Text: Matthew 5: 33-37
Memory Verse: “But let your communication be , Yea, yea; Nay, nay for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” Matt 5:37
COMMON PRACTICE OF SWEARING BEFORE CHRIST: Gen 21:22-24, 24:1-4,9, 25:29-33, 31:51-53, Lev 6:1-7, Isaiah 48:1-4 Before Christ came, indeed from the time of Genesis, taking an oath or swearing was a solemn way of confirming the truth or sealing an agreement. An oath is a solemn way of affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed and forfeiting His favour or bearing His judgment if what is affirmed is false. A false oath is called perjury or “forswearing.” “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, thou shall not forswear thyself but shall perform unto the Lord thine oaths” Swearing had become common by that time. The people had lost the consciousness of the sacredness of oaths. They swear to everything and by every created thing in common conversation. They swear by heaven, by the earth, by Jerusalem, by their head, but the swearing was meaningless, it carried no weight. They were not sincere; they were not truthful to one another. They lied to one another and confirmed their lies with oaths- swearing falsely by heaven and earth. CHRIST’S PROHIBITION OF SWEARING FOR CHRISTIANS: Matt 5:34-36, 23:22, James 5:12, “But I say unto you, swear not at all” Christ is the highest authority on all points of Christian doctrine and Christian practice. Christ as the authoritative Teacher, Lord and Saviour, commands God’s people in the present dispensation: “Swear not at all.” We should faithfully and unhesitatingly take Him at His Word, not using the oath or swearing under any circumstances. Instead of taking an oath , Christians in obedience in Christ would rather “affirm” the truth of what they say. There is an essential difference between an oath and an affirmation. When we take an affirmation we simply state that we mean to tell the truth as far as we understand it, knowing that if we violate this promise we are held under the same penalties as if we had violated an oath. Let us note that while we are definitely commanded to “swear not at all”, we are enjoined “I will that thou affirm”(Titus 3:8) A believer’s words should be as good as his bond and as good as an oath or as a vow. Our yes should be yes and our no should be no. God is holy and truthful. Holiness includes truthfulness. There is no lie or lying in holiness.
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THE POWER OF HUMILITY
If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14 A major virtue in the life of any child of God is humility. Humility is modest existence. It is the exaltation of, and alignment of God’s will with one’s life. It is the focus and attention on inward qualities rather than outward vanities. A humble person is open to instruction and correction and easily submits with excitement. What then are the products of humility? Humility guarantee the privilege of divine attention and answer to prayers. God will never turn a deaf ear on the humble. Humility is the doorway to honour and dignity. It is existing with a difference in the midst of adversity. Humility is the doorway to true greatness. You are not permitted to be stranded if you are humble. Before destruction, the heart of a man is haughty and before honour is humility. God can never promote a proud man. Pride is the destroyer of men, while humility is the promoter of men. Live with the consciousness of the fact that you can do nothing without God.
Question: What are the benefits of humility?