How are you? How is your week going? Have you spoken falsehood this week?
Yesterday, I received a phone call at church. The person on the other end started off by telling me that it was not a sales call. However, he went on, talking about giving me estimates on a service that his business can provide for our church.
At that point, I was rather annoyed at this phone call. He told me that he wasn’t trying to sell me anything, but then he was. Or at least that was his intention. I felt lied to and deceived.
I was totally upset at this stranger on the line. Why do we get upset when people, even strangers, lie to us? It’s because the truth is important to us. We don’t want to be deceived.
Our lives are found upon the rock of truth, having been made in the image of the true God who gives us His true Word. Building upon lies is just like building upon sinking sand. The truth is so important that it is one of the Ten Commandments!
We talked about this Ninth Commandment during last Sunday’s sermon. We are called to not bear false witness against our neighbor.
We must not lie. We must not lie for our own selfish gain. We must not lie to puff ourselves up. We must not lie to manipulate others to get our own way. We definitely must not lie to hurt others.
This includes gossip and slander. One person’s careless gossip can cause a wildfire of hurt and pain. Pastor and scholar, Phil Ryken, gives us these three questions to guide us in our speech:
  • Is what I am about to say true?

  • Does it need to be said to this person in this conversation?

  • Would I put it this way if the person I’m talking about were here to listen?

Not only are we called to not bear false witness, but we are called to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We must not leave out some truths when we speak. We must not mix in small lies with the truth. We must not speak half-truths for our selfish purposes.
If we cannot do this, we see that Scripture says that it’s better for us to just stay silent.
Reflecting on this commandment today, I see that I have already failed miserably this week at keeping this commandment. It’s because it’s in our sinful nature to lie and to speak falsehood. It’s in our sinful nature to leave out some truths for our own selfish purposes.
That’s why we need to confess the truth that we are liars. We confess that we are sinners. Then, we trust in and cling to Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life. We cling to the truth that He is a great Savior, and He forgives us our sin.
Christ didn’t bear false witness against His neighbor, but at the end of His life, we see that there were false witnesses against Him. And instead of speaking up, He stayed silent out of love so that He would be crucified. He died for all our sins, and He gives us new hearts. With a new heart, we have new tongues. We are able to speak the truth and not bear false witness against our neighbor.
New Life, let’s speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Let’s keep the ninth commandment through the truth of Christ.
Take some time to reflect on your speech this past week and confess your sins to the Lord. And as you trust in Christ, take the time to enjoy that He is the truth for you through His death and resurrection. And through that meditation, may the Lord give you grace to speak truth.
See you on Sunday for Lord’s Day Worship. Pray for one another.
In Christ,
Pastor Tim
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