Summary: Inductive Segmented Narrative Sermon about Christians and lying
THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING
NARRATIVE SEGMENT 1
Our story focuses on a young boy named Tim. Most people call him little Tim because his father’s name is Tim as well. His whole family is in the sheep business. If it has to do with sheep, their family does it. Anyway, on Tim’s 10th birthday, his father decided he was of age to take on more responsibility in the family business. Tim would be in charge of the flocks in the fields. Now, this was actually an important job. Sheep are dumb animals and will walk off a cliff if no one watches them. Also, you have to watch out for coyotes and wolves and wild dogs; they prey on sheep all the time. Tim’s job was to protect the sheep. He was given a staff, an alarm bell, and the trust of his father.
We should realize based on what Paul has told us in Ephesians 4, that the world we live in has contradictory ways of thinking, values, and boundaries than the Christian world. Paul now begins to focus on some specific areas that Christians are different from nonChristians. He begins with honesty.
READ EPHESIANS 4:25
ILLUSTRATION… Daily Bread, September 1991
A USA Today poll found that only 56% of American teach honesty to their children. And a Louis Harris poll turned up the distressing fact that 65% of high school students would cheat on an important exam. Recently a noted physician appeared on a network news-and-talk show and proclaimed, "Lying is an important part of social life, and children who are unable to do it are children who may have developmental problems."
Intentional deceit is another plague riddling our society. One-third of all adults (32%) claim that "the way things are these days, lying is sometimes necessary.”
We live in a world where truthfulness and lies are no longer able to be distinguished. We live in a world where students make a great effort to cheat. We live in a world that thinks it is necessary to lie to get by. Paul points out in Ephesians that as Christians, we are to be people committed to the truth. The general character of this new person we have become is one who is committed to “true righteousness and holiness.”
NARRATIVE SEGMENT 2
Tim is a young man with a good sense of humor. He had been on the job out in the fields for a few weeks now and his father was quite pleased with his work. He had not lost one sheep yet. As I said, he is a young man with a good sense of humor (sometimes over the top). He decided one day to play a trick on his father and the other workers. Around lunch time or so, he began to yell, “wolf! wolf!” and started to ring the alarm bell he was given. His father and all the hired hands came running from the main farm to defend the flocks. All they found when they arrived, all the sheep were safe and there was little Tim laughing as hard as he could.
I. TRUTH FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
It seems to me that lying is one of the oldest sins and is the weapon of choice for Satan. After all, Satan is known as “the father of lies.” Scripture has much to say about lying and falsehood whether it is by example, or a teaching passage like Ephesians 4:25.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan lied to Eve and tempted her to eat the fruit (Genesis 3:4-5). Later, Adam and Eve lied to God about what they had done and tried to avoid responsibility (Genesis 3:12-13). The result of these lies was that Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden. The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:16) given to Moses and the people of Israel contained the command, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Truthfulness and honesty is one of the foundations of society that God laid down. In addition, I see Jesus being a man who was on the receiving end of many lies during His life. The religious leaders falsely accused Jesus of being a glutton and a drunkard (Matthew 11:19) and even accused Him of being demon-possessed and a blasphemer when He healed and forgave sins (Matthew 9:2-6, Mark 2:7, Luke 5:21). Who can forget Simon Peter lying three times about knowing Jesus on the very evening of His trial (John 18: 25-27)?
All of these passages speak about lying and falsehood. All of these passages show that truthfulness is something to be valued and is something we should hold dear. Ephesians 4:25 points out a very important reason for being trustworthy (if you need a reason). Paul says that we are all part of one another and are all members in the same body. We are all part of the Body of Christ and so should do whatever we can to build it up. Our relationships with one another should be valued and we should not jeopardize them with dishonesty and lies.