Do I swear? Do I keep my word? 


We scoped out James 5:7-11 to understand ‘how’ we are to wait patiently in trials.


We will unfold James 5:12 regarding the command, ‘do not swear’!

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Oh, Lord, we come to Your Word today excited for You to teach us more Truth. Grant us ears to hear You speak to us, and eyes to see. Please open our understanding and help us live in the light of Your mighty Truth! Thank You!


LOOK at What God Says 

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Let’s read James 5:7-12 together, asking the 5W’s and H questions.

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Let’s concentrate on verse 12.

Even though James begins with ‘but’, there is NO contrast.

Above all!

ABOVE ALL, meaning this is important!

What does he want the brethren to do?

What does this have to do with suffering?

Did you notice, James comes back to the tongue again?


Do you remember:

In Chapter 1 James said, if anyone thought they were religious but didn’t bridle their tongues, they were deceived?

In Chapter 2 he said, so speak and act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

In Chapter 3 he spoke extensively about the tongue.

In Chapter 4 he said, do not speak against one another, if you do, you judge the law, and not a doer of the law, but a judge of it.

And now again, James brings up our speech.

We must understand: True Believers are tested by their speech!



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What does James mean when he says, ‘do not swear‘?

Swear,  omnúo; To take or make an oath (Matt. 5:34; 26:74; Mark 14:71). The person or thing by which one swears is variously construed as with the heaven (James 5:12). . .

The Grammar: is pim The Present Imperative Active.

This is a command!

Understand: This is NOT vulgar, filthy language. 

Understand: This is to take a solemn oath as to the truth of a statement.


So, how does this fit? 

What does swearing have to do with suffering?


Have you gone through troubles, ever suffered, and bargained with God?

Or, said things you didn’t mean?

Or, made promises you couldn’t keep?

Understand: Swearing is about making a an oath, taking a vow, making a promise you can’t keep, to take the heat off of your suffering, your trial.  

Let me give you a little background information.

We live in a world of lies. And man can’t be trusted to keep his word, thus swearing and giving oaths is so people will believe we are really telling the truth.

It could be as easy as the child like oath – ‘cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye‘, or 

‘I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me God’ in a court of law.


Let’s do some Cross Referencing.

Is swearing, giving oaths wrong?

a.Deut 6:13

In the OT, oaths in the Lord’s name were commanded. (Deut 6:13)


bNum 30:2

When one took a vow in the name of the Lord, they had to do what they said. (Num 30:2)

Understand: Men made oaths in the name of God as a testimony that what they were saying was truthful.

We see: Men’s vows were serious and to be kept.


James doesn’t command not to swear ‘by the name of the Lord’, but by what?

Not to swear either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath.

What did he mean?


What did Jesus say about this in His Sermon on the Mount?

Mat 5:33-37

“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’

But I say to you, 

make no oath at all, either by heaven, why? for it is the throne of God,

or by the earth, why? for it is the footstool of His feet,

or by Jerusalem, why? for it is the city of the great King. 

Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 

But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’;

anything beyond these is of evil. (Mat 5:33-37)


Understand: To swear by anything else other than the Lord, meant then they didn’t have to keep it.

We see: Jesus is saying stop that! God is all in all.

We see: This is basically a call to stop the swearing with no intent to keep the oath, and start telling the truth!



When have I made a vow, a solemn oath before God?

Have I kept that vow?

Respond to God . . . LIVE it out!


What did James instruct?

but your yes is to be yes, and your nonoso that you may not fall under judgment.



Can others trust what I say?

Is my Yes, yes, and my No, no?

Are my words truthful?

Respond to God . . . LIVE it out!


Now in verse 12, Why does James say they are not to swear?

. . .so you may not fall under judgment.

Do you remember what judgment means? It’s just a tap away.

Judgment, krísis; decision (subject or object, for or against); by extension a tribunal; (by implication) justice (specially divine law):—accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment.


1. What kind of judgment is James talking about?

aMat 23:1-33

Jesus spoke 7 Woes to the Pharisees because of their deeds. In v16-24, He addresses their swearing by heaven, ending telling them they would not escape the judgment of hell. (Mat 23:1-33)


bRev 21:7-8

He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:7-8)


cRev 22:15

Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying(Rev 22:15)



Am I guilty of saying I am speaking truth, but practicing deceit, living a lie?

Do I see the danger of eternal judgment?

What will I do?

Respond to God . . . LIVE it out!


What Did We Discover

Sum It Up!


How to Face Trials


The Lord is full of lovingkindness, compassion, and merciful.

He would never allow His children to suffer needlessly.


We are Commanded to:

Be Patient;

Do not complain;


Do not swear.


Like the Farmers keep our hand on the plow.

Seek 1st the Kingdom and Do the Father’s work.

Anticipating the Lord’s return, who will come as the Righteous Judge!

Like the Prophets take courage from their examples.

Speak in the name of the Lord.

Follow the Lord’s example.

Run the race with endurance, fixing our eyes on Jesus.

Like Job  

Understand God has a loving purpose for our trials.

Come through the other end – Seeing God, Knowing God.

The Result: Blessed If We Endure.

Let’s View GODcha’s

 #17 LIVE Questions

Engage With God


It will all have been a waste of time if you don’t hear and respond to God.



  1. Until the coming of the Lord, in the midst of my trials and dealings with difficult people:

a. How can I be patient, and strong?

b. How and why will I not complain?

c. What will I do to endure the suffering?

d. How will I guard against speaking stupid oaths, that could bring me under divine judgment?

Respond to God . . .LIVE it out! 


James 5:7-12 Is Done!

Meditate on everything God is teaching you. “For the one who meditates on God’s Word is blessed,” (Psalm 1:1-2).  

What have you learned about yourself?

Is there some action God is requiring of you?

Do you need to confess and repent?


Put this Review and Summary in Your Notes

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Turn What We Have Learned Into Prayer

Perhaps. . .

FATHER, thank you for Your Word that reproves and corrects us, and trains us up in righteousness. Father, if there are any who now recognize their struggle in speaking truth, oh, may they see the danger of an eternal judgment in hell. Help any and all to stop covering their sin! May we all desire to be like You Lord Jesus, and bow the knee to You, allowing You to rule and reign over our lives. Please, produce in us an integrity and character that speaks truth! May our yes be yes, and our no, no. May others see we are different, and know we are trustworthy, reliable and honest! May others be drawn to You as a result! We ask this in our Lord’s precious, holy name. Amen!


Rest tomorrow and worship God!

Meet you in a couple of days to begin LOOKING @ James Chapter 5:13-18.

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