Skip to main content

James 5:12: But Above All, My Brothers, Do Not Swear


James 5:12
[12] But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (ESV)

Does it matter what we say? There seems to be a lack of truthfulness and integrity in many people when it comes to what they say. Some would say about a politician that you know he is lying because his lips are moving. God cares very much what we say. We are told not to swear. Now, this is going to need a bit more clarification.

By telling us not to swear, James is not talking about some of the crass cuss words that may come to your mind. He is talking about making promises to another person that you have no intention of keeping. By doing so, you are lying to your brother. This is a practice that was common in the Jewish community at the time James wrote this epistle.

"As Jesus did before him (Matt. 5:33–36; 23:16–22), James condemned the contemporary Jewish practice of swearing false, evasive, deceptive oaths by everything other than the name of the Lord (which alone was considered binding)."
- Dr. John MacArthur, MacArthur Study Bible Notes  

Perhaps you have known someone who claimed to be a fellow believer in Jesus Christ who made promises to you, but never kept them. This should never be the case. I know people who will not have a Christian work on their car or do construction work for them because they do not trust them. This is the opposite of how things should be.

If we truly belong to Christ we should be the most honest people anyone could meet. As James says, Our "yes" should mean "yes," and our "no" should mean "no." We are to reflect the very nature of God. One thing we know for certain about God is that he cannot lie. His Word is eternal and perfect. We can always trust him. We are to be like him.

Do you find yourself being dishonest with others? Ask the Lord to forgive you. He will help you to live a life of honesty and truthfulness. This will please him and bless others.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18 [18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV) Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic. Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison. Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death,

Romans 11:24: For If You Were Cut From What Is By Nature A Wild Olive Tree, And Grafted, Contrary To Nature, Into A Cultivated Olive Tree . . .

Romans 11:24 [24] For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. (ESV) We continue looking at the illustration of an olive tree. The root of the tree is the covenant relationship relationship of God with Abraham. Abraham's faith is what this spiritual tree is built on. The first branches would have been the faithful people of Israel, who like Abraham, placed their faith in God. They believed God, just like Abraham, and it was credited to them as righteousness. There were branches of the people of Israel who never placed their faith in God. Because these branches were not true followers of God they were broken off of the tree. Faith in God was the essential element that made the branches true branches of this spiritual tree. Some branches remained. Others, the faithless unbelievers, were removed. After Jesu

Romans 3:18: There Is No Fear Of God Before Their Eyes

Romans 3:18 [18] “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (ESV) Should we be terrified of God? There are many who think that God is only a God of love and not to be feared at all. Is God a God of judgment? The Apostle Paul is going to bring us some perspective on how how we should approach God. This verse is a quote from the Old Testament and is a statement on the overall condition of humankind in every generation. First of all, we are going to need to define the word "fear." This idea of fear is not necessarily terror, but rather it is a healthy sense of awe of God's greatness. It is astounding how man can look at God, and see all that he has made, and not be overwhelmed by a sense of awe at his greatness. I think of how man has come up with a theory of evolution primarily to excuse their ignoring of God. As a result of ignoring God's greatness and refusing to give him the glory that he deserves there is another aspect of fear that man should have. Man