You Shall Not Bear False Witness
Radiant Church, June 23, 2019 Mike Rydman Exodus 20:16 “You Shall Not Bear False Witness” The single most common cause of disunity in the church? Broken relationships Not getting our way Not being accepted into the group you want to include you Being gossiped about We gossip because we want to gather allies to our cause/hurt This is probably the most prevalent yet ignored sin in the church We don’t notice it, because we’re all guilty of doing it Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Suggests a legal trial To speak falsely has disastrous effects on people Deceit and violence are the two forms of assault on human beings It disregards God’s character God’s people are to reflect God’s righteousness and justice (fairness) Trying to gain something at someone else’s expense Perverting justice and the process of justice Here was a primary statute for Jewish legal code: Deuteronomy 17:6 On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. 1 Kings 21: Ahab, Jezebel and Naboth’s vineyard 1 Timothy 5:19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. A primary statute for what makes for unity in the church Zechariah 8:16 These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another; render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace; do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord. We don’t mind our good news being gossiped about; just the bad news We all love gossip Proverbs 18:8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. Slander Inaccurate or false information Assuming the worst motives Innocent until proven guilty – a hallmark of our legal system Exaggeration Making promises without the commitment to fulfill those promises Ecclesiastes 5:5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Matthew 5:37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No;’ anything more than this comes from evil. This is not so much about making false promises, as much as about telling the truth Recovering your lost stuff is easier than recovering your good name Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. Loving others as you want to be loved Truthfulness reflects God’s nature 1 Samuel 15:29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Every time we lie, we’re making a deal with the Devil Disunity and broken relationships, especially in the church Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Faithful witnesses Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.