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August 29, 2021 8:00 am
God never lies. He takes the most solemn steps to assure his people of the truth of his promises and covenants, even to the extent of encouraging his people to swear by his holy name and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Man cannot keep the truth by his own will or in his own strength. The control of the tongue cannot be achieved without the control of the heart and the heart must be controlled by God.
Join Dr. Boyce as he examines the importance of truth and the life of the believer and how it is to be obtained. There is probably never been a period of history in which the best men of the time of not recognize the need for telling the truth, the great Roman orator Cicero once said nothing is sweeter than the light of truth and Chaucer. The English poet wrote truth is the highest thing that man may keep the same time wise men also recognize that the truth is not always so attainable, so English literary critic John C Collins wrote with some wit. Truth is the object of philosophy, but the not always of philosophers and Daniel Webster once mused, there is nothing so powerful is truth, and often the nothing so strange.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ captured both the need for telling the truth, and the difficulty of attaining it in the fifth chapter of Matthew's gospel when he instructed his disciples. In this way, you have heard that it has been said by them of old, thou shalt not perjure thyself, but shalt perform under the Lord thine oaths but I say unto you, swear, not at all, either by heaven, for its God's throne, nor by the earth for its his footstool, neither by Jerusalem, for it's the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because against not make one hair white or black, but let your communication be yes or yes and no, for no for whatever is more than these outcomes of evil. This is the fourth of Christ's six great illustrations of true morality in the sermon on the Mount victory over anger purity in sexual matters. Faithfulness in marriage. Truth, selflessness and love only believe that if we are to receive the full import of Christ's teaching, we must realize that he was not speaking about the taking of oaths, primarily, this is the sense in which certain religious bodies in our time of taken Christ's teaching, and study will not swear to the truth of their statements even in a court of law. Actually, Jesus was speaking not against oaths themselves, but against the abuses of oaths and the corresponding abuse of the truth that went with them. We see this most clearly when we look in the broadest way positive teaching about oaths throughout Scripture.
For instance, as far back as in the book of Deuteronomy we hear Moses commanding the people. You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and cleave to him and by his name. You shall swear Jeremiah speaks on behalf of the Lord and commanding not only the nation of Israel but also the Gentile nations to swear by Jehovah shall come to pass if they will diligently learn the ways of my people to swear by my name as the Lord lives, even as they taught my people to swear by bale them. They shall be build up in the midst of my people of any nation will not listen and I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it says the Lord. In the New Testament. Paul frequently swears by the Lord crying as God is my witness is even more remarkable notice that it many places in the Bible God takes an oath also. This does not mean that God appeals. Those men do to a higher authority, but it does mean that God takes the most solemn steps to assure men of the truth of his statements. One of the earliest examples of the taking of an oath by God is in the story of the execution of his covenant with Abraham when God called Abraham out of the Chaldees and the Palestine. He promises that the land would be his and would belong to his seed forever. Abraham had believed God implicitly for God is the only being in the universe, who cannot lie, and who is never made a mistake you gone to Palestine and there he had grown old. Nevertheless, he had a great problem and that he had no children. In response to his concern God took Abraham out of his tamped into the clear Easter night and pointed him to the innumerable stars of heaven social life seem to be the Lord said this point. Abraham asked God for a sign in order that he might learn more about this great and solemn promise.
God responded by calling for heifer asking Abraham to kill it and then acting out an oath for Abraham in a ceremony similar to that used by the men of his day as Abraham waited that evening waving off the scavenger birds that tried to feed on the sacrifice, God appeared under the symbol of a lamp, and of a burning furnace and passed through the pieces of the heifer. By this he reaffirmed his promise. What did God say he said no, of a surety and he went on to outline the next 500 years of Israel's history. Think of that phrase. No of a surety, it means that God does not want Amanda to know a thing halfway does not want us to be doubtful about our salvation. More about any of his promises.
So being able to swear by none higher.
He swears by himself.
Thank God it is so.
One commentator is written of any part of salvation depended upon us, we would soon be wailing with fear and trembling, with doubt. But since all rests on the oath of God we can be certain on the word of his oath, we may be sure and certain as we go on throughout the Bible we find God swearing never to destroy the earth again by flood to send the Redeemer to raise his son from the dead, to preserve and eventually bless Israel and many other things.
Why does God do it, the author of Hebrews tells us why.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things that is the word of God and the oath of God in which it is impossible that God should prove false. We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this says a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, but I know that someone will be saying will if it's true that the taking of oaths is approved throughout the Bible while he is at that the Lord Jesus commands us swear not at all. The answer is that in Jesus day the taking of oaths had been greatly abused and it come about that the practice was actually weakening the cause of truth rather than contributing to it in Palestine in the time of Jesus. There were two unsatisfactory things about the taking of oats. The first was what William Barclay calls frivolous swearing that is taking an oath when it was neither necessary nor proper. People who did this war by their life or their head or whatever it might be for almost nothing. The result was that even the most solemn statements then appeared to be on this frivolous level.
Also was exactly as if a servant who lived in the household of an honorable state official should go around talking about the Hon. Housley Hon. chair the Hon. mop the Hon. dishpan and so forth. His speech would then have much less meaning when he called Lord of the house, your honor, in opposition to this.
Jesus often insisted that as many of the rabbis did also that the use of an oath to substantiate a simple statement was wrong.
The second perversion of the proper use of oaths by the people of Christ's time was worse. It was evasive swearing people who were afraid to swear by the name of the Lord because they were not telling the full truth began to swear by things because mirror things were not thought to be as significant as the name of God. This second class of oaths was not considered to be binding. The person swore by their own life or their health.
Others swore by the king.
Still others swore as Jesus indicates by their head the earth, heaven the temple or Jerusalem. All such oaths were evasive.
Jesus replied to this perversion wall one do you you blind guides who say, whosoever shall swear by the temple. It's nothing but whosoever shall swear by the gold in the temple. He's a debtor you fools and blind, for which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctify at the gold, whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing but whosoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is bound you fools and blind which is greater gift or the altar that sanctify at the gift. Whosoever therefore shall swear by the older swear by it and by all things on it, that whosoever shall swear by the temple, swears by it did by him the dwell within it and he that shall swear by heaven's worth by the throne of God and by him that Souter thought it. In other words, wife simply cannot be divided into neat little compartments, some of which are exempt from God's presence and some of which are not God is everywhere he is in every compartment of life. Hence, the truth is, is important in one situation, and at one time as another, I know that you may be saying, well, I admit that what you are saying is true, God is truth and those who were God should be like him. It's true, but it's not very easy. In fact, there are situations when shading the truth seems to be demanded by people and where telling the full truth through at least for me is impossible. Well, I admit that to speak the truth and stand by it will sometimes seem impossible. And the more so because we are not naturally constituted to do it.
The answer to the problem is that with God all things are possible. Jesus said the things which are impossible with men are possible with God and in his strength.
Many persons who previously could not control their tongues have learned to do it. One of the books of Dr. Frankie Gable line Headmaster emeritus of the Stony Brook school for boys on Long Island and former associate editor of Christianity today, there is a discussion of the means to control our speech that is quite pertinent to the study. I should like to share it with you.
Dr. Gable line rights tongue control. It will never be achieved unless there is first of all heart and mind control the tongue is the servant of the mind than the emotions in second Corinthians 10 five Paul gives us in a single magnificent phrase. The key to victory over the tongue bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ were to our words come from a come of course from our minds antecedent of the word is thought or emotion. Christ only is worthy to have full control of a man's mind and he was worthy, is also able to do what no man can do for himself. Salvation applies to the whole man.
The cleansing of the soul includes also the cleansing of the mind when a Christian comes to the point of yielding to the Lord in full sincerity cost what it may control of his thought life. The problem of managing his tongue will be solved providing, of course, such a surrender goes deeper than the intellect and reaches the emotions and the will of the Bible makes a distinction between mere intellectual knowledge of God and trust of the heart. What was our Lord himself who said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh words that are truly godly, only from a godly heart.
Such a heart is one that is possessed. First of all, by a deep love for Christ heart of the man who really trust the Lord will express itself in words that dark rule and edifying the humbling thing candidly to consider the totality of what comes from our mouths were Christians. Therefore, let us say we sincerely and ever, and generally succeed in eschewing malicious gossip and impure speech, nor do we use profanity, but are we, therefore perfect, in respect to our speech will is a verse in the last book of the Old Testament that will help answer that question. Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another in the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon his name. In light of these words receive it is not enough to avoid overt sins of speech.
The Lord looks to his children to use their tongues to his glory in a positive way they that feared the Lord spake often one to another. Those words were written of the Jews. It one of the lowest ebbs in their national history. Yet there was among them, a remnant to really love the Lord enough to talk frequently about him.
Someone says are we never to engage in pleasantries truly all our speech can be religious. That is quite true Christianity is a religion that handles the common things of life are Lord sanctified by his presence. Happy normal human relations is that the marriage feast at Cana.
However, the danger with us is not that of neglect of this aspect of fellowship. It's the opposite danger of leaving the Lord almost completely out of our speech. Honestly, now how often do we speak of him how large a place to his blessings.
His goodness and his wonderful grace have in our everyday conversation.
Malachi reminds us of the fact that the Lord not only hears us when we speak of him but that he also treasures our words and writes them in the book of remembrance is easy to sing in a meeting all over a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise, but it's a futile wish. We shall never have a thousand tongues. We had them.
We should know what to do with them not when the one tongue we have is so strongly silent, respecting the Lord who loves us and gave himself for us. Dr. Gable line is right in this fine exposition of God's truth. We are to use peak. The truth, and if we are, then we are to do it by the power of him who is himself the truth and who must increasingly be the object of our thoughts and utterances in our father, we thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ who is the truth and the way to you.
Help all who know him and were listening today to catch a new glimpse of what it means to speak truthfully and teach us to live that way as your children. We pray in Jesus name, amen. You're listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce.
We hope you're enjoying the series on the sermon on the Mount last broadcast over 50 years ago. You know these timeless messages are useful and relevant whenever there and that's why the alliance of confessing Evangelicals can move confidently into the future as the Bible study our and our other broadcast ministries continue to grow. Alliance podcasts are reaching a new generation where they live. Alliance websites like Reformation 21 days for truth showcase the writings of today's leading thinkers. Building upon centuries of reformed insight. Reformed events are historic gatherings of respected teachers and speakers and reformed resources.org rings it all together, offering trustworthy audio, video, books and other materials to strengthen and grow your faith connect with the alliance of confessing Evangelicals today at the Bible study our God to work, select the green donate button and join us in proclaiming biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. The difference between the truth and lies is so fundamental that it's impossible to make sense of the world without it.
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You know Dr. voices impact reach far beyond the pulpit are Bible teacher was a prolific author and articulate spokesman for the reformed faith around the world, audio, and print materials from Dr. voices special event broadcast in writing. Ministries are email@example.com that's reformed resources.org hi Mark Daniels, the tendency to insist on our rights lies deep in the heart of man, and we live in a day when people are intensely aware of those rights but do we have specific rights as Christians join Dr. James Boyce next time of the Bible study our as he explores Jesus teaching on the rights of the believer. If any man sue the lawn take away thy coat. Let MFI cloak also was a Jewish law that limited the things for which a man could be sued man would have many undergarments which were lightened would correspond with suitor address in our time, but he would have only one cloak, the heavier outer garment that corresponds to a coat by Jewish law recognize that this garment was necessary for man's well-being.
Hence, although we could be sued for his suit.
He couldn't be sued for that which alone would keep him warm in winter or protect them from the chill of the night air. If he slept outside on the ground. Naturally, all of the poor and the rich among Christ listeners knew this law so when Jesus said that they were not to be unwilling to spare their coat was actually saying that even if the law protected them.
They were still not to live by the rights to their possessions.
What does that mean for us. Well refers to our property. At least four homes automobiles closed food and other things and it tells us that these things are not ours to hold and to guard jealously instead, we must recognize that all we have comes from the Lord and is to be used in the best possible way to his glory. Do not say that the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot be followed if you are a Christian, they can be if Christ lives in you. What is more, they must be followed. If you are serious about them. Why not begin by yielding to Christ's words about retaliation.
I want to go on.
But before I do I want to deal with an objection that someone may be raising maybe saying what you say is well and good, but isn't it true that there are situations in which the standard need not be followed. In fact, Jesus even refused attorneys face himself when he was struck by the high priest.
I didn't he say if I have spoken evil bear witness of the evil, but if well why slightest doubt me, that's next on your Bible study hours preparing you to think and act biblically