Summary: Jesus had an honest heart and so must we, because we are his followers.
A. Jim Harte sent me a story this week, and it is a perfect story to begin with.
B. The story is told of a teacher who asked her elementary school students what their favorite animal was.
1. One little boy said, “Fried chicken.”
a. The teacher said that he wasn't funny, but she couldn't have been right, because everyone else in the class laughed.
b. The little boy’s parents told him to always tell the truth, and he did. Fried chicken was his favorite animal.
c. Anyway, his teacher sent him to the principal's office.
d. The boy told the principal what happened, and he laughed, too.
e. Then he told him not to do it again.
2. The next day the teacher asked the students what their favorite live animal was.
a. The same little boy told her it was chicken.
b. She asked him why, and he told her it was because you could make them into fried chicken.
c. She sent the boy back to the principal's office.
d. The principal laughed, and told him not to do it again.
3. The little boy still didn’t understand.
a. His parents taught him to be honest, but his teacher didn’t like it when he was.
4. The next day, the little boy’s teacher asked her students to tell her what famous person they admired most.
a. The same little boy told her, “Colonel Sanders.”
b. Guess where the little boy was sent?
C. We say that honesty pays off, but actually it often costs.
1. Nevertheless, doing right is its own reward. Honesty is always the best policy.
2. Are you known for being a truly honest person, or do people have to wonder if you are telling the truth?
3. Honest lips spring from an honest heart.
D. We are called to be Jesus’ witnesses.
1. Like a witness in court, we are called to tell the truth.
2. There is, however, one difference between the witness in court and the witness for Christ.
3. The witness in court eventually steps down from the witness chair, but the witness for Christ never does.
4. Our court is always in session, and we always remain under oath.
5. For the Christian, deception is never an option.
6. It certainly wasn’t an option for Jesus.
I. Jesus and Honesty
A. One of the most astounding assessments of Christ is this summary from Isaiah 53:9: “though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
1. Jesus was staunchly honest.
2. His every word was accurate, and his every sentence was true.
3. Not once did Jesus stretch the truth.
4. Not once did Jesus avoid the truth.
5. Jesus simply told the truth – no deceit was found in his mouth.
B. Our God has been clear about honesty.
1. Psalm 101:7 says: “No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house…”
2. From Genesis to Revelation, the theme is the same: God loves the truth and hates deceit.
3. Prov. 12:22, “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”
4. Prov. 6:16-17, “The LORD hates…a lying tongue.”
5. Psalms 5:6, “You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.”
6. Revelation 21:8, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”
7. You know the children’s song based on that verse…revelation, revelation, 21:8, 21:8
C. Why is it that God takes such a hard line on honesty?
1. One reason is that dishonesty is absolutely contrary to the character of God.
2. According to Hebrews 6:18, “it is impossible for God to lie.”
a. It’s not that God will not lie or that He has chosen not to lie – He cannot lie.
3. The book of Titus echoes the same words as the book of Hebrews: “God does not lie.” (1:2)
D. God always speaks truth.
1. When He makes a promise, He keeps it.
2. When God makes a statement, He means it.
3. When God proclaims the truth, we can believe it.
E. Satan, on the other hand, finds it impossible to tell the truth.
1. According to Jesus, the devil is “the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44)
2. If you remember, deceit was the first tool out of the devil’s bag.
a. In the Garden of Eden, Satan didn’t discourage Eve, or seduce her, he just lied to her.
b. Satan said to Eve, “God says you’ll die if you eat the fruit, but I’m telling you that you will surely not die.” (Gen. 3:1-4)
c. Eve was suckered, and the fruit was plucked, and her husband followed suit, and the innocence of the garden was lost.