Summary: The 9th may be an old law, but it is given that we might live the new life in Christ.
Central Christian Church
St. Petersburg, Fl
December 12 2002
The 9th commandment:
Exo 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not give false testimony about a neighbor.
Well who is my neighbor any way? Is it the one on the left or the right or just the ones on my street?
The Hebrew word is òÇø… òÇéø… ray’-ah
and it means; an associate—brother, companion, fellow,
friend, husband, neighbor, opponent, adversary another person.
So our neighbor is anyone and everyone. We are not to bear false witness against anyone.
What the commandment means is tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Let me say it again- when we speak, we are to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
You might put it this way, the 9th commandment may be an old law, but it represents our new life in Christ.
Honesty and truthfulness are crucial to the Christian’s life.
James tells the church in Jerusalem because he wants them to mature watch out for their tongues. Their tongues can defile the entire body. No one can tame the tongue-it is restless, evil and full of deadly poison. This should not be-from our mouth’s should come the truth.
Paul gives us a similar warning about truth telling us not to operate with malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor. 5:8).
Love delights in the truth (1Cor. 13:6).
2 Cor 4:2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
No matter what Paul was going through. He spoke the truth to bring glory to God.
He tells us by speaking the truth in love we will grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ (Eph. 4:15).
I think that means that sometimes we also have to do what Paul says and put off some joking, teasing or silly talk, that might not be the truth about another. Eph 5:4 Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving.
Eph 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.
Eph 4:29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.
Eph 4:31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice,
Eph 4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,
Eph 5:2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Eph 4:24 So we need to watch what comes out of our mouths and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Eph 5:8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light--
Eph 5:9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
You see the Truth is a person and His name is Jesus, therefore as His brothers we are to be truthful people, because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever (2 John 1:2).
This commandment is a horizontal commandment, that means it deals with our relationships with one another.
Community depends on truthfulness. Justice is perverted simply because there is a lack of the truth. Either the one charged with the crime refuses to confess the crime giving all the details or accusers have a motive or agenda to distort the facts to gain some self serving result.
I saw one the other night on court TV. The witnesses had a grudge against their uncle so they testified that he was the hit man in a murder some 18 years earlier. He got off, but the husband of the murdered party went to prison. Didn’t make any sense, but because the whole truth was withheld justice was not done.
If a community is to live the way God designed we must have truthfulness in all things. Truthfulness builds confidence and trust, these lead to respect and honor.