Summary: Based on Ex. 20:16 - Sermon challengers hearers to live lives of truth.
“YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS” Ex. 20:16
FBCF – 7/31/22
INTRO – A couple of hunters chartered a plane to fly into the Canadian wilderness. Two weeks later when the pilot came to pick them up, he saw the two animals they had bagged and said, "I told you fellows I could only take you two & one moose. You'll have to leave the other behind."
"But we did it last year in a plane this size," protested one of the hunters, "& the other pilot let us take two moose."
"Well, okay," said the pilot. "If you did it before I guess we can do it again."
So the two moose & the hunters were loaded in & the plane took off. Because of the heavy weight, it rose with difficulty & was unable to clear an obstructing hill. After the crash, the men climbed out & looked around.
One hunter said to the other, "Where are we, anyway?"
His companion surveyed the scene. "I think we got about half a mile farther than we got last year."
They told the truth – it just wasn’t the WHOLE truth!
Mark Twain – “A lie races around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”
Mama & Daddy taught me a long time ago the importance of telling the truth b/c once you tell one lie, you have to keep telling more lies to cover the first one. It’s a vicious cycle that shouldn’t be started in the first place.
The 9th Commandment that we are considering today commands us to be people of truth.
EXPLANATION – Exodus 20:16
23 marble relief portraits in US House of Representatives depicting historical figures whose works helped establish the principles that form the foundation for American law – Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Hammurabi, to name a few – philosophers, political leaders, great thinkers. At the very center is the portrait of Moses, & all the other portraits around the room are looking toward him.
- “Few people, if any, would dispute that the Ten Commandments—& its parallels from other ancient cultures—as well as other directives contained in the Pentateuch of the Hebrew & Christian Scriptures, inform our notions of right & wrong &, as such, have influenced the development of Western law of which the American legal system is part.” (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-law-and-religion/article/abs/fount-of-everything-just-and-right-the-ten-commandments-as-a-source-of-american-law/39E532D9E73E879B7BDD78C10D227F1A)
- Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist: “The 10 Commandments have had a significant impact on the development of secular legal codes of the Western world.” (Stone v. Graham, 1980)
Original context – legal term – Literal translation – “You shall not answer against your neighbor as a lying witness.”
- “Never lie when you testify about your neighbor” (GW).
- “You must not tell lies about your neighbor in court” (ICB).
- That’s why witnesses are required to take the oath to “tell the truth, the whole truth, & nothing but the truth, so help me God.”
While we know & affirm that this Commandment speaks clearly to our legal system, we also know that it applies to our personal lives & the truthfulness of our words & our lives. The Bible tells us that bearing false witness is lying. Proverbs 14:5 – “A faithful witness does not lie, but a fase witness breathes out lies.”
This 9th Commandment is a Commandment that reminds us that integrity should mark the life of every Christ-follower.
- “Lord, Lord, how this world is given to lying.” (Shakespeare)
- Lying started in the Garden of Eden. “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4) & has continued since then.
- John 8:44 – “[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning & does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar & the father of lies.” (CSB)
- Proverbs 12:22 – “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” (NLT)
- Colossians 3:9 – “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life.” (MSG)
APPLICATION – As Christ-followers, the focus of our lives must be on truth.
LIFT UP THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD – Truth is under attack in our world today. I’m not talking about which political party is telling the truth, or which news network is spinning the truth more than the others. I’m talking about the unalterable, definitive, absolute truth of God’s Word.
There’s an important word that I want to give to you today – VERACITY – means “honesty, integrity, credibility.” Christians must uphold the veracity – the honesty, integrity, & the credibility of the Word of God. Isaiah 59:14 says, “truth has fallen in the street [in the public square].” It has! We see that everywhere as truth is replaced by rhetoric, empty talk, propaganda, spin, & outright wicked lies.