Deceitful actions as well as deceitful words are wrong and are condemned by God. People can act lies as well as speak them (Gen 27:8-23; Jer 23:32; Acts 5:1-4; Eph 4:25; 1 John 2:4; 4:20). They are considered guilty even when they tell only half the truth, if their purpose is to hide the full truth (Gen 20:1-3,9-13). Likewise people are guilty when they twist the truth to make it acceptable to others (Jer 8:8- 9; 14:13-15). If they make false accusations against the innocent, they are guilty of lying and are assured of God’s severe punishment (Deut 19:15-19; 1 Kings 21:8-19). People tell lies to deceive others, but at the same time they lead themselves astray (Amos 2:4). They reject the way of truth and therefore open the way for falsehood to control their thoughts and actions (John 8:44-47; Rom 1:25-32; 2 Thess 2:9-12; see TRUTH).

They seek safety through their lies, but the safety proves to be deceptive (Isa 28:15,17; Ezek 13:8; cf. Heb 6:18). Although lying is a natural result of sinful human nature (Col 3:9), there is no excuse for it in the lives of God’s people. The Spirit within them is the Spirit of truth, and he can enable them to overcome the sinful tendencies of the old nature (John 14:17; Gal 5:16,24-25; 1 John 2:21). God consistently tells his people that they are not to lie (Exod 20:16; Lev 19:11; Eph 4:25). A hatred of lying is one indication that they are God’s people (Zeph 3:13; Rev 14:5). Those who habitually lie are giving an indication that they have never known God’s salvation and the new life that comes with it. They will not escape God’s punishment (Prov 19:5; Rev 21:8,27). A further reason for Christians to avoid lying is that they are God’s children. God does not lie (Num 23:19; Titus 1:2; Heb 6:18) and his children are to grow to be like him (Col 3:9-10). By contrast, Satan is the father of lies, and his children naturally reflect his nature (John 8:44).

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