Thank you, my dear friend, for seeking the answer to your question through God’s Word. I believe that I can possibly tell by the way that you have phrased it that you already know the answer. The answer is a resounding “NO.  It is not correct for a Christian to lie”. We find this issue spelled out very specifically in Ephesians 4:22-25, “…That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore PUTTING AWAY LYING, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.” In these verses, we see that Paul is exhorting Christians to walk according to their calling, according to the Spirit of God and not according to our old fleshly natures. Being born again, Christians do have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, while at the same time, we also have the “old man,” or the flesh within us, and thus Paul’s exhortation to “put on” the new man. This struggle between the flesh and the spirit is thoroughly discussed in Romans 7:23-25.

Now, I believe that given the context of these verses, the word “lying” refers to all types of lies and deceit. These might include the so called “black lies” as well as the “white lies”, or even merely shading or fudging the details to cover the true situation, insincere flattery, or providing a product or service which is flawed or only partially or carelessly completed. But the bottom line is that Christians are to be known for integrity and truthfulness, and our testimony is damaged anytime we act according to the flesh. It is certainly not right for Christians to misrepresent themselves on a job application or a college admission, despite the fact that the temptation to do so may be very strong indeed. Well, for Christians, this is where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it? Christians are exhorted to be above reproach, but there is a part of us that can be tempted to sin.

Now, the verses in Ephesians 4 all speak of how Christians are to conduct themselves, given their high calling in Christ Jesus; and, in this particular chapter, one might rightly say that the context here would be how Christians should act with respect to one another (in the church, the Body of Christ). However, I would assert that whether we speak of lying, or of any one or more of the characteristics of the flesh, all that characterizes the old man should be put away if one is born again (see verses 22-24 above). Then, in Ephesians 6:5-9, Paul goes on to spell out this same principle with respect to Christian conduct in the community at large. We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:1: “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” Going on to verse 7 we see: “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” Now, a verse that I have often considered regarding the general conduct of born again Christians with respect to the world is 1 Timothy 6: 1 where we read: “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed.” Any type of sin, including all forms of lying or cheating, not only reflect badly on a specific Christian, but indeed on Christianity. The world is always watching Christians, looking to find any faults, so that they can dismiss Christ as a myth. Thus, we do well as Christians not to deceive ourselves into thinking that our testimony doesn’t count. Our walk in this world may speak more loudly to unbelievers than what we say with our lips.

My dear friend, it is the work of the Holy Spirit, in combination with God’s Word which cleanses our hearts, and which brings about the new birth at the time when we are saved. And through studying God’s Word, with the Spirit, and through prayer, we are conformed more and more to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18), though we will never be perfect until we are with Christ in the glory. But while on the earth, it is not expected for us to sin, and yet, God is gracious and upon repentance, we have this promise: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9). For any believers who may feel that they must lie at times in order that they might provide for their families, I might suggest that we give the matter to the Lord in prayer, then trust Him to provide for all our needs. We read in Ephesians 3:20: “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…”. What could we require that God is not able to provide? But we must trust and obey. Remember, we can cast all our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us! (1 Peter 5:7).  (SF)  (545.4)