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The Evil of 9th Commandment violations

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Anthony D'Arienzo, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Anthony D'Arienzo

    Anthony D'Arienzo Well-Known Member

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    From A Baptist Catechism With Commentary by W.R. Downing,used by permission

    Quest. 60: What is the Ninth Commandment? Ans: The Ninth Commandment is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” (Ex. 20:16) Quest. 61: What is the significance of the Ninth Commandment? Ans: The Ninth Commandment requires both the maintenance and the promotion of truth between human beings, and of our own and of our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness– bearing. See also: Gen. 12:11–13, 19; 20:1–14; 30:31–33; Ex. 1:15–21; 22:10–12; 23:1; Lev. 5:1; 19:11, 15–16; Numb. 35:30; Deut. 1:15–17; 13:1–18; 17:6–12; 18:20–22; 19:15–21; 22:13–21; Josh. 2:2–21; 1 Sam. 16:1–5; 19:1–5; 2 Sam. 17:15–22; 1 Kgs. 21:1–13; 22:6–28; 2 Kgs. 5:5–27; 6:8–20; Job. 5:21; 27:3–6; Psa. 5:6; 12:1–5; 15:1–4;
    27:12; 31:6; 35:11, 16, 20–21; 50:16–20; 55:21; 58:3; 116:11; 139:4, 23–24; Prov. 6:16–19; 9:7–8; 10:18–21; 11:12–13; 12:6, 13, 18, 22; 14:5, 7, 9, 14:15, 25; 18:8, 21; 19:5; 25:9–10, 18; 26:18–28; Eccl. 5:1–8; Isa. 5:23; 59:13–15; 63:8; Jer. 18:18; 20:10; Hos. 4:2; Zech. 8:17; Matt. 5:33–37, 48; 7:1–6; 10:17–20; 11:16–19; 12:34–37; 26:59–62; Jn. 8:44; 14:6; Acts 5:1–10; 24:5–6; Rom. 1:25; 3:8, 13– 14; 1 Cor. 4:3–5; 2 Cor. 2:17; Eph. 4:25, 29–31; Col. 3:8–9; 4:6; Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:13–18; 10:28–29; Jas. 1:26; 3:5–13; 1 Pet. 3:16; 1 Jn. 2:21–23; Rev. 21:8, 27; 22:15.

    COMMENTARY As with the preceding three Commandments, the analysis is twofold: first, a perpetual negative declaration prohibiting falsehood, and second, a positive implication, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” i.e., maintain and promote truthfulness and equity to all those with whom we come in contact or have any relation to—within the bounds of Scripture. The Third Commandment forbids perjury against God, the Ninth forbids perjury against our fellow man.

    The Fifth Commandment guards the rights of authority, the Sixth guards the rights of person and life, the Seventh guards the rights of marriage and family, and thus of society; the Eighth guards the rights of property.

    The Ninth Commandment guards the rights of both name and reputation, and so necessarily guards the system of justice which is absolutely essential to society itself (Psa. 11:1–4; Isa. 1:17, 23, 26). The purpose of this Commandment is to secure the truth among men, which is absolutely essential to preserve individual life, reputation, justice and society.

    When truth is considered relative, i.e., existential or apart from God– ordained absolutes, the very foundation of society is potentially destroyed, for human society is based upon the presupposition that men are speaking the truth to one another. The nature of falsehood derives from the devil. He put forth the first lie (Gen. 3:1–6), and is called the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). Satan or the devil is described in Scripture as the destroyer (Rev. 9:11), adversary (1 Pet. 5:8), deceiver (Eph. 6:10; Rev. 20:10) and slanderer or accuser (1 Tim. 3:6–7; 1 Jn. 3:8; Rev. 12:10). His intent is to destroy God’s law–order by opposition, deceit and accusation. Every lie reflects this devilish principle. Thus, every liar is in league with the devil and is set against the law–order of God. Fallen man turned away from God and thus from any possibility of absolute and objective truth or reality. Fallen, sinful man has purposely “exchanged the truth of God for ‘the lie,’” and thus the whole realm of humanity is based on a universal principle of falsehood with its depraved results (Psa. 58:3; Rom. 1:18–32). This principle of falsehood may be relatively mild in the form of flattery or social politeness, or malignant in the form of perjury and other malicious lies—yet it remains the one pervasive characteristic of fallen mankind. To secure the truth, man must turn to the objective, authoritative Word of God, to Divinely–ordained absolutes, i.e., to a “revelational epistemology,”
    i.e., a practical theory of knowledge and truth based on Divine revelation. See Question 13. The only approach to truth and knowledge is in and through the Word of God (Jn. 17:17; Rom. 1:18–25). God is not only true, he is the Source of all reality, truth and meaning. Apart from him, there is no truth— only empirical speculation at best and at worst, utter [spiritual and moral] irrationality. Silence may be sin. One must exercise godly discernment as when to speak and when not to speak. Sometimes, it is sinful not to speak, and at other times, sinful to speak. Under certain circumstances, one must speak out for the truth or commit sin (Ex. 23:1–2; 1 Sam. 19:4–5; Psa. 50:18; Prov. 12:22), and at others, remain silent to protect one’s self or another from those who have no right to know certain information (Prov. 11:9–13). At other times, we must discern how much truth ought to be revealed or concealed (1 Sam. 16:1– 5). We must seek to maintain a clear conscience before God in accordance with his Word (Acts 23:1). God created man in his image and likeness, as a rational, morally– responsible being to exercise godly dominion over creation. To fulfill this mandate, man was created with the faculty of speech to commune with God and communicate with his fellow man. Sin has dreadfully perverted the use of the tongue. The very instrument created to praise God turns to curse him— and to curse one’s fellow man. The tongue reveals the fullness of the heart or inner being and expresses its depraved nature. (Matt. 12:34; Mk. 7:21–23; Rom. 3:13–14; Jas. 2:2–12). Speech is “the exhalation of the soul.” The believer is mandated to exercise dominion over his heart and tongue (Prov. 4:23; Rom. 6:14–18; Gal. 5:23; Eph. 4:22–25, 29–31; Jas. 1:26; 2:2–12). All government necessarily begins with self–government, and self–government necessarily begins with regeneration. A changed heart is necessary for a changed tongue, and a sanctified personality is essential to mortifying the sins of the tongue (Rom. 6:12–13; 8:13; Col. 3:5, 9–10). Do we lie?