First Baptist Church
Hammond, Indiana
Sunday School Lesson


Language (Lying and Swearing)

AIM: to impress upon my class the seriousness of lying and swearing, and to guide them to resolve to keep their thinking and their language free from both sins.

POINT OF CONTACT: Bring to class five apples in a sack. Tell the class that there are seven apples in the sack. Tell one member of your class to tell another that there are seven apples in the sack. Tell him to "pass it on." After a few of them have told each other that there are seven apples in the sack, take out the five apples. Then ask them this question: Because I said it and you said it and you said it, did that change the fact that there were only five apples? No, of course not. If we had all sworn or used profane language with our statement that there were seven apples in the sack, even this would not have changed the fact that there were only five apples in the sack. A lie is still a lie, and nothing can change fact!

INTRODUCTION: We now begin a new series of lessons on the matter of separation. Our first lesson concerns the vital area of language. Lying and swearing are mentioned together in some Scripture passages. In Psalm 109:1-20, we have a picture of the wicked person. Included in this picture are lying and swearing. Romans 3 gives the characteristics of the unrighteous. These characteristics include both lying and swearing.

Lying and cursing in a Christianís life are definitely signs that the old wicked flesh is being victorious; lying and swearing in the life of a non-Christian are indications of his unsaved condition.

      I. LYING.

        1. The originator of lies is the Devil. See John 8:44.

            1) In all of the history of man, Satan has plagued him with lies. Sometimes the Devilís reasoning is cloaked in truth, but the conclusion is always a lie. The Devil will often even quote Scripture to get his listeners to believe him. Some examples of Satanís lies are the following:

              a) Telling Eve that God didnít really mean it when He told her that in the day she would eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil she would surely die.

              b) Telling Jesus to perform miracles to prove His deity and to bow down to Satan in order to gain the world.

              c) Speaking through Peter to Jesus when Peter tried to tell Jesus that He would not have to suffer and die and rise again.

              d) Convincing Judas that it would be to his gain personally to betray Jesus.

            2) A liar has as his father the Devil. Jesus told the Pharisees that the Devil was their father because they believed the Devilís lies. Anybody who is not saved has his spiritual discernment darkened and will not believe the truth, nor will he recognize the untruth. The Pharisees would not believe Jesus.

        2. God cannot lie; He is the Author of truth.

            1) Truth came into the world through the Son of God. Read John 1:17; 14:6.

            2) God hates "a lying tongue" and "a false witness that speaketh lies." Notice Proverbs 6:17-19. Lying and bearing false witness are an abomination to Him. God looks upon lying as something that stinks, something that is abhorred. There is no place in the Bible where lies are measured; one kind of lie is not a little lie, nor is another kind of lie a great big lie. Lying is lying; it is wicked sin from which a Christian should be separated.

            3) Jesus says that whatever comes out of the mouth defiles a man. Bad language shows him to be dirty on the inside, for it comes from the heart. Lying reveals a bad condition within a man. See Matthew 15:17-20. Jesus commanded that we should not bear false witness. Matthew 19:18.

        3. Lies can be told in many different ways.

            1) The most obvious way is to speak a lie. We are giving false witness to what actually happened when we speak a lie.

            2) We lie when we act like Christians but are not saved. Jesus denounced the Pharisees most severely for this one thing: saying and acting as if they were God-fearing people when actually they were not.

            3) We lie when we flatter someone. There is a vast difference between a compliment and flattery. We need to compliment people to encourage them. "You look so nice today"; "I enjoyed your solo"; "You did a good job with the speech which you prepared"; "I like your hair that way." However, if any of these things are not said in sincerity, they are lies, and God is not pleased. In Proverbs 20:19 we are admonished, "...meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips."

            4) We lie when we break a promise. We should be very careful about the promises that we make so that we can keep them. God never breaks any of His promises, and we should seek to be like Him.

            5) A preacher who is unfaithful to the Word of God is a liar. Any man who calls himself a minister of the Gospel and does not preach the Bible is committing a sin. The Lord revealed to His people that there were many among them during the days of Jeremiah who were not preaching the truth. Read Jeremiah 29:8, 9.

            6) We lie if we keep silent when we ought to speak. If we keep quiet about having Jesus as our Saviour, we lie just as much as Peter lied when he denied knowing Him. If we do not witness against an evildoer whenever we ought to, we are liars. If we seek to cover up an act in which we are involved, we are lying.

            7) We can lie by our attitude. If we pretend that everything is all right when someone should know that it is not all right, we are lying.

        4. There are many reasons why we lie.

            1) First of all, of course, is the fact that by nature we all are sinful people.

            2) We lie because we are selfish. Many people lie when confronted with the question of ownership when they have taken something! One sin is compounded with another. Students might have had permission to get some help from someone in writing a theme or working on a science project. If the students do not give credit where the credit is due, they are lying.

            3) We lie because of jealousy. Many people are so jealous of anotherís accomplishments or of anotherís attractiveness that they will make up things about the other in an effort to transfer some recognition to themselves.

            4) We lie because of fear. Fear of the consequences of a misdeed perhaps is basis for most lies. We are afraid of punishment. If punishment is due, it should be accepted. Being punished always makes us better and is just a sign of Godís love for us, as we learn in Hebrews 12:6. If we detest the punishment so much, we need to work on this particular matter in our character and to pray for Godís help.

            5) We lie because we want attention. Very little children make up outlandish stories about something to get adults to listen to them. All ages of people add to or take away from relating an experience in order to make a good story. This is also lying.

        5. We are supposed to be able to recognize a lie.

            1) We need to be grown-up enough to disbelieve false doctrine. Notice Ephesians 4:14.

            2) Before making a decision based upon someone elseís information, we are to ask counsel of God. The story in Joshua 9 is a good example of how people got out of Godís will because they did not ask God about the matter; they believed a lie.

        6. There could be serious consequences resulting from the formulation of a lie.

            1) In Martin Lutherís day, the Catholic church started a lie that Martin Luther was an insane man. This lie was started so that people would believe the doctrine of having to earn oneís way to Heaven rather than the doctrine of salvation by faith in Jesus.

            2) In Jesusí day the rulers of the synagogue paid the Roman soldiers a large sum of money to lie to the people, telling them that the disciples had come and stolen the body of Jesus from the tomb. Many people in that day might have believed that lie.

            3) In Proverbs 19:9 God promises, "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish."


        1. We are talking about using profane or obscene language.

            1) God commanded against using His name lightly. This is found in Exodus 20:7. It is a serious matter to take the name of the Lord in vain.

            2) Jesus commanded against swearing. See Matthew 5:33-37.

            3) The Word of God commands us to be careful about the words that we say. Read James 5:12.

        2. There are reasons why people swear.

            1) Manís depraved nature, of course, is the basic reason for filthy language.

            2) No real love for Jesus can be in the hearts of people who use His name wrongly. Profanity might have become a habit with some unsaved people; now that they are saved, it is a bad habit that has to be broken.

            3) Some people are insecure and seek to imitate others just to become one of the crowd; they, therefore, learn to swear.

            4) Some people are so proud that they could not be humbled to talk decently, until the Lord convicts them of pride.

            5) A fit of temper might bring out swear words from some people who would not ordinarily talk this way.

CONCLUSION: We need to put a guard on our language. We need to improve our thinking and our speaking so that nothing will come through our lips that would dishonor our Lord.

Sunday School Lessons