Sermon: To Tell the Truth
Scripture: Matthew 5:33-37
In this week’s lessons, we see the importance of telling the truth, and of the need to cultivate a godly heart and mind.
Theme: Control of the Mind
Dr. Gaebelein continues, “It was our Lord Himself who said: ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh’ (Matt. 12:34). Words that are truly godly come only from a godly heart. Such a heart is one that is possessed first of all by a deep love for Christ. The heart of the man who really trusts the Lord will express itself in words that are true and edifying.
“It is a humbling thing candidly to consider the totality of what comes from our mouths. We are Christians. Therefore, let us say we sincerely endeavor and generally succeed in eschewing malicious gossip and impure speech. Nor do we use profanity. But are we therefore perfect in respect to our speech? Well, there is a verse in the last book of the Old Testament that will help us answer that question: ‘Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name’ (Mal. 3:16). In the light of these words, we see that it is not enough to avoid overt sins of speech. The Lord looks to His children to use their tongues to His glory in a positive way. ‘They that feared the Lord spake often one to another.’ Those words were written of the Jews at one of the lowest ebbs in their national history. Yet there was among them a remnant who really loved the Lord enough to talk frequently about him…
“‘But,’ someone says, ‘are we never to engage in pleasantries? Surely all our speech cannot be religious.’ That is quite true. Christianity is a religion that hallows the common things of life; our Lord sanctified by His presence happy, normal human relations, as at the marriage feast at Cana. However, the danger with us is not that of neglect of this aspect of fellowship; it is the opposite danger of leaving the Lord almost completely out of our speech. Honestly now, how often do we speak of Him? How large a place do His blessings, His goodness, and His wonderful grace have in our everyday conversation? Malachi reminds us of the fact that the Lord not only hears us when we speak of Him but that He also treasures our words and writes them in ‘a book of remembrance.’ It is easy to sing in a meeting, ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise.’ Futile wish! We shall never have a thousand tongues. If we had them, we should not know what to do with them—not when the one tongue we have is so strongly silent respecting the Lord who loves us and gave Himself for us.”1
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.
1Frank E. Gaebelein, The Practical Epistle of James (Great Neck, NY: Channel Press, 1955), 80-83.
From the lesson, we saw that the one who trusts the Lord will speak words that are true and edifying. Why do you think truthful speech follows trust in the Lord?
What is the greater danger mentioned when it comes to our speech?
Application: How will you use your tongue to glorify God and edify others?
Prayer: Ask the Lord to guard your heart and your mind, that in learning to increasingly think God’s thoughts after Him, you would speak truthfully.