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Summary: The fifth message in a 7-Part Series, Shift - A New Way of Thinking. Today's message from Matthew 5:33-37 explores a follower of Christ's responsibility to tell the truth.

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Simple Truth • Matthew 5:33-37 • March 20-21, 2010

INTRODUCTION: Billy Joel Song – Honesty

Ex. Children – cross your heart… hope to die… stick a…

Email half-truths… (snopes.com; truthorfiction.com)

Matthew 5:33-37. Simple truth. Stand. Read. Pray.

Not a direct quotation from the OT as the previous three… references several passages (Ex. 20:7; Lev. 19; Deut. 23)

Jesus style – antithetical teaching… often leverage opposites… or a direct contrast with the original understanding…

I. I must refuse my DRIFT towards DECEIT.

We discover our drift towards deceit at a very young age… brother… gathering Christmas gifts in room… locking the door… and opening them…

• Reject the drift to CATEGORIZE.

• Jewish code of law = mishnah… contains a detailed list of rules to govern when oaths or promises are binding and when they are not. Essentially a system of rules to let someone know when it was okay to lie and be deceptive and when you couldn’t…

• We do the same thing often times don't we? This is when it’s acceptable and when it’s not. Who we can lie to and whom we shouldn’t lie to… White lies compared to big lies…

• At the center of my drift to categorize, is ME. Probably you to… when it seems to benefit me… then it’s okay…

• Reject the drift to EXAGGERATE.

• Embellish things, right? In our conversations we can stoop to telling stories with an exaggerated slant… sometimes its to make a more emphatic point… sometimes it presents us in a more glamourous light.

• Reject the drift to EMPTY PROMISES.

• Have you ever promised someone you will do something and then realize it was much more than you signed up for and don’t fulfill your promise because it’s inconvenient?

• Promise low… produce high… we tend to over promise and under deliver…

II. I must remember the ORIGIN of OWNERSHIP.

• Jesus begins by arguing that even the question they are asking is totally irrelevant. In particular Jesus is calling out the Pharisees b/c they had created these categories of the oaths that mention God and those which don’t… Jesus says that’s completely artificial. SEE Matthew 23:16-22

• Jesus says, however hard you try, you cannot avoid some reference to God.

• Jesus relates every oath to GOD. The entire world is God’s world and therefore you cannot eliminate Him for any of it…

• Jesus says if the precise wording of a vow doesn’t matter… He is teaching that the implication of the law is that we must be people of our word. Then vows become unnecessary.

• The beginning of all things is God therefore, who are we to swear by or make an oath using something that we can’t guarantee? An oath is an oath as far as God is concerned.

III. I must reflect a TESTIMONY of TRUTHFULNESS.


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