the ninth commandment

This coming Sunday morning (May 15) at MoSt Church most of our English-speaking adult Bible classes (9:00 a.m.) will study Rock Solid Speech. This is a study of the ninth of the Ten Commandments (“you shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”; Exodus 20:16; Deut. 5:20). Make good use of the following questions to assist you in your preparation for class this Sunday, won’t you?

1. What constitutes a “lie?” “Define lying.” Be as precise as possible.

2. Of all sins, lying is the one most identified with Satan (“the father of lies” – John 8:44). Why do you suppose this is the case and what are some of Satan’s favorite lies that you hear?

3. Name some instances of lying as related in the narratives of the Bible.

4. What are some of the most common motivations for people to lie? That is, why do people lie?

5. Can you illustrate how it is possible to say something that is factually true, but morally false?

6. Lies are not always told with words. How else do you see people lie? Can a lie be told by being silent? Can you give us an illustration of such?

7. Is there a distinction in your mind between lying about trivial matters and lying about important matters? Explain.

8. Are you inclined to view lying as “immoral” or “against God” in the same way as sexual immorality, murder, and idolatry?

9. What is the most deceptive kind of lie – the one furthest or closest to the truth? Why?

10. What lies do you hear people tell in the name of “politeness” or “compassion?” When is withholding the truth wrong? Right?

11. How are lying and slander related to each other? Is it possible to slander a person if everything you say about them is true?

12. What are your most common self-deceptions?

13. What is the most valuable lesson you have ever learned about the value of truth? What is the best way to teach truthfulness to someone?

14. How can a person guard their heart against the temptation to lie? How can someone given to lying break the cycle?

he did this

But now God’s righteousness has been revealed apart from the Law, which is confirmed by the Law and the Prophets. God’s righteousness comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith in him. There’s no distinction. All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus. Through his faithfulness, God displayed Jesus as the place of sacrifice where mercy is found by means of his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness in passing over sins that happened before, during the time of God’s patient tolerance. He also did this to demonstrate that he is righteous in the present time, and to treat the one who has faith in Jesus as righteous. (Romans 3:21-26 CEB)

“This short section is … the center and heart of the main division to which it belongs [1:18-4:25]. … it is the center and heart of the whole of Romans 1:16b-15:13. It stands out by reason of the distinctiveness of its style: it reads like a solemn proclamation. … It stands out much more, of course, by virtue of its content; for it proclaims the fact that the one decisive, once for all, redemptive act of God … has now taken place.” (Romans: A Shorter Commentary by C.E.B. Cranfield; p.68)

This is one of those mountain peak passages in Scripture that can’t be soaked up in just a moment; it requires reading, re-reading and reading again. You have to break it down if you ever hope to put it together. Let’s do that right now. Everything said in this paragraph falls under five headings, as if to answer to five specific questions about how God is going to deal with the fact of a totally sinful creation.

What is it God has given? Righteousness (vs.22), a way for us to be treated as righteous, (vs.24), a ransom paid by Christ Jesus (vs.24) and “the place of sacrifice where mercy is found” (vs.25).

How did God give it? By his grace (vs.24). By Jesus Christ (vs.24). Through Christ as a sacrifice (vs.25). By means of his blood (vs.25).

How is God’s gift received? Through faith in him (vs.22).

To whom did God give this gift? For all who have faith in him (vs.22). To those who have faith in Jesus (vs.26).

Why did God give this gift? Because all have sinned (vs.23). Since all fall short of God’s glory (vs.23). To demonstrate his righteousness (vs.25). To demonstrate that he is righteous in the present time (vs.26). To treat the one who has faith in Jesus as righteous (vs.26).

Heavenly Father, how I know that I deserve absolutely nothing from you. But how I revel in the fact you have given everything for me! When I consider what I have done has put you through – and yet, what you went through to have me – there is simply not words to express it all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you in the name of Jesus! Amen.