James 3:1-12 | “Only Jesus can tame our tongues!”
The central message of Christianity is not a worldview, a way of life, or a program for personal and societal change; it is a gospel. From the Greek word for "good news” typically used in the context of announcing a military victory, the gospel is the report of an appointed messenger who arrives from the battlefield. That is why the New Testament refers to the offices of apostle (official representative), preacher, and evangelist, describing ministers as heralds, ambassadors, and witnesses. Their job is to get the story right and then report it, ensuring that the message is delivered by word (preaching) and deed (sacrament). And the result is a church, an embassy of the Triune God in the midst of this passing evil age, with the whole people of God giving witness to God's mighty acts of redemption.
When we are distracted from this commission, we begin to think of ourselves not as ambassadors of a great King and witnesses to that which someone else has accomplished for us but as the stars of the show. Instead of reporting the news, we become the news. In fact, today we often hear Christians speak of "living the gospel" and "being the gospel,” as if anything we do and are can be considered a supplement to God's victory in Christ Jesus. Instead of ambassadors, heralds, reporters, and witnesses, pastors become entrepreneurs, managers, coaches, therapists, marketing gurus, and communications specialists.