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Apr 07, 2019

Every word has weight

Every word has weight

Passage: Matthew 5:33-37

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Highest Good

While, it is said, actions speak louder than words, the actions that follow our words speak loudly of ourselves. Why are we prone to use our words so carelessly? Imagine how our lives would be different if we only said what we meant and were prepared to act on. How might the gospel form our use of every word?

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Leviticus 19:12
Call To Worship: from Hebrews 13:14-16 and Psalm 34:3
Congregational Prayer: from The Worship Sourcebook
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 25:1-10
Sermon Title: Every Word Has Weight
Central Text: Matthew 5:33-37
Benediction: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Post-Service Text: John 14:6

04.07.2019 Sermon Notes


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Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Leviticus 19:12
12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Call To Worship: from Hebrews 13:14-16 and Psalm 34:3
LEADER: For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.

ALL: Through Jesus then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit
of lips that acknowledge his name.

LEADER: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are
pleasing to God.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me!

ALL: Let us exalt his name together!

Congregational Prayer: from The Worship Sourcebook
Heavenly Father,
We gather in this place not because we are deserving of your love
And not because we have lived faithfully before you.
We gather here because you have called us.
You loved us before we could love you.
You have given your only Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation.
For this we join all creation
In blessing you, praising you, thanking you.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
You are great, and greatly to be praised.
And as we offer our praise,
We long for you to mold us into the image of your Son,
Whose death and resurrection give us hope.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 25:1-10
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

2 O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.

10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Central Text: Matthew 5:33-37
Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Benediction: 1 Peter 4:7-11
LEADER: 7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

ALL: To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever! Amen.

Post-Service Text: John 14:6
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Related Scriptures

  • Genesis 22:16-18
  • Exodus 20:7, 16
  • Leviticus 19:12
  • Numbers 23:19, 30:2-16
  • 2 Samuel 7:10-16
  • Psalm 110:4
  • Proverbs 6:19, 12:17, 14:5, 19:5,9, 21:28
  • Isaiah 55:11
  • Zechariah 8:17
  • Matthew 12:36-37
  • Matthew 23:16-22
  • John 8:39-47

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. Ever had to give testimony “under oath?” What did it feel like to make that oath?
  2. If oaths (to one another) and vows (to God)--as the bible makes the distinction--are out to add weight to our claims and promises, why might Jesus have a problem with them?
  3. What are several reasons we stretch the truth or tell an outright lie? Or feel inclined to tell people what they want to hear?
  4. Conversely, why might it be an inadequate motivation to tell the truth just because lying is “beneath you”--a potential blight upon your reputation?
  5. What do we receive from Jesus in His work on our behalf that would diminish our desire to embellish the truth or refrain from speaking it when we need to?
  6. What are some real life examples of how believing deeply what Christ has done for you would free you to speak only what you mean, and only what is true?


  • I have a lying problem. Mine aren’t big lies. They aren’t lies like ‘I cannot recall that crucial meeting from two months ago, Senator.’ Mine are little lies. White lies. Half-truths. The kind we all tell. But I tell dozens of them every day. ‘Yes, let’s definitely get together soon.’ ‘I’d love to, but I have a touch of the stomach flu.’ ‘No, we can’t buy a toy today — the toy store is closed.’ It’s bad. Maybe a couple of weeks of truth-immersion therapy would do me good. - A.J. Jacobs, Radical Honesty
  • Evangelical truth does not admit an oath since every word of a believer is considered an oath. - Jerome
  • If the Word was indeed made flesh, then it is demanded of men that their words and their lives be in concord. Only he who is true can speak the truth. - W.H. Auden
  • To be a poet you must write
    more than you know, hoping it to be true,
    that the words will have a life beyond the moment,
    taking the shape of their meaning, like rain
    filling a bowl—drops gathering into a fullness
    that is wholly fresh and drinkable. . . . from Luci Shaw’s “Take These Words


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