33 Again, you have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord [as a religious duty].
34 But I tell you, Do not bind yourselves by an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35 Or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
36 And do not swear by your head, for you are not able to make a single hair white or black.
37 Let your Yes be simply Yes, and your No be simply No; anything more than that comes from the evil one.
Matthew 5:33-37 AMPC
Swear not at all
Thank You Jesus! The Lord is so good! I am truly thankful for the Holy Spirit, who leads us and guides us into all truth.
The Greek word for oath- horkos (that which has been pledged or promised with an oath).
⇒Many of the Pharisees (Matthew 23:16-22) were allowing people to swear falsely and not keep their oaths. Jesus tells us to not swear oaths at all. People were swearing, knowing they were not going to fulfill their part. Jesus also knows we are not able to control the circumstances around us. If we bind ourselves by an oath and can’t fulfill it, we can fall under condemnation.
⇒Jesus made it simple and said, “Just let your yes be yes, and no be no.” Anything added by
swearing oaths would come from evil and not from God.
“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12 KJV
In the Old Testament, Numbers 30:2, was the law for swearing oaths or making vows. We see that a vow and an oath have two separate meanings.
2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Numbers 30:2 KJV
•Hebrew word for oath- shebuw’ah
•Hebrew word for vow- nadar
• Greek Word for oath- horkos (that which has been pledged or promised with an oath)
• Greek word for vow- euchē (a prayer to God, a vow, promise to God)
When someone swears an oath, they are binding themselves to the words that they have sworn to a person. When swearing an oath, people swear by something. They swear by God, other people, or objects. They are invoking someone or something into their promise or agreement.
⇒“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:” Hebrews 6:13, 16-17 KJV
Hebrews chapter 6, gives us a good understanding of why people swear oaths. We see
that when God made a promise to Abraham, He couldn’t swear by anything greater, so He swore by Himself. If an agreement was made and one party didn’t uphold their end, an argument would happen. To end the argument the party in violation of the agreement would swear an oath. Oaths were taken to ensure that both parties would uphold their side of the agreement. Agreements or contracts, as we call them today, were confirmed with an oath in the Old Testament. (Genesis 26:28-31)
Remember, that Jesus says our own words will either justify us or condemn us on Judgement Day. I don’t think Jesus was kidding when He spoke. God doesn’t say words in vain. God cannot lie. We must be careful that we are not binding ourselves to agreements with an oath and can’t fulfill them completely.
Why do some Christians try to context these Scriptures out of the Bible and say, “Jesus didn’t
mean we can’t swear oaths at all.”
How do you context these words from the Greek?
Omnyō, mē, holōs (Swear, not, at all) Matthew 5:34
Mēte, tis, allos, horkos (Neither, by any, other, oath) James 5:12
Some people say that Paul swore twice in his letters (Galatians 1 & 1 Corinthians 4). Let’s say that Paul did swear an oath. Does Paul’s actions justify us to disregard what our Lord Jesus commanded?
We see in Galatians chapter 2, that Paul had to correct the Apostle Peter publicly because he was not living to the truth of the Gospel (Galatians 2:11-14). Paul could have been wrong if he did
swear in his letters.
We have to remember that these were men, who sometimes missed the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not control us. He will lead and guide us. We have a choice to follow His leading or not. We are called to obey Jesus and His commands.
Court, Fraternities, & Sororities
What do we do when we go to court? We have the option to affirm (to state or
assert positively, to confirm, or ratify) instead of swearing an oath. Some people feel as if affirming is another name for oath. If this is the case, then be led by the Holy Spirit in what He wants you to do and say.
⇒“You do solemnly state that the testimony you may give in the case now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under pains and penalties of perjury?”
• We have the legal option to use the statement above in court, instead of swearing an oath.
•When it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority, we should first ask the Lord Jesus if He would want us to be a part of this organization. Does the group agree with the Christian standards of the Bible? Is there anything they are asking me to do that goes against the Bible? If they require that you must swear an oath, I would make the choice to not join. I would not want to offend my Lord Jesus, by disregarding His commands.
• In court, I have sworn an oath in the past. I have repented and asked the Lord to forgive me. I didn’t understand the Scriptures back then. I am forgiven and I will not swear an oath at all. If you have sworn an oath, you can do the same and repent. Renounce the oath that you made. God will forgive you!
WATCH LESSON 5 OATHS: https://subspla.sh/z3fvdyd