Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

Exodus   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Exodus 20:16 ESV
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Down in Jackson, Mississippi, three boys arrived in school late. It was as late as 10:00 a.m. They had been fishing. For their excuse they stated that they were delayed because of a flat tire. The teacher decided to give them a test immediately, so she had them seated apart from one another. She said, “This test will have only one question, and I will give you thirty seconds to put down your answer.” The question was, “Which tire?”

When we look at bearing false witness, the “core sin” of false witness is dishonestly.
We live in an age of dishonesty. When we turn on the news, we see dishonesty. When we look at social media, we see dishonesty. Where is the truth?
CIT: Christ followers live and walk in God’s truth.


Bearing false witness was telling a lie or not telling the truth in a trial.
BIG DEAL: There was no such thing as DNA evidence, photos, or security cameras. The main evidence presented in a court of law was someone’s witness. Crimes had severe punishments, and people were mainly convicted by a witness testimony. Bearing false witness could easily lead to murder.
The Lord provides more applications to this commandment, especially in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
Leviticus 5:1 ““If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity;”
a. If you see something and you do not speak, you bear the iniquity.
b. You can lie just as easily with an omission of the truth as you can actively speak a lie.
Leviticus 19:11 ““You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.”
a. God gives an admonition to live honestly.
b. Although the Ten Commandments are societal in their construction (they revolve around a productive society), we are to be honest outside of the courtroom.
Leviticus 19:16 “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”
a. Gossip is not the primary thrust of Exodus 16, but it is certainly an application or a byproduct of lying.
b. When you say something false about someone, you are gossiping. We ought not engage in gossip or idly listen to gossip.


“Not bearing false witness” is more than not lying. It is living a life of honestly.
1. We commit to knowing the truth // Wisdom Pyramid // Imagine a food and diet pyramid. If we do not want to live a life of dishonesty, we must know the truth.
a. Here is the order we should follow:
Firstly, the word of God - the Bible. Your primary diet should be the word of God. Everything else that you think should be filtered through His Word.
Secondly, the church and the people of God. One of the ways that God speaks to us is through other believers. You need church.
Thirdly, nature and beauty. God has given us his beautiful creation to declare his goodness and mercy.
Fourthly, books. GOOD books. We live in an age of “flash in a pan” information. We can google anything at any given time. Writing a book takes more time and has more accountability than the internet. Read books.
Fifthly, the internet. The internet is not inherently bad for us. What we look at on the internet makes it bad or good for us.
Lastly, social media. Social media has a place in our lives, but it should be last place.
b. Unfortunately, we often invert this list. Because we scroll social media all day, it becomes our primary default position. When we need something, we google it. All the while the Bible collects dust on our shelves.
2. We must commit to living the truth. Integrity (living the truth) begins in the heart.
a. We should be the same person in private and in public. // Chuck Colson // Nixon’s attorney who went to jail and later founded a prison ministry.
b. Your every decision should be one of honestly. Even if no one ever finds out whether you are honest or not, you should commit to being honest.
c. My dad would always tell me, “So many people sell their integrity for so little.” We see people who go to jail for shoplifting things they don’t even need.
d. Dishonesty is “selling your integrity.”
e. I would argue that anything that you sell integrity for is too cheap, because your Christian life and integrity reflect the person and work of Christ.
3. We commit to telling the truth.
a. Social Media
i. People represent themselves and their lives in a way that is untruthful.
ii. People share information that is untruthful and unbecoming of a believer.
b. Lies of Convenience
i. Often, people will tell lies to eliminate the slightest inconvenience.
ii. I have found that most of the spiritual growth happens in the inconvenience. Most of the best spiritual conversations happen in the inconvenience.
c. We often fail to see the Truth as a gift.
4. Christ is the Word Made Flesh, and He is the life of truth that we must know.
a. If you are tired of searching today, the Word Made Flesh, Christ Jesus - came, lived, and died for you.
b. Give yourself to him today and know the rest that His truth brings.


Commit your life to Jesus.
Commit your life to honesty.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more