Thursday, November 5, 2015

Walk of Repentance: Lying

I'm doing a series of Bible studies on specific sin or issues and focusing on turning away from those things as the Lord and the Scripture commands. These posts will mostly be short, simple, and full of Scripture. The idea is to meditate on the verses and apply them through turning from sin and turning to God.

You will destroy those who tell lies.
    The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
Psalm 5:6

Scripture promises the destruction of those who tell lies, which is reinforced by a powerful description in the book of Revelation. God is displeased with those who lie. The tone of much teaching in the body of Christ is that God is universally pleased. He is not pleased by lying or liars.

3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
    who do not worship idols
    and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing
    and have a right relationship with God their savior.
Psalm 24:3-5

Psalm 24 describes the qualities of those who are welcomed into God's presence in the Old Covenant. This required purity of heart and life, undivided worship of God alone and complete abstinence from lying. Jesus welcomes all into His presence, transforming us into people whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and who never tell lies.

12 Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
Psalm 34:12-14

Lying cuts off prosperity and success in our earthly life. The truth is always the most effective.

Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
Psalm 119:29

The psalmist asks God to keep him honest with himself. He wants to be free from rationalization and excuses.

What are worthless and wicked people like? They are constant liars,
Proverbs 6:12

Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
Proverbs 12:19

Lies do not last. They are exposed. They are found out.

The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
Proverbs 12:22

The godly hate lies; the wicked cause shame and disgrace.
Proverbs 13:5

The crooked heart will not prosper; the lying tongue tumbles into trouble.
Proverbs 17:20

A false witness will not go unpunished, nor will a liar escape.
Proverbs 19:5

A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will be destroyed.
Proverbs 19:9

For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
Matthew 15:19

Lying comes from the heart. It is what we want and choose to do. In order to repent, the heart must be addressed and the heart must turn to the truth.

For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44

When we lie, we align ourselves with the devil and his character. We are not children of the devil, but children of God.

 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?”

“Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.”

9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.”

10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.
Acts 5:1-10

Lying, especially in matters regarding the church and the body of believers, can have disastrous results. The death of Ananias and Sapphira produced fear in the church. The story is meant to produce a healthy fear in us. God desires us to be motivated by love for Him and for His glory. But if that will not motivate us, fear of discipline should. God would rather His children obey because they know the consequences of disobedience than disobey and destroy their lives.

So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
Ephesians 4:25

The New Testament forbids lying. This verse specifically targets lying within the Church.

Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
Colossians 3:9

Paul instructs the Colossians to stop lying because they have put off their old lives and old sinful ways. Their sinful nature has been stripped off along with its deeds. We are no longer bound to its behaviors including lies.

But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.
James 3:14

They have told no lies; they are without blame.
Revelation 14:5

The context is a group of believers who have overcome in the last days and receive the reward of the Lord. Regardless of how you interpret the rest of the passage, God honors those who have a record of being totally honest. He considers them blameless.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8

Liars are coupled with unbelievers, murders, those who practice witchcraft, etc. and have their place in hell or everlasting destruction. Those who lie to the point that it identifies them will perish regardless of their confession of faith.

Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie.
Revelation 22:15

Living a lie, living a hypocritical life, separates you from the Kingdom and City of God. Honesty in our mouths and our lives identifies us as citizens of Heaven.

Father, I have told so many lies in my life. I can remember many of them with shame. I have a reputation as honest and transparent person. Lord, I don't want to be a hypocrite or a faker. I don't want to be a liar or deceiver. There are so many past sins I've hidden and covered up in my life. I don't want to be dishonest. I don't want to be deceptive when it comes to my life. Lord I don't want any lie to stand. I repent, Lord. I never want to lie again. If there are any lies or deceptions in my life identify them, convict me, and help me repent and hold up the truth. I want to be on of the ones who is blameless when it comes to lie. I want to be honest. I want to have a good testimony. I want to live and believe and honor the truth. I know that the truth is always the most effective thing in any situation. Help me to live that out always. Forgive me of past lies. Cleanse me of any lying that has been in my life. I want to be honest with myself and honest with others. Father, if there is sin that I am hiding, help me to confess, and to trust your forgiveness and grace. Help me to not try to keep or preserve my reputation. I would rather be honest than be a hypocrite. Lord, you know that I love You. I turn from the sin of lying today. I commit to walking in the truth. Because I love You and I trust You with my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment