The 10 Commandments
And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
AG: Ted Turner has declared the Ten Commandments obsolete and stated, "We’re living with outdated rules. The rules we’re living under are the Ten Commandments, and I bet nobody here even pays much attention to them because they’re too old. When Moses went up on the mountain, there were no nuclear weapons, there was no poverty. Today, the Ten Commandments wouldn’t go over. Nobody around likes to be commanded. Commandments are out!"
Turner is wrong when he declares that the Ten Commandments are outdated.
As we will see in upcoming messages, they are as fresh as ever.
However, Turner was right when he said that nobody likes to be commanded. Modern society mocks the truth and exalts the lie. We live in a time when right is classified as wrong and wrong as right.
Today, in America, many believe that there are no "moral absolutes."
Moral Relativism reigns
Reflected in statements like:
"What’s right for you may not be right for Me.";
"If it feels good do it.";
"Nothing is right or wrong, there are just different opinions?"
All of this is the result of the feeling that there is no absolute truth.
A recent poll found that 67% of Americans do not believe in moral absolutes.
This nation was founded on biblical principles of right and wrong. Today, that foundation is crumbling beneath our feet! James Madison, the 4th President of the United States said this, "We stake the future of this country on our ability to govern ourselves under the principles of the Ten Commandments."
Tonight, we begin a series of messages on the Ten Commandments. My aim is to show you their relevance for our day.
This evening, I hope to lay a foundation for the future messages by telling you a little of the background of the Ten Commandments and why they were given. Let’s look into these ancient Laws and see that they are a practical standard for life for modern man.
I. God Spoke
I. God Spoke
And God spoke all these words, saying:
God gave us His word
Inspired- breathed by Him
Here, the The 10 commandments (Decalouge)- literally 10 words are given by the Lord
He spells out the moral code He expects His people to follow
God set them apart and exalted them as the capstone of all the law.
1. He spoke to Israel directly out of a cloud.
2. He wrote them by His power on tablets of stone.
3. He commanded that they be placed in the Ark of the Covenant
Obviously, God placed a high value on the 10 commandments
In Deuteronomy, the 2nd giving of the law, Moses reviews them with Israel.
The amazing thing here to realize: GOD SPOKE!
We often speak of the Bible being God's word.
Prophets often began, "Hear the word of the Lord....."
Israel was honored to hear Him!
So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.” So Moses told the words of the people to the LORD.
And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Then the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
As we study the 10 commandments, we are studying God's law.
AP: What are the implications of God speaking His Law?
1. we need to hear it.
2. we need to remember it.
3. we need to obey it.
4. we need to teach it.
II. The Lord Your God.
II. The Lord Your God.
God made it personal
He declared i am Your God (LORD = YHWH)
God took this upon Himself
God made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (renamed Israel)
God was fulfilling that covenant
As He brought out Israel, it was clear, He was their God
in the Exodus, He had redeemed His people and was leading them back to the land He had sworn to give them
He brought them out of Egypt, the house of bondage
They were enslaved and oppressed
Once they still prospered, Pharoah decreed the unthinkable
So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”
Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
AP: God is still "our God"
Under the New Covenant
Through Jesus Christ, He brings us near
He gives us a new nature and we are His people
As in the Old Covenant, God took this burden (US) upon Himself
He choose us!
He calls us
He saves us!
That is love
His word and will should matter to us!
III. The Relevance of the Law
III. The Relevance of the Law
A. Some Christians might be prone to think that the Law has no impact on us today.
• That there is no reason for us to even think about the Law or the Ten Commandments.
• That is a false assumption!
• When we get to the place where we need no guidelines, then we have entered lawlessness and we are in trouble and in sin.
B. Matt. 5:17-18
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
- Jesus did not come to abolish or to do away with the Law or Ten Commandments.
• He came to fulfill them.
• Fulfill – "To carry out, to make full, to get to the heart of."
• When we are in Christ, the Ten Commandments become more relevant than ever.
C.– Jesus summed up all the Law of God into two commandments.
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
• If I love God as I should, I will always keep Commandments 1-4.
• If I love my neighbor as I should, I will always keep Commandments 5-10.
• Augustine put it this way, "Love God and do as you please."
• That works, because when you love God, you will always seek to do those things that please Him!
D. The Commandments do not stand as rungs on a ladder to climb for salvation.
• They stand as barriers erected by God to help us live lives that glorify His Name.
• They are relevant today!
• Ted Koppel of Nightline said, "Our society finds truth too strong a medicine to digest undiluted.
• What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the "10 Suggestions."
• They are Commandments.. Are, not were!
• The sheer brilliance of the Ten Commandments is that the codify in a handful of words acceptable human behavior.
Can we keep these rules for life? Not in ourselves, but it is possible in Jesus. The Reason? We operate with a different motive and power as believers in Jesus.
Far too many have tried to keep the 10 Commandments from the outside in. They have tried to do good to change their heart.
As Christians, we come at the things from the opposite direction. Because our hearts have been changed, we are able to live the Ten Commandments from the inside out and it works just fine! Yes, they are relevant! And, we shall see that as this series unfolds.