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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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The Sermon On The Mount

The Home Of Your Heart

Matt 5.33-37

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[Six times in Matthew chapter five Jesus says, Ye have heard that it was said . . . (vs 21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43) – In saying this Jesus reveals six areas where the heart is more important than the heal:] 

        [Murder (vs 21-26) - The Heat of your heart]

        [Adultery (Matt 5.27-30) - The Health of your heart]

        [Divorce (Matt 5.31-32) - The Harnessing of your heart.]

        [Integrity/Honesty (Matt 5.33-37) - The Home of your heart.]

        [Revenge (Matt 5.38-42) - The Hurtles of your heart]

        [Loving your enemies (Matt 5.43-48) The Harbor of your heart] 

["Jesus is going to teach us that righteousness begins on the inside of a person."[1]  

[Six times Jesus says, "Ye have heard that is was said. . .," "It hath been said . . .," etc . . . (vs 21, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43).] 

  • [The religious leaders were teaching their interpretation of God's Word.  But, their interpretation was wrong.]
  • [Jesus is giving the correct meaning of the things that God asks for in His Word.]

[Have you ever heard someone ask, What did you say?] 

[Many of you will remember the name of a one-hit wonder called Milli Vanilli. From 1988 to 1989 they sold 30 million singles and 14 million albums. In January of 1990 they won a Grammy award for the album, "Girl, You Know It's True," and were recognized as the best new artist of that year. The only problem was it wasn't true. They had lip-synced the entire recording, and had to return the Grammy award. Jimmy Bowen, President of Capitol Records, their record company, said: "You have to remember that music is a mirror of the times, and when the mirror is close to what's happening, that's what sells. The times we live in are very plastic. There are a lot of phony things happening in people's lives so Milli Vanilli is just playing the game."[2]]  

[Mean what you say, and say what you mean.  Anything else is a lie.] 

[The Bible says, in the Ten Commandments,  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)]  

[The Secular world:    (Honesty and integrity in our world)] 

  • [The Institute of Behavior Motivation has found that 97 out of 100 people tell lies, and on average tell about 1,000 lies a year.[3]]
  • [The Roper Organization surveyed the public about its perceptions of who's telling the truth. In this study people said that,]

o       [Clergy told the truth only 49% of the time.]

o       [Doctors 48%]

o       [Their best friend 26%]

o       [The local newspaper 8%]

o       [The President of the United States 8%]

o       [Leaders of Congress 3%.[4]] 

[We are all born liars - The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psalm 58:3)] 

[An Old Time saying went something like this,] 

[A man is only as good as His Word. – I recall my grandfather saying this.] 

[For the Christian, honesty is not the best policy it is the only one.[5] John Blanchard]

[Every time dishonesty wins, it gets harder to convince our kids that honesty is the best policy.[6] – Author Unkown]

[I recall my grandmother saying, “There is nothing I hate more than a liar.”]

[Honesty matters to God and it ought to matter to you.  The truth is that it matters to you more than you are likely to admit.]

In Our Text We Discover,

A.     The Serious Character of Unguarded Speech (vs 33; Psalm 15.1-5) [- Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: - Don't be Dishonest in what you say.] 

1.      The Melanoma of a Bad Oath ( Prov 20.17) 

a.       [The Pharisees felt that an oath taken to God had to be kept. In other words, if you swore something was true by God Himself, then you had to be totally and completely honest. So if you gave a divine oath that you would do something, you had to do it. If you gave a divine oath that something was true, then it must be true. But if it was not a divine oath then all bets were off. So it wasn't what you said that mattered, but how you said it that counted.] 

[This is kind of like saying, I swear on the Bible.  It is like calling God to be a witness for your word or oath.The problem is that if your word is not good in the first place, which is why you are calling on God to be your witness, then it is likely that your word is not good even if you are calling on God to be your witness.] 

b.      [A lies works like a cancer in your life. When Aristotle, who was a Grecian Philosopher, and the tutor of Alexander the Great, was once asked what a man could gain by uttering falsehoods, he replied, "Not to be credited when he shall tell the truth."[7]] 

c.       [Lies are like a Melanoma, which is a hideous and aggressive cancer.  Once they start growing they grow at an astounding pace and will eventually destroy your life.  You make a great mistake when you think that you are getting away with any lie.  Lies are like a hideous cancer to your soul.] 

[Proverbs 20:17 17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

2.      The Measure of an Oath (Prov 12.22) [- If a person has to swear to you that they are telling the truth, then it means that they normally lie, and that normally you can't trust anything that they say.  A Christian ought to be able to merely speak and have his word trusted.  This goes for Christian men, women, and children.  If you are speaking, you ought always to be speaking the truth, with no deception at all. God says,] 

[Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. ]

3.      The Message of an Oath (Prov 29.11; Col 4.6) [- Brutally Honest.  While God wants us to always be honest, we don't always have to express our honesty.  Some people call this being brutally honest.] 

a.       [Illustration – Does this dress make me look fat? - A woman was trying on different dresses at the mall. She found one dress in particular she just loved, but she was afraid it might make her look too big. Well, her husband was shopping with her. She said, "I need your opinion on something." She went into the dressing room and got into the dress and came out and turned this way and that, and said, "Does this dress make me look fat?" The husband said, "No, honey, that dress doesn't make you look fat-it's your hips that make you look fat."] 

b.      [If you can't say something nice, then just don't say anything at all.] 

[Proverbs 29:11 11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. ]

[Colossians 4:6 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. ]

[Just because something is true doesn’t mean you have to say it.  Or if you feel you must say something than say it with grace, kindness, and sensitivity.] 

[Most of the time people are not offended by what you say but how you say it.] 

[A spiritually Mature Christian has learned how to control their tongue and guard their speech.  They will speak the truth in love with grace.  But they will never utter a lie or a deception.] 

[If you say you are going to do something then you do it.  A man’s bond is his word, and your word is really all you ever have in this life. ] 

[Psalms 15:1-5 1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.]

[Keep your word as though you were accountable to God, and if you cannot keep your word than don’t give your word.  Do not say you are going to do something and then not do it.]

B.     The Solemn Condemnation of Unguarded Speech (vs 34-36) [- But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. - Don't be Deceptive in what you say] 

1.      The Classes of our Word (vs 34) [-But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: - In Jewish tradition there were classes for a word given:] 

a.       [If the oath contained God's name you had to keep it.] 

b.      [Not using God's name in an oath was kind of like crossing your fingers behind your back.  It was pure deception.] 

[You cannot swear on anything God has created without swearing on God Himself.  There are no classes for your word.  Your word is simply your word and the question is can your word be trusted.  If your word cannot be trusted than when you speak no one will listen.  Is anyone listening to you?] 

2.      The Care of our Word (Matt 12.34-37) [-Little white lies.  "Well, it didn't hurt anyone."] 

a.       [One study found that adults tell on average 13 white lies every week.[8]] 

b.      [God says that every word you say matters, and is serious business with God.  Jesus said,] 

[Matthew 12:34-37 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. ] 

c.       [You may think that your little white lies don’t hurt anyone, what you fail to realize is that those little white lies hurt you and your credibility.  You need to tell the truth.  You need to be known as a man, woman, and child that will always  tell the truth.] 

3.      The Cases of our Words [- It seems people just can't speak honestly, simply, and plainly anymore. For example take,]  

a.      [The business world:] 

(1)   [One Vermont firm had to reduce their work force, but they didn't say people had been laid off. They called it "A career change opportunity."] 

(2)   [When General Motors closed one of its plants, they called it a "Volume-related Production Schedule Adjustment."] 

(3)   [When Chrysler closed an entire plant they announced they were beginning "A Career Alternative Enhancement Program."] 

b.      [Education is another offender:] 

(1)   [Students don't fail anymore, they "achieve a deficiency." ] 

(2)   [People are no longer "bus drivers." They are now "Certified Adolescent Transportation Specialists."] 

c.       [Government is heavily involved:] 

(1)   [The Department of Defense says that soldiers are never surrounded; instead "they engage the enemy on all sides."] 

(2)   [Soldiers are never outnumbered, they simply "operate in a target-rich environment."] 

(3)   [Governments never raise taxes, they just "enhance revenues."] 

d.      [Healthcare has joined the in as well,] 

(1)   [In some Hospitals patients never die, they just experience "a negative-patient care outcome."] 

4.      The Concern for our Word (Prov 6.16-19) [- God does not laugh at out silly little lies.  God says,] 

[Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.]  

C.     The Simple Control of Unguarded Speech (vs 37) [- But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. - Do be dependable in what you say] 

1.      Jesus Is Talking About Honesty [- Honesty is saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. 

a.       [If your word is good you do not need to swear an oath, if your word is no good is does no good to swear an oath.] 

b.      Honesty is Marketable - Honesty is not the only policy as far as Jesus is concerned; it is the best policy. Because honesty is a marketable commodity. In 1982 the Forum Corporation of Boston, Massachusetts studied 341 sales people from 11 different companies and 5 different industries to determine what accounted for the difference between the top producers and the average producers (of these, 173 were top sales people, and 168 were average sales people). When the study was finished it was clear that the difference between the two groups could not be attributed to skill, knowledge, or ability. The Forum Corporation found that the difference could be attributed to honesty! The persons who were rated top in sales were more productive because their customers trusted them.[9]] 

2.      Jesus Is Talking About Integrity [- Integrity is saying what you will do, and then doing what you have said.] 

a.       [The word for integrity comes from a Latin word that means "whole," or "complete." ] 

b.      [Steven Covey puts it this way: "Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Honesty is telling the truth-in other words, conforming our words to reality. Integrity is conforming reality to our words-in other words, keeping promises and fulfilling expectations." ] 

c.       [Stretching The Silk - Adam Clark, the founder of much of our economic theory in America was a sales clerk in a store that sold fine silk to people of the upper classes in London. One day his boss showed him how he could increase sales and profits by stretching the silk as he measured it out, and giving less silk for more money. Young Adam Clark looked his boss straight in the eye and said, "Sir, your silk may stretch, but my conscience won't." You listen, and listen carefully. Every time you either stretch the truth or you speak an untruth, you stretch your conscience.] 

d.      [Without Wax - The word sincere is actually a Latin word that means "without wax." The Greek term means "sun-tested." The ancients had a very fine porcelain which was greatly valued and therefore very expensive. But often when it was fired in the furnace tiny cracks would appear. Dishonest merchants would smear pearly-white wax over these cracks which would pass for true porcelain until it was held up to the light of the sun. Honest dealers marked their flawless porcelain this way-Sine Cera-"without wax." When your words are held up to the light of the holiness of God, be sincere. Without wax let your yes be yes, and your no be no.]  


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