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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
July 19, 2020
I was asked a question this week that serves as a good introduction to my sermon today. Why has our country and the world at large entered into such a time of turmoil this year? How would you answer that question? There are many possible reasons for it that could be cited. My guess is that most people would probably cite the pandemic, politics, or the so called protests for justice as the leading causes of turmoil in our own nation. All of those are bad, but I think those things have only provided opportunity for turmoil and are not the reasons themselves. Nasty politics have been part of life for a long, long time. Very serious pandemics in the past have not caused this kind of reaction, and injustice has been a whole lot worse in the past, so none of these can explain why the turmoil from them is so exponentially worse this year.
Some people come up with some interesting conspiracy theories which may or may not have any merit. There is one underlying ultimate conspiracy theory that has great merit since it is reality and not just theory, and that is that our enemy, Satan, hates God and seeks to usurp Him at every point to the greatest degree possible. The devil and his evil hoards have been very busy this year taking advantage of every opportunity they can find in their effort to thwart God’s plan. And while I would agree that this effort by supernatural forces certainly plays a major role in the turmoil that has come upon us, I don’t believe they are the actual reasons for it. Why? Simply because the devil and his demons always seek to do this, so the question is why are they so much more successful this year?
There is something that has been changing in our nation and has reached critical levels that allow for the devil to use the sinful bent of man towards his own purposes more this year than in the past. Since the vast majority of third world nations follow the lead of the first world nations, what happens here and in Europe will affect most of the rest of the world. What has been happening that is allowing for this kind of turmoil in the present day? While there are many specific aspects to this, I believe it is primarily the critical decline of Christian values in western civilization.
Europe turned away from Christian values many years ago, and now the United States has followed in those foot steps. What goes on in the universities eventually seeps out into society, and our universities have been cesspools of atheistic, immoral and marxist thought for decades. It is amazing how many of the people at the forefront of the riots the last two months are young university students or graduates. They have college degrees, but they are incredibly ignorant of our history as a nation so as to tear down the statutes and monuments of people that fought against injustices that they are claiming as the reason for their destructive protests. They could be considered to be educated, but ignorant buffoons, except nothing they are doing is actually funny. Too many of our political leaders either are or are taking the advice of political science majors who are experts in how to manipulate people and the media to get elected, but they tend to be clueless about how to actually run a government. They are politicians instead of statesmen. Add to this mix businesses who are either headed by people with the same immoral, marxist views or are so set on making money they will not risk offending the politically correct crowd. Then there is the general population that has determined the purpose of it all is some mix of materialism and hedonism (wealth and pleasure) and refuse to be distracted from that to find out what is true and take a stand for it. Such a society can be easily manipulated by Satan and his demons to evil purposes.
There is one characteristics that in the past has prevented such turmoil from becoming dominate as it has today. It is the same characteristic that can still stop what is currently happening both locally, regionally and nationally. Sadly, it is in very short supply at all levels of society. That characteristic is integrity.
Our English word, integrity, comes from a Latin root meaning entire. It has these meanings according to Webster’s dictionary: 1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility. 2: an unimpaired condition: soundness. 3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness – synonym for honesty. The Oxford dictionary gives a similar definition. 1 the quality of having strong moral principles. 2 the state of being whole as in the condition of being unified or sound in construction, and a technical usage of internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.
It is important to remember that in any translation you are simply looking for a word that would be equivalent to the word being used in the original language. That is why I so often make reference to the Hebrew or Greek word in the text. (As a side note here, I am fully aware that the detail of the specific Hebrew or Greek word will probably not be that important to most of the congregation, but it will be to a few, and it will also be a resource to those that look at my notes posted on our website to help them in studying a passage). The main reason that I will mention the original word in a text is to emphasize that it is the original that is important and it is my responsibility to help you understand it. The particular English word used in a particular translation may or may not convey that accurately. With that in mind, lets look at the Hebrew and Greek words that carry this idea of integrity.
We begin with the Hebrew root word tāmam (.m1T2, 8552) which can be translated as integrity but actually has a wide range of meanings. Its basic meaning is “being complete” or “finished,” with nothing else expected or intended. Examples include the completion of the temple (1 Kings 6:22) or the completion of Job’s speeches (Job 31:40). It conveys the idea of complete destruction when translated as destroyed (Numbers 32:13), consumed (Lamentations 3:22) or perish (Joshua 5:6). This word group is also used to describe things such an “entire” day )Joshua 10:13(, what is “whole” as in sound, or “healthy” such as Psalm 38:3. In Amos 5:10 it refers to speech which is “entirely in accord with truth and fact,” and it used often to describe “perfection” such as in a sacrificial animal that was without blemish )Exodus 29:1(, or “something without error” such as the law of the Lord which is perfect (Psalm 19:7).
With this root meaning and broad usage it is easy to see why this word group was also used to describe what is ethically sound or whole. It is used for the Lord’s guidance in decisions made by the lot (Proverbs 16:33). Interestingly enough, the name for the Thummin used in determining the Lord’s guidance in decisions during the wilderness wanderings arises from this same root word. This word group is used to describe people of righteous character that God calls blameless such as Noah, Abraham, Job and David, and for those God recognizes that have done things in innocence or integrity of heart such as Abimelech in Genesis 20:5-6. In Deuteronomy 18:13 this same word is used for God’s call for His people to be blameless before Him, and in Psalm 19, which describes the nature and effect of God’s word, it is used to describe the outcome of this as being blameless. Why? Because following God according to His word holds you back from presumptuous sins, keeps sin from ruling over you, and acquits you of great transgressions.
Another Hebrew word group translated into English as integrity is yosher / yesher (rv6y / rvy, 449) which is used to describe physical things that are straight, level, smooth and what is morally upright, just and honest. David used it in Psalm 25:21 to describe the character he desired to have as he waited for the Lord, and he used it again in 1 Chronicles 29:17 to describe his heart in his offering in preparation for building the temple. Solomon used in it describing his father (1 Kings 3:6) and God called on Solomon to be of the same heart (1 Kings 3:9). Elihu used it to describe his heart in his rebuke of Job (Job 33:3). It describes the upright path of a godly life in Proverbs 4:10.
The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, uses several different words for these Hebrew word groups. These include: tevleioV / teleios (perfect, complete – Noah in Genesis 6:9; God’s command to the nation in Deuteronomy 18:13), a[memptoV / amemptos (blameless – Abraham in Genesis 17:1, Job in Job 1:1), a[ka:kaV / akakas & a[ka:kia / akakia (innocent, without evil – Job 2:3), kaqarovV / katharos (pure – Abimelech in Genesis 20:5, Elihu’s heart in Job 33:3), oJsiovthV // hosiotās (holiness – David’s heart in 1 Kings 9:4), eujquvthV / euthutās (uprightness – David’s character in 1 Kings 9:4), ojrqw:V / orthōs (rightly – characteristic of those that fear the Lord in Proverbs 14:2), and a[mwroV / amōros (unblemished – a sacrifice in Leviticus 1:3, integrity – a characteristic of a godly man in Psalm 15:2).
Looking at the usage of these same Greek words in the New Testament we find the following. ojrqw:V / orthōs – doing something correctly: judging, Luke 7:43; answering, Luke 10:28; teaching, Luke 20:21. oJsiovthV / hosiotās – holiness, a characteristic of the new self that is to be put on, Ephesians 4:24. kaqarovV / katharos – pure, clean, innocent. A characteristic of those who are part of the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 5:8. This is a characteristic that should mark the hearts and consciences of all believers (1 Timothy 1:5; 3:9; Titus 1:15). a[ka:kaV / akakas – innocent, is used Hebrews 7:26 as a characteristic of Jesus as a high priest. a[memptoV / amemptos – blameless, without fault. Luke 1:6 states that Zacharias and Elizabeth where characterized by this, and Philippians 2:15 states that believers who do not grumble and complain demonstrate this characteristic in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. tevleioV / teleios – perfect, complete, mature, is used nineteen times in the New Testament in a variety of different ways. Those important to us in this study would be the development of maturity in the Christian life which comes from active participation in church life and ministry as pointed out in Ephesians 4:13 and Colossians 1:28, and also by the various trials we under go to produce faith and endurance resulting in maturity as pointed out in James 1:2-4. Romans 12:2 describes this process of maturing to demonstrate the perfect will of God as resisting the pressure to be conformed to this world and instead be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48 that we are to strive for this perfection in order to be a reflection of our heavenly Father who is perfect.
From these very simple word studies it is easy to see that the idea of integrity is multifaceted. People of integrity will also be marked by its multifaceted characteristics. There are many blessings upon those with these characteristics which we will look at in a few minutes. However, first, those who lack these characteristics must be warned that they will suffer the consequences of God’s curses upon them unless they repent and turn to the Lord in faith to receive His forgiveness, be reconciled to Him and adopted into His family.
Warnings to Those Lacking Integrity
One of the key components of integrity is honesty, but we live in a time of great dishonesty in all areas of life. Dishonesty comes in two major forms. The first is active lying in which false information is presented as true. The Biblical commands against false witnesses, lying and malicious gossip are all related to this. A recent blatant example of active lying were the reports in many news media that President Trump’s July 4th speech at Mount Rushmore contained material on subjects he did not even remotely reference. They didn’t just skew their reports or quote him out of context, they simply made up their stories fabricating blatant lies as truth. So again, I warn you to take heed about the sources of information that you are given.
The other major form of dishonesty is deception by which information is withheld or obscured so that a wrong perception will be produced. Current examples of this abound in the reporting about COVID-19 to give the perception it is much worse than it is to create fear that is then used to the advantage of particular political agendas, politicians and certain industries. Most of the main stream news media are actively complicit in this effort. An example is Governor Cuomo crowing about how wonderful he is in bringing the COVID-19 rate down in New York. But being ignored is the fact that it was his policies such as putting infected patients in nursing homes that made the infection and death rates in the NYC area among if not the highest in the world. He only looks good because it was so bad here. The states that are supposed to be so terrible because they have rising infection rates still have nothing comparable to how bad it was here.
Most politicians are consummate marketers who say and promise all sorts of things that have little connection to what they believe or will actually do. Yet, they keep getting elected to office because they tell people what they want to hear. A lot of the news media has shifted from skewed news, to fake news if not fantasy news in order to support the political agenda they favor.
Back in April I preached two sermons which strongly warned about God’s response to such dishonesty. There are both multitudes of commands to speak truth and not lie, and there are also warnings about the consequences of it both temporal and eternal. Proverbs 17:4 warns that “A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.” Revelation 21:8 is even more serious including “all liars” among those shut out from heaven and instead will have “their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Dishonesty abounds in marketing in which advertising is designed to get you to purchase a product based on the perceptions they create about it instead of reality. Labeling and advertising requirements help, but how many people read the fine print or can understand the speed reader at the end of the commercial? Pay attention and you learn that the wonderful medicine that clears up your acne can increase all sorts of serious aliments, and those anti-depressants often increase the risk of suicide.
Much worse than all of these are the religious leader that twist the Scriptures in order to gain a large following by “tickling the ears” of the people. They are not men of integrity who boldly and honestly proclaim God’s truth in love for a lost and dying world. They are religious hucksters who serve themselves instead of God. These are not just the teachers of false religions and cults, but also includes many that we thought were fellow evangelicals, but they have proven themselves to be instead conveyors of the latest winds of doctrine that blow across our land that exchanges the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with a perversion of it. Paul’s warnings in Galatians 1:8-9 should be extremely sobering to them. “But even we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed.” Just because someone preached the truth in the past does not mean they are preaching it in the present for many are those who started off very well, but started veering off course into doctrinal aberration, and then to false teaching and rank heresy. Those preachers who now consider themselves to be “woke” or are starting to espouse those ideas need to repent before they follow that path into another gospel and become heretical by disparaging faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and following His word as insufficient.
Another aspect of having a lack of integrity is knowing what is right and not doing it. There are many commands in the Pentateuch (books of Moses) concerning this ranging from refusing to join a crowd in perverting justice (Exodus 23:2), to not showing partiality (Deuteronomy 1:17), to returning something you find to your neighbor (Deuteronomy 22:1-4); to the care of borrowed property (Exodus 22:14). All of the law was to be obeyed and followed both the prescriptions of what to do and prohibitions of what to refrain from doing. The old adage that “all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing” is based on this.
Examples in Scripture of men who lacked integrity abound. Some, like Jacob who was a deceiver, eventually developed it. Matthew started as a tax-collector and ended as an apostle. Others, like Cain, never had it and never gained it. The various Herods are examples of this in the New Testament. Then there are the tragic men like king Saul who had it and started well, but lost it and ended horribly.
Saul was humble when God had Samuel anoint him as king even being very hesitant to be in that position (1 Samuel 10). Saul showed courage in battle in defeating the Ammonites in 1 Samuel 11. But a problem developed by 1 Samuel 13 when Saul was impatient in waiting for Samuel. In fear that his army would scatter, he offered the sacrifices contrary to commands of God. Saul did not fully trust God and he lost his dynasty because of it. By 1 Samuel 15, Saul’s pride has become a dominate character trait. He does not obey the Lord’s command and lies about when confronted by Samuel who then rebukes him telling God was taking the kingdom away from him. Saul feigns repentance and then becomes violent when he does not get his way. The rest of Saul’s life becomes marked by pride, jealousy, treachery, failure to keep his word, unrighteous violent outbursts and even necromancy all in the effort to stay in power. Saul was not a man of integrity and his life ended tragically. After being wounded in battle and his failed attempt at suicide, an Amalekite heeded Saul’s begging to be put to death and out of his misery.
Other notable examples of people mentioned in Scripture who greatly lacked in integrity would include Lamech, the people of Noah’s day, Laban, Joseph’s brothers, Pharaoh, Korah, Dathan, Balaam, Abimelech, Micah & the Danites, Eli, Doeg, Ziba, Amnon, Absalom, Ahithophel, Joab, all Israelite kings, Judean kings: Rehoboam, Abijam, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Joash, Manasseh, Amon, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, the Herods, the Pharisees and the Saducees, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Demas, Alexander the coppersmith, and Diotrophes.
Examples of Integrity
Negative examples serve as a warning. Better for the Christian are the positive examples of what God want us to be like. Integrity is to be a characteristic of all who strive to be godly as explained in Psalm 15 which begins with the questions, “O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?” The answer begins, “He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.” While each of those are distinct, it could be argued that working righteousness and speaking truth in his heart are aspects of walking in integrity since it is the broadest category. The rest of the Psalm gives specifics of a man who has this kind of character. 3 “He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.”
Integrity is a prominent quality seen in the lives of godly men. I have already pointed out that this characteristic is specifically applied to Noah, Abraham, Job and David. To this list I think we could easily add in people such as Joseph, Joshua, Hezekiah, Josiah, most of the prophets, Daniel and his friends, Zacharias, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, the apostles, Bartholomew, Silas, Aquila, Timothy and Titus. Women are not mentioned as much in Scripture, but to this list I think you can add Sarah, Deborah, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, Dorcas and Priscilla. Each of these people had their flaws, and some were flagrantly sinful before they were redeemed and became followers of God, but each became marked by belief and trust in God which enabled them to develop a godly character and not back away from it. Let me point out a few of these as specific examples.
Noah was “blameless in his time” (Genesis 6:9) facing tests we cannot fully imagine, yet he faithfully spent years building the ark because he believed God. We can only speculate the kind of ridicule he received from a world in which every intent of the thoughts of the hearts of the people was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Hebrews 11:7 states he did this by faith and 2 Peter 2:5 adds that he was a “preacher of righteousness.” People of integrity do not yield to societal pressure. They remain firm in their convictions to proclaim the truth of God and fulfill His commands. Preachers take heed!
God called Abraham when he was ninety-nine to “walk before Me, and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1). He became the father of the faithful as he learned to trust God and obey him. God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 and reaffirmed it in Genesis 15. God called him to leave his country and promised to give him a land He would show him, make him a great nation, and bless all the families of the earth through him. Abraham’s great faith is noted in his actions of going out to a foreign land as commanded, believing God for a son in his old age, and offering up Isaac when tested believing that God would have to raise him back from the dead (Hebrews 11:8-19). People of integrity have faith in God to fulfill His promises so they will trust and obey Him. They will reap His blessings for doing so!
Job is a man whom God points out several times as a man who is blameless and held fast to his integrity (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). That was a quality recognized by others and was important to Job himself (2:9; 12:4; 27:5; 31:6). The book begins by marking Job’s godly characteristics of being blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Those points were backed by pointing out his routine of offering sacrifices for himself and his family. His integrity is most clearly seen in his response to the calamities that came upon him. In chapter 1 he suffers the loss of all his wealth and all his children, yet responds by worshiping the Lord saying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In chapter 2 he suffers incredible physical suffering and a wife that advised that he should shed his integrity and “curse God and die.” He rebukes her for being a foolish woman and rhetorically asking, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” Job did not sin with his lips. Job was sorely provoked by his well meaning but very frightened friends so that he became defensive, yet through out Job’s laments and defenses you find a man that trusts God even when he does not understand saying things such as “though He slay me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:5) and “I know my Redeemer lives . . . even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God” )Job 19:25-26(. People of integrity hold fast to their beliefs and righteousness even when suffering for unknown reasons.
In 1 Kings 9:4, God calls Solomon to walk in the integrity of his father, David. David refers to his own integrity many times in various Psalms. David had several major failures including not guiding his sons, his sins related to his adultery with Bathsheba, and numbering the people. What marks David as a man of integrity is his humble response to the Lord’s correction and desire to be what he was not yet. That is expressed in many Psalms with Psalm 51 being the example of true confession. He also visibly demonstrated it in his response to the rebuke given to him by Nathan for stealing Bathsheba and killing Uriah. David simply responded, “I have sinned against the Lord.” He then humbly accepted the Lord’s judgment upon him. That is a direct contrast to Saul’s lying, defensiveness and deception when Samuel rebuked him. People of integrity humbly accept the Lord’s rebukes and His judgments because they want to be holy in character.
Joseph is not specifically called blameless in the Scriptures, but he is included in the hall of faith in Hebrews 11, and his life clearly marks out the qualities of integrity. Perhaps he had been an obnoxious little brother who was daddy’s favorite, but if so, any pride he had was removed when he was made a slave in Egypt. Two incidents among all the others in his life demonstrate Joseph’s integrity. The first was refusing Potiphar’s wife telling her that he could not do such a great evil and sin against God and then fleeing (Genesis 39:7-12). The second was when his brothers became afraid of him after the death of their father and response to them was “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” People of integrity to what is right before God regardless of the consequences to themselves, and they seek to be a blessing from God instead of seeking revenge.
Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah are also clear examples of integrity. In Daniel 1, they are respectful, yet refuse to violate their own consciences in eating the king’s food even though it would have been much more luxurious than their Hebrew diet. In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were commanded to bow down to the kings idol or be cast into a furnace of fire. They believed God would protect them, but their integrity was proved in telling the king that even if God did not deliver them as the expected, “we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:18). They were cast into the fire and God did miraculously protect them causing Nebuchadnezzar to change his mind. In Daniel 5 king Belshazzar literally sees the hand writing on the wall and is scared sober. Daniel is offered a high reward if he interprets the writing. Daniel refuses the rewards, then rebukes the errant man before pronouncing God’s judgment contained in the writings. In Daniel 6 king Darius is tricked into making a foolish decree that the people of the kingdom could not make any petition to god or man except the king for 30 days or be cast into a den of lions. Daniel never hesitated in continuing his normal practice of praying three times a day to God with his windows open toward Jerusalem. Daniel was thrown into the den of lions but preserved by God. Those same lions immediately crushed the bones of his adversaries when they were cast in for their malicious accusations. People of integrity remain faithful to God and do what is right even if it might cost them their lives.
We could go on like this through individual after individual listed in the Scriptures that demonstrated such characteristics of integrity and then spend even longer looking at Jesus who is the greatest example of integrity, but I think you get the point. Integrity is an essential part of godliness and a quality that should be developed in every Christian. We are to be people who are humble, honest, holy, upright, pure, clean, blameless, righteous, doing what is correct, steadfast, trustworthy, mature, and perfect because our father in heaven is perfect. As members of Jesus’ body, the church, we help one another in the process of becoming mature. That is a reason it is so vital to your spiritual development that you are personally involved church life with other believers.
Our world is in turmoil for many reasons and Satan is taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to him. He is having great success primarily because our state, nation and the world lack so much in people of integrity who will do what is right before God regardless of personal consequences. I could make a lot of political and sociological statements here, but if you understood my sermon, you can easily determine for yourself those who have integrity and those who lack it. We live in a time of political corruption and sociological disruption. It will take men and women of integrity to stop it. Whether God will be merciful and grant such people to arise or if He will abandon us to His judgment by letting the sins of society bear their bitter fruit remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain. God is sovereign, not Satan or man. God will carry out His plan even if it seems that evil has temporary reign. It certainly seemed that way for Job, Joseph and Daniel at times, but God was still at work then, and He is still at work now.
The question for you is whether you will be a man or woman of integrity regardless of the circumstances that come upon you? Do you have a character of integrity? If not, what is your plan to develop it in your life? Take advantage of the ministry of this fellowship of the body of Christ who can help you develop it.
If you yield to the pressures of our world in order to avoid what you fear, it will only be temporary, because yielding to sin always demands yielding to more sin. If you join in the corruption to get what you want, you are only heaping greater condemnation upon yourself. Today, now, is the time for repentance and to seek the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sermon Notes – July 19, 2020
Integrity – Selected Scriptures
Why has our country and the world at large entered into such a time of turmoil this year?
The decline of Western Civilization
Webster: 1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility. 2: an unimpaired condition: soundness. 3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness – synonym for honesty.
Hebrew root tāmam (.m1T2, 8552): “being complete” or “finished,” with nothing else expected or intended
Complete, finished, entire, whole, healthy, true, perfection, unblemished, without error, righteous, integrit
Hebrew root yosher / yesher (rv6y / rvy, 449): Integrity: Physically straight, level, smooth. Morally upright, just, honest.
Greek in Septuaging (LXX): tevleioV / teleios (perfect, complete, mature). a]memptoV / amemptos (blameless, without fault). a]ka:kaV / akakas & a]ka:kia / akakia (innocent, without evil). kaqarovV / katharos (pure, clean, innocent). oJsiovthV hosiotās (holiness). eujquvthV / euthutās (uprightness). ojrqw:V / orthōs (rightly). a]mwroV / amōros (unblemished, doing something correctly)
Warnings to Those Lacking Integrity
Dishonesty 1 – lying. Example: News media.
Dishonesty 2 – deception. Examples: Government, News media, politicians
Consequences of lying: Temporal and Eternal
Lack of integrity in marketing
Lack of integrity by religious leaders
Knowing what I right and not doing it
Lacking integrity and gaining it – Jacob, Matthew. Lacking it and never gaining it – Cain, the Herods
Having integrity and losing it – Saul
Other notable examples: Lamech, the people of Noah’s day, Laban, Joseph’s brothers, Pharaoh, Korah, Dathan, Balaam, Abimelech, Micah & the Danites, Eli, Doeg, Ziba, Amnon, Absalom, Ahithophel, Joab, all Israelite kings, Judean kings: Rehoboam, Abijam, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Joash, Manasseh, Amon, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin, the Herods, the Pharisees and the Saducees, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Demas, Alexander the coppersmith, and Diotrophes
Examples of Integrity
Specifically designated as having integrity: Noah, Abraham, Job and David
Other examples would include: Joseph, Joshua, Hezekiah, Josiah, most of the prophets, Daniel and his friends, Zacharias, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, the apostles, Bartholomew, Silas, Aquila, Timothy and Titus. Women are not mentioned as much in Scripture, but to this list I think you can add Sarah, Deborah, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, Dorcas and Priscilla
Daniel & his friends
– Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture)s( to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following:1) List the different words used to explain the meaning of integrity. 2) Talk with your parents about the importance of having integrity
THINK ABOUT IT
– Questions to consider in understanding the sermon and its application. Why do you think our nation and the world is in such turmoil at the present time? What role might Satan play in this? How has the nation responded in the past to similar times of pandemic, injustice and racial tension? Why is the response of our society different now? Define integrity? What Hebrew words express this idea? What Greek words express this idea? Why is lying such a serious sin? Why would news media flagrantly lie in its reports? What is deception and what are some of the various ways it can be carried out? Why would government leaders and news media be deception about Covid-19? Why are most politicians deceptive? What warnings do the Scriptures give about lying and dishonesty? Why would marketers deceive? Why would religious leaders be deceptive? Why is knowing what to do and not doing it also a lack of integrity? Give some scriptural examples of people who lacked integrity? Explain your examples. Why is king Saul such a tragic example? Read Psalm 15 and explain from it qualities of integrity. Several people in the scriptures are specifically cited as having integrity. The lives of others also demonstrate those same qualities. List some of your favorite examples of people in the Scriptures who have integrity. Explain your reasons for listing them. Who are some people you know today that have integrity? How would you evaluate your own level of integrity? In what areas are you doing well? In what areas do you need to improve? Make out a plan to make those improvements in your character and share it with a trusted friend to help you / keep you accountable.
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