“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Ephesians 4:25
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.” Colossians 3:9
The great theologian, J. I. Packer, wrote, “True Christians are people who acknowledge and live under the word of God.” I would agree with these strong words. For to know Christ is come under the authority of his word. Jesus himself looked his disciples in the face and said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Put simply, to reject the words of Jesus is to reject Jesus himself.
One of the incredible promises of Scripture is that when Christ comes into our lives, he gives us a new heart and begins to transform us into his very own image (2 Cor. 3:18). His spirit begins to shape and mold us to become more and more like himself. This is the goal of God in the life of every person who comes to Jesus for salvation (Rom. 8:29). And he will not stop this work until we stand before him in glory, made perfect and complete in his likeness (Phil. 1:6).
In light of this reality, we are called to be growing in Christ likeness and this means that we are to be growing in our truthfulness. Jesus, being God in the flesh, calls himself “The Truth” (John 14:6). For Jesus is the very Word of God incarnate (John 14:6), and this Word is true.
“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true.” – Psalm 18:30
“The sum of your word is truth.” – Psalm 119:160.
Because God is true in all his words, for us to be transformed into the image of Christ means that our hearts should seek to speak true words. Because when we tell the truth to one another, we are living out of the overflow of the character of Christ himself who dwells in us.
When we lie to our parents, when we deceive someone with our words to get something from them, when we twist the truth, or when we exaggerate our experiences to “wow” others, we are not acting according to words of Christ. Therefore, we are sinning.
We don’t teach the commandment, “Do not lie,” for purpose of creating good morals or well-behaved kids. We teach each other to speak truth instead of lying because this is the very character of God. And to walk in the likeness of God by being truthful like Jesus himself, is actually for the purpose of knowing God more fully (1 John 2:5-6). For we were made to know God.
Think about it, when we begin to live out the commands of the Word of God, we are actually experiencing the character of God himself in our lives. Thereby, we are growing to know God more fully. Jesus said when we obey his commands that it is for our joy, because we are experiencing the joy of Christ himself (John 15:10-11).
So, when we obey Christ’s words, who commands us to “put away falsehood” and to not lie to one another, we are growing more and more into what we were made to be – like Jesus himself. And everything that Jesus does and says is out of his love toward others. Therefore, if we are to love others like Christ has loved us, then we must speak with honesty and integrity in all our words.
Seek to love others like Christ has loved you. Do this by letting your words be true.