Continuing our examination of Ephesians 4:25 to take off lying to put on truth, is lying something that should surprise us? Not at all. Even the briefest examination of mankind reveals that nothing is more characteristic of his wrong behavior, nothing more typical of the “Old Man,” than lying. It’s as natural for a person to lie as it is for the sun to rise—it’s a given, an axiom of human behavior. Psalms 58:3 makes this clear: “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.” Notice it doesn’t say “as soon as they can talk.” Coherent speech is not needed to lie. Every parent knows that even an infant can feign needs and deceive.
The very first sin of mankind, in fact, was the result of a lie, Satan’s lie. Remember that Satan “deceived” Eve and deception is part of the definition of a lie. He deliberately deceived her with the words, “Ye shall not surely die,” not to mention all the other things he said to delude her mind and mislead her. Furthermore, Satan not only lied, but he even called God a liar. May we always remember, Satan is a liar and is the “father of lies” (Jn:8:44).
Proverbs 6:12 says that “a wicked man, walketh with a froward [i.e., perverted, twisted, crafty] mouth.” Four verses later, the second of seven abominations to God—second only to pride—is “a lying tongue” and again the sixth is “a false witness that speaketh lies.” An “abomination” is something disgusting and abhorrent, which is probably why this truth is repeated in Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” A lie is disgusting to God!
The sad fact is that our entire society is based on lying. One could almost call it an “art form,” because of those who are so talented at it. Have you ever wondered what would happen if everybody told the truth all the time? What if every advertiser and salesman told the truth about his product? What if every politician told the truth about his platform, supporters, and voting record? What if every lawyer told the truth about his clients? What if every doctor told the truth about whether a test or procedure was really necessary? What if every business told the truth about how it got its money? What if every non-profit organization told the truth about what donator’s money was used for? The result of such a scenario would collapse our society because lying is not only acceptable, it’s expected. Truth simply is no longer important or even prudent. It’s just not “good for business.”
After Paul writes the well-known words, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10), the characteristic sin he mentions in verse 13 is lying: “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.” As mentioned earlier, when our Lord said to the Pharisees, “Ye are of your father the devil” (Jn. 8:44), He says it with the backdrop that Satan has “no Truth in Him . . . for he is a liar, and the father of it.” To lie, then, is to align oneself with Satan, never God, because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), for He is “the God of Truth” (Ps. 31:5).
Again, nothing is more characteristic of man’s fallen nature and behavior than lying. Eve lied (Gen. 3:3), Satan lied (v. 4), Adam lied (v. 12), Cain lied (4:9), Abram lied (12:13), Rebekah and Jacob lied (27:1-40), Laban lied (29:25), Joseph’s eleven brothers lied (37:32), and Potiphar’s wife lied (39:14). And that’s just the book of Genesis and only ones that are recorded! By nature, man hates the Truth because it makes him responsible, so the way to avoid both is to lie. We’ll continue next time.