We continue with our sermon series “The church goes out”. Preaching from Alan Cole and our service will be led by Brian Dickson.
Dishonesty, lying, cheating, exaggeration, half truths are all things that we often seem to encounter both from politicians and in our personal daily lives. But why should Christians be different always speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15)? The story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 is a warning – but why did they lie and why were the consequences so severe?
Why did Ananias and Sapphira lie?
1) Most dishonesty is because people hope to gain more for themselves. Ananias and Sapphira lied because they wanted to keep some of the money they should have given to the church. The motive behind dishonesty is therefore often greed.
2) Most lying is because people hope to get themselves out of a mess. However, the truth normally comes out in the end and people find themselves in an even bigger mess.
3) Most exaggeration comes from pride. People want others to admire them. (Romans 12:3)
What are the consequence of dishonesty?
It is unlikely today that we will drop dead as the result of lying but nevertheless we will face consequences. The Bible teaches that our sins will find us out and that we will have to answer to God for our actions. (Numbers 32:23 & Matthew 12:36/7). Lying can resort in a loss of reputation, family disputes and breakdowns, and bitter remorse – as in the case of Abraham (Genesis 12), Jacob (Genesis 25) and Peter (Matthew 26).
Should Christians always speak the truth?
1) We must always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). It is sometimes better to remain silent than to speak the truth and cause hurt. Discernment is a Christian gift. (1 Corinthians 12:10)
2) It is permissible to tell a lie in order to save human life. There are two cases in scripture of this – the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1 and Rahab in Joshua 2.
3) However, it is not permissible to lie and deny Christ in order to save your own life. Scripture warns that some people will be martyred for their faith. Matthew 10:33 and 24:9, John 16:2.
Let our honesty and integrity be a witness to others and glorifying to God.
Sermon Title: How honest should we be?
Bible Reading: Acts 5:1-11
Preacher: Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson