Ephesians 4:25

As the saints had put off lying at their conversion, it was their duty henceforth to speak truth with their neighbor's. Consider the social duty prescribed and the motive to its faithful performance.

I. THE SOCIAL DUTY. "Speak every man truth with his neighbor." What is truth? There is truth as opposed to falsehood, which is an express intention to deceive. There is truth of character, which is opposed to insincerity. Both kinds of truth are manifest in three circumstances - in common conversation, in bearing testimony, in making and in keeping promises.

(1) Christians ought to be truthful in ordinary conversation, on the most trivial as well as on the most solemn occasions, because if a strict veracity is not maintained in the unguarded moments of life, it seldom remains long unshaken under a stress of temptation. The slightest deviation from it, either in the way of exaggeration or distortion, is inconsistent with the candor and simplicity which ought to adorn a Christian. The prohibition of falsehood is absolute in Scripture. "Ye shall not lie to one another" (Leviticus 19:11); "Lie not one to another" (Colossians 3:9); "Speak every man truth with his neighbor" (Zechariah 8:16).

(2) Truth must be maintained in bearing testimony. "A false witness speaketh lies" (Proverbs 6:19), and thus "soweth discord among brethren." It is the characteristic mark of a citizen of Zion that he will not take up a report against his neighbor (Psalm 15:3). No affection, no prejudice, no fear of man, ought to lead to a false, or partial, or misleading representation of facts. Perjury undermines society more than murder.

(3) Truth must be kept in the matter of promises. There must be a real intention to fulfill them when they are made. The citizen of Zion "speaketh the truth in his heart" (Psalm 15:2). Promises to men stand on the same footing with vows to God. "Better it is that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay "(Ecclesiastes 5:5). We must be as conscientious in performance as we are in promise. There may be cases, no doubt, in which the obligation is superseded by higher considerations. Herod was not bound by his oath to the daughter of Herodias. There may be cases likewise in which there is a providential disability to carry out a promise. But if we possess a full capacity of action, our duty is to fulfill our engagement. The citizen in Zion "sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not" (Psalm 15:4).

II. THE MOTIVE TO THIS SOCIAL DUTY. "Because we are members one of another." This is a religious consideration that is not designed to exclude other grounds of obligation to truthfulness.

1. But the principle here laid down applies equally to mankind in general.

(1) A lie is a breach of the social contract. It tends to make society impossible, for society only exists through the trust that man exercises in man. It turns that instrument of speech, which God has given us for our mutual comfort, into a means of estrangement. Therefore "the righteous man hateth lying" (Proverbs 13:5).

(2) It is a breach of the golden rule that we should do to others as we would have them do to us. Liars expect others to speak the truth to them, and complain when it is not done. Therefore truth is what every man has a right to expect and desire from another. We have no more right to deceive our neighbor than we have a right to defraud him.

(3) It destroys the comfort and peace of society. What a picture of its effects is in Jeremiah 9:4, 5! - "Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity."

(4) It prepares the way for further demoralization of character.

2. The principle here laid down specially applies to Christians. They are not only members of Christ, but of one another. Chrysostom supposes the impossibility of the eye lying to the foot or the foot to the eye, in the presence of danger. Thus it would be equally unnatural, by the very law of their union, as members one of another, that believers should deceive one another by falsehood. The consideration of this membership suggests a relation

(1) to that God the Father who is "a God of truth" (Deuteronomy 32:4), who "is not a man that he should lie" (Numbers 23:19), who gave oath and promise as "the two immutable things, in which it is impossible that God should lie" (Hebrews 6:18);

(2) to that Savior who is the Truth as well as the Life - "the faithful and true Witness" -having "no guile found in his mouth;"

(3) and to that Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17), and has given us the Scriptures of truth.


1. Let believers be careful as to truth. "If any man seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue" - particularly from lying - "that man's religion is vain." Let them pray with the psalmist, "Remove far from me the way of lying." Let them not tolerate liars in their society (Psalm ca. 7).

2. Mark how religion tends to promote the well-being and comfort of society. Truth is the cement of society.

3. Remember that the devil is the father of liars (John 8:44), and that "whosoever loveth and maketh a lie" shall not enter the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 22:15). - T.C.

Wherefore, putting away lying.

1. To lie is diametrically opposed to truth, therefore to the whole Diving law, and not to one commandment only, as other sins.

2. Truth is a perfection of the Godhead, while lying is the sin of the devil.

3. Lying is very detrimental to human society. The greatest blessing in the world is the intercourse — the communion — of man with man. If this blessing be taken away, the whole world would be turned into chaos. Such would be the inevitable result, if all men were addicted to lying; and it is partly so now.


1. Telling lies degrades a man in the estimation of his fellow men. If a lie were not a foul blot in a man, why are even bad men so cautious not to be caught in a lie?

2. God will punish the liar (Psalm 5:7).

3. If God hates and punishes lying so severely, how great will be His hatred of perjury, which is lying confirmed by oath! The confirmation of testimony by oath has been ordained by God Himself (Deuteronomy 6:18). An oath is for confirmation. For men it is the end of all controversy. It follows that the perjurer, as far as in him lies, abolishes the last means of ascertaining the truth. Shall not God avenge? (Zechariah 5:4.)

(J. B. Campadelli.)

I. This precept assumes A PRELIMINARY CONDITION: "putting away lying." This touches the root of the matter. It points to the entire and thorough abandonment and renunciation, not in outward speech only, but in the inmost heart, of all falsehood. You put away the thing that is false, all false dealing in your inmost mind and spirit with any person or any thing. We must connect this with what goes before. At ver. 22, we are exhorted to put off the old man, which is corrupt after the lusts of deceit, i.e., to put away the lusts of deceit in which its corruption consists. Here we are assumed to put away the deceit itself to which the lusts belong, and by means of which they wield their corrupting influence.

II. THE INJUNCTION ITSELF. The condition and the precept are closely connected. And the connection is natural. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. If there is no falsehood in the heart, it may be anticipated that there will be truth in the lips. And the converse holds good. So far, generally, the connection here indicated is clear enough. I am persuaded, however, that this is not all. Bear in mind what putting away falsehood really means. It describes a state or frame of mind, a character of the inner man, peculiar to the real Christian, the true believer. If so, it would seem to follow that by speaking truth every man with his neighbour, is meant a habit or mode of speech also peculiar to such a one. The true speaking must correspond to the putting away lying with which it is associated; out of which, in fact, it springs. They are both of them Christian graces and attainments, and not common virtues; excellences of which the renewed man is capable, but which are beyond the reach of the old.

III. THE REASON ANNEXED TO THIS PRECEPT. Christians are formed into one body, having a common Head; from whom they all derive a common life, and in whom they all are one. There are not, therefore — there cannot be, if they realize and act out this great ideal — separate interests among them. They are not isolated from one another, and independent of one another. Nor are they simply a community of individuals, voluntarily associated together for certain common ends. On either of these suppositions there might still be room for concealment and caution on many points there might be some apology for reticence and silence. But believers are a divinely constituted, a divinely created corporation. Their unity is of the Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Ghost. They are more intimately bound and knit together in one than are the limbs of man's corporeal frame. They have absolutely, in the highest sense, all things in common. There is one body, etc. Surely, in such a society, there might be expected to be the most outspoken freedom of utterance; the fullest and frankest speaking of the truth. As members one of another, you should have no secrets to keep from one another. There ought to be no cold reserve; no jealousy; no suspicion; none of that wary prudence, that wise doubting of your neighbour, which prompts the keeping back of the truth from him, and the leaving of him in ignorance or in error.

(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)

Not only is the Second Person in the adorable Trinity revealed to us as the Son and the Word of God, but He is also exhibited as the archetypal Verity. "I am the truth," saith our Lord of Himself, and when He was made flesh He dwelt among men, "full of grace and truth." That inherent attribute which had been in God from the beginning, which had been exercised in the beneficent act of creation (for "all His works are faithful"), was in the last days shown forth to mortal eyes in the lowly guise of the Carpenter of Nazareth, as their God in truth and in righteousness (Zechariah 8:8). Now if truth be thus — not only a part of that righteousness in which God constituted all things — but actually a form and mode of the Divine Being Himself; if it be, not only that, in which God caused all things to be according to their law, but the manifestation of Himself in His Blessed Son; it will follow that anything contrary to this truth will be of the most abominable nature. If truth be the exhibition of the Son of God Himself, we shall not wonder at the whole constitution of the world being founded in it. The condition on which society holds together is perfect truth. The nearer we approach to perfect truth in any society, the more perfect is the credit, and the more sure is the basis on which that society stands.

I. The opposite of truth is a lie; and in order to get at our duty on this head, it may be well to inquire into its NATURE AND KINDS. The common division of lying is into pernicious lies, those that are said with an evil intent — officious lies, those that are said to screen a fault or with other less culpable object — and lastly, lies of jesting, which may be dismissed in one word of the apostle — that they are — "not convenient," being at best of a very low style of wit, and always dangerous. But I think that a fuller and more complete distinction of these may not be without advantage.

1. The first and most heinous of all lies are those that are perpetrated in religion. A falsehood concerning God is the worst form of this sin.

2. And connected with this — is the heinous iniquity of what are called "pious frauds," where a religious system is propped up by deceit of any kind, false miracles, false legends, and the like.

3. The next most heinous form of deceit is the lie of malignity, where a falsehood is told with the deliberate purpose of injuring the happiness of another. Remember you have no right to spread any report till you have taken, some means to test its authenticity. If you give currency and fresh importance to a false report, you commit a great sin, and owe a heavy debt to the person you have helped to calumniate. The law prevents our being lied out of property, but who can arrest the evil effects of backbiting? who can restore the friendship it has broken?

4. The next kind of lying is that lying for lying's sake, which we find sadly prevalent among certain individuals and certain nations.

5. We now come to the case where the lie is told to obtain some immediate or eventual good. It is a very wide subject, because from the simple lie to serve an immediate purpose up to the difficult question of casuistry, whether a man may tell a lie to save life or reputation, the circumstances and degrees are various to infinitude. Of course we affirm broadly that a man may not tell a lie to obtain for himself any good, and that if suffering follows on telling the truth, a man must be contented to suffer. The whole question turns on this: Is there anything more valuable than the soul? if there be, you may lie to obtain it; but if God has said that He "will destroy all such as speak leasing," it is clear that we may not commit that sin for anything which the world can give. It is staking our eternal welfare against our temporal good. The matter becomes more difficult, when the object for which a lie is told is a fine or noble one, like the faithful servant well known in Scottish history, who perjured himself before the judges to save his master's life. Yet even here the same law of distinction comes in, which is the more valuable — this world or the next? St. maintains that you may not say what is untrue, even if that untruth were to save a friend's life, because your friend's temporal life is less valuable than your own eternal life forfeited by the lie. If persons in pursuit of one who has thrown himself upon your mercy for concealment, demand of you where he is, you may not deny that you have seen him, but you may refuse to answer; you may throw the pursuers off the scent by any ingenious escape, but you may not say what is untrue, even in such an extreme case. You will recollect that noble fiction in which a person of low estate refuses to save a sister's life at the expense of a lie, and afterwards obtains her pardon under circumstances of unparalleled energy and exertion. The morality here is perfect. It is best to leave the issue of things in the hand of God, and not to do evil that good may come.

6. We next proceed to a less heinous sort of lying, that which arises from the desire to please man — the lie of polite society. Here no one is injured, very deep interests are not affected — the subjects lied about are trifles — the motives are amiable or innocent — and yet here is positive sin. A desire to shine in society may not be wrong, but it must not be compassed by such means. Or the love of society may take the shape of boastful falsehood.

7. A more excusable form is that lying which comes from fear of offending those we live with. This is the special sin of some weak natures, and belongs rather to cowardice of character than to actual deceit. It often arises from the injudicious severity of parents, and the rough discipline of a public school, or from that feeble temperament which never should have been sent there. It is as much a misfortune as a fault, and is to be met by strengthening the moral character generally, and by seeking to bring out in the disposition all those habits of self-respect, which, under the Divine blessing, give dignity to man.

8. The last and most venial form of falsehood consists in those slight inaccuracies which slip out in the haste and thoughtlessness of conversation. These can hardly be called lies, because they are not uttered with the deliberate intention of deceiving, and are intellectual rather than moral faults. Some have very incorrect memories, others have quick minds which lead them to speak before they think, or even without thinking at all. Some persons find it impossible to repeat a thing exactly as they heard it, and without conscious deceit convey a different impression in their narration. Many of strong imagination unconsciously colour facts which in other respects they rightly describe. In short, there is a large region on the confines between truth and falsehood which requires some vigilance on our parts. People should be cautious about this inaccuracy, because like all bad habits it is apt to increase.

II. And now that we have defined these different sorts of lying, let us think of THEIR GRATITY AND THEIR CURE. The record of the sacred Scripture is very strong against this sin. Nothing but the presence of the Blessed Truth, which is Christ Himself, in the heart, can give that pellucid and crystal soul which will bear the light at every angle. He who speaks the truth from worldly motives is only careful about that which the world censures, and in cases where the conventional morality of society allows of false vows and protestations, has no feeling about these; but the true Christian, while he is not over-scrupulous about trifles, has a conscience which ever announces the approach of fraud, for he is stayed on God, who is the immutable Truth, who cannot be deceived.

(Bishop A. P. Forbes.)

I. THE NATURE OF A LIE. A lie, strictly and properly so called, is such a manner of speaking, wherein, according to the ordinary signification of words, a man signifies that to another as true which he himself either certainly knows or believes to be false, and that, with a design of imposing upon him.

II. SEVERAL KINDS OF LIES. Much needs not to be said concerning that sort of lying, which yet is of all others the most generally practised; namely, those mean ways of deceiving and over-reaching one another, which are so frequently used in traffic and bargaining. I shall proceed now to the consideration of such cases, wherein many even learned men have pleaded with very plausible reasons, in justification and defence of the use of divers manners of falsifying. And —

1. In the case of those, to whom we have openly and justly declared ourselves enemies, as in the case of a lawful and necessary war.

2. In the education of children; that is, of such as are already arrived to some, though not a perfect, use of their reason. To these, the persons I am speaking of, conceive, we are not obliged to speak the truth; not because they have no right to truth, or have lost that right by any forfeiture, but because they are not capable of receiving and judging of it; so that because they are not come to a full use of their reason and judgment.

3. The last case, wherein falsehood has been by many thought justifiable, is when some public benefit is thereby promoted; in which case they fancy they may presume upon men's consent, that they are willing to be deceived; that they would give up their right by which they might exact truth of us, did they know the reasons that moved us to deceive them. These are the chief cases in which some have thought falsehood allowable, or at least excusable. Whether they had any just and sufficient reason to do so, will best appear by inquiring first into the nature of truth, and the foundation of our obligation to speak always what we think agreeable to it; and their applying it to the particular cases. Now they who think a lie, properly so called, to be in several cases lawful; consider truth merely as a civil compact. They look upon truth as a matter of private concern, as if one man laid upon another all the obligation he has to it, and consequently could release him from that obligation either by his fault, or his incapacity, or his consent. Thus truth becomes merely one and the same thing with justice; and falsehood ceases to be a fault, unless when it is joined with manifest injury and wrong. From hence it follows, that, since when a man has forfeited or voluntarily receded from his right to anything, it may without injustice be withheld from him; in such cases as those, according to this notion, a lie will seem to be no longer blameworthy.But now that we are, on the contrary, really under an obligation to truth, distinct from, and independent on that of mere justice, may appear from the following considerations.

1. That every man's conscience naturally convinces him that he is under an obligation to truth, distinct from all other considerations; so that it will not without reluctance suffer him to deceive his neighbour with a lie, even though he does not foresee any real injury or damage that will there upon accrue to him.

2. That our obligation to truth is distinct from that of merely not injuring our neighbour, appears further from this consideration, that in our notion of the supreme and most perfect Being, veracity and justice are two distinct perfections or attributes.It remains that after what has been said, I make a practical observation or two, and so conclude. And —

1. "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord," saith Solomon (Proverbs 12:22; and Proverbs 6:16. etc.).

2. As lies are thus abominable in the sight of God, so are they also to all good men (Proverbs 13:5).

3. This sin of lying tends in its own nature to the destruction of all civil society.

(S. Clarke, D. D.)

The quality of truthfulness, or of allegiance to truth, in the character, extends far beyond the point of scrupulously avoiding untrue statements. A person may never tell what would usually be called a falsehood, and yet may have a thoroughly insincere, hypocritical, or artificial character.

1. And may I not mention first, as worthy of being in general avoided, the quality of dissimulation, or the concealment of our real opinions, which has been contrasted with simulation, or the pretending to be, or to think, something other than the reality. It has been laid to the charge of Cromwell that he was a dissembler, who allowed others to interpret his silence as they would, and then surprised them by acting otherwise than they expected. His most favourable biographers have defended him on the ground that he told no lies, and that being in the midst of dangerous plotters, he was unable to save himself or his cause in any other way. I will not dispute the justice of the defence, but I notice the instance as showing how men confound dissembling with falsehood, and therefore how these must border on one another; and as showing also that a high religionist like Cromwell, by his dissembling, gave colour to the charge that his religion was insincere.

2. Next to dissimulation I mention "pretence," which implies an intentional concealment of the reality by something false or feigned offered to the inspection of others. Thus a merchant who has no capital makes a false impression on others in regard to his pecuniary ability, that he may obtain a loan of money; or a sciolist pretends to have learning, when he is ignorant; or a libertine to be moral when he is immoral; or a hypocrite in religion to be a believer or a good man when he is neither.

3. There is a less obvious kind of pretence into which we are all apt to fall, which, however, cannot stand on its defence, when tried by the laws of truth. It is what is called "cant"; a word which denotes the aping of others in expressions of feeling and opinion, by the use of set, stereotyped words which pass current in a certain circle of religion, fashion, or taste.

4. We mention next, as closely bordering on the vice of character already named, "insincerity," especially in professions of regard and in the bestowment of praise. When a person puts on the semblance of friendship for another, expressing it in warm terms to his face, while he laughs at him behind his back, we call this hypocrisy of a black dye. But some insincere ways of making another believe that you are his friend are not so obviously wicked as this. You thus present yourself to others as ready to do for them what is beyond your intention, and when the test comes and you fail, they are wounded, and feel that they have been falsely dealt with. Most of such insincere professions are the refuges of selfishness ashamed to come to the light and putting on the forms of goodwill.

5. We pass on next to the faults of character opposed to "simplicity." This word denoted at first the quality of being unfolded, as contrasted with that which was folded together, and so simplicity in a moral sense and duplicity are moral opposites. But the word has a wide application; when used in reference to taste it denotes the avoidance of the artificial, the overwrought, the overloaded with ornament, the pretentious. When used in reference to our purposes it denotes that two motives, as self-interest and goodwill, are not mixed in producing the same act, or that we aim at truth rather than at impression. As a moral quality it denotes the absence of guile, a character without artifice.

6. Another and a kindred fault opposed to a spirit of truthfulness is inaccuracy in representation and reports.

7. Another of the truthful virtues is "candour," which partakes of the nature also of justice. It admits the weight of what makes against ourselves and confesses this with readiness. It acknowledges mistakes out of a spirit of fairness. In argument it gives an impartial view of the reasons urged by the opposite side.

(T. D. Woolsey.)

Wherein lies the evil of lying? We observe —

1. That a lie is the nearest thing possible to suicide, being a denial of the personality which God has given us, and calculated to reduce the order of God's creation to confusion.

2. It is contrary to the nature and use of language, and the purpose of God Himself in giving us the organs of speech.

3. It makes men like devils, and destroys all confidence in human society. Two men give each other the lie, and you have a duel; one mob gives another the lie, and there is a riot; two nations give each other the lie, and you have war; our race gave God the lie in paradise, and we have the Fall — the heaven and the earth in conflict with each other. Such are the effects of a lie!

4. We add that the liar is shut out from the kingdom of heaven by the authority of God, being both by nature and practice unfitted for the heavenly home.

(W. Graham, D. D.)

There are thousands of ways of telling a lie. A man's whole life may be a falsehood, and yet never with his lips may he falsify once. There is a falsehood by look, by manner, as well as by lip. There are persons who are guilty of dishonesty of speech, and then afterward say "may be," call it a white lie, when no lie is that colour. The whitest lie ever told was as black as perdition. There are those so given to dishonesty of speech that they do not know when they are lying. With some it is an acquired sin, and with others it is a natural infirmity. Misrepresentation and prevarication are as natural to them as the infantile diseases, and are a sort of moral croup or spiritual scarlatina. Then there are those who in after life have opportunities of developing this evil, and they go from deception to deception, and from class to class, until they are regularly graduated liars. At times the air in our cities is filled with falsehood, and lies cluster around the mechanic's hammer, blossom on the merchant's yardstick, and sometimes sit in the doors of churches. They are called by some fabrication, by some fiction. You might call them subterfuge, or deceit, or romance, or fable, or misrepresentation, or delusion; but as I know nothing to be gained by covering up a God-defying sin with a lexicographer's blanket, I shall call them, in plainest vernacular, lies.

I. FIRST OF ALL, I SPEAK OF AGRICULTURAL FALSEHOODS. There is something in the presence of natural objects that has a tendency to make one pure. The trees never issue false stock. The wheat fields are always honest. Rye and oats never move out in the night, not paying for the place they occupy. Corn shocks never make false assignments. Mountain brooks are always current. The gold of the wheat fields is never counterfeit. But, while the tendency of agricultural life is to make one honest, honesty is not the characteristic of all who come to the city markets from the country districts. Milk cans are not always honest.

II. I PASS ON TO CONSIDER COMMERCIAL LIES. There are those who apologize for deviations from the right and for practical deception by saying it is commercial custom. In other words, a lie by multiplication becomes a virtue. A merchant says: "I am selling these goods at less than cost." Is he getting for these goods a price inferior to that which he paid for them? Then he has spoken the truth. Is he getting more? Then he lies. A merchant says: "I paid USD25 for this article." Is that the price he paid for it? All right. But suppose he paid for it USD23 instead of USD25? Then he lies. But there are just as many falsehoods before the counter as there are behind the counter. A customer comes in and asks: "How much is this article?" "It is five dollars." "I can get that for four somewhere else." Can he get it for four somewhere else, or did he say that just for the purpose of getting it cheap by depreciating the value of the goods? If so, he lied. There are just as many falsehoods before the counter as there are behind the counter. A man unrolls upon the counter a bale of handkerchiefs. The customer says: "Are these all silk?" "Yes." "No cotton in them?" "No cotton in them." Are those handkerchiefs all silk? Then the merchant told the truth. Is there any cotton in them? Then he lied. Moreover, he defrauds himself, for this customer coming in from Hempstead, or Yonkers, or Newark, will, after awhile, find out that he has been defrauded, and the next time he comes to town and goes shopping he will look up at that sign and say: "No, I won't go there; that's the place where I got those handkerchiefs." First, the merchant insulted God; and secondly, he picked his own pocket.

III. I PASS ON TO SPEAK OF MECHANICAL FALSEHOODS. I am speaking now of those who promise to do that which they know they will not be able to do. They say they will come on Monday; they do not come until Wednesday. They say they will come on Wednesday; they do not come until Saturday. They say they will have the job done in ten days; they do not get it done before thirty.

IV. I PASS ON TO SPEAK OF SOCIAL LIES. How much of society is insincere! You hardly know what to believe. They send their regards; you do not exactly know whether it is an expression of the heart or an external civility. They ask you to come to their house; you hardly know whether they really want you to come. We are all accustomed to take a discount from what we hear. "Not at home," very often means too lazy to dress. I was reading this morning of a lady who said she had told her last fashionable lie. There was a knock at her door, and she sent down word, "Not at home." That night her husband said to her, "Mrs. So-and-so is dead." "Is it possible?" she said. "Yes; and she died in great anguish of mind. She wanted to see you so very much; she had something very important to disclose to you in her last hour; and she sent three times today, but found you absent every time." Then this woman bethought herself that she had had a bargain with her neighbour that when the long protracted sickness was about to come to an end, she would appear at her bedside and take the secret that was to be disclosed; and she had said she was "not at home." Social life is struck through with insincerity. They apologize for the fact that the furnace is out; they have not had any fire in it all winter. They apologize for the fare on their table; they never live any better. They decry their most luxuriant entertainment to win a shower of approval from you. They point at a picture on the wall as a work of one of the old masters. They say it is an heirloom in the family. It hung on the wall of a castle. A duke gave it to their grandfather. People that will lie about nothing else will lie about a picture. On small income we want the world to believe we are affluent, and society today is struck through with cheat, and counterfeit, and sham.

V. I PASS ON TO SPEAK OF ECCLESIASTICAL LIES, those which are told for the advancement or retarding of a Church or sect. It is hardly worth your while to ask an extreme Calvinist what an Arminian believes. He will tell you an Arminian believes that man can save himself. An Arminian believes no such thing. It is hardly worth your while to ask an extreme Arminian what a Calvinist believes. He will tell you that a Calvinist believes that God made some men just to damn them. A Calvinist believes no such thing.

VI. LET US IN ALL DEPARTMENTS OF LIFE STAND BACK FROM DECEPTION. "Oh!" says someone, "the deception that I practise is so small it don't amount to anything." Ah! my friends, it does amount to a great deal. "Oh!" you say, "when I deceive, it is only about a case of needles, or a box of buttons, or a row of pins." The article may be so small you can put it in your vest pocket; but the sin is as big as the Pyramids, and the echo of your dishonour will reverberate through the mountains of eternity.

(Dr. Talmage.)

Closely akin to the grossest form of dishonesty, comes that commercial untruthfulness of which we hear so much in the world of business. The selling of adulterated goods as genuine, the advertising of useless nostrums as specific remedies, the daily issue of prospectuses of investments offering more interest for the money than any sane and honest investment can really produce, seem, when described in simple language, undistinguishable from gross deception. And yet newspapers are full of them: every post delivers some of them. We dare not think that they are all the handiwork of cunning rogues. No; they are not. They can justify themselves by the assertion that the exaggerations of their statements are a fashion of speech, a trick of trade; that the purchaser of the adulterated goods buys at his peril, and knows, or ought to know, that he cannot have the genuine thing at so cheap a rate; that the advertisement is part of a joke; that the prospectuses, to be read at all, must be read with an amount of discount that will turn the policies into puffs, and categorical statements into probabilities or chances; that the promises of gain are not intended to deceive, but to call attention to the thing proposed; and that, at all events, it is the duty of the investor to ascertain the truth of them before he invests, or to complain only of his stupidity if he is deceived. And yet, although they who do such things must know that they are shutting their eyes to their own crime; that they do deceive the unwary; that they ruin the poor; that they tantalize and aggravate the miseries of the sick; that they take an unfair advantage, primarily, of those who cannot help themselves; still they persist, and are greatly offended if personally they are stigmatized by the name they deserve. If they do not live by deceit they live by gain purchased by deceit, and it takes a good deal of self-deceit to enable them to fancy that they can see the difference.

(Bishop Stubbs.)

I remember reading a story when I was a child, which struck me very forcibly even then as illustrating the deceit and wickedness of the human heart. The writer describes a place into which every person who enters is bound by a certain spell, so that they speak actually the thoughts of their hearts, whatever they be, while at the same time, they are not at all conscious of the power that influences them, or of the words they utter, but imagine they are saying what they would intend to say, in the ordinary language of the duplicity or compliment of the world. Therefore, when friends meet friends, and relatives meet relatives, while they are carrying on the farce which in too many instances they do carry on in social life, expressing, as they imagine, regret or kindness, compliments or pleasure, they are really giving vent to the genuine feelings of their heart. When they are brought into the test of the palace of truth, the mask is there torn off, and all the vain fantastic mockery of kindness, of regard, or of affection, they had once professed, is new exchanged for the genuine .expression of envy, malice, hatred, or disgust, and all the other passions which really possess their breasts. Then they are manifested in their true character to each other, and consequently all these evil passions produce their natural result, in severing almost all the ties of social and domestic life.

(R. J. McGhee, M. A.)

Christians are to speak the whole truth without distortion, diminution, or exaggeration. No promise is to be falsified — no mutual understanding violated. The word of a Christian ought to be as his bond, every syllable being but the expression of "truth in the inward parts." The sacred majesty of truth is ever to characterize and hallow all his communications.

(J. Eadie, D. D.)

Christians are bound by reciprocal ties and obligations, and falsehood wars against such a union. Trusting in one God, they should, therefore, not create distrust of one another; seeking to be saved by one faith, they should not prove faithless to their fellows; and professing to be freed by the truth, they ought not to attempt to enslave their brethren by falsehood. Each is bound up with the other, and lying recoils upon him who deviates from fact. Truthfulness is an essential and primary virtue, and the opposite vice is mean and selfish.

(J. Eadie, D. D.)

Let not the eye lie to the foot, nor the foot to the eye. If there be a deep pit, and its mouth covered with reeds shall present to the eye the appearance of solid ground, will not the eye use the foot to ascertain whether it is hollow underneath, or whether it is firm and resists? Will the foot tell a lie, and not the truth as it is? And what again if the eye were to spy a serpent or a wild beast, will it lie to the foot?

( Chrysostom.)

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is one of the best characteristics of the Christian conversation. The reason is, "For we are members one of another" — that is, we all belong to the same body of Christ — to the same human family — to the same universe of God, and the life that pervades it all is truth, the circulating medium in the celestial corporation. In speaking lies you vitiate the blood by the infusion of a foreign, poisonous element, and, as it flows through the whole, it will weaken the whole. A hint, an innuendo, uttered in the privacy of the tea-table, may ruin the character at the distance of thousands of miles. We are wonderfully knit together in the wide-spreading, entangled, many-coloured web work of humanity; and the great bond of union is the TRUTH, is the TRUE ONE, in whom, as a centre, all that is truthful, and beautiful, and serene, find their resting place and their home!

(W. Graham, D. D.)

When martial law was proclaimed in Devonshire and Cornwall in 1549, there was a miller who had been out with Arundel, and, expecting inquiry, had persuaded a servant to take his place and name. Sir Anthony Kingston, the provost Marshall, came riding up to the door one day. "Are you the miller?" said he. "If you please, yes," was the unsuspecting answer. "Up with him," said Kingston. "He is a busy knave; hang him up." In vain the poor man called out then that he was no miller, but an innocent servant. "Thou art a false knave, then," said the provost-marshall, "to be in two tales; therefore hang him" — and he was hanged forthwith.

A ragged little nine-year-old boy, stowed away on board a steamer bound for New York, was discovered and questioned by the mate of the vessel. The little fellow's story was that his stepfather had smuggled him on board, so that he could get out to an aunt living in Halifax, who was well off. The mate, in spite of the lad's sunny face and truthful-looking eyes, doubted his tale, thinking he had been brought on board and fed by the sailors, and handled the little fellow rather roughly. He was questioned and requestioned, but always with the same result. At last the mate, wearied by his persistence, seized him one day by the collar, and told him that unless he told the truth in ten minutes from that time he would hang him from the yard arm. He then made him sit down under it on the deck. All around him were the passengers and sailors of the midday watch, and in front of him stood the inexorable mate with his chronometer in his hand. When eight minutes had fled the mate told him he had but two minutes to live, and advised him to speak the truth and save his life; but he replied, with the utmost simplicity and sincerity, by asking the mate if he might pray. The mate said nothing, but nodded his head, and turned as pale as a ghost, and shook with trembling like a reed shaken with the wind. And there, eyes turned on him, the brave and noble little fellow, this poor. waif whom society owned not, and whose own stepfather could not care for him — there he knelt with clasped hands and eyes upturned to heaven, while he repeated audibly the Lord's prayer, and prayed the dear Lord Jesus to take him to heaven. Sobs broke from strong, hard hearts as the mate sprang forward to the boy and clasped him to his bosom, and kissed him and blessed him, and told him how sincerely he now believed his story, and how glad he was that he had been brave enough to face death and be willing to sacrifice his life for the truth of his word.

How simply and beautifully has Abd-el-Kadir, of Ghilon, impressed us with the love of truth in his childhood! After stating the vision which made him entreat of his mother to go to Bagdad and devote himself to God, he thus proceeds: — "I informed her what I had seen, and she wept; and taking out eighty dinars, she told me, that as I had a brother, half of that was all my inheritance. She made me swear, when she gave it to me, never to tell a lie, and afterwards bade me farewell, exclaiming, 'Go, my son; I consign thee to God; we shall not meet until the day of judgment.' I went on well till I came near Hamandnal, when our Kafillah was plundered by sixty horsemen. One fellow asked me what I had got. 'Forty dinars,' said I, 'are sewed up under my garments.' The fellow laughed, thinking I was joking. 'And what have you got? ' said another. I gave him the same answer. When they were dividing the spoil I was called to an eminence where the chief stood. 'What property have you got, my little fellow?' said he. 'I have told two of your people already,' I replied. 'I have forty dinars sewed in my garments.' He ordered them to be ripped open, and found my money. 'And how came you,' he said, in surprise, 'to declare so openly what had been so carefully concealed?' 'Because I will not be false to my mother, to whom I have promised I would never tell a lie.' 'Child,' said the robber, 'hast thou such sense of duty to thy mother at thy years, and am I insensible, at my age, of the duty I owe to God? Give me thy hand, innocent boy,' he continued, 'that I may swear repentance upon it.' He did so. His followers were all alike struck with the scene. 'You have been our leader in guilt,' said they to their chief; 'be the same in the path of virtue.' And they instantly, at his order, made restitution of their spoil, and vowed repentance on his hand."

During the Chartist agitation many of Kingsley's friends and relations tried to withdraw him from the people's cause, fearful lest his prospects in life might be seriously prejudiced; but to all of them he turned a deaf ear, and in writing to his wife on the subject he says — "I will not be a liar. I will speak in season and out of season. I will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God. My path is clear, and I will follow in it."

(Alex. Bell, B. A.)

When the knitter has completed the sock, there is no part of it in which the yarn, in and of itself, is of great value; and yet, take away any thread of it and you leave a hole. So in life things are important not according to their individual measurement or emphasis, not according to their report to the eye or to the ear, but according to ,their relationship to the multitude. Singly they are like grains of sand, but united they are vast as the shore. The shore cannot spare its sand. Human life makes itself by its little deeds, and becomes great by the sum of all its minute things; but there is a universal contention of men to seek great things.

Colossians, Ephesians, Paul
FALSE, TRUE, Body, Colossians, Falsehood, Fellow, Laying, Letter, Lying, Members, Neighbor, Neighbour, Paul's, Putting, Reason, Speak, Truth, Truthfully, Wherefore
1. He exhorts to unity;
7. and declares that God therefore gives various gifts unto men;
11. that his church might be edified,
16. and grow up in Christ.
18. He calls them from the impurity of the Gentiles;
24. to put on the new man;
25. to cast off lying;
29. and corrupt communication.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ephesians 4:25

     1461   truth, nature of
     5362   justice, believers' lives
     5549   speech, positive
     6147   deceit, practice
     7025   church, unity
     7032   unity, God's people
     7110   body of Christ
     8275   honesty
     8282   intolerance
     8354   trustworthiness
     8452   neighbours, duty to
     8716   dishonesty, examples
     8776   lies

Ephesians 4:24-25

     1462   truth, in NT

Ephesians 4:25-32

     5033   knowledge, of good and evil

January 14. "Unto the Measure of the Stature of the Fulness of Christ" (Eph. Iv. 13).
"Unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. iv. 13). God loves us so well that He will not suffer us to take less than His highest will. Some day we shall bless our faithful teacher, who kept the standard inflexibly rigid, and then gave us the strength and grace to reach it, and would not excuse us until we had accomplished all His glorious will. Let us be inexorable with ourselves. Let us mean exactly what God means, and have no discounts upon His promises or commandments. Let
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

July 27. "The Building up of the Body of Christ" (R. V. , Eph. Iv. 13).
"The building up of the body of Christ" (R. V., Eph. iv. 13). God is preparing His heroes, and when the opportunity comes He can fit them into their place in a moment and the world will wonder where they came from. Let the Holy Ghost prepare you, dear friend, by all the discipline of life; and when the last finishing touch has been given to the marble, it will be easy for God to put it on the pedestal, and fit it into its niche. There is a day coming, when, like Othniel, we, too, shall judge the
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

June 15. "Grow up into Him in all Things" (Eph. Iv. 15).
"Grow up into Him in all things" (Eph. iv. 15). Harvest is a time of ripeness. Then the fruit and grain are fully developed, both in size and weight. Time has tempered the acid of the green fruit. It has been mellowed and softened by the rains and the heat of summer. The sun has tinted it into rich colors, and at last it is ready and ripe to fall into the hand. So Christian life ought to be. There are many things in life that need to be mellowed and ripened. Many Christians have orchards full of
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The End of Religion
EPHESIANS iv. 23, 24. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put ye on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. This text is exceedingly valuable to us for it tells us the end and aim of all religion. It tells us why we are to pray, whether at home or in church; why we are to read our Bibles and good books; why we are to be what is commonly called religious. It tells us, I say, the end and aim of all religion; namely, that we may put on 'the new man, which
Charles Kingsley—Discipline and Other Sermons

The Likeness of God
EPHESIANS iv. 23, 24. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Be renewed, says St. Paul, in the spirit of your mind--in the tone, character, and habit of your mind. And put on the new man, the new pattern of man, who was created after God, in righteousness and true holiness. Pay attention, I beg you, to every word here. To understand them clearly is most important to you. According as you take them
Charles Kingsley—Discipline and Other Sermons

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity the Christian Calling and Unity.
Text: Ephesians 4, 1-6. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity Duty to New and Old Man.
Text: Ephesians 4, 22-28. 22 That ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23 and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. 25 Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 neither give
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Calling and the Kingdom
'I beseech you, that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.'--Eph. iv. 1. 'They shall walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.'--Rev. iii. 4. The estimate formed of a centurion by the elders of the Jews was, 'He is worthy for whom Thou shouldst do this' and in contrast therewith the estimate formed by himself was, 'I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof.' From these two statements we deduce the thought that merit has no place in the Christian's salvation, but all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Goal of Progress
'Till we all attain unto the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.'--Eph. iv. 13 (R.V.). The thought of the unity of the Church is much in the Apostle's mind in this epistle. It is set forth in many places by his two favourite metaphors of the body and the temple, by the relation of husband and wife and by the family. It is contemplated in its great historical realisation by the union of Jew and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

A Dark Picture and a Bright Hope
'That ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.'--Eph. iv. 22. If a doctor knows that he can cure a disease he can afford to give full weight to its gravest symptoms. If he knows he cannot he is sorely tempted to say it is of slight importance, and, though it cannot be cured, can be endured without much discomfort. And so the Scripture teachings about man's real moral condition are characterised by two peculiarities which, at
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The New Man
'And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.'--Eph. iv. 24. We had occasion to remark in a former sermon that Paul regards this and the preceding clauses as the summing up of 'the truth in Jesus'; or, in other words, he considers the radical transformation and renovation of the whole moral nature as being the purpose of the revelation of God in Christ. To this end they have 'heard Him.' To this end they have 'learned Him.' To this end they have
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Grieving the Spirit
'Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.'--Eph. iv. 30. The miracle of Christianity is the Incarnation. It is not a link in a chain, but a new beginning, the entrance into the cosmic order of a Divine Power. The sequel of Bethlehem and Calvary and Olivet is the upper room and the Pentecost. There is the issue of the whole mission and work of Christ--the planting in the heart of humanity of a new and divine life. All Christendom is professing to commemorate
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Threefold Unity
'One Lord, one faith, one baptism.'--Eph. iv. 5. The thought of the unity of the Church is very prominent in this epistle. It is difficult for us, amidst our present divisions, to realise how strange and wonderful it then was that a bond should have been found which drew together men of all nations, ranks, and characters. Pharisee and philosopher, high-born women and slaves, Roman patricians and gladiators, Asiatic Greeks and Syrian Jews forgot their feuds and sat together as one in Christ. It is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

'The Measure of Grace'
'But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.'--Eph. iv. 7 (R.V.). The Apostle here makes a swift transition from the thought of the unity of the Church to the variety of gifts to the individual. 'Each' is contrasted with 'all.' The Father who stands in so blessed and gracious a relationship to the united whole also sustains an equally gracious and blessed relationship to each individual in that whole. It is because each receives His individual gift
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Christ Our Lesson and Our Teacher
'But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught in Him.'--Eph. iv. 20, 21. The Apostle has been describing in very severe terms the godlessness and corruption of heathenism. He reckons on the assent of the Ephesian Christians when he paints the society in which they lived as alienated from God, insensible to the restraints of conscience, and foul with all uncleanness. That was a picture of heathenism drawn from the life and submitted to the judgment of those
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Of the Church
"I beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-6. 1. How much do we almost continually hear about the Church!
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Ascension of Christ
It seemed expedient for him to stay, to accomplish the conversion of the world. Would not his presence have had an influence to win by eloquence of gracious word and argument of loving miracle? If he put forth his power the battle would soon be over, and his rule over all hearts would be for ever established. "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee." Go not from the conflict, thou mighty bowman, but still cast thine all-subduing darts abroad.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Forgiveness Made Easy
At this time we wish to speak a little concerning the duties of love and forgiveness; and here we note, at once, that the apostle sets before us the example of God himself. Upon that bright example we shall spend most of our time, but I hope not quite so much as to forget the practical part, which is so much needed in these days by certain Unforgiving spirits who nevertheless assume the Christian name. The theme of God's forgiving love is so fascinating that we may linger awhile, and a long while
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 24: 1878

Grieving the Holy Spirit
I. The few words I have to say UPON THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT will all be pressing forward to my great mark, stirring you up not to grieve the Spirit; for when we are persuaded that another loves us, we find at once a very potent reason why we should not grieve him. The love of the Spirit!--how shall I tell it forth? Surely it needs a songster to sing it, for love is only to be spoken of in words of song. The love of the Spirit!--let me tell you of his early love to us. He loved us without beginning.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

The Prison-House.
(Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity.) EPHESIANS iv. 1. "The prisoner of the Lord." This is what Paul the aged called himself in writing to the Ephesians. He had appealed unto Caesar, and he was a captive at Rome. But he does not style himself Caesar's prisoner, but the prisoner of the Lord, whose he was, and whom he served. Let us think first of the place and manner of St. Paul's imprisonment. The place was Rome, the capital of the world. A city full of glorious memories of the past, and famous
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
2 Tim. iii. 16.--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." We told you that there was nothing more necessary to know than what our end is, and what the way is that leads to that end. We see the most part of men walking at random,--running an uncertain race,--because they do not propose unto themselves a certain scope to aim at, and whither to direct their whole course. According to men's particular
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of the Creation 0F Man
Gen. i. 26, 27.--"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them."--With Eph. iv. 24.--"And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."--And Heb.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Central Sun
(Sunday after Ascension, Evening.) Ephesians iv. 9. 10. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. This is one of those very deep texts which we are not meant to think about every day; only at such seasons as this, when we have to think of Christ ascending into heaven, that he might send down his Spirit at Whitsuntide. Of this the text
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

The Truth in Jesus.
But ye did not so learn Christ; if so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, which waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit.' [Footnote: That is, 'which is still going to ruin through the love of the lie.']--Eph. iv. 20-22. How have we learned Christ? It ought to be a startling thought, that we may have learned him wrong. That must he far worse than not to have learned him at all: his place
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

Ephesians 4:25 NIV
Ephesians 4:25 NLT
Ephesians 4:25 ESV
Ephesians 4:25 NASB
Ephesians 4:25 KJV

Ephesians 4:25 Bible Apps
Ephesians 4:25 Parallel
Ephesians 4:25 Biblia Paralela
Ephesians 4:25 Chinese Bible
Ephesians 4:25 French Bible
Ephesians 4:25 German Bible

Ephesians 4:25 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Ephesians 4:24
Top of Page
Top of Page