Summary: Jesus teaches us in the sermon on the mount to be people of integrity.
Introduction: A wealthy businessman lay on his deathbed. His pastor came to visit and talked about Gods healing power and prayed for his parishioner.
When the pastor was done, the businessman said, "Preacher, if God heals me, I’ll give the church a million dollars."
Miraculously, the businessman got better and within a few short weeks was out of the hospital.
Several months later, the pastor bumped into this businessman on the sidewalk and said,
You know, when you were in the hospital dying, you promised to give the church a million dollars if you got well. We have not received it as of yet.
The businessman replied, Did I say that? I guess that goes to show how sick I really was!
. A few years back two guys interviewed thousands of people, and they published
their findings in a book called The Day America Told the Truth.
. Of those surveyed, 91% said that they lie on a regular basis.
. 86% said they lie to their parents regularly,
. 75% said they lie to their friends,
. 69% said they lie to their spouses.
. said they regularly called in to work sick when they weren’t
. Doug Sherman and William Hendricks, compared the ethics of Christian and non-Christian adults.
. They found that almost as many Christians steal from work as non-Christians,
. Almost as many Christians use company phones for personal long distance. As non-Christians
. And they found that Christians are just as likely to falsify our income taxes, and commit plagiarism, and give bribes to obtain a building permit, and ignore construction specs, and illegally copy computer programs, and steal time from work, and exaggerate our products, and selectively obey the law.
. It seems that when it comes to Integrity, Christians aren’t much different from the lost.
. God calls us to be different, a peculiar people, called out and set aside.
. Different from the world.
. In our personal and business lives Christians are to be different from other people.
. `My boy,’ said the businessman to his son, `there are two things that are essential if you are to succeed in business.’
`What are they, Dad? Asked the boy.
`Integrity and sagacity.’
`What is integrity?’
`Always, no matter what, always keep your word.’
`Never give your word!’
. Integrity, we hear a lot about this today don’t we.
. In this political season it seems that all the candidates want to attack the others integrity and espouse their own don’t they.
. They do that because in poll after poll they see that integrity matters to people when they are voting for an individual to represent them.
. It seems that integrity matters when we look at others but from the statistics that I just read it seems that our own integrity might need a little tweaking.
. In the sermon on the mount in chapter 5 verses 33-37 of the book of Matthew, Jesus addresses Integrity or truthfulness when we deal with other people.
. Mt 5:33-37, 33“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’34But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne.35And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King.36Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black.37Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
. The first thing Jesus addresses here is the Culture and tradition that they were used to.
.Vs 33 says: You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.
. In the Old Testament it was forbidden to make false vows. Here are a couple of the passages.
. LEV 19:12 Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the LORD.
. NUM 30:2 " A man who makes a vow to the LORD or makes a pledge under oath must never break it. He must do exactly what he said he would do
. DEU 23:23 " 23But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the LORD your God.
.God’s command in the Old Testament is if you made a vow before God, that you were obligated to keep that vow.
An oath or a vow is a serious statement or declaration, made with an appeal to God for truth of what is affirmed.