This sermon is number 9 in a series of 27
The Sermon On The Mount - Part 9
"Nothing But The Truth"
by David Legge | Copyright © 2001 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com
Now we're turning again to Matthew's gospel and chapter 5. If you're visiting with us, in the fellowship here on Lord's Day mornings we've been going through the Sermon on the Mount. We have had quite a lengthy break from it in recent days, and we began it again last week looking at the Lord's teaching on divorce. So that brings us to verse 33 of chapter 5, and we'll take up the words of our Lord there.
Verse 33 of Matthew chapter 5, and the Lord Jesus says: "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil".
So, our subject today we have entitled: 'Nothing but the Truth'. On one occasion there were two brothers who were very rich. Those two brothers were as wicked as they were rich. Both lived wild unprofitable existences, using their wealth to cover-up the dark sides of their lives. On the surface you would never have guessed it, for both of them were committed members of a church. They both attended the same church every Sunday, and in fact gave large sums of money to the church projects. On one occasion the church that they belonged to called a new pastor. He was a man who preached the gospel and the truth of God with zeal and courage, and before long the attendance within that assembly grew so much that they needed a larger building. But that pastor was no fool, being a man of keen judgement, insight and strong integrity, he saw through the hypocritical lifestyles of the two brothers. All of a sudden, out of the blue, one of the brothers died. The new pastor was asked to preach at his funeral, and the day before the funeral the surviving brother pulled the pastor aside and handed him an envelope. 'There's a cheque in here that is large enough to pay the entire amount of the need for your new sanctuary', he whispered, 'All I ask is one favour: tell the people at the funeral that he was a saint'. The pastor gave the brother his word, and he said: 'I will do precisely as you asked me'. That afternoon he went along to the bank and deposited the cheque into the church's account, and the next day the pastor stood before a great congregation and before the coffin, and said with firm conviction these words: 'This man was an ungodly sinner, wicked to the core. He was unfaithful to his wife, hot-tempered with his children, ruthless in his business, and a hypocrite in the church - but compared to his brother he was a saint'.
Now one of the strange parallels that we have with that story and the words of our Lord Jesus, and indeed with the whole Sermon of the Mount as the Lord preaches it, is that often our Lord Jesus is reminding the Jews of things that they already knew. It was no secret to the Jews that they shouldn't commit adultery, it was no secret to them that they shouldn't murder or hate - and now, as we come to the matter of truth and telling lies, of course these Jewish people believed what the Lord Jesus was telling them. So, in some instances, He was telling them what they already knew. If you look into the history books you will find in Jewish theology that telling the truth was of paramount importance to all Jews, and especially to the Jewish teachers.
We thought last week, in relation to divorce, of two rabbis - one called Rabbi Shammai, and one Rabbi Hillel. Rabbi Shammai believed that you could have a divorce on the cause of adultery, Rabbi Hillel believed for any cause. But Rabbi Shammai, as all of the rabbis, didn't just talk about divorce, adultery and remarriage, but he also talked about the truth. He believed, with regards to truth, that the person who believes in God is so wedded to the truth that they are forbidden from even giving ordinary courteous politenessess. What I mean is this: you go along to a wedding, it is a courtesy to say to the bride: 'You're looking wonderful today' - but Rabbi Shammai said that if that wasn't the truth you ought not to say it, and if she's looking ugly you ought to tell her she's ugly. You wouldn't get invited to too many weddings, and I wouldn't get invited to do many!
It reminds me of the story of the teacher, Mrs Fisher, recovering from surgery, and she got a card from her class that read: 'Dear Mrs Fisher, your class wishes you a speedy recovery by a vote of 15 to 4' - blatant honesty! We as Christians - I don't know about you, but in everyday life we grapple with this: when is a lie a lie, when is the truth all the truth and nothing but the truth? Indeed, one writer says: 'If the Rabbis tended to be permissive in their attitude to divorce, they became permissive also in their teaching about oaths'. This again is another example of how the rabbis took the word of God, the Old Testament Scriptures, and deviously twisted them in order to allow them to sin as much as they could.
Now, I want us to look very frankly at these words of the Lord Jesus. Look at verse 33 first of all, the Lord says: 'Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths'. Now that's the first thing I want you to note: that is an Old Testament law. The Lord, as He often does in this sermon, brings before the Jews an Old Testament law - and this, if you like, is the Lord's text, the word of God that He is reading from. Now it's not a direct quotation, but it's an allusion to Leviticus 19:12 where people were told not to forswear themselves. Leviticus 19 is, if you like, an application of the third commandment in Exodus 20 verse 7 which tells us not to take the name of the Lord our God in vain.
So, the Lord is alluding to an Old Testament law, a law that speaks of the false use of the name of God. The law, the third commandment, that says a false use of the name of God is the equivalent of taking God's name in vain. Specifically what Leviticus 19 is talking about, and what our Lord is alluding to, is to swear solemnly. In other words, to swear solemnly in the Old Testament was to appeal to God as your witness, but to forswear meant to swear falsely - to state that black was white and white was black. In other words: to state that something is true when you know fine well that the thing is false - that was to forswear, to falsely swear.
Now, here is where these problems came in: by the Jew swearing by the name of God, he was actually bringing God into the agreement to be a witness. God is being brought into the matter, and when God is being brought into any matter it can be no light matter. Gradually in Judaism it came to be widely accepted that if an oath did not actually, in word, contain the divine name of God, it need not be binding. Have you got that? The law of God says that if you swear by the name of God, if you bring God into your agreement of truth, you better not forswear, you better honour the word that you have spoken. That's very binding, very serious. So, the Jews decided in their mind: 'Well, here's the thing to do, here's the way to get out of it, here's the loophole - don't bring God into it! Don't bring God's name into it, and then your word will no longer be binding - you can tell a bit of a white lie'. Your word could become easily discarded, and they thought: 'Well, if I swear by heaven, if I swear by the earth, if I swear by Jerusalem, if I even swear upon my own head' - some of those were the most common things to swear by in those days - 'if I swear by anything but the name of God, I'm off the hook'. But I want you to notice this: the rightful swearing of an oath in the Old Testament, swearing by the name of God and fulfilling what you have sworn, was one of the highest forms of worship that we find in the Old Testament Scriptures. It was worship!
So, there is an Old Testament law - the text that the Lord alludes to. The second thing I want you to notice is a Jewish lie: how the Jews take that text and they twist it, they twist the law to suit their own compromises and sinfulness. In verse 34 the Lord alludes to it: 'I say unto you' - the law has said this, but I'm going to go a bit further and say - 'Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King' - God - 'Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black'. I want you to come with me to Palestine in the Lord's day. A scholar called Thompson in his book, 'The Land and the Book', says this: 'This people' - the Jewish people - 'are fearfully profane. Everybody curses and swears when in passion, no people that I have ever known can compare with these Orientals for profaneness in the use of the names and attributes of God. The evil habit seems to be universal'.
So you can see and understand the backdrop of the words of the Lord Jesus. Swearing, profaneness, oaths and curses in passion and even in everyday usage was so common that it had become a serious concern of some Jewish teachers. Now what are these oaths that these Jewish people were taking? Well, I have divided them for you into two oaths. First there was the frivolous oath-taking - that is taking an oath when an oath was not needed to be taken. That was a very serious matter: using an oath when you didn't need to, and this was becoming so common. People would say: 'By your life I'll do this', or 'By my life I'll do this', or 'By my head I'll do it', or 'Upon my own head be it if I do not to it'. Do these sound familiar? 'May I never see the comfort of Israel and Jerusalem if I do not fulfil my word to you', and you can almost see the Jews with their hands up saying this to one another. Frivolous oath-taking - they didn't need to take these oaths, but they were doing it every day of their lives.
Then also there is evasive swearing or oath-taking. Evasive: when you're swearing in order to avoid something. As I said to you already, the Jews divided oaths into two classes. There was the oath that is absolutely binding - that is the oath that you bring God into - and then there is the other oath that is not binding because you haven't brought God's name into the transaction, He's not a partner in the whole deal. Therefore, if God's name is used you better do what you've said; and if God's name is not used, well you can get away with a wee white lie.
Now, here's the Lord's teaching, this is the Lord's teaching: no oath, indeed no man, can keep God out of any transaction of truth. Have you got it? The Lord is saying: 'Just because you leave God's name out of the matter doesn't leave God out of it, for God is in the issue of truth and untruth, of lying and truth'! God is already there! Just avoiding His name is absolutely useless, God is already there! You don't bring God into your decision! He says that by saying: 'You might swear by heaven, but where is God? In heaven! For heaven is God's throne'. The earth is God's footstool, if you swear by earth you're still swearing by God because God is in the earth. If you swear by Jerusalem, it is the city of the great King, and God dwells there so you're swearing by God. Then if you swear by your head, He says you can't even turn one of your hairs black or white - and some of you would like to do that - but you can't even do that! You don't have the power to do that, but God alone has the power to do it.
Here the Lord makes clear to us a very important spiritual lesson, and I want you to learn this this morning. Listen, a great eternal truth that we as the children of God today of this dispensation must learn, what is it? Life, your life, my life, all of life cannot be divided into compartments. You can't do it! You can't say: 'Well, this area of my life God is involved in, but all the others He's not', or 'All these areas God is involved in, but this little one He is not'. The Lord is saying that there cannot be any kind of language in the church and then another kind of language in the factory or in the office. There can't be one standard of behaviour in the assembly and another standard of ethics in the business world. The fact is that our God does not need to be invited into the areas of our lives, and our God cannot be kept out of other areas of our lives - do you get it? He is everywhere, He is through life, He is through every activity. He hears not just the words where we use His name in a swear or an oath, He hears every single word that is spoken by our mouths. He sees, hears, and knows everything!
Boy, if we really believed that how that would change our behaviour, our conversation, the way that we live our lives everyday. So you can see the Old Testament law the Lord is alluding to, and you now see how the Jews took this law and thought that by avoiding the name of God they could swear and then not fulfil their obligations - how the Jews lied about even this and twisted it! Now here's the third thing, the final thing, and I want to spend a bit of time on this. The Lord says to His own people, His disciples, to us today in verse 37 - so what do you do then about this matter? The Lord says: 'Let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil'. Now, what does the New say? What is the Lord saying? How is He commenting about this matter of oaths?
The Lord is not saying: 'Don't swear falsely', He is saying: 'Don't swear at all!'. Let me say first of all that I believe the Lord is speaking about the flippant oath habit, I believe the Lord is speaking specifically to the context of what He's been saying: swearing by heaven, swearing by the earth, swearing by Jerusalem, swearing by your own head. Don't swear like that at all! He alludes to Isaiah 66 and Psalm 48, and it amazes me as I've been going through the Sermon on the Mount - before I elaborate on what I've just said - it amazes me how the Lord uses His Bible so much, so much. His usage of the Old Testament - and that's what we must do as we're asking the question: how do we implement this truth in our life today?
Here's the big question that's probably in your mind: is the Lord forbidding the taking of a solemn oath in a secular court? Is that what the Lord is saying? Are we not allowed to take oaths today in any shape or form? There were some very godly men and women who believed this: the Essenes, who were a Jewish sect, believed that you shouldn't take oaths; the Quakers in our society and our generation believe it, and still believe it today; George Foxe, who wrote the book of martyrs, he would only go as far as to say to somebody 'Verily', which is an old word for 'truly' - 'Verily I'll do it'. In fact there was a saying going around in George Foxe's day: 'If George Foxe says 'Verily' there is no altering him'. So you have many Christians, a Jewish sect - the Essenes, you have the Quakers, you have George Foxe, you have believers perhaps even in this assembly - and it's not my intention to offend you today - but I want to ask: what do the Scriptures say? Are these people correct in this assumption?
Let me first of all say this: the Old Testament does permit oath-taking, and we've laid that down already. What it does not permit is false oath-taking. Let me go further: God Himself swears - God swears! In Genesis 9 and 11 God swears never ever to bring a universal flood upon the earth, and He gives a promise of that oath - He puts it in the sky as a rainbow. In Luke chapter 1 and verse 73 we have there recorded by Luke the doctor that God swore that He would provide and send a redeemer to the Jews. In Acts chapter 2 and verses 27 to 31 you have him quoting the Old Testament Psalms where God swore that He would raise His Son from the dead, He would not let Him see corruption. There are many more Scriptures that I could outline for you today where God pictures Himself as swearing an oath to His people.
Now what is that swearing? That swearing is not in order to convince us that God is telling the truth, God is truth - He is the epitome and absolute of all truth. But God swearing these things is to encourage these truthfulnesses to our hearts, to make them more solemn to us, to make them more sure to us, that we may - in our faithlessness - step out upon them. If you don't believe me - I'm getting some funny looks from down there in the congregation - turn with me to Hebrews chapter 6. We must be honest with scripture as we look at this subject, Hebrews chapter 6 and verse 17: 'Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability', or the unchangeableness, 'of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath'. There you have it in black-and-white! God, in order to convince you and I of His unchangeableness, in other words - speaking specifically to Jews here, but it can be applied to us all - if God said He's going to save us, He's going to save us. To show us that, not in order to make Him do it as if He would want to get out of it some day - that's not the reason He swears by an oath, but to show us that He is absolutely in earnest He swears by an oath.
For that reason the Mosaic code forbade only false or irreverent oaths, profaning God's name - for if you brought God into the matter and then you didn't fulfil the oath, you were taking His name in vain. Let me take you into the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Himself consented to being put under oath in Matthew 26 verses 63 and 64, Caiaphas said to Him: 'I adjure thee by the living God', that was the most solemn Jewish oath that you could be put under. Now I know that the Lord didn't say it, but the fact that the Lord answered Caiaphas - and you remember that there were occasions when He was crossed questioned that He didn't answer, and it was His prerogative not to answer here but He answered under that oath. The Lord!
You have God in the Old Testament - Paul writing, probably, in Hebrews. Then you have the Lord Jesus. If you go to 2 Corinthians - you don't need to turn to it - chapter 1 verse 23, also Galatians 1 verse 20, you have Paul the apostle who took an oath, as it were, put himself upon oath. He invoked the name of God to prove that he was telling the truth. This confuses us, perhaps, but you see what we fail to see often is that, by the Lord Jesus' time that we're reading this Sermon on the Mount, the Jews had built up an entire legalistic system around what was a perfectly feasible Old Testament teaching. They devised ways to swear without using God's name therefore, as they saw it, evading the responsibility of telling the truth. Swearing had now become, in Jesus' day, a justification for lying! Do you see that?
This is something that the Lord could not allow among His followers - a justification for lying. So Jesus simply abolishes these oaths. Now let me say this, it's important because I know that some of you may disagree with me and that's your prerogative to do so, but there are two principles of interpretation that we must always remember when we're looking into the word of God. First is this: apparent absolute statements are not always understood absolutely - apparent absolute statements are not always understood absolutely, but have to be understood in the context wherein they are written. Let me give you an example, Paul says in 2 Corinthians: 'I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some'. Now does 'all' mean 'all'? Of course it does, 'all' means 'all' - but does that mean that Paul became a blasphemer to the blasphemer, Paul became an adulterer to the adulterer, a drunkard to the drunkard? Of course it doesn't! It means in the capacity whereby a Christian could become all things to all men, therefore he did not become a blasphemer, he did not become a drunkard. The language has a limitation, it has a limitation.
The second principle is that when something is forbidden in one passage, like Matthew chapter 5, but allowed in another passage, it's obvious that a certain use or a certain mode of that thing is forbidden - not the prohibition of the whole thing altogether, regardless of the context. Now what is the Lord speaking of? If God swore by oath in the Old Testament, if the Lord Jesus was put under oath in the New Testament, if Paul does it on occasions right through the epistles, and Hebrews says that God swore to us about our salvation under an oath - what does the Lord mean when He says: 'Swear not at all'? Well, look at it, verse 34: 'But I say unto you, Swear not at all;' - and look, a semicolon introducing, 'neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool', and so on. He's saying swear not at all in this way, and then in verse 37 He's saying: 'If you're going to use swearing for lying, you'd be better not to swear at all - just tell the truth'.
Now, the act of 1888 legally entitles you in court to affirm rather than swear - so let every man be convinced in his own mind, I'm not going to tell you what to do and you're not going to - hopefully - tell me what to do. That's what I believe the Scriptures teach, but you do whatever your conscience teaches. But here's the question to us today: how do we fare in this matter of truth? Now I'd be interested to ask any of you who don't believe in taking oaths: did you just affirm at your wedding ceremony? Have you ever been in court to take an oath, and have you kept that oath of truth that you took? Did you tell the truth? Did you keep your oath there at the altar as you came together, man and wife, have you kept that oath? What about the oath of public office? Some people in here may hold that oath. Maybe it's the oath after a meeting of consecration, where the word of God is preached and you as a believer are encouraged to come and give all to God and put all on the altar to God - have you vowed that to God? Have you paid it? These are grave question that we must answer - how do we fare? Have we kept them?
I want to spend a moment or two, just before we finish, practically looking at the subject of how we fare as Christians with the subject of truth. What about our flippancy in our speech? That was one of the oaths that these Jews were using: flippancy about the name of God and the things of God. I wonder at times how unthinkingly and unblushingly we Christians use swearing expressions! You might say: 'Who's been using swearing expressions?'. Well, let me give you a few of them: 'By Jove' - did you know that 'Jove' is a Greek god? 'By Jove', you can't say 'By God' because people would raise their eyebrows, but you can get away with it like that. That is exactly the same as when the Jews substituted the name of God for Jerusalem, or for the earth, or for their head. Some people say: 'God knows', or 'Good heavens', or 'Good Lord'. Now, I know that we don't mean anything by these things - but these things of themselves mean a great deal!
The Jews didn't mean anything when they said these things, they thought it was getting them out of a thing. They weren't being serious, but God in the Lord Jesus Christ condemns this. I'm not talking about words of humour, or foolish words, or jovial words - we need to have a bit of banter now and again. Some of you can sometimes be so sour-faced that you don't laugh at a joke! That's not what the Lord is talking about here, but what He is speaking of is speaking flippantly with holy, reverent things. Parents, what about in the home life? Maybe a parent makes a promise, do you keep it? What about a threat you make, do you carry it out? Then, perhaps, when you don't carry it out or keep your promise, you wonder why your word has no weight with the children and then we wonder why in society there is indiscipline all around.
What about in business life? How often are employees expected to say things or do things which they know right well are wrong things, yet they're afraid to dare to refuse to do it in case they lose their job! This is serious, isn't it? The word of God would teach: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you' - and if you study His business, that's what the verse is saying, if you study God's business He'll look after your business. I know it's hard. What about insincerity in our social lives? That could be divided into many things, but one of them can be flattery. Now I'm not talking about encouragement, a pat on the back, saying well done - that's needed greatly today. But what I am talking about is something not helpful but hateful, something that is for your own good to flatter someone, to be in with them or to get something from them.
What about falsity, or you could put it: hypocrisy? We're sitting in the front room, you're talking about your neighbour and you're giving them this, and that, and the other with your words - and then all of a sudden there's a knock on the door, who is it? 'Oh, I'm so glad to see you! How are you doing?' - hypocrisy! You can look at it as scandal-mongering - 'Oh, Christians wouldn't do the like of this' - I think Christians should go into the Olympics for this! Some of them are that good at it! Some of them, when they gather at houses for coffee, that's all they spend their time doing! This is serious stuff: backbiting within the church. Do you know what Oswald Chambers says? I know it's hard to be talked about, I know that - it's bad to talk about others, but it's hard to be talked about and you want to rush to defend yourself. Do you know what Chambers said: 'Scandal should be treated the way you treat mud on your clothes. If you try to deal with it when it's wept you rub the mud off into the texture, but if you leave it till it's dry you can flick it off with a touch - it's gone without trace! Leave scandal alone, never touch it'. Who cares what they say about you? If we had time we could go into what they said about the Lord Jesus: a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners, a glutton - look at Him! Look who He's with! What does it say of Him? He made Himself of no reputation, He didn't run after them defending His name.
What about irreverence in the life of faith? Think of some of the jokes that are permitted and we permit concerning the Bible, concerning words of Scripture, concerning stories or even lines of hymns - we've got to take these things seriously! What about the solemn words that we have sung this morning, the things that we say in our prayers publicly - and we perhaps sing without paying the slightest attention to what we are doing, or what we are saying. We're singing: 'All hail the power of Jesus name', when really all you're interested in, madam, is the splendour of the colour of your sister's hat! Is that where we're living, is it? Is that the level of our spirituality? Do we say things and not mean them? Preachers and teachers, how often do we fudge evidence to make a point, or to dogmatise in areas that we know nothing about - or perhaps in areas that 'Everybody's always believed this, therefore I better toe the line'? What about that? What about the preacher that writes in the corner of his notes: 'Shout loudly, weak point'? Isn't that right?
Let me tell you: all of these things can be encapsulated around what is the biblical definition of lying. Lying! What does the Lord say? What do we do? As we close, verse 37: 'Let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no'. What's He saying? He's not saying you don't take official oaths when you need to in an evil world, that's not what He's saying. He's saying you, as a Christian, shouldn't need to take oaths! It shouldn't be necessary in the kingdom - whether in the future millennial kingdom or now in those members of the kingdom. As someone said: 'A gentleman's word is as sure as his oath' - and I put that to you today, a Christian's word is as sure as his oath too! We should speak truthfully, honestly, as if we were under oath. Oaths or swearing should be completely unnecessary! Our speech should be untarnished, unembellished - it should be a clear yes or no!
In Casablanca, during World War II, Winston Churchill met Roosevelt to discuss the plan of war. At the conclusion of the sittings Mr Churchill volunteered to incorporate the British undertakings in a treaty, but the President's response was in these words: 'No thank you, your words are good enough for me'. I think that must be one of the greatest tributes to Winston Churchill ever: 'Your word is good enough for me'. That is the believer, that's the believer - the Lord says: 'Whatsoever is more than these comes of evil'. In other words, if you have to swear it's either because you're not trustworthy to tell the truth, or the person doesn't trust you to tell the truth. The mistrust is either in you or the other person - and that's why the Lord says: 'If you have to swear it comes of evil'. Let me go further: that is the reason why we are required to swear in a court of law today, because we live in an evil world - that's why we do it. And I would put to you that there's something wrong if a Christian refuses to do it.
The evil lies within, but let us beware most of all of an evil: lying against God. What did the Lord say to the Pharisees? We could go and look at many passages where He castigates the Pharisees for these things: 'Ye honour me with your lips, but your heart is far from me'. Horatius Bonar, that godly man, put those words into a hymn, a prayer from his own heart. He said this:
'Help me, my God, to speak
True words to Thee each day.
Real let my voice be when I praise,
And trustful when I pray.
Thy words are true to me,
Let mine to Thee be true.
The speech of my whole heart and soul,
However low and few'.
Oh, God says to us as His people today: 'Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but they that deal rightly and truly are His delight'. Do you remember the words of the Lord? 'Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement'! We thought recently of Eye-gate as the Lord pictured a man looking on a woman lustfully - Eye-gate, that is what we let in. But now the Lord is speaking to us today of Mouth-gate, what we let out. Oh, I pray - you know gossip is a cancer in this church, because it's a cancer in every church. You go home today and get on your knees and pray David's prayer: 'Set a watch, oh Lord, before my mouth, keep the door of my lips'.
Let's bow our heads together, and if you're guilty of this sin - join the club, because we're all guilty of it! What we have to do is confess it. You could be here, and maybe not guilty of this sin in particular, but guilty of never ever coming to Christ. Why don't you come to Him today? The blood that is able to cleanse the believer of this sin is able to cleanse you of all sin, forever, Amen. So why not come to Him today in simple faith and take that gift of salvation?
Father, we thank Thee for a clear-cut speaking Saviour, a Saviour who did not mince His words - though they were filled with grace, they were filled with truth. We pray as Thy people and as His disciples, that we will be enabled in this day of lying, this day of spin, this day of economy with the truth, that we will say 'Yes, yes; No, no' - and let the facts and our character be enough to speak truth. These are hard things, our Father, and we have all failed - and I confess my sin. We pray that You would help us from today, by the grace and by the Spirit of God, to live right in Christ Jesus. Bless us now as we go, in His name we pray, Amen.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the ninth tape in his 'Sermon On The Mount' series, titled "Nothing But The Truth" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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