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To understand this verse, let’s read Matthew 5:34-37, which reads, “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil” (NASB). The lesson the Lord Jesus is teaching us here is plain and simple; we should NOT have to back up our word with an oath of any kind. If someone asks us a question which we can answer with a “Yes” or a “No,” we should do so. Christians should be men and women of their word, noted for their honesty and integrity. If we are known as such, we won’t have to “swear on a Bible” that we are telling the truth, as some people do (unless, of course, we are testifying under oath in a court of law where we are required to do so). I remember when I was young hearing people make a statement or a promise and then they would add the words, “Cross my heart and hope to die.” Again, these words constitute an oath where you are trying to assure someone that you are telling the truth. May we, as believers, never resort to using oaths! May our word simply be “Yes” or “No.”

I think we would all agree that the Apostle Paul was a “man of his word.” And yet he had to write to the church at Corinth when his honesty was being called into question. He had told the Corinthians that he planned to visit them and later he was forced to change his mind. There were some who were calling Paul fickle and so in his defense he wrote, in 2 Corinthians 1:17-18, “Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time? But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no” (NASB). Paul had every intention of visiting Corinth and extreme circumstances prevented him from going. He assures them in these verses that when he says something, he means it! It is NOT “Yes and No” with him. To prove his point further he goes on to speak, in 1 Corinthians 1:19-20,  of the Lord Jesus, who never vacillated, “For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us, by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” Paul preached Christ whose character was beyond reproach. He was truly a “Man of His word” and His character helped to form Paul’s character. May this be true of each of us, dear fellow-believer!  (154.7)  (DO)