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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
[Divorce (Matt 5.31-32) - The Harnessing of your
[Integrity/Honesty (Matt 5.33-37) - The Home of
[Revenge (Matt 5.38-42) - The Hurtles of your
[Loving your enemies (Matt 5.43-48) The Harbor of
["Jesus is going to teach us that righteousness begins on
the inside of a person."
[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
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."]
[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)]
Institute of Behavior Motivation has found that 97 out of 100 people
tell lies, and on average tell about 1,000 lies a year.]
Roper Organization surveyed the public about its perceptions of who's
telling the truth. In this study people said that,]
[Clergy told the truth
only 49% of the time.]
[Their best friend
[The local newspaper
[The President of the United States
[Leaders of Congress
[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.
[Every time dishonesty
wins, it gets harder to convince our kids that honesty is the best policy.
– 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
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
Melanoma of a Bad Oath ( Prov 20.17)
[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
[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.]
[A lies works like a cancer in your life. When
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."]
[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.]
17 Bread of deceit
is sweet to a man; but
afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.
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
12:22 Lying lips
are abomination to the Lord:
but they that deal truly are
his delight. ]
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.]
[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."]
[If you can't say something nice, then just don't say
anything at all.]
11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a
wise man keepeth it in till
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.]
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. ]
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
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.]
The Solemn Condemnation of Unguarded
Speech (vs 34-36) [- But I say unto
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
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:]
[If the oath contained God's name you had to keep it.]
[Not using God's name in an oath was kind of like
crossing your fingers
behind your back. It was pure
[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?]
of our Word (Matt 12.34-37) [-Little
white lies. "Well, it didn't
[One study found that adults tell on average 13 white
lies every week.]
[God says that every word you say matters, and is
serious business with God. Jesus
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.
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.
I say unto you,
That every idle word
that men shall speak,
they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment.
by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
[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.]
The Cases of our Words
[- It seems people just can't speak honestly, simply, and plainly anymore. For
[The business world:]
[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
[When General Motors closed one of
its plants, they called it a "Volume-related Production Schedule Adjustment."]
[When Chrysler closed an entire
plant they announced they were beginning "A Career Alternative Enhancement
[Education is another offender:]
[Students don't fail anymore, they
"achieve a deficiency." ]
[People are no longer "bus drivers."
They are now "Certified Adolescent Transportation Specialists."]
[Government is heavily involved:]
[The Department of Defense says that
soldiers are never surrounded; instead "they engage the enemy on all sides."]
[Soldiers are never outnumbered,
they simply "operate in a target-rich environment."]
[Governments never raise taxes, they
just "enhance revenues."]
[Healthcare has joined the in as well,]
[In some Hospitals patients never
die, they just experience "a negative-patient care outcome."]
Concern for our Word (Prov 6.16-19) [- God does not laugh at out silly
little lies. God says,]
6:16-19 These six
things doth the Lord
hate: yea, seven are an
abomination unto him:
proud look, a lying
tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to
19A false witness
that speaketh lies, and
he that soweth discord among brethren.]
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]
Talking About Honesty [- Honesty is saying what you mean, and meaning
what you say.
[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.]
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.]
Talking About Integrity [-
Integrity is saying what you will do, and then doing what you have said.]
[The word for integrity comes
from a Latin word that means "whole," or "complete." ]
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." ]
[Stretching The Silk -
the founder of much of our economic theory in
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.]
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