Grace and Truth

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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 2 (Gospel) -- Chapter: 25 (Conduct 7) -- Text
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The Sharia of Christ in the GOSPEL
G - Commandments of Christ related to our Duties towards Men (CONDUCT)

7. TRUTHFULNESS AND OATHS IN THE LAW OF CHRST


Summary


Matthew 5:33-37 -- 33 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Matthew 15:19-20 -- 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.
Matthew 23:16-22 -- 16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.' 17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 And, 'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.' 19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
John 8:42-46 -- 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?
John 14:17 -- The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
John 16:13-15 -- 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (See also John 15:26)
John 18:37-38 -- 37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." 38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all."

Summary

Jesus succinctly and accurately described the necessity of being truthful when speaking to other people. By this He strikes the heart of everyone who exaggerates or withholds the truth, who talks himself out of situations or cunningly lies.

It is not always easy to speak the truth, if we do not understand the details of the matter, the background of the problem, or the hereditary disposition of the persons involved. Then we must be courageous enough and say: “I don’t know”, or “I do not understand this man, or this problem.” Sometimes it seems commendable that we do not tell the whole truth at once to someone who has lost a dear one or who is encumbered with severe problems. The Holy Spirit prompts us and we have to learn to say the truth in love. This also holds when we have to blame someone, or uncover injustice or in discussions with adherents to other religions. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth and who is Love itself.

We find many people around us swearing in common conversation to establish their truthfulness. However, he who swears too much makes people doubt the truthfulness of his speech. Moreover, we read in the Qur’an that Allah has made lawful for Muslims absolution from their oaths (Sura al-Tahrim 66:2). We also read in the same book that Allah is the best of all deceivers (Sura Al 'Imran 3:54) So how will his followers behave? The Bible goes one step further and says: "All men are liars." (Psalm 116:11; Romans 3:4) Jesus saw right through this chaos and revealed, that Satan is the Father of Lies (John 8:44).

We thank God that Jesus came as the truth in person, and has revealed to us the truth about God, Satan, and sin. He openly proclaimed the truth and was crucified for this. Men love the lie that "man is good" and the tempting idea of "self-redemption" more than they love confessing their sins and believing in the free grace of God. They are prisoners of the father of lies. This is why the Father and the Son sent the Spirit of Truth into the world to sanctify repentant followers of Christ, and empower them to confess the truth. The Spirit of Truth does not tolerate any lying. He pushes us to confess our untruthfulness. This Spirit of Truth does not tolerate any distortion of the Bible, as some people accuse us of doing. They claim this about us because they do not know the Spirit of Truth. They therefore call the truth a lie, and a lie the truth.

Cultures are shaped by the spirit of the religion that is dominant in them. We are no longer conscious of the fact that the truthfulness of Jesus Christ has trained people in countries with a once Christian majority to be truthful, more than in other parts of the world. We regret the growing unbelief and corrupt language in some of these countries. Nevertheless, he who lives for a long time in a country where the spirit of Christ has not prevailed in the majority of its people will find that lying is familiar to them. A culture which is not founded on Christ, who is true, will in the long run neither continue, nor grow, but will slowly falter because of its agreement with lying.

It is tragic that lies are gaining an ever increasing foothold in Europe. There they now have a saying: "he lies as though it were printed" by which they show their lack of trust in printed newspapers and magazines. Now many CDs and cassettes are illegally copied (software piracy). Also many try to cheat the government to evade payment of taxes. Lying corrupts mutual trust. We have to humble ourselves and ask forgiveness for every untrue word we uttered, asking the Spirit of Truth to control our tongues and hearts in obedience to the commandment of Christ: “let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)

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