Yea, Yea–Nay, Nay

We all use the human language to communicate with one another and convey our thoughts to a desired intent. The question is how we use those words and do we need to add anything to them that will make them more effective than they actually are by the promise conveyed. Jesus says this concerning our communication, “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matt. 5:37).

Jesus has been teaching against swearing to make promises more effective. He tells the people “But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.” (Matt. 5:34,35). He goes on to say they are not to swear by the head for no man can make one hair either white or black.  Jesus doesn’t mean that our answer has to always be yes neither does it always have to be no; this is what yea and nay mean. It means that what you say stands or falls on its own and doesn’t have to be accompanied by swearing. The Bible tells that He will not hold him guiltless that takes the Lord’s name in vain which may happen by swearing.

People should have confidence in you and your word so that you answer is sufficient and need not be accompanied by any oath. You’ve heard people say such things as, “Oh, I’ll be there I swear that I will.” They don’t have to swear. They will be there but they aren’t certain of that. What they should say is “I’ll be there if the Lord is willing” because we know not what a day may bring forth.

Jesus says that anything that comes forth more than that of yea and nay cometh of evil. So it is evil or contrary to scripture and God to use an oath as swearing to make your answer more concrete to any individual. It ultimately will not make any difference as far as its effectiveness if you accompany it with swearing. The ultimate outcome is dependent upon you, your memory, and the providence of God. Your word is your bond and need not any addition to effectively communicate what you intend to do. Think on these things and see what the scriptures say.

Jesus instruction has to do with the communications between human individuals. When it comes to His communication and promises to us it is somewhat different. The Bible tells us, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” (II Cor. 1:20). The promises or word of God is only YEA and then Amen. It is not nay. In other words, you can count on the promise of God to be fulfilled whereas with man this not always the case.–April 13, 2015–Elder Larry Wise


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About wisepb

Pastor: Bethany Primitive Baptist Church
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