Real Faith: A Study of Keeping Your Word

The sermon this week addresses just one verse and one topic: “Keeping your word”. It teaches believers to not vow but rather to simply let our “yes” be yes, and our “no” be no. The excerpt below from Got gives a little biblical context to Old Testament “vowing” and its New Testament replacement given by Jesus in Mt 5:33-37, and repeated in James 5:12.

“There are about 30 biblical references to vows, most of which are from the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Numbers have several references to vows in relation to offerings and sacrifices. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who made and broke vows, especially vows to God. The story of Jephthah illustrates the foolishness of making vows without understanding the consequences. (Judges 11:29-40).

Perhaps this is why Jesus gave a new commandment concerning vows in Mt 5:33-37....The principle here is clear for Christians: do not make vows, either to the Lord or to one another. First, we are unable to know for sure whether we will be able to keep vows. The fact that we are prone to the errors in judgment which are part of our fallen nature means that we may make vows foolishly or out of immaturity. Further, we don’t know what the future will bring—only God does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14), so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish. God is the one in control, not us, and He “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Knowing this, we can see that it is unnecessary to make vows and that it indicates a lack of trust in Him. Finally, Jesus commands that our word be sufficient without making vows. When we say “yes” or “no,” that’s exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan whose desire is to trap us and compromise our Christian testimony.” 

Ryan Doucette