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The Ninth Commandment - Do not lie

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The Ninth Commandment - Do not lie

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Teenage girl stares in grief at broken tail light of a car.Four high school boys were late to their morning classes one day. They entered the classroom and solemnly told their teacher they were detained due to a flat tire. The sympathetic teacher smiled and told them it was too bad they were late because they had missed a test that morning, but she was willing to let them make it up. She gave them each a piece of paper and a pencil and sent them to four corners of the room. Then she told them they would pass if they could answer just one question: Which tire was flat?

Being dishonest is a way of life these days. It is very difficult to discern who is telling the truth. It seems that many try to balance the risk of being caught in a lie against the benefits of lying. Exaggerations, overstatements, understatements, false statements, spins, cover-up and disclaimers fog the truth.

Evidence from Scripture

1. List some ways that people are dishonest.

2. List ways that advertising is misleading.

3. Is there ever a time in which to purposely mislead people? Explain.

The ninth commandment recorded in Exodus 20:16 Exodus 20:16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
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states, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Imagine what it would be like if everyone told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Would it perhaps revitalize relationships and promote harmony and peace on earth? The prophet Hosea was inspired to write about the inhabitants of the land; “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.” (Hosea 4:1 Hosea 4:1Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
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4. How would the world be different if everyone told the truth?

5. Would the courts of our land be able to expedite cases if the truth were always told? How so? Explain how you think the legal system would improve.

God reveals Himself as TRUTH! (John 14:6 John 14:6Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
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), and Christ prayed that those whom the Father would call would be sanctified, or set aside, by the truth (John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
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). If someone were to seek and follow truth they would ultimately have a relationship with God, who seeks those who walk in truth.

6. What does it mean that Christ is the “truth”?

7. How does truth sanctify a person?

8. Would those who are God’s people follow the laws and ways of God? How? Explain ways in which you could prove who are the true followers of God.

Faithful Witnesses

Do faithful and true witnesses affect justice in the land? How? Originally God set up a standard in which a matter affecting peace and harmony was to be adjudicated by two expert witnesses. (Deut. 17:6, 19:15-21).

1. Were witnesses to be personal friends or members of the accused family? Why?

2. Were witnesses to be objective and impartial?

3. What would happen to a false witness?

NOTE: He would suffer the fate of those that he accused. Also, in cases of capital punishment it was the witnesses who would be the first to participate in the sentencing of those pronounced guilty.

4. Is the principle of having two or three witnesses mentioned in the New Testament? (see 1 Timothy 5:19 1 Timothy 5:19Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
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Need for Integrity

There is no greater need for integrity than at the personal level.

STORY: A minister was invited to counsel a family about their son’s drug use. The father was distraught as he described the impact of drugs upon his relationship with his son. He said, “The thing that bothers me most about his being into drugs is the fact that drugs have made him a liar.” Moments later the phone rang and his wife went to answer. She came back into the room with the message that the call was for the father. He told her, “Tell him I am not at home.” The minister then commented that drugs had not made the boy a liar; the father had.

1. Was the minister correct? Why?

2. What choices do we have in how we treat the truth?

3. Does Satan deceive people? How? See Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
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Liar in the Garden of Eden

Since the beginning of recorded history the lie has been an integral part of human dynamics. In the garden of Eden, after the first man and wife were created and taught by the creator God, the serpent said to the women, “You will not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4 Genesis 3:4And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die:
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1. Was this in direct opposition to what God had said?

2. Who said that Satan is the father of lies? (John 8:44 John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
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)? What does it mean “there is no truth in him”?

3. What are some other lies that Satan tells mankind?

Living in a world of disingenuous merchants, politicians and acquaintances makes Paul’s admonition seem very difficult. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25 Ephesians 4:25Why putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
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4. Do you feel you could put away (stop) lying?

5. How difficult would it be?

6. What are some ways to encourage telling the truth?

Let Your Yes be Yes

Being inundated with screaming commercials and claims, it is easy to stretch the truth and exaggerate, or try and validate your thoughts by calling on others.

1. Do the scriptures mention that we should not use oaths or swear at all? (Matthew 5:34-37 Matthew 5:34-37 [34] But I say to you, 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 shall you swear by your head, because you can not make one hair white or black. [37] But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil.
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2. Should you swear by some greater power than yourself? Why?

3. Is hyperbole correct? Why?

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