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

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The Ten Commandments

Truth And Honesty

Exodus 20.16

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In our study of the Ten Commandments we have discovered,] 

  • [1st Commandment – The Preeminence of God - Jehovah God is preeminent because there is no other God.  He, and He alone is God.]

  • [2nd Commandment The Living God – Jehovah God is the only living God. Because there are no other god’s.  Our Heavenly Father is Jealous for our souls that we might walk with him.  Idols or false god’s will only alienate us from God and rob us of the eternal life He reserves and desires for each of us.]

  • [3rd Commandment A Worthy God – Jehovah God, as the only living God, is worthy of all my honor, and praise.  He is jealous for me that my soul and spirit might be saved and in eternal harmony with Him.]

  • [4th Commandment – A Renewing God – Keeping the Sabbath holy reminds us that our Heavenly Father desires deeply to keep our relationship with Him fresh and intimate.]

  • [5th Commandment Honor Starts At Home – Honor and respect are the foundation of all of our relationships.  Honor and value your parents and family and you will find it easy to honor the people in your life.]

  • [6th Commandment The Value Of Human Life – Mankind was distinctly made in the image of God.  We are not highly evolved animals, but uniquely formed by God and for God.]

  • [7th Commandment Faithfulness and Fidelity – Moral and spiritual adultery will destroy your life, while faithfulness and fidelity toward God and your fellowman will result in contentment and lasting relationships in your life.]

  • [8th Commandment Trust and Integrity – Trust and Integrity matter in your life and relationships.  Never underestimate how important trust is in your life.]

[Today, in this 9th Commandment we examine the incredible importance of Truth and honesty in our lives.  This simple command states,] 

[Exodus 20:16 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.]

[Read Text] 

[In the book, The Day America Told the Truth, of the people surveyed, the authors found these results – ]

[91% lie about trivial matters;]
[36% lie about important matters; ]
[86% regularly lie to parents,]
[75% regularly lie to friends, ]
[73% regularly lie to siblings, and ]
[69% regularly lie to spouses. From Daily Bread, 8/28/1992]

[Here’s what was intriguing about the study: People no longer seem to care about lying. We accept it. It doesn’t bother us. We don’t get upset anymore when someone exaggerates, falsifies, fabricates, or misrepresents the truth. We live in a day when we’ve been bombarded with erased tapes, tampered evidence, loophole lies, illicit cover-ups, padded resumes, and exaggerated ads, to the point that we’ve pretty much given up on truth ever being told.] 

[Two different Standards - It is evident to me that there are at least two cultures in America.  I know that there are many different cultures in America, but two stand out to me when it comes to truth and honesty.  This seems most apparent to me in our political arena. ]  

  • [There are those who have high moral standards, very much like our Christian standards.  These hold that truth and honesty matter.  These consider truth and honesty to be essential and foundational in life.  Those who hold to this position will hold their political representatives to their word and will vote against any national elected official who lies for personal gain or protection.]

  • [There are those who, as revealed in the above statistics, find truth and honesty to be great principles but they do not expect anyone to tell the truth all of the time.  Ones personal protection and prosperity are far more important than truth and honesty.  These folks expect their politicians to tell half truths and even all out lie.  These will not vote any elected representative out of office because they lied in general, so long as they did not lie to them personally.]

[It has always amazed me how this second group, holding such low moral standards, find it acceptable to lie and deceive until someone lies to them or someone fails to trust them.  They get incredibly upset if someone refuses to believe them, even if they are lying.  They are like a teenager, who having lied to their parents numerous times, becomes exasperated because their parents won’t trust them.] 

A.     The Heart Of Honesty (John 8.44) [– Where does honesty and truth come from?] 

[John 8:44 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. ]

[Notice that the devil lies because he is a liar.  If you find yourself struggling to tell the truth, then you need to understand that you lie because you are a liar.  For a born again Christian it ought to be just the opposite.  A child of the living God, who has the Holy Spirit dwelling within him ought to find himself struggling to tell a lie, because the Spirit of truth dwells within him.]

[The first lie and deception teaches us much about lying.  We find this recorded in Genesis chapter three.  The text reads,]

[Genesis 3:1-5 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. ]

[The Devil deceived Eve by lying about God to man.  Satan lied,]

1.      About the Truthfulness of God (vs 1) [- . . . Yea, hath God said, . . . – The first and most fatal mistake a person can make is the stand in judgment of God’s Word.  Without any doubt, God will keep His Word and God never lies.]

2.      About the Righteousness (or justice) of God (vs 4) [ - . . . Ye shall not surely die: . . . -  In other words, God won’t really judge you if you sin.]

3.      About the Goodness of God (vs 5) [- For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.The devil was implying that God was trying to keep something from Adam and Eve.  This was playing on Eve’s greed or covetousness.]

[Many hold wrong ideas about lying because they misunderstand the nature of God.  Most know that God, according to the Bible, condemns lying.  But few people realize that God condemns lying because lying is opposed to His character.  The Bible says,]

[Titus 1:2 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; ]

[God cannot lie and will never lie.  When God gives His Word about anything, He will always keep His Word.  God always tells the truth.  In contrast, as John 8.44 revealed, the devil cannot help but lie because he is a liar.  The devil lies because his character is deception and lies.]

[So why do people lie?  Because people are liars.  Jesus said, ]

[John 8:38 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. ]

[The Apostle John wrote,]

[1 John 3:8 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. ]

[Deception and lies are the devils domain.  Truth and honesty are the domain of God.  Now, whose character do you reflect?]

B.     The Harbor of Honesty (Prov 14.15) [– Why Should a person tell the truth?  Why do people lie?] 

  • [To Get Out of Trouble – Children will often lie to get out of trouble.]

  • [To Make Money - We often joke about used car salesman and talk about their notorious dishonesty so that people do not seem to expect them to be honest.]

  • [For Revenge - There are people who will purposefully wreck someone’s reputation to put them down. Hate someone, no problem, just spread a rumor (it is what the Pharisees did to Jesus).]

  • [To Cover up Another Lie -  Pathologically speaking, some people lie ALL THE TIME. They don’t even know the truth themselves—it’s not possible. They live in a fake world and don’t ever change their ways.]

[Proverbs 14:5 5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.]

  • [To NOT Hurt Someone’s Feelings ]

[Illustration – A man went on a long awaited vacation to Europe.  Two days after he left he called home to check in and his brother answered the phone.  The man asked, “How’s my cat?”  The brother answered, “Your cat is dead.” The man said, “Now you could have said that in another way, so as not to so hurt my feelings.  You could have said, “Your cat is on the roof.  Then tomorrow you could have said, the fire department came to get your cat down and dropped it and it is at the vet.  Then the day after that you could have said, your cat could not be saved and was peacefully put down.  Then you wouldn’t have hurt my feelings.”  The man then asked, “How’s mother?”  To which the brother replied, “She’s on the roof.”] 

[Now there is always an appropriate way to say things, if they must be said.  But to lie to protect someone’s feelings is never justifiable.  There is no such thing as a little white lie, as though lying is okay in some situations.] 

[Telling the truth is always better than telling a lie.  Honesty and truth will become a harbor of peace, hope and trust in your life.] 

[What will truth do for you?] 

1.      Truth Persuades (Prov 3.3-4; 12.17,19,22) [– If people know you to be an honest person who will always tell the truth then they will hear you when you speak.  They may not always agree with you, but they know they can trust you and they will be persuaded to work with you.  People trust honest and truthful people.] 

[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."] 

[Proverbs 3:3-4 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.]

[Proverbs 12:17 17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. ]

[Proverbs 12:19 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment. ]

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

[Don’t ever be deceived by a lie.]

[C.H. Spurgeon once said, “A Lie travels around the world while Truth is putting on her boots.”] 

[Deceit and lies will destroy your trustworthiness while truth and honesty will give you persuasion among your fellowman.]

2.      Truth Promotes (Psalm 60.4) [- The Bible says,] 

[Psalm 60:4 4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.]

[This banner means that those who hold to the truth will have a flag to fly.  They will have a reputation and people will want to do business with them.  People will want to live next to them.  People will want them to be around their family.  They will be trusted people.] 

3.      Truth Protects (Psalm 91.4; Prov 20.28; 23.23) [– The Bible reveals,] 

[Psalm 91:4 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. ]

[The truth, being a truthful and honest person will be a fortress for your life.  But lies will destroy almost everything in your life.]

[Dave Ramsey, the author of Financial Peace University, said this last week on his radio show that a study had been done wherein they examined a large number of self made millionaires, people who worked, saved, and became millionaires and they found that one characteristic was evident in everyone of the people studied.  Every one of these people were fanatics when it came to honesty and integrity.] 

[Folks, honesty will be a fortress of strength and protection for your life.  The Bible says,] 

[Proverbs 20:28 28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.]

[Lies and deceit will never build your life, they will destroy your life in every way.  The truth matters.  How much does it matter?  The Bible says,]

[Proverbs 23:23 23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. ]

[Everyone knows that honesty and truth matter.  Yet many buy into the idea that because everyone else seems to be lying then they have to tell little white lies and be a little deceitful just to compete in this world.  DON’T BUY INTO THIS LIE.  Buy the truth, and sell it not . . . Honesty and truth will always be a harbor of peace, prosperity, protection, and promotion in your life.  Now, how do you get honesty into your life?] 

C.     The Honing of Honesty [– How  does one develop truth and honesty in your life and overcome lying?] 

1.      Love The Truth (2 Thess 2.10; John 14.6; 8.31-32) [-  This is a heart change. David spoke of ‘truth in the inward parts.’ You see, a person is not a liar because they tell lies...they tell lies because they are a liar. We need an inward change.] 

[2 Thessalonians 2:10 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. ]

[Notice here that salvation and truth go together.  There is a great, great truth revealed here.  Many people fail to love the truth because they think that truth is a thing.  But the truth spoken of in the Bible is no mere principle it is a person.  Jesus said,]

[John 14:6 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ]

[John 8:31-32 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.]

[The truth is a person and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you will develop truth and honesty in your heart and life then you must know the person of all truth and honesty which is the Lord Jesus Christ.]

[To love the Lord Jesus Christ is the love the truth and benefit from all of its hope and glory.] 

2.      Live the Truth (Rom 8.29; Philip 4.8) [- To live in the truth means to develop truth as a part of who you are.  Since the Lord Jesus Christ is the truth and He dwells inside of all who have received Him.  As He works on you from the inside out then truth will naturally become a part of who you are as you become more like Jesus.] 

[Do you know what God is trying to do with each and ever born again Christian?  The Bible says,] 

[Romans 8:29 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, . . .] 

[That means that if the Lord Jesus Christ is truth, and He is, then as you become more and more like Him truth will become a part of who you are.  Truth is not a matter of principle it is a matter of character.  You will be truthful and honest because you are the truth just as the Lord Jesus us the truth.] 

[Hence the Bible says,]

[Philippians 4:8 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ]

[Notice here that there are a number of virtues listed in this verse and God’s people are called upon to think on these things.  Some might think well if I can think on these things then I can master these things.  I suggest that you will think on these things because you are these things through the Lord Jesus Christ.  It ought to be work for a born again Christian to be anything other than truthful and honest.]

[So, you must ask yourself.  Is its natural for you to lie?  Or is it natural for you to be honest?  Do you find it hard to tell the truth?  Or do you find it hard to tell a lie?  Then, based on these answers, do you need the Lord Jesus Christ in your life?] 

 CrossRoads Baptist Church, November 8, 2009


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