Summary: Matthew 5:33-37
Mean What You Say
August 24, 2008 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Focus Passage: Matthew 5:33-37
Supplemental Passage: Luke 10:27 YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
Introduction: In the late 40’s, early 50’s, the State of Oklahoma made a deal with the citizens of Oklahoma. They said that if they voted to approve the opening of a new turnpike between Tulsa and OKC, that when it was paid off, it would be a free road. That was the deal. They saw the profit potentials and decided to create another toll road with the same promise. However, when the roads were paid off, the promise wasn’t kept. Now, they do something called, “cross-pledging” which allows the OTA to apply the profits of these roads towards building other turnpikes.
I. Vows & Oaths – good things turned bad
a. People had always been commanded not to lie. (10 commandments)
b. They would solemnize something by giving an oath.
c. In Deuteronomy 10:20, God had even told people to swear oaths by his name “20 You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.” This encouraged faithfulness.
II. Jesus cleaned house: “everything we swear by is God’s”
a. Became a complex system where you could give your word “by the earth”, “by Jerusalem”, “on my mother’s grave”, where you could actually lie.
b. Jesus said that we can’t get out of stuff by swearing to lessor things. God owns heaven, the Earth is God’s footstool. Even your head, can you make your hairs white or black?
c. If you are using oaths to lie, don’t use oaths at all!
III. Jesus reminds us of the truth – everything we say should be an oath
a. Be truthful. Mean what you say…
Lies serve as the lubricant to keep the gears of a society turning.
But it shouldn’t be so among us – what lies do for the world (imperfectly) the Gospel does for us.
The people of the world lie to defend themselves in tricky situations.
We recognize that we’re guilty, don’t cover it up, and trust Christ for our defense.
The people of the world lie to make money.
God proved on the cross that he would provide everything for us, so we trust him to provide our needs.
The people of the world lie to maintain social relationships.
We confess our sins to one another and pray for one another, forgiving others as we were forgiven.
How truthful are we?
Do we tell little white lies for social benefit?
Are we dogmatic when we shouldn’t be?
Can you say, “I don’t know?”
Do we exaggerate?
Are we honest in business? With the IRS?
Do we say we’ll do something “to our own hurt?”
Are we honest about our sins and struggles?
Can people around us trust that what we say is reliable?
Or do we only tell the truth in a contract?
Do we attempt to deceive in any way?
We can make any number of excuses for why we deceive, but every one of them shows a lack of faith.
If I’m honest on my tax return, I won’t have enough money (not trusting God to provide.)
If I’m honest with this person they’ll think badly of me (not trusting God to bring reconciliation or to be faithful to be enough for us when relationships are broken)
If I’m honest about this sin, people will reject me (not really believing the gospel that we’re all worthy of rejection).