Lying Stands Out
I’ve always been impressed by the trifecta of imperatives in Colossians 3:5-11. After telling the believers to set their minds on things above (3:2) and before urging them to put on a heart of kindness and love like Christ (3:12), Paul commands the Christians to 1) put to death what is earthly, 2) put away anger and inappropriate talk, and then 3), stop lying.
Killing sin is serious. Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness warrant God’s wrath and must be mortified. Taking off sin is critical, too. Anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk don’t belong on a new man. These aren’t exhaustive but they filter a lot of filth.
It stands out that lying stands out; it’s a visible vein to poke with an exhortation needle. Lying gets two verses all by itself.
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10, ESV)
One reason why lying receives special attention is that it sums up the old man, the old self. Lying belongs to the life of one whose father is the father of lies (John 8:44).
When the Son sets us free, when the Son makes us sons, we become new men. As new men, we are being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator, our Father, who never lies because it is imposible for Him to lie (Hebrews 6:18).
We have been born again by truth into truth and for truth. We read the truth, rejoice in the truth, and love hearing the truth. Because of that, we must also stop lying to one another in every way. That belongs to a previous life, a previous father.