The first right that Jesus teaches we are to forego is the right of retaliation. It is the first of four rights listed here, and although the list is not comprehensive (and is not intended to be), it is sufficient to indicate the type of character that God requires of us. Jesus said, "Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." 

We live in a day when most people are intensely conscious of their rights. In such a climate it is not unusual for a believer in Jesus Christ to be asking, "What are my rights as a Christian? Do I have a right to success or wealth? To a home or a family? To a good name? To be respected?" Perhaps you have asked these questions also or others like them. Do you have rights? The verses from the Sermon on the Mount to which we come today answer these questions directly, and they say—striking as it may seem—that there are no rights for Christians. 

We are to speak the truth, and 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 our utterances. 

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. And because mere things were not thought to be as significant as the name of God, this second class of oaths was not considered to be binding. Some persons swore by their own life (1 Sam. 1:26) or their health (Ps. 15:4). Others swore by the king (1 Sam. 17:55). Still others swore, as Jesus indicates, by their head, the earth, heaven, the temple, or Jerusalem (Matt. 5:34–36; cf. 23:16, 22). All such oaths were evasive. 

When God appeared to Abraham and passed between the pieces, what did God say? He said, "Know of a surety," and He went on to outline the next five hundred years of Israel's history. Think of that phrase—“know of a surety." It means that God does not want a man to know a thing halfway. He does not want us to be doubtful about our salvation or any of His promises. And so, being able to swear by none higher, He swears by Himself.