Lying is a serious issue that is condemned throughout Scripture. As followers of Christ, we are called to be people of truth and honesty. However, many Christians struggle with lying and being deceitful. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about liars and lying.
Lying and deceit are incompatible with living a life that honors God. The Bible makes it clear that God hates lying and strongly condemns it. As Christians, we are to reflect God’s character of truth and honesty. While we all may struggle with temptation to lie, we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to help us speak truthfully and walk in integrity.
Here are some key takeaways about what the Bible teaches regarding liars and lying:
- God hates lying and strongly condemns it
- Lying is contrary to God’s character and nature as a God of truth
- Satan is the father of lies, but Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life
- Lying has severe consequences spiritually and relationally
- As followers of Christ, we are to speak truthfully and walk in integrity
- We must rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us to be honest
In this comprehensive article, we will unpack each of these points in detail and look at many Scriptures on what God says about liars and lying. Let’s dive in!
God Hates Lying and Strongly Condemns It
One of the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16 NKJV). This command prohibited lying, false accusations, and any distortion of the truth. As part of God’s moral law, it reveals that He hates deception and lying.
In Proverbs 6:16-19, Solomon describes seven things that the Lord hates and considers detestable. Lying is at the top of the list!
These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV)
God could not make it any clearer – lying is detestable to Him. It is an abomination that He passionately hates.
In the New Testament, the Apostle John wrote that “no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21 NKJV). Lying and dishonesty have no place in the lives of those who follow Jesus. The truth of Christ cannot coexist with lies and deception.
Jesus also emphasized the seriousness of lying when He confronted the religious leaders of His day, calling them “whitewashed tombs” and pronouncing woe upon them for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:27). He condemned them for appearing righteous outwardly, while inwardly being “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28).
God takes lying very seriously. Throughout Scripture, it is evident that He completely abhors deception, dishonesty, and falsehood. As followers of Christ, we are called to reflect God’s character of truth in our words and conduct.
Lying is Contrary to God’s Character and Nature as a God of Truth
Not only does God hate lying, but it is also fundamentally contrary to His character and nature as revealed in Scripture. God is a God of truth, who desires truth in our inner parts.
In 1 Samuel 15:29, God is described as the “Strength of Israel” who “will not lie nor relent”. His trustworthy nature sets Him apart from fickle human beings and false gods. Titus 1:2 further emphasizes that “God cannot lie”. It is outside of His holy character.
God’s Word is equated with truth throughout the Psalms. Psalm 119 repeatedly highlights this, saying:
The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:160 NKJV)
Your word is true from the beginning, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. (Psalm 119:142 NKJV)
Jesus Christ perfectly reflected the truth of God’s character. He proclaimed “I am…the truth” (John 14:6). Jesus was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He came to “bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). As the very Word of God made flesh (John 1:1, 14), Jesus embodied the truth that He spoke.
As those made in God’s image, we are called to imitate Him by speaking and living truthfully. Lying and deceitfulness should have no place in our lives.
Satan is the Father of Lies, But Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
In John 8:44, Jesus said that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Satan stands in complete opposition to the truth. There is no truth in him whatsoever. He invented lying and introduced it into the world.
In contrast, Jesus proclaimed “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). He is the embodiment of truth and the only way to God. While Satan is the father of lies, Jesus is the truth who sets us free from deception (John 8:31-32).
As Christians, our lives should reflect Jesus who is the truth, not Satan who is the father of lies. Though we may be tempted to lie or deceive, we must resist the devil (James 4:7) and follow Christ’s example of living truthfully.
Lying Has Severe Consequences Spiritually and Relationally
Lying is not a “victimless crime.” On the contrary, the Bible warns that liars will face harsh consequences both spiritually and relationally.
One severe spiritual consequence is that no liars will inherit God’s kingdom. In Revelation 21:8, the Apostle John writes:
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8 NKJV)
Along with other sins like murder and idolatry, unrepentant lying can ultimately lead to eternity in hell, separated from God. This is a sobering reminder that we must turn from lies and deception through repentance and faith in Christ.
Lying also damages relationships. In Proverbs 6, Solomon describes seven things God hates, with “one who sows discord among brethren” being the last one listed (Proverbs 6:19). How does lying sow discord? When we lie, it breaks trust and harmony in our relationships. People become cautious of a person who regularly lies and deceives. Lying ruins friendships, marriages, work relationships, and our witness.
Proverbs 26:28 also warns that “a lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Deceitfulness is destructive to relationships.
Lying also has consequences within the church. In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira lied about the monetary gift they gave to the church. As a result, they experienced God’s judgment and died. This shows how seriously God takes our obligation to speak truthfully as part of the body of Christ.
The consequences of lying are severe spiritually and relationally. May this motivate us to value truth and honesty in our lives!
As Followers of Christ, We Are to Speak Truthfully and Walk in Integrity
Scripture makes it clear that honesty and integrity should characterize the lives of Christians. Lying, exaggerating, deception, and hypocrisy have no place among God’s people.
In Ephesians 4:25, the Apostle Paul gives this exhortation: “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.” As members of Christ’s body, our speech is to reflect His truth.
As those made new in Christ, we are to “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” and “put away lying” (Ephesians 4:22-25). Our new lives in Christ should lead us to be people of honesty and integrity.
Paul goes on in Colossians 3:9-10 to say:
Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. (Colossians 3:9-10 NKJV)
Because we bear God’s image, we are to reflect His character through truthfulness. Lying and deceit contradict who we are called to be in Christ.
In addition to speaking honestly, we are also exhorted to live lives of integrity before others. Paul tells Titus to “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility” (Titus 2:7 NKJV). Our actions, not just our words, are to demonstrate Christ-like integrity.
As Christians, our desire should be to become people who, by the power of the Spirit, speak truth and shine light into the darkness through lives of integrity.
We Must Rely on the Holy Spirit to Empower Us to Be Honest
Though God clearly condemns lying and calls us to truthfulness, we still struggle with temptation to be deceitful. Our hearts are prone to dishonesty and covering up sin apart from Christ. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to live truthful lives that honor God.
In Isaiah 63:10, God says this about the Israelites: “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.” Their rebellion against God included grieving the Holy Spirit through their deceitfulness. We similarly grieve God’s Spirit when we lie.
The Holy Spirit guides us into truth and empowers us to resist temptation. Jesus told His disciples “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). As we submit to the Spirit’s leading through reading God’s Word, He renews our minds to think truthfully. The Holy Spirit produces His fruit of goodness and integrity within us (Galatians 5:22-23).
We also have the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God to combat lies and deception (Ephesians 6:17). Internalizing God’s truth is essential for speaking truthfully.
Ultimately, we need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us when we are tempted to distort the truth. Through the Spirit, we can walk in freedom and integrity as we put away falsehood.
In conclusion, the Bible has strong warnings against lying, deception, and dishonesty. As those created to reflect God’s image, followers of Christ are to be people of truth in our words and actions. Though Satan is the father of lies, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life who equips us by His Spirit to speak honestly and walk uprightly. May we meditate on God’s truth and rely on the Holy Spirit so lies have no place in our lives.
To recap the key points:
- God hates lying and it is detestable to Him
- Lying contradicts God’s holy nature as a God of truth
- Satan invented lying, but Jesus is the embodiment of truth
- Lying has severe consequences spiritually and relationally
- As Christians we are called to speak truthfully and live with integrity
- We must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to help us be honest
My prayer is that this comprehensive overview of Bible passages about liars and lying will motivate you to highly value truthfulness in all your relationships and activities. May we reflect Christ who is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) through living honest lives to the glory of God.