The Truth Versus The Lie
The Truth Versus The Lie
Living the New Life - Part VII
September 16, 2007
“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Eph 4:25
“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:42-47
1. In this fourth chapter of Ephesians we started out by looking balance and what that means in a believers life. Seeing our orthodoxy (correct teaching) become our orthopraxy (correct practice).
2. First, Paul has reminded the believers at Ephesus of what they were before God saved them. They were hardened against God, darkened and futile in their thinking, separated from God’s life.
3. Second, he then reminded them that in spite of this dark background they nevertheless had been saved by God and had come to know Jesus Christ, who leads his followers in an entirely different way. His argument was, “Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus” (v. 21).
4. But what is this new way that is in Christ? And how are we to walk in it? Paul is going to give us five specific examples of the new way, with an illustration of what it means to walk in this way rather than another.
5. Paul talks about changing to a new way of life in terms of taking off one set of clothes and putting on another: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (v. 22–24).
6. But what does this mean? How are Christians to act? In a sense, the remainder of Ephesians is written to answer those questions. And he starts by stating “Put away falsehood & speak the truth to each other” (v. 25). Paul’s first example is an excellent illustration of putting off and putting on. The Greek word translated “falsehood” is actually to pseudos (“the lie”). This is the word John uses in reference to the spirit of antichrist (cf. 1 John 2:20–23).
7. In becoming Christians the believers at Ephesus (and us) had rejected the lie and had embraced the truth. That is, they had turned from false gods, idols, or Satan to Jesus, who is the “truth” (John 14:6).
8. Therefore, because they are already new creatures in respect to this basic truth and falsehood, they should now reject lying entirely and speak the truth always.
9. Paul has been speaking of truth again and again in this passage. Gentiles do not know the truth; they are darkened in their understanding. Christians do know truth; they have learned it from and in Christ. And, he has said, it is by being made new “in the attitude of [our] minds” that we are to make progress.
10. This means that if we are to grow as Christians, one of the necessary ingredients is cultivating truthfulness. We can lie quite deliberately, of course. A slander is a lie. A statement deliberately intended to mislead another person is a lie, particularly when the misleading is for our own advantage. But we also lie unintentionally just because we are not in the habit of rigorously cultivating truth.
11. William Barclay quotes some wise words from Samuel Johnson at this point, spoken while urging parents to teach children to be accurate. He said, “It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.” Now whether that statement is true of the world is questionable, but it probably is true of Christians. All the more reason why we should cultivate accuracy in speaking truth, seeing this as an essential ingredient of our lives. Paul’s reasoning for such a high standard is that “for we are members one of another.”*
*Boice, James Montgomery: Ephesians : An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Ministry Resources Library, 1988, S. 165
“However holy or Christlike a Christian may become, he is still in the condition of “being changed.” - John R. W. Stott
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050