“Therefore, laying aside falsehood..

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

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    From a Ligon Duncan sermon;
    http://www.fpcjackson.org/resource-...1-bulletin-lying-and-the-glory-of-god-website

    Do you see this section of scripture as optional or essential?

    Lying is a huge problem. It's pervasive in our culture and it has permeated the church, and so the Apostle Paul is wanting to say to us first ‘Don't live like the world in the way that you tell the truth. No, instead of speaking falsely, speak truthfully.’

    But the second thing that he's wanting to say to us, positively, is that we are to speak the truth to our neighbors, recognizing especially that in the body when we speak the truth we are literally speaking the truth to ourselves, because we are all in one body.

    Now, that's really all I want to do with you this morning, is look at those two things.

    I. Put off a life of speaking untruthfully and put on a life of telling the truth, for God's glory and the body's unity

    Let's begin in verse 25, where the Apostle Paul says, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood....” Paul, you see, in verse 25, is telling us to put off a life of speaking untruthfully and to put on a life of telling the truth. And he tells us to do that (notice the very last thing he says in verse 25: “...for we are members of one another”) because truth-telling has an impact on the unity of our fellowship, on the unity of the body, so that our truth-telling is not only a matter of doing what God has told us to do. It's not only a matter of glorifying God with our speech. It's not only a matter of being people of integrity, but it actually has a direct impact on the unity of the body, on the unity of the church, on the unity of the people of God, the unity of husbands and wives and families. And so the apostle says put off a life of speaking untruthfully and put on a life of telling the truth, for God's glory and the body's unity.

    You know, again, you may still be saying, “I'm not a liar. That's not a problem I have.” But when your wife confronts you with sin and you deny it, you’re lying. And when you tear down another person by your speech, and thus you do not speak of them as God would have you speak of them, you are speaking untruthfully. And when you make commitments that you do not follow through on, you are lying. And, my friends, lying in its manifold forms is pervasive in life in the modern world, and the Apostle Paul is saying something radical and counter-cultural. He is saying do not be like the world in this way.
     
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  2. Iconoclast

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    pt2;
    Do you realize that every word you say either builds up or tears down, brings together or divides the people of God? Every word you say. Every word either builds up or tears down the people of God.

    Now here's my fourth word: pride. Behind all lying, behind all non-truth-telling, is pride.

    There is that petty pride that is behind the belittling of other people in our speech, which is an aspect of not telling the truth. You know, there is that desire to be thought more highly of than others, and oftentimes the way that we achieve that is by tearing other people down so that we look better ourselves. That's lying. That's falsehood. That's not truth-telling. But behind it, you see, is pride: the desire to be thought highly of. ‘If I have to tear somebody else down so that I'm thought highly of, I’ll just have to do that,’ we say to ourselves...or, we don't say to ourselves, but we do anyway.

    But then there is that self-advancing pride that is behind much of our false speech, where there's something we want or there's something that we want to protect in ourselves about ourselves or about what we have done, and we will use false speech to advance our own purposes because of pride.
     
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  3. Iconoclast

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    John Piper would add this ;

    We are going to focus on Ephesians 4:25 but first let me give you some idea from the rest of Scripture how serious this matter is in the eyes of God.

    Proverbs 6:16-17, "There are six things which the Lord hates, seven which are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers."

    Proverbs 12:22, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord."

    Proverbs 12:19, "Truthful lips endure for ever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment."

    Proverbs 20:17, "Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel."

    Proverbs 21:6, "The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death."

    Revelation 21:7-8, "He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Cf. 21:27; 22:15)

    What I want you to see from these few texts is that we must not play fast and loose with this issue as though it were a matter of indifference to God whether we tell the truth or not. There is some kind of connection between the practice of lying and the condition of the heart that makes Biblical writers certain that those who practice lying in their ordinary lives are outside the scope of salvation. So we do well to ponder this matter together.

    http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper86/jp860030.htm
     
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  4. Iconoclast

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    Geoff Thomas would add this;

    When is a liar not a liar (v.25)? When is an angry man not an angry man (v.26)? When is a thief not a thief (v.28)? When is a foolish talker not a foolish talker (v.29)? What is the answer? When the man stops lying and stealing? No. That is not the answer. A man may stop stealing because he’s in solitary confinement and has no opportunity to steal. Just because a man at the present isn’t stealing doesn’t mean he has ceased be a thief. He mightn’t have the opportunity just now. You may have caught him at a time in his life when he is recovering from a disastrous fall, and he is particularly sensitive to the wickedness that has brought him low. Today he is simply a thief between jobs.

    In other words, since thieves do not always steal at all times, and drunks aren’t always drunk the absence of these things from their lives is no indication of permanent change. Indeed, if the only thing that’s happened to this man is that he has stopped committing the sins that have easily beset him, so what? He is now a mere non-thief; a non-drunk; a non-liar. What sort of person is a non-person? Men are going to say to one another, “How long before he’s back to his old ways?” So let me ask these questions again and this time answer them biblically:

    When is a liar not a liar? Answer: when you notice that he’s always speaking truthfully to his neighbour conscious that he and his neighbour are members of one body (v.25). When is an angry man not an angry man? Answer: when he refuses to let the sun do down on his anger and never gives the devil a foothold in his life by outbursts of rage (v.26). When is a thief no longer a thief? Answer: when he steals no longer but does something useful with his own hands and has something to share with those in need (v.28). When is a foolish talker no longer a foolish talker? Answer: when wholesome beneficial talk comes out of his mouth building others up according to their needs (v.29). So the answer to every one of these questions is the sinner is not a sinner when he has become something else. Putting off will not be permanent without putting on. Putting on will be outward and temporary unless it is accompanied by putting off.

    http://www.alfredplacechurch.org.uk/index.php/sermons/ephesians/425-29-how-we-can-change-our-lives/
     
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  5. JonC

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    I do not believe that there is such a thing as "optional" scripture.

    Anyway, last year I was preparing a sermon on 1 Peter 1 and read through a few of Piper’s comments regarding the topic. As I’ve said in the past, I thoroughly enjoyed John Piper’s works.

    I would link the first chapter right before the “therefore.” Why do we lay aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander? What was said in the previous chapter?

    We are called to be holy because God is holy. And since we call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, we are to conduct ourselves with fear during this time, knowing that we were ransomed not with perishable things but with the precious blood of Christ.

    A problem that I see is that people gossip, believe gossip, exhibit malice towards brethren, infer things about brethren, lie, are deceitful…..all the while they should be monitoring their conduct with what Piper calls a “holy fear.” The lost sin, and that sin leads them deeper into darkness. They sin and because they love the darkness they reject the light.

    Believers sin. But when they sin there is a “holy fear” that drives them not away from but to God. Christians are broken over sin – even the “little” sins.

    We are called to be holy because God is holy. We cannot be holy if we condone sin.

    And then continuing in chapter 2, we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession. Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. How can it be otherwise?
     
  6. Iconoclast

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    It is sad that such instructions need to be given among Christians.
    Some excuse themselves from the commands saying we are not under law but grace.
    Others by simple disobedience having a different motive evidently.
    They might realize it.......they might not.
     
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  7. JonC

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    That's because they misunderstand the law and grace.

    Think of Jesus’ response when asked which was the greatest commandment(Mt. 22:36-40; Mk. 12:28-21). He quoted the Shema (specifically, Deut. 6:5) for the first, and Lev. 19:9-18 for the second. We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, our soul and our strength. And we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. The law shows us what that looks like.

    I believe that too often we think of God’s commandments as a list of rules to be followed (they are indeed commands to be obeyed). But they are also descriptive. In 1 John 2:3-6 we are told “By this we know that we have come to know Him (Jesus), if we keep His commandments.” These commandments are how we know that we are saved.

    Now that I am a moderator, I am amazed at the number of “warnings” some people have received. These are brothers in Christ, yet some repeatedly have to be told to stop attacking and insulting others on this board. 1 John 2:3-6 takes the law in the direction that we know we have come to know Jesus if we keep his commandments.

    So yes, I agree that it is unfortunate and sad that Christians have to be reminded to be Christ-like. It should come natural and obedience should be the birth mark of the believer as they are salt and light. I realize that there are wheat and tares growing together. This is evidenced when we see "brothers" who have the right gospel message but fail to reflect that natural obedience that accompanies the new birth.

    When we read Ezekiel 36, we see that God gives us a new heart, a new spirit, puts His Spirit in us, and causes us to walk in His statutes, and we will obey His ordinances. What we receive when we accept the gospel is not merely an opportunity to be saved. God does not merely give us a cognitive explanation of the gospel message. What we "get" when we "get" the Gospel is Christ. God recreates man. And recreated man is different from natural man.

    How do we know that we have come to believe, that we are saved? We keep His commandments. We love God and we love each other. Within our churches today there are people holding grudges, gossips, lying, cheating,...immorality in our churches. Strife in our churches. Members offended when sins are called out, brothers refusing to make amends with other brothers and sisters because of some argument, immorality being overlooked, divisions, etc. I have argued for several years that we have let slip doctrine and have become careless. But we have also let slip conduct. Christlike Christians with poor theology are far better than Christ-less men with correct doctrine. We need to look at how we live our lives and how we treat each other on a daily basis, and correct any failings.
     
  8. Iconoclast

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    Yes.....and if the truth be known many of the warnings had to do with lying and false witness on the part of a moderator that provokes a counter response......like in a basketball game when a player keeps pushing and elbowing a player and the ref. does not call it time after time, finally the person getting elbowed says enough of this and takes a swing at the offender....then everyone see's the "punch"
    The truth is that even a moderator who tries and censor others can commit such a sin as false witnesses by simply misrepresenting the other person,adding words or inferring the person said something they never said at all.
    By adding such words and making it appear the poster said what he did not say it becomes the same thing as our basketball player who elbows the other player when the Ref. is not looking.
    Instead of asking for clarification, they TAKE IT UPON THEMSELVES to add and change,edit and delete things to have it give a false appearance......which is a form if lying.
    One of the quotes above speaks of this identifying it as a form of pride, or envy.....undermine others ,disparage them, then promote your own point of view as the solution.
    I think we see that on BB more often than a flat out attack on other brethren.
    Can you imagine a mod telling posters to go away? Do not post on a thread, as if only their posts have any merit?
    Imagine such a person in a local church setting causing havoc and confusion? ???
     
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  9. Internet Theologian

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    Thanks for taking a godly, biblical, timely, and courageous stand.
     
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  10. JonC

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    I do not really know who has been warned about what, and pretty much don't care if it was a moderator or not. And no, I couldn't imagine a mod telling posters to go away (except in banning) or changing someone's post except to edit out something offensive. My point is that when we do sin (and we do sin) we react differently from someone who is lost. Because of our salvation - and as a result of our salvation - we are led back into obedience where as the lost continues in sin and is drawn deeper into sin.

    Lovers of the Light may walk through a shadow, but they do not dwell in darkness.
     
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  11. Internet Theologian

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    Condoning sin happens when the one defending him/herself is attacked for calling anyone out, while the one offending is winked at, not rebuked and the conduct is overlooked. :)
     
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  12. JonC

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    Another issue is condoning sin in one's own life. I understand that people get into arguments and disagreements. Typically it takes two to argue, but sometimes there comes a point where one side of the argument feels wronged. Sometimes they are, sometimes it is perception. But yes, there does need to be a consistency of conduct among believers - among believers on this board and within the context of local church discipline (the OP does not seem IMHO to be addressing the board, but I do see it as applicable).

    But we do need to take care not to condone sin in our own lives. There have been times in my life when I have wronged another person, even a brother. Looking at the context of the BB, there have been times when I've replied to what I took as an insult with insults of my own. But each time I have examined my own conduct and at least tried to mend the error (I've apologized to you quite a bit, IT, you and I seemed to "hit it off" for a while :)). And that is our responsibility. Even when we do not believe we are in error, seek out reconciliation (anything else is pride). And then let it be (leave the ball in the other court and continue your own walk). Time will tell if you've gained a brother, but regardless you are not accountable for the response of others.

    One thing that makes a Christian different from the lost when they sin is that sin is not the "mark" of a believer. Unlike those who "walk in darkness" the child of God flees from that sin and runs to the Father. When we sin it is not necessarily a sign that we do not believe, but it is a cue to see what we do next. Where do we run? It is to God....repentance....reconciliation with another...or is it to darkness?

    More to the OP, churches need to pay more attention to behavior. I am not saying "step on toes" merely to toe step. But I sincerely believe that churches look at "pet" sins and fail to deal with what is just as serious a sign of sinfulness within their congregations. It is, IMHO, a matter of doctrine but also a matter of "walking in the Light" as a people, holy...set apart....to God.
     
  13. Iconoclast

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    Good post.....this offers some positive solution.
    This whole area of thought life, speech, and any other form of communication is often neglected and evident not recognized as sin,remaining sin that must be mortified as it comes across the minds path.....The book of James zeros in on this sinful process.
     
  14. JonC

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    Here's an example of what I am talking about, IT. It's a bit silly, but it is a real example.

    A relative of my wife attended church each week with a friend and co-worker. They were in their mid 30's. One day his friend called him "Mickey", and Mike took offense. I remember a year before Mike died (he lived to be 87) he still resented that man for calling him "Mickey." I mean, he still relieved and talked about the incident. I don't think that his friend meant ill by the nickname. Sin, and how we seem to hold on to sin, is an amazingly powerful thing for those in it's grasp.
     
  15. JonC

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    I've argued for years that for some internet forums are "secret sins" by the way people are treated.
     
  16. Iconoclast

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    "JonC

    Or even both sides...

    The OP and the links are general in nature, but this topic is a good vehicle to address communication in general, on BB, on facebook, or twitter, the same biblical teaching and principle applies.
    Sometimes on a forum like BB some get the idea that the 9th commandment becomes "invisible'.....

    yes...
    I am sure most everyone has done this , more than once.....just a guess.

    . But each time I have examined my own conduct and at least tried to mend the error (I've apologized to you quite a bit, IT, you and I seemed to "hit it off" for a while :)).
    I am an easy going person....but I do not like when someone speaks on my behalf, or gives a FALSE SUMMARY of what i have posted. This sets me off. I do not like to see cyber bullying of the female posters in particular, although i will back up the brethren who come under such an attack.
    I might not always post the clearest especially if i do voice to text, with the auto correct thing...some of the posts come out different,.... but i am speaking of purposeful twisting of ideas.

    some conflict that gets worked through can be of a beneficial nature.
    yes
    It is a failure to do the first works of being called to be saints and to edify others.
     
  17. JonC

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    I agree. It is also a failure to love one another, and therefore it is a failure to love God...at least to some extent.
     
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  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    BINGO!
     
  19. TCassidy

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    Excellent point. And one expounded this morning (Tuesday, 3/29/2016, by Dr. Don Carson in chapel at Midwestern Baptist Seminary.

     
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  20. tyndale1946

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    Reading what all you brethren posted reminded me of a song I led in church as I was growing up. I have witnessed problems in the church and have been a problem myself weather in church or in life... But I know this and it is not an excuse for all my trials and tribulations on this side of glory... We all walk with feet of clay... That being said here are the lyrics to a song written by Lowell Mason in the 1800 called Charity... If we could only live up to the lyrics... Brother Glen

    Love is the greatest thing This world has ever known,
    It fits us for God service here And leads us nearer home.
    Without love preaching's vain, Religion just a show,
    Trees that here only cumber ground On which no fruit can grow.
    Though we should give our goods, To feed and clothe the poor,
    It could not save us from our sin, Nor open heaven's door.
    And though our bodies burn In human sacrifice,
    This never could atone for sin, Jesus must pay the price.
    Love makes us suffer long, And not to seek our own;
    Helps us to act as Christians should And imitate God's Son.
    Our faith and hope will end When heaven we shall see,
    But Charity will still live on In all eternity.
     
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