Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 1, 2010

The Importance of Speaking the Truth, including the Truth of Scripture

Today’s devotion is John 2:18-22.
 
18  The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”
                                   

 19  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

 20  The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”

 21  But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

 22  So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this;  and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.”  John 2:18-22. 

This Scripture teaches the importance of speaking the truth, including the truth of Scripture.  Not only is it “the right thing to do” for its own sake, speaking the truth, including truth of Scripture, leads and helps others to believe.

1 Kings 22:16
“Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
 
Psalm 15:1-2
O LORD, who may abide in Your tent?
         Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 
    He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
         And speaks truth in his heart.
                                      
Proverbs 12:17
“He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.”
                                   
Proverbs 21:28
“A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.”
 
What happens when a people do not speak the truth?  Consider the lament by Jeremiah about the lack of truth in the people of Israel.
 
Oh that my head were waters
         And my eyes a fountain of tears,
         That I might weep day and night
         For the slain of the daughter of my people!
    Oh that I had in the desert
         A wayfarers’ lodging place;
         That I might leave my people
         And go from them!
         For all of them are adulterers,
         An assembly of treacherous men.
    They bend their tongue like their bow;
         Lies and not truth prevail in the land;
         For they proceed from evil to evil,
         And they do not know Me
,” declares the LORD.
    “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor,
         And do not trust any brother;
         Because every brother deals craftily,
         And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
    Everyone deceives his neighbor
         And does not speak the truth,
         They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
         They weary themselves committing iniquity
.
    “Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit;
         Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” declares the LORD. 
                                       
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts,
         “Behold, I will refine them and assay them;
         For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?
    Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
         It speaks deceit
;
         With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor,
         But inwardly he sets an ambush for him.
    Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the LORD.
         “On a nation such as this
         Shall I not avenge Myself?”  Jeremiah 9:1-9.  (Emphasis added.) 
                                     
What about leaders in the church?  Consider our LORD’s own words about prophets who lead people astray by their falsehoods.
                                       

“28  “The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth.  What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the LORD.

 29  Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

 30  “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who steal My words from each other.

 31  “Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’

 32  “Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the LORD, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting;  yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit,” declares the LORD.  Jeremiah 23:28-32. 

These are the things which you should do …

Zechariah 8:16
‘These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates.”

Consider the example of Jesus.

 Luke 20:21
“They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.”

On the other hand, consider the nature of the devil.

John 8:44-46:
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.  Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.  “Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?”

Consider the work of the Holy Spirit.

John 16:13
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak;  and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

Speaking the truth in love helps us to avoid being tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.  

Ephesians 4:14-15:
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;  but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”

Therefore …

Ephesians 4:25
“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.”

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