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The Sermon on the Mount: Oaths. v33: What They Heard Again you heard that it was said to the ancients “You shall not swear falsely, but you will fulfill.

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Presentation on theme: "The Sermon on the Mount: Oaths. v33: What They Heard Again you heard that it was said to the ancients “You shall not swear falsely, but you will fulfill."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Sermon on the Mount: Oaths

2 v33: What They Heard Again you heard that it was said to the ancients “You shall not swear falsely, but you will fulfill to the Lord your oaths.”

3 Leviticus 19:12 12 ‘You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. Culturally, swearing by the local deity was meant to make the person’s contract or oath more binding. Culturally, swearing by the local deity was meant to make the person’s contract or oath more binding. – “As God is my witness...” This practice brought another party to the agreement so that if you broke your promise, you were in trouble with the gods as well as men. This practice brought another party to the agreement so that if you broke your promise, you were in trouble with the gods as well as men. The LORD forbade the typical cultural abuse of this practice, bringing a focus on His reputation. The LORD forbade the typical cultural abuse of this practice, bringing a focus on His reputation. For Israel to lie in His name was to lie about Him. For Israel to lie in His name was to lie about Him.

4 The Arrogance Angle 1.The arrogance of assuming the prerogatives of another person, especially the Creator of the Universe, for your purposes is the opposite of God’s plan for your life. 2.Idolaters have no trouble saying Ba’al guarantees an oath because they made the idol in the first place. 3.We are not here to tell God how it is. 4.We are here to submit to God’s view of reality and live out our lives in full submission to His plan. 5.God has already made the promises to which He has committed Himself. 6.Our task is to communicate those promises to the world.

5 Numbers 30: The Law of Vows 2 “If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. 2 “If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. The Law of keeping your obligations meant that the Israelite was to be the most trustworthy person of the ancient world. The Law of keeping your obligations meant that the Israelite was to be the most trustworthy person of the ancient world. Intentional deceit was forbidden. Intentional deceit was forbidden. Not fulfilling one’s obligations was also forbidden. Not fulfilling one’s obligations was also forbidden. This is not difficult if you have control of your tongue and an organized life. This is not difficult if you have control of your tongue and an organized life.

6 Deuteronomy “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you. 21 “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you. 22 “However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you. 22 “However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you. 23 “You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised. 23 “You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised.

7 Biblical Ethics There is more going on in your personal integrity than whether you get into trouble with other people. There is more going on in your personal integrity than whether you get into trouble with other people. People often lie People often lie – to avoid trouble with those in authority over them – to avoid trouble with money – to achieve some perceived benefit to themselves. Often, well-intentioned people fail to fulfill their commitments because they over-commit. Prov 6:1-5 Often, well-intentioned people fail to fulfill their commitments because they over-commit. Prov 6:1-5 The ethical standard is not other people but God. The ethical standard is not other people but God. Lying gets us in trouble with the God of truth. Lying gets us in trouble with the God of truth. Failing to fulfill our commitments gets us in trouble with the God who keeps His word. Failing to fulfill our commitments gets us in trouble with the God who keeps His word.

8 God’s Reputation is Our Responsibility 1.As God’s representative people to the world, Israel was responsible to be Holy. 2.This was a ministry to the world by example. 3.That ministry of distinction was one major purpose of the Mosaic Law. 4.We, the Church, are not bound by the Mosaic Covenant but by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 5.Therefore we are His representatives but not as a nation under the Mosaic Law. 6.God’s veracity is demonstrated by your honesty. 7.A lie from God’s representative agent suggests that God is dishonest.

9 Matthew 5v33: What They Heard Again you heard that it was said to the ancients “You shall not swear falsely, but you will fulfill to the Lord your oaths.”

10 What They Were Doing With It DIVIDING THEIR “HONEST” WORD FROM THEIR WORD.

11 vv34-37: What It Meant 34 Now I say to you not to take an oath at all; Neither by heaven because it is the throne of God 3 5Nor by earth because it is the footstool of His feet; Nor by Jerusalem because it is the city of the Great King; 36 Nor by your head should you take an oath because you are not able to make one hair white or black! 37 But let your word be yes yes, no no; Furthermore, anything more than this is from the source of evil.

12 What Can You Control? 1.Nothing you can swear by to evoke its faithfulness is under your control except yourself. 2.Creation is God’s, and to claim authority over it as collateral in an obligation is tantamount to stealing. – Example: You don’t mortgage someone else’s house to improve your own. – Example: You don’t steal someone’s property and hock it at the pawn shop to buy groceries – Example: No one has a right before God to enrich one person with the property of another person. 3.Jesus makes capability the main issue regarding your word.

13 4.You cannot control creation! 5.You can control your choices. 6.There will be no one to blame when you are caught in a lie or fail to do what you say you will do.

14 Of Evil? 37 But let your word be yes yes, no no; Furthermore, anything more than this is from the source of evil. There is no room for division between statements that are divine viewpoint and statements that are human viewpoint. There is no room for division between statements that are divine viewpoint and statements that are human viewpoint. Either you have to deal in absolute truth or you are deceiving yourself with the world’s lies. Either you have to deal in absolute truth or you are deceiving yourself with the world’s lies.

15 All Promises are “to” the Lord 1.There is nothing you can swear by that does not somehow reflect the character of God. 2.This is because everything truly good comes from God. 3.Therefore when you say something it is supposed to be a representation of absolute truth. 4.This kind of ethic goes far beyond the world’s idea of integrity. 5.Our integrity is bound to the character of God. 6.The world’s integrity is bound to the character of an individual—motivated by pride, lust, etc.

16 7. The culture has no absolute basis for saying something is right or wrong. 8.The believer has God as the absolute basis for norms and standards—and nothing else. 9.Knowing God’s character means a life of Scriptural Saturation. Why? – inner temptation and DECEPTION from the Old Sin Nature – outer temptation and DECEPTION from the Kosmos—Satan, his fallen angels, and the world of humans who have absorbed his lies.

17 10.In Christ you have overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. 11.But past victories do not guarantee present ones. Salvation requires exploitation. 12. You have the potential to glorify God in word and deed because God the Holy Spirit indwells and fills you. 13.Your combat becomes a matter of truth believed and lived. 14.The greatest casualty of your spiritual life will be your witness.

18 Mt 5:38-42: Retaliation 38 You heard that It was told “Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.” Ex 21:22-25 Ex 21:22-25 Lev 24:20 Lev 24:20 Dt 19:18-21 Dt 19:18-21

19 Ex 21: “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. 22 “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. 23 “But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 23 “But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise

20 Dt 19: “The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, 18 “The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, 19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 19 then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 20 “The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you. 20 “The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you. 21 “Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. 21 “Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

21 What is the Lex Talionis 1.This “eye for eye” law applies to personal injury only. 2.The law is for use in court to determine just punishments for personal wrongs. 3.There is no provision for vigilantism in the statements of “an eye for an eye.” 4.This law was a limitation on retaliation. Ex: Lamech: Gen 4:15, God is merciful to Cain God is merciful to Cain Sinful Lamech makes God’s mercy the basis for his unjust over-kill Sinful Lamech makes God’s mercy the basis for his unjust over-kill 5.The wronged party was not responsible to require everything the Law demands! Ex: Mt 1:19

22 Mt 5:38-42: Retaliation 38 You heard that It was told “Eye for eye and tooth for tooth” 39 Now I say to you Do not stand against and evil person But Whoever is slapping you upon the right cheek, Turn to him also the other

23 Going Beyond the Law 40And to the one who wants to take you before the judge and take your shirt, give him your outer coat too. What direction does “going beyond the Law” take? What direction does “going beyond the Law” take? What does this say about your property? What does this say about your property? – Not that it is not important – But that God is more important than even your shelter

24 Military Service 41 And whoever impresses you into military service to walk one mile, go with Him two. There is no draft-dodging in the Sermon on the Mount There is no draft-dodging in the Sermon on the Mount There is no interpretation of this passage for the nation, except that the nation can expect disciples of Jesus Christ to be good soldiers. There is no interpretation of this passage for the nation, except that the nation can expect disciples of Jesus Christ to be good soldiers.

25 42To the one who asks of you, give! And the one who wants you to lend to him, do not turn him away! What does this say about the Kingdom of God? What does this say about the Kingdom of God? – Irresponsible lending practices? – No – The Grace of God has to do with the Righteousness of God. What do you have to give? What do you have to give?


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