Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20061011.htm
EXODUS: FUNCTIONING WELL IN A HOPELESS GROUP ASSIGNMENT
Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
I. Aligning With God's Moral Order: The Ten Commandments
2. The Last Five Commandments: Loving Our Neighbors As Ourselves
d. Commandment Nine: Loving Others By Using True Words
(Exodus 20:16 et al.)
Lesson and Application: (1) God does not want us (a) to lie to the harm of our neighbor and/or to our unjust benefit, (b) nor even to tell lies in general, for lies in general harm our neighbors by breaking down human trust in the social order. (2) In God's power, we counter deceit by (a) holding firmly to what God led us to learn was true, (b) to what He led us to be convinced was true, (c) to what we learned from reputable disciplers, and ultimately, (d) to what written Scripture teaches.
- Though the common childhood saying goes: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me," the truth is just the opposite: words can and often have done tremendous harm to people.
- The ninth commandment of God prohibits one's false testimony to the harm of one's neighbor, a command we view in depth so we can better love others by how we use our words (as follows):
- Commandment Nine: Loving Others By Using True Words, Exodus 20:16 et al.
- In studying the Ten Commandments, we Christians recall we are no longer under the jurisdiction of the Mosaic Law, for we are dead to the Law in our spiritual position in Jesus Christ, Romans 7:14a.
- Nevertheless, that Law is intrinsically holy, just and good (Romans 7:12), so the believer will live up to the righteous standard of that Law as he is filled with the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:3-4! Thus, we view the Ten Commandments to note the standard of righteousness we will attain in life as Spirit-filled believers.
- Thus, we view Commandment Nine: Loving Others By Using True Words, Exodus 20:16 et al.
- God called Israel not to bear false witness against one's neighbor, Exodus 20:16.
- This command implies several significant steps we must take in managing our words (as follows):
- First, we must never say anything slanderous or fail to speak up when either action misrepresents the truth about our neighbor to his harm, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, footnote to Leviticus 19:16.
- Second, we must never say anything that will mislead others from the facts at the expense of our neighbor all for our own personal gain; such a crime was to be punished by the harm sought upon the victim by the one giving the misleading statement, Deuteronomy 19:16-19.
- Third, and in general, we must never tell a lie even if our motive is not the immediate harm of our neighbor or our own immediate gain at our neighbor's expense; lying itself leads to distrust in human relationships, and human distrust breaks down civilization to the harm of all, cf. Titus 1:12.
- However, the world is full of lies and deceivers, a state that is getting worse all of the time:
- Paul claimed in Romans 3:4 with its context (Rom. 3:23) that God is true and every man lies.
- Then, the Apostle Paul warned Timothy that men would go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived, 2 Timothy 3:13.
- Thus, for the good of society itself, we who trust in Christ as Savior and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God must speak the truth to edify others, and the way to go about this is to begin with getting and keeping our own minds and hearts aligned with the truth (as follows):
- Opposite the growing deceit in the world, we believers must continue holding to the things God has previously, sovereignly led us to learn to be the truth, 2 Timothy 3:13, 14a.
- Opposite the growing deceit in the world, we believers must continue holding to the things God has sovereignly led us to become convinced were true, 2 Timothy 3:13, 14b. This takes trusting the indwelling Holy Spirit's ministry to warn us if we have faced error in the past, 1 John 2:18-20, 27.
- Opposite the growing deceit in the world, we believers must continue holding to the truths God has sovereignly led us to learn from reputable Christians who have discipled us, 2 Tim. 3:13, 14c, 10.
- Finally, opposite the world's growing deceit, we believers must hold to what the Scripture claims to be the truth, for written Scripture is God's inspired Word that thoroughly equips us unto all good works in teaching, reproving, correcting and training us in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV.