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Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 9:1-9


The Sin of Lying



1.  Lying is one of the most prevalent moral problems we face.

  a.  Affects private relationships, families, social lives, business practices, entertainment, music, etc.

  b.  Everywhere:  At school, golf course, the grocery store…even in the church among brethren.

2.  Lying is at epidemic proportions:  The Day America Told the Truth by James Patterson & Peter Kim:

  a.  91% of Americans lie regularly; 63% men & 52% woman have lied to protect themselves; 40% said they had lied on job applications.

  b.  cf. Jer. 9:3-9 – Judah’s lies & ours:  God is not pleased!

3.  Christians are not immune from the temptation – Eph. 4:25; Phil. 4:8.



  A.  Root Idea:  Falsehood & Deception.

    1.  “Conscious & intentional falsehood” (Thayer, 676).

      a.  “To deceive, or attempt to deceive, by a lie” (Moulton, 442); cf. Matt. 28:13, 15.

      b.  “A lie is a false statement deliberately presented as being true; something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.”

  B.  A Broader Sense:  Whatever is NOT what it Professes to be is a Lie.

    1.  “Whatever is not what it professes to be” (Thayer, 676).

    2.  False impressions created to deceive (sometimes harder to detect):

      a.  Self-righteousness – Matt. 23:27-28.

      b.  Hypocrisy – 1 Tim. 4:1-2 (Matt. 23:27-28).

      c.  Precepts & doctrines of men – Rom. 1:25.

      d.  Religious lies – cf. 2 Cor. 11:13-15.

    3.  Subtle in nature, but lies nonetheless.

  C.  Another Type of Subtle Lie:  Self-Deception Gal. 6:3.

    1.  “I am without sin!” 1 Jno. 1:8

    2.  “I know Him!”1 Jno. 2:3-4 (Jas. 1:22)

    3.  “I’m religious!” Jas. 1:26

    4.  Need careful self-examination – 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:4.


II.  WHY DO PEOPLE LIE?  (Motives)

  A.  Out of FearMatt. 26:69-74 (cf. 26:35).

    1.  Fear what men may do to us; the suffering truth may bring, etc.

    2.  Lk. 12:4-5 – Fear God, not man, & don’t lie out of fear!

  B.  To Shirk Responsibility – cf. Lk. 14:18.  (“must go”??)

    1.  Excuse:  “To avert displeasure by entreaty, i.e. to beg pardon, crave indulgence, to excuse” (Thayer, 482).

    2.  Whenever we make excuses for our disobedience, we display displeasure for God’s will.  We thereby lie to ourselves, to others & God!

  C.  To Hurt Someone – Col. 3:8-9.

    1.  Malicious lies intended to discredit, damage & destroy.

    2.  Examples:  Potiphar’s wife against Joseph, Gen. 39:13-20; against Jesus, Matt. 26:59-61.

  D.  To Get Gain or Gain an Advantage:

    1.  Financial gain – Acts 5:1-8; Prov. 11:1 (Deut. 25:16).

    2.  Spiritual gain – 1 Tim. 6:5 – pretended godliness is a lie.

    3.  For reputation, honor, prestige, etc.

  E.  For the “Greater Good”.  (Usually means what’s good for me!)

    1.  The “end justifies the means” “dilemma” – Rom. 3:8.

    2.  Matt. 19:17 – God is the essence/standard of “good”, not humans.

    3.  Therefore, God defines & tells us what is “good” that we are to do – Micah 6:8; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 2:10; Rom. 12:9; 16:19 (Jer. 4:22).

    4.  There is no good reason (God-given reason) for lying.  If so, what Scripture supports it as being “good”?



  A.  God Warns us not to Lie1 Pet. 3:10-11.  (Note:  doing “good” is turning away from the evil of speaking deceit.)

  B.  Lying is Disgusting to God Prov. 6:16-17; 12:22 (despicable).

  C.  Therefore, He will Punish All Liars – Prov. 19:5, 9; Rev. 21:8 (21:27).



1.  The problem of the sin of lying is huge & no one is immune from its temptation (1 Cor. 10:12).

2.  Examine ourselves & be careful to be honest in all things – Eph. 4:25.

3.  Emphasize the value of truth by living honestly toward all men.

4.  Zech. 8:3 (Ancient Jerusalem, Jer. 9:11):  Christ’s kingdom is “the city of truth”8:16-17 – always speak the truth (Eph. 4:25).