Speaking the Truth
All right at this I'm going to start off with a question I sometimes I do this and this is a dangerous question to ask because this could just start a fire storm in here but so just answer this question in your mind or talk to your family at lunch OK But here's the question. Is it ever OK to lie to someone else what.
I heard I heard a man say Yes way too.
Is it ever OK to lie to someone you know some of you might be thinking lying is wrong the Bible tells us not to lie. Again I'm just bringing this up just for discussion sake not right now but maybe for later actually in the Bible there are a couple times that it's recorded where someone lied and God bless them for it a couple examples. In Exodus future in the Exodus and this is well after Joseph had passed away the Israelites they were really increasing in number and the Egyptians were becoming very fearful of the number of the Israelites and so Pharaoh told the midwives as soon as a Hebrew woman gives birth if it's to a son kill that baby boy and so the midwives it so that they feared God and so they refused to do this and Pharaoh came to the midwives and said Why is it that you are not killing the newborns and they lied and they said well the Hebrew women they are there are very strong and so they will have the kids even before the midwives can get there and this is a god bless the midwives and actually gave them families of their own so there's an example of they lied but God bless them another example and we're not going to go through all of the examples in scripture but another one I think is very important Joshua and before they went in and captured the Promised Land they sent the two spies into Jericho and the two spies ran across a woman named Rahab and Ray had hid the spies and when the city officials came in they said We know that you have spies here were are they we're going to bring them out so we can kill them she lied and God bless her for. That not only did God bless her he saved her when the Israelites came in and destroyed Jericho but she's actually in the lineage of Christ and obviously in those situations they live for a greater purpose and I don't want to get into all of that but. What about when we lie to the other people is it OK for us to lie if we're going to surprise someone like our lineage you have ever had a surprise party for someone else I go birthday party and you had to lie to them to deceive them to think that they're going to do something else is that OK or is that not really lying is that like tricking someone or a birthday presents we lie about that or a one time I had to lie to Kristen just one time.
When we were dating when we were dating we kind of already we knew that we were going to get married and we kind of even had our date picked out when we were going to get married and and I had picked out the ring from my friend back in Seattle Washington because he worked at a jewelry store and I got his discount that's cheap anyway but you know the story but I he was back in Seattle and I was in Michigan and Kristen was wondering you know when I was going to propose and I told her I would never have the ring mailed through the mail and so I had to go home for Christmas break so they could pick up the ring and bring it back and so over Thanksgiving which was obviously before Christmas I got down on one knee and I proposed and she didn't quite answer me yet and so I had to I'm sure you will you marry me she was yes and almost the next question was Did you have the ring mailed.
So I lied to my wife my girlfriend at the time well this morning sermon is not about when it's OK to lie and when it's not OK And the difference between lying and tricking someone for a good purpose and so let's just kind of take that whole discussion and kind of put it off to the side right now but what we're going to do today is talk about the importance of speaking the truth to one another we are. Our series on one another and today we're going to talk about speaking the truth to one another and what I wanted to get you thinking about is this the importance that you find in your own life for someone to speak truth to you so on a scale of one to ten how important is it to you that the following people speak the truth to you OK ready let me give you a few examples how important would it be to you that the person you're about to purchase a car from tells you the truth.
That's going to be up there right maybe some of you would even use that you use a number ten how about this how important is it to you that your personal financial advisor who manages all of your money tells you the truth pretty important right OK how about how important is it to you that the waiter at your restaurant tells you the truth. Pretty important maybe not as critical right must have allergies my college roommate We always joke because he was a waiter at restaurants and whenever he would come out and bring the salad with the rich ranch dressing they would always say Now this is fat free dressing right he said Oh yeah yeah yeah absolutely is free or is that regular decaf What do you want or decoys Yeah this is decaf so.
Your waiters lied to you just so you know or how about this how important is it to you that the person who preaches to you on Sunday morning tells the truth right pretty important right I take this pretty seriously or how about how important is it to you that the political leader that leads you tells the truth. Why are you laughing.
Are a couple more how important is it that your spouse tells you the truth or how important is it that your children tell you the truth or how important is it that a salesman tells you the truth. One last story and will kind of get on to the sermon but I remember when I was my. Final year in college there was a gym health club that opened up and it wasn't doing very well and there were rumors that it was going to fold but this is my last semester and so my roommate Brad bruiser who is actually a pastor somebody might know briberies or as we said hey you know let's let's join this gym or get married in the summer list work out and and I remember sitting down with the salesman and someone had told me that Jim might not survive and so I asked him he said you need to sign a two year contract no up front money I think was like ten or fifteen dollars a month and I asked him I said if the gym folds if you guys close the door in my release from this contract and I looked him straight in the eyes and asked him this question he goes oh yeah no problem if we fold in your release from the contract Well three weeks later four weeks later we drive up to the gym and guess what there was a closed sign on the door when I go it's too bad but you know at least we're released from our contract a few weeks later I got a bill in the mail to pay my monthly membership and I called them up on the phone and said the salesman told me I would be released he said No Well he lied the contract says you owe us money for two years as long as you live within twenty five mile radius of one of our gyms and out of spite I didn't pay them. That's right and then when I tried to get my first loan for a mortgage guess where short of my credit report call me and I was really upset with that salesman anyway you know I suspect that for all of those people who probably had a high number maybe even all of you said that's a number ten I want the people that I'm dealing with I want them to speak the truth to me Well how about in a family relationships between a parent and a child you know I have a confession to make I confess this to Steven to Mike before the service I knew I was going to be talking about this in the importance of parents speaking the truth to their children and I've done something kind of kind of sneaky here at the church I've convinced a couple kids that the coffee machine makes donuts.
I really have an. And so here I am talking about sowing lies about anyone but I know that they believe the older ones No no that doesn't make donuts but they're convincing their younger siblings that they can makes donuts but when I googled up the biggest lies that children tell their parents I'm going to just see if some of your familiar with these the biggest one of the biggest lies that a child will tell their parents is I didn't do it.
You're you know we've probably heard that before right well well then who did well I don't know that's like number two they usually know or when a child wants to watch a television show or play a video game and the parent asks Are you done with your home or he had What's the lie that goes with that oh yeah I'm done with my homework or a couple a couple more if the child doesn't want to go to school what lie will they tell their parents oh I'm so soon oh my stomach hurts or the last one before a child needs to go to bed it's time to go to bed child will say but I have to go to the bathroom that's not a lie worth risking so I make him go to go to the bathroom. And we're not going to share the lies the parents tell their children so we're going to move on.
But why do people lie we deal with this everywhere in every part of society why do people lie people who lie are obviously doing this for very selfish purposes and people usually lie because they're putting their own desires before another person's And I'd say the two main reasons probably the two main reasons why people lie is because they're trying to get something that they want.
Or they're trying to stay out of trouble and so that's the two main reasons probably why people lie but I think that it is impossible for two people or group of people to have a healthy relationship if that relationship is filled with people who are lying to each other and that's what we're talking. But right now in our sermon series on healthy relationships and especially talking about our series on one another in one another and just to kind of recap what we've talked about there is one hundred places in the New Testament where we see this phrase one another thirty percent deal with Unity thirty percent deal with love that's we talked about last week fifteen percent are on humility and another twenty five works sort of random and I've kind of lumped of those random one another commands into two categories the first one to look at today and the next one we're going to look at the over the next couple weeks but as you look at those random one another commands it's dealing a lot with truth and how we speak to each other not lying to each other and speaking the truth and so today we're going to do is we're going to look at these handful of verses that command us to speak the truth to each other and so let's go ahead and look at those right now and then also let's look at the consequences the Bible teaches us how pins when we lie and also when we told the truth and so if you're following along in your sermon notes here's the first point this is talking about the consequences of truth telling The first consequence deals with lies lies lead to isolation.
If you want I or another person lies to someone else what that ultimately does is lead to isolation. If you think back to the first lie ever said it's back in the Garden of Eden and Satan lie to either about eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good evil. Good Satan lie so that even a relationship with God would get better or worse obviously worse and so that lies purpose was to lead Eve and all of us into isolation and that's what lies do they break down relationships in the most important relationship the Jew and I can have in this life is with our Creator and that relationship. It was built on truth when I look at our first passage for this morning it's found any fees in chapter four you can look at that in your Bibles or I'm also going to have this up on the screen but if he's in chapter four we're going to begin in verse seventeen if he's in chapter four beginning in verse seventeen
and as you're following along in these you're reading this either on the screen in your bible what I want you to do as I want you to notice the connection between truth and I think humans relationship with God All right these are these are inseparable there is truth and our relationship with God Notice how these work together so he's in chapter four beginning in verse seventeen.
It says Now this I say and testify in the Lord that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do in the futility of their minds they are darkened in their understanding Ilya needed from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of heart. They have become callous and they've given themselves up to sensuality greed to practice every kind of impurity or just I want you to notice the so far it says that we as Gentiles or as the unsaved we have turned away from the truth and what is the truth do the truth brings us closer to God and so we have turned away from the truth we have wandered away from the truth and that has led to believing in lies and when you believe in a lie it's going to isolate you from our Creator keep reading here verse twenty but that is not the way that you learned Christ assuming that you have heard about him in more taught in him as the truth is in Jesus to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life it is corrupt through deceitful desires and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds and to put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness so I want you to notice this again this whole passage this whole section is saying that our former way of living is described as having a mind filled with deceit and lies and there are lies in your mind it's going to lead to that kind of living this living that goes away from God However the new way of living. And it starts in our minds and it brings us closer to God and then Paul says this in verse twenty six therefore because of all these truths having put away false would let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another speak the truth to his neighbor it's interesting that in this passage the first thing that we are told to do after we accept the truth of who God is is speak the truth to our neighbors I think that's worth noting the first thing that we're told to do after we've accepted the truth is just speak truth to our neighbors look at verse twenty five again therefore having put away falshood let each of you speak the truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another and the reason why we're supposed to speak the truth to each other is because we are members with each other. Would you lie and this kind of a dangerous question to ask but would you lie to another person if you knew that it was going to harm you. Or maybe you know if the gratification was there enough. That's what we don't think about in the moments before we live to another person we're so caught up in the instant gratification of getting what we want to avoiding trouble that we don't realize how it's fracturing our relationship with another person if we're going to lie but lives affect everyone lies affect everyone and everything who was affected by Eve buying into say things like I.
Ever see one of us every single one of us every single human being that has ever lived has been affected by that lies so the next time that you you lie or think you can you think of a time that you lied and you got caught and I'm talking a big lie not a small one but a big one did in that moment did it improve your relationship with that person or did it destroy that usually Obviously it's going to harm that relationship here's the thing about our world and I don't want to get to. Much on a tangent with this but our world right now does not value truth. We are told that whatever you want to believe is fine for you but your truth is your truth but we can also see the consequences of that because the world right now is so fractured and people are so isolated from each other and that's because people are looking for truth in other places so that's why we need to speak the truth to one another because lies lead to isolation wanted to turn your Bibles to Romans chapter one I'm not going to put this up on the screen here but in Romans chapter one. Says kind of one of those timeless passages every time I've ever read this in my entire life.
Over just these brief forty some years every time I read this I think boy this really describes the world today it seems like it's even becoming more specific in descriptive but in Romans chapter one beginning in verse eighteen here we read what happens when people give up seeking the truth and they live for themselves this is what happens Romans one verse eighteen. Says for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who by their own righteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them for his invisible attributes namely his eternal power and divine nature having been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made so they are without excuse for although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to him but they became few tile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were dark and claiming to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal god for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things you know this downward spiral that people find themselves as described here in Romans chapter one it begins with. Suppressing the truth not acknowledging the truth about who God is and the way that you suppress the truth is you have to replace it with a lie and so that's the first thing that we deal with when it comes to the consequences of truth and lies this is true of our relationship with God This is true of our relationship with one another so this is the first consequence of truth telling lies lead to isolation Well that's kind of a bad example now let's talk about the good examples of what happens when we speak the truth the first good example of the consequence of truth telling is this truth leads to renewable truth leads to renewable find this in our passage in collages cautions chapter three verses nine in ten. Cautions three nine and ten says. Do not live to one another seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator I think all of us know what a lie is I think you don't even have to be given a definition to know what lying is but when you look at the definition of scripture the word means specifically to speak deliberate falsehood of what a lie is when you speak deliver a false word or when you are intentionally trying to deceive someone mainly for their harm or for your personal good here in this passage it says that lying is tied to the old self and its practices the old way of living that's how people live they lie where it's all about them speaking truth to each other is tied to the renewed way of living as we are created in we are shaped into the image of our creator and so I think we can say that the words that come out of our mouth is truly a direct reflection of our spiritual condition when you and I speak to each other when we speak to God when we are. Speaking Truth it is truly an indicator of our spiritual condition you know there's a there's a passage back in Mass you I think I have the slide up here this is where the fair seas were criticizing Jesus and they said your followers they're breaking the law of the elders are not washing their hands before the eat and Jesus talked about what really defiles us is not so much what comes into the mouth but what comes out of the mouth in masses Matthew Chapter fifteen this passage in Matthew fifteen seventeen Jesus says Do you not see that whatever goes into your mouth passes into the stomach in his expelled but what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart and this defiles a person for out of the heart evil thoughts murder adultery sexual immorality theft false witness slander these are what defile a person but seed with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.
Have you ever seen just how true this is that the words that come out of a person's mouth it really is a true reflection of what's going on in their heart and their mind people will speak what is important to them. You know I'm a recently couple months ago I met with a friend of mine and someone that I had not seen in a while hadn't really had any conversations with for awhile and this person they are a True Believer in Christ I believe that they believe in Jesus is definite resurrection but I didn't know where they were at spiritually and so I was glad that I had a chance to sit down with this this friend of mine and it was it was kind of discouraging because the first thing that came out of this person's mouth were a whole bunch of profanities and they wanted to tell me about all the people that they were upset with in their life. Thoughts to behind. I can tell where his mind was and where his heart was the things that he was dwelling on he was not focused on truth telling and and being renewed in the image of our Creator and don't ask me who it is I'm not going to tell you No no one here. No one here but but it was really hard to see that where what you're focusing on that's going to come out of your mouth and this passage here in Colossians is telling us if we want to be renewed in the image of our Creator we need to practice the spiritual discipline of telling truth and so I think here's some good news with this passage in Colossians telling the truth is a spiritual discipline and when we can commit ourselves to speaking the truth to one another I think this is one of the most practical ways that we put off the old self and put on the new self it's as simple as that sometimes the words that we let come out of our mouths so we must speak truth to other people we must always speak truth to other people and somebody might say yeah but what about what about the time when it's going to hurt someone or when there are it's going to offend someone or maybe what if the truth is going to start an argument. Or the truth is truth is going to do that we all know that we've all been in conversations where someone is believing a lie and you try to correct them with the truth and it starts a conflict or they're offended by the truth but however I think this is something we all need to answer this question for ourselves if you were believing something that was a lie and your belief in that thing was causing you to live your life in a certain way if it was truly a lie would you want to know.
I think all of us would say yes all of us do not want our lives to be based on a lie we all want to be based on the truth and I am convinced that one of the most loving things that we can do for the world around us in the people in our lives is to speak the truth to them even if it's going to hurt or offend them in first Corinthians chapter thirteen the passage on love and then read the whole passage we looked at this last week but there's a phrase in there talking about where love is it says that true love love read Joyce's. As with the truth.
So you and I can't possibly have a loving relationship with another person if it's based on a lie and so we need to speak the truth to other people look at our passage and plushy cautions three nine again. Read this again it says do not lie to one another see that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator and so speaking the truth leads to our renewable in Christ image and the more like Christ that we are generally speaking the better in the healthy our relationships are going to be with others so that's the second consequence of truth telling the third consequence of truth telling is this truth is encouraging when we accept the truth even if it stings a little bit at first as soon as we have the truth and we can understand the truth it is greatly encouraging even when you have to tell your your your spouse or whatever it is that maybe you don't like their cooking or you know they don't look good in this outfit here or wives or are you aware if you make a meal and you asked your spouse or your family do you like this meal do you really want them to lie or do you want them to tell the truth you want to tell the truth in a gracious way right you can say the truth of it as long as you say it in a gracious way but sometimes the truth hurts but usually leads to strengthen the relationship so if the truth was given in grace.
I think the most important truth that any human being can discover in this life is going to hurt a little bit at first but then it becomes a great source of encouragement. The hardest truth that we have to realize that we've got a passage for you is this. Romans three twenty three. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
For any human being the. It is full of pride things that they're good enough to earn God's favor this truth should hurt Romans three twenty three it's a horrible truth but guess what we need to know this we need to know that our good works don't leave us in a right relationship with God If a person believes their whole life that they are good enough to earn God's approval it doesn't change the fact that at the end of their life they're still responsible to pay for their sins if they have not placed their faith in Christ and so this is a truth that we all need to know in the good thing about Romans three twenty three for those of you know this know that it quickly goes into another truth that is very good for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus that is a truth that is encouraging you and I have the hope of eternal life because of what Jesus Christ did for us you know in our Thursday morning men's Bible study we've been going through first that's alone and we just looked at some of these passages recently Paula for those of you familiar with the book of first US alone eons Paul just love these people he's always talking about how much he loves them and they were really concerned about whether the day of the Lord had come or not they were worried that they possibly missed it and so Paul took a little bit of time to give them some truth about these future events that are coming and listen to what he says about this so first less alone in chapter four beginning in verse sixteen I'll put these up on the screen Paul says to them talking about the future events he says for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command with the voice of an archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God in the dead in Christ will rise first then we who are alive who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord therefore encourage one another with these words this is a true. Truth about what's going to happen in the future if you have placed your face and you are in Christ that's probably the most important phrase that we just looked at if you are in Christ then your future is in Christ and when he comes and says that we will be hit with him forever how many of you are encouraged by that truth I am I am greatly encouraged by that truth and he goes on the next chapter Chapter five beginning in verse four first his the five persons five nine ten says for God This is a great truth for God has not destined us for Wrath but to abstain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him therefore encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing and so when we take these truths or any other truth that are in the Bible and we speak them and we give them to other people ultimately the truth is going to be encouraging to us so that's why we're supposed to speak the truth to one another you know I'm very glad that God is not like us because we can lie to each other I know it happens far often far more often than it should but it says that it is impossible for God to lie I'm grateful for that and so that means that we can really build our lives on the truths found in God's word God is not lying to us he tells us exactly what we need to know and in His great love for us he tells us that we are sinners but he also tells us that he fixed the sin by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins and he comforts us with the hope that we will be with him for ever in eternity and that is the truth now we need to share with each other and encourage each other with.
Well as we kind of wrap up this this portion of the one another commands on a personal level how do you do with this subject.
How do you do with truth telling. Now some of you you may be hearing you think you know this is such an important. For me I always make sure that I speak the truth and I definitely think there are people who who do that a lot more than others some of you might be here and think you know maybe just account to keep the peace with friends and family members maybe I don't stand up for the truth or I just kind of go along with the lies that people are believing I just don't want to create waves but I'm sure that there are a few people in here that realize if you're if you're honest with yourself you have a problem with lying that it just comes out way too easy that in your relationships maybe a with a husband or wife or parents children or work you don't tell the truth so I hope that today is as we read these words or talk about the importance of speaking the truth to other people that all of us will just take ownership over the words that we allow to come out of our mouth and that we will turn to God and ask him to give us the strength to do this spiritual discipline to speak the truth to other people and I want to end by reiterating what the most important truth is in the world that we are sinners deserving of punishment but Jesus died to pay for our sins and that's our face in that alone gives us the hope of eternal life.
In John fourteen six Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the Life no one comes to the Father except through me and this is the truth. Have you accepted this truth or have you bought into some other lie that it's up to you or that it's through your own works well this morning what I want to do is give anyone here an opportunity if you have not accepted this truth that your salvation is only possible through Christ death and resurrection that you can take hold of this truth and be renewed by being in Christ yourself so right now I want to give anyone here who has never done this an opportunity to accept this truth and to claim Christ as your own so if you dial your heads and close your eyes with me.
If you'd like to accept Christ as your lord and savior for the first time just simply pray this prayer and God will hear this if you say this in your heart so dear God I know I am a sinner.
But I believe Jesus died to pay for my sins.
And I believe that He rose again to give me the hope of eternal life.
And so right now I place my face in Christ alone for myself.
And if you prayed that prayer for the first time today or if you have ever prayed that prayer then you are in the truth and so let us speak the truth to one another was closing prayer.
Dear Lord thank you so much for these passages that we read today maybe for some people here it was hard to hear because we realize that maybe we're not speaking the truth as often as we should but Lord you give us as instruction because you want us to have healthy relationships you want our relationships with friends and family members and coworkers to be strong to be healthy in what may be the best way that we can do that or one of the best ways that we can do that is to speak truth to each other so Father I pray that you'll just encourage us in a boldness to be truth speakers and to say it in such a graceful way that we're not offending others or are putting them off so that they want to understand the truth that you have to give us the Lord our desire here a grace by which a Phoenix is to share this truth with the world so help us to be people who speak the truth and to do it in a very gracious way Lord thank you for giving us your truth and it's upon the truth of your Son Jesus Christ that we we base our lives and we pray this in his most holy name Amen.