they have mine this very hour.
- James 1:5 To ask God for wisdom to speak and with a single mind
- James 1:9-10 To boast only in exaltation in Christ, & humiliation in world
- James 1:13 To set a watch over my mouth
- James 1:19 To be constantly quick to hear, slow to speak
- James 2:1-4 To learn the gospel way of speaking to poor and the rich
- James 2:12 To speak always in the consciousness of the final judgment
- James 2:16 To never stand on anyone’s face with my words
- James 3:14 To never claim as reality something I do not experience
- James 4:1 To resist quarrelsome words in order to mortify a quarrelsome heart
- James 4:11 To never speak evil of another
- James 4:13 To never boast in what I will accomplish
- James 4:15 To always speak as one subject to the providences of God
- James 5:9 To never grumble, knowing that the Judge is at the door
- James 5:12 To never allow anything but total integrity in my speech
- James 5:13 To speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer
- James 5:14 To sing praises to God whenever I am cheerful
- James 5:14 To ask for the prayers of others when I am sick
- James 5:15 To confess it freely whenever I have failed
- James 5:15 To pray with and for one another when I am together with others
- James 5:19 To speak words of restoration when I see another wander