Many people struggle with the temptation of lying. This topic is worth discussing since Christians wonder what the Bible says about lying. Is lying a sin?
The Bible suggests that lying is a sin, as explained in Leviticus 19:11. This verse says, You shall not steal, you shall not deal falsely, and you shall not lie to one another. Exodus 20:16 also shares a similar message and implies that lying is a sin.
What does the Bible say about lying? How does God feel about lying? Is lying to save a life still sinning? These are some of the questions that this article will cover. By the end of it, you will also discover the bible verses that talk about lying. Read on to find out more!
What does the Bible say about lying?
The Bible suggests that lying is a sin in different verses. Lying is also mentioned in the ninth commandment, as explained in Exodus 20: 16. This verse says, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
The Bible also says you should not lie to each other since it is part of the old self. This is discussed in Colossians 3:9, which says, Do not lie to one another seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.
Do Exodus 1 and Joshua 2 Permit Christians to Lie?
Exodus 1 and Joshua 2 are two instances in the Bible where lying led to a favorable result. Exodus 1:15-21 talks about how the Hebrew midwives let the male children live against the order given by the King of Egypt. Though the King of Egypt commanded them to kill male children, they lied, saying that Hebrew women are vigorous and they give birth before the midwives arrive. This lie saved the lives of many Hebrew male children.
Joshua 2:5 is another example of lying that seemed to have produced a favorable result. In this book, Rahab lies to protect the spies. Though the two stories may have led to a positive outcome, they do not suggest Christians should lie. There is nowhere in the Bible that states that lying is right.
How many types of liars are described in the Bible?
The Bible describes six types of liars. John 1:6 describes the first type of liars as those who walk in darkness. This verse says if we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live out of the truth.
John 2:9 describes the second type of liars as those who hate their brothers. This verse says Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. According to John 1:10, liars are also those who redefine sin. This verse says, If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar, and his word is not in us.
John 2:15 also implies that those who love the world but say they love God are liars. This verse says, Do not love the world or anything. If Anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
Liars are also those who claim to know God but are disobedient. John 2:4 says, Whoever says, I know him but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. The Bible suggests that the biggest lie is denying Jesus is the Messiah. John 2:22 says, who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is Christ. Such a person is the antichrist-denying the Father and the son.
How does God feel about lying?
The Bible suggests that lying displeases God. This is evident in how God was angry with Eve and Adam when they ate the forbidden fruit. God cursed the serpent for lying to Eve, as explained in Genesis 3:14.
Acts 5:3 also suggests that God is not happy about those who lie. In this story, Ananias and his wife died due to lying. Proverbs 6:16-17 implies that God hates a lying tongue. This verse says, There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him, haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood.
Does God forgive a lying tongue?
The Bible explains that God can only forgive a lying tongue when one repents. One has to confess their sins and turn away from lying and begin walking in the truth. God is a merciful God (Daniel 9:9). Additionally, 1st John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Why did God condone lying in the Bible?
Though there are different instances in the Bible where people lied as a means to an end, no verse clearly states that God condones lying in any situation. God requires Christians always to tell the truth at all times. This is emphasized in Psalms 31: 18.
The Bible also speculates that God does not condone lying since he commends honesty. Psalms 40:4 says Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Is white lie a sin?
Though white lies may not have serious effects, the Bible suggests they are a sin. Romans 6:23 suggests that all sins are equally offensive to God. When Christians tell a white lie, they are tempted to tell more lies to cover the original lie. People tell white lies to benefit themselves. The Bible views this as an act of selfishness and suggests that it is wrong.
Is lying to save a life still sinning?
The concept of a righteous lie, such as lying to save a life, is debatable. Some people believe this is not wrong and even give instances in the Bible, such as the story of Rahab, who lied to protect the spies (Joshua 2:5). They further argue that lying to save a life is not sinful since life is a precious gift. Other Christians argue that the Bible is silent on lying to save a life.
Did Jesus lie to his brothers in John 7?
In John 7, Jesus’ brothers told him to leave Galilee and go to Judea so that his disciples could see his works. However, he replied, My time is not yet here; for you, any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival because my time has not yet fully come.
After staying in Galilee for a while, Jesus went to Judea in secret. The Bible speculates that Jesus did not lie to his brothers since he says My time is not ‘yet’ near. The word yet suggests that he still had plans to go. He also meant that he would not go to Galilee with them. Jesus also told his brothers that God’s timing is precise. Therefore, his words were not a lie.
As a Christian, can I lie to prevent a greater evil?
Though God does not condone lying, the Bible is not clear on whether lying to prevent greater evil is a sin. Therefore, as a Christian in such a situation, one should talk to God and trust him. By doing this, he can show you the best way to prevent a greater evil. 1st Corinthians 10:13 mentions that God will provide a way out so that you can endure temptation.
Is lying to yourself a sin?
The Bible warns us against lying to ourselves and suggests it is self-deception. It teaches us to guard against this since it is a sin. This is explained in 1st Corinthians 3:18, which says, Let no one deceive himself. Additionally, Jeremiah 17:9 says that we should beware that our hearts can deceive us.
Can you lie with good intentions as a Christian?
The Bible suggests that good intentions do not make lying okay. Therefore, a Christian should not justify this since the Bible implies that it is evil, as explained in Matthew 15:19. God calls all Christians to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) regardless of their situation.
What are the consequences of lying in the Bible?
The Bible shows that lying can bring the judgment of God. We can learn this from the story of Ananias, explained in Acts 5. Due to the lie of Ananias and Sapphira, they died. The Bible also implies that lying can separate one from God.
Revelations 21:8 talks about this consequence of lying. This verse says, But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
How can Christians overcome the sin of lying?
Christians can overcome this by turning to Christ and confessing to Him. One should ask God to help them overcome lying and put Him first in everything. You can also pray to God to pour his spirit upon you. Luke 18:27 reminds us that the Holy Spirit can change our hearts.
Bible stories about lies and deceit
Luke 19:1-10 is about Zacchaeus, who lived a dishonest life but later had a change of heart. He was a tax collector that kept some of the tax money for himself. When Jesus visited him, he told him that he would give half of his possessions to the poor and he would pay back 4 times what he had cheated them.
Genesis 29:18-25 talks about Jacob, who bargained with Laban to serve several years for Rachel. Though Laban agreed, he gave Jacob Leah instead of Rachael, and Jacob felt deceived.
Exodus 8:28-29 is also another story of lies since Pharaoh broke the promise that he had made to Moses. He told him that he would let Israel go if the plagues were removed, but he did not do this.
Bible verses about lying?
Proverbs 19:22 says, better to be poor than a liar. Ephesians 4:25 also talks about lying. It says, therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
Additionally, Proverbs 14:5 says, A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor. You can also learn more about lying by reading 1st John 2:21. It says, I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of truth. 1st Timothy 1:10 says, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. These verses are clear about lying. The habit of lying is placed in the same category as fornication and kidnapping. This shows how great a sin it is.
- What does the Bible say about white lies
- Lying- Deception
- Did Jesus lie to his brothers in John 7:8-10?
- Telling the truth and when it is permissible to be less than honest
- Truthtelling is the Bible
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.