Telling the Truth
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Introduction: This commandment has a twofold intention. First, it guards the reputation and secondly, it closes the door of opportunity against unworthy men who might seek to enter there- in upon false testimony.
God, who created every creature, gave man something which distinguishes him from all other creatures, the power of speech. Speech can gladden hearts and it can sadden hearts. The worst use of speech is to use it in telling a lie. Lying and sin are never separated. Men lie when they sin and sin when they lie.
I. Who Is Our Neighbor?--Luke 10:29--37.
In the story of the Good Samaritan, we are taught, that every soul in the world is our neighbor. If we lie about anybody, it is sin.
II. The Bible's Message About Lying.
A. The conflict of the ages.-- Between Satan, a liar, John 8:44, and Christ, who is both God and Truth. John 1:1-3, 14; 14:6. Between Satan and Christ, Lucifer and God, Truth and lies.
B. Our words reveal our hearts. Matthew 12:34. CF. Psalms 19:14; Psalms 141:3; Proverbs 10:11; 16:24; 25:11; Psalms 120:2; Matt. 12:37; Eph. 4:25.
C. The results of lying as taught in the Bible.
1. All the sin and trouble in the world came about through lying. Gen. 3.
2. Lying put Jesus to death. Matt. 26:59-62. No wonder God hates lying so.
III. Violations of This Commandment.
A. By direct lies. The dictionary says lying is any species of designed deception. When you deliberately decide to deceive another person in any way, that is lying. Proverbs 12:22; Proverbs 19:5. Lying will not escape punishment.
B. By gossip and slander. Many people enjoy smiting others with their tongue. Jeremiah 18:18. The heart of the Christian faith is love. Before speaking ill of anyone, you ought to think of them in terms of love. You ought to think of your own failing and remember how easy you can hurt someone else -- then keep silent.
1. A basket of feathers and the T.I.D. club. (trace it down club). A group of men were talking together and something bad was said about another man. One man in the group said, "I don't believe it. Let's trace it down." They did trace it down and found out it was a lie. Then they formed the T.I.D. club. From that time on they traced things down instead of gossiping which usually means lying.
2. By evil insinuations. Suggesting that some evil might be so.
3. By remaining silent. If a neighbor is accused of some evil and you know he is innocent, yet you remain silent, you have borne false witness against him.
4. By faultfinding and unjust criticism. Often, we look for the worst, instead of the best.
5. By hypocrisy. Lying with the life. Professing to be a Christian and, yet, not acting like it.
Conclusion: These are some of the ways in which this commandment can be broken. By breaking this commandment, we hurt others. We bring reproach upon the cause of Christ. We lose our own souls and we lose our Christian influence.
Also, lying will send a person to hell if he's not saved. Rev. 2l: 8. The remedy for this sin lies in getting a clean heart from which will not come lies, but truth. Acts 1: 5-9. This is obtained by accepting Christ as Saviour.