Sermon on Lord’s Day 43
You Shall not bear false testimony
Theme: God calls us to be truth tellers in love.
Goal: to encourage believers to tell the truth in love.
Need: We struggle to speak the truth.
The point of the command is to call people to care for their neighbour by only telling the truth for their good.
It involves all those parts.
1. Love your neighbour.
2. Tell the truth for their good.
Introduction about the truth.
We need to be honest about our ability to really wrap our minds around truth.
1. Truth can sometime be in the eye of the beholder: The accident has 4 different witnesses with 4 different stories.
a. To condemn someone to death according to Deuteronomy, you had to have the accurate testimony of several witnesses.
2. Truth can sometimes be in the mouth of the teller: The kids fighting. I didn’t hit my brother. You find out later that she tapped him.
3. Truth can sometimes be in the emotional surety of the teller: A person that badly wants to have the acceptance of others will modify the truth to try and sound good to the people you are talking with.
I. Truth is more a matter of love than law
a. Truth telling is a virtue that is conditional on how loving you are being toward others.
i. The catechism skirts the edge of this when it ends with saying that we should always do what we can to advance our neighbours good name. But there is so much more to it than that.
ii. There are many virtuous people in the bible that do not tell the truth
1. David and Jonathan when they lie to Saul about David missing the dinner because he is off to sacrifice with family.
2. How about the Rahab the prostitute who hid the spies in Jericho and lied about knowing where they are.
iii. And what would you do with the people who hid Jews during the war. - story of Corrie TenBoom.
II. The condemning tongue is the tool of the devil.
a. The first wickedness in the garden was the lie of the devil
b. He continues to deceive the nations
III. The command not to lie calls us to control our tongues.
a. “God’s will is that I never give false testimony against anyone, twist no one’s words, not gossip or slander, nor join in condemning anyone with a hearing or without a just cause.”
b. James tells us of the power of the tongue.
i. The tongue is like a bridle of an animal directing it.
ii. The tongue is like the rudder on a ship.
iii. The tongue can corrupt the entire person.
iv. The tongue is a spark that can burn a forest.
v. The tongue is full of deadly poison.
vi. The tongue is used both for the praise of God and for cursing others.
c. The damage of the tongue is irreparable.
i. The toothpaste message.
Conclusion: Use your mouth for the glory of God. For the love of each other. And for the love of truth instead of falsehood.