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Commandment One

10 Commandments Today  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:18
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Ten Commandments

Let’s start our series by recalling the 10 commandments:
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
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.
INTRO - We are beginning our study of the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. We will use the text of found in Exodus.
The 10 Commandments or “ten words” are the core of what Moses reveals to the people of Isreal.
The Commandments define their life and provides all people with basic instructions for how we related to and with God.
Following a time of 40 years wandering in the wilderness after leaving slavery in Egypt, the Israelites restate the instruction God provided the people about to enter the land of Canaan.
While originally given to the Jewish people, God’s Commandments are for all people as is related in the New Testament:
Romans 13:9 CSB
The commandments, Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up by this commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself.
In this book, 19:16-20; 20:18 & particularly v.22 make it clear that God speaks the Word in our text in a way that the people do hear:
Exodus 20:22 CSB
Then the Lord told Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: You have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.
God “spoken to you from heaven” communicates that He intends these Commandments to be heard by all people.
If you want to count the words, there are 286 of them, you note how concise and complete are these Commandments.
Some might say, “Those things, they are dated, far in the past.”
Well, I have some news for those folks, these are not left behind! In fact, we haven’t even caught them yet!! The Commandments remain ahead of us.
ILL - A friend let me steer his plane to “get a feel” for flying. He said, “see that lake up there, aim for that and keep the same altitude.” Once at that lake I said, “That one is behind us now where do I go?” My friend said, “The next lake.”
Well, you might fly past a lake, but you will never pass over the 10 Commandments. These are God laws for living and how we need to restate these basic requirements today.
This first Commandment is a most incredible fact. God says:
“I am the LORD your God.”
We get to know God personally! He is ours!
However, many people do not know God personally and for them nothing ever goes well.
See, the book of Acts tells us that in Him we:
“live, and move, and have our being” (17:28)
God is the part of us we need to be fully functional.
Take a bird from the air and stick him in the sea and it will not work out so well. Put a fish in the tree and it will not have a good day.
We talk about being a square peg in a round hole. Well, that’s what life is like for someone who does not personally know God. They are not at all right with life.
Until you know the Lord, nothing in your life will work out as it should because as we see in our text today:
Exodus 20:2 CSB
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Only God can fix the mess in which people find themselves enslaved.
We all need the deliverance that only God can provide.
TRANS - Today I will show you four things I want you to know about the first commandment.
First lets look at the text and pray:
Exodus 20:3 CSB
Do not have other gods besides me.
PRAY

Announcements

First thing note that God announces it “I am the LORD your God.”
God says it. It is a fact. In what ways can we express this?

Firstly, The natural world announces it.

Romans tells us:
Romans 1:20 CSB
For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
We see the invisible God in the visible world.
Countries put their name on products “made in the USA,” “Made in China,” and “Made in Japan” for example.
God puts his stamp, “Made by God” on all of creation!
Science has laws. Yet, does anyone ask, “From where do these laws come?”
Look around and see that everything declares God’s glory.
I sometime marvel at the discoveries of science. The smallest particle or the farthest star speaks to me the greatness of God’s glory.
Think of the complexity of the universe. It all runs, works, and keeps going. Light travels at 286,000 miles a second. You’d pass the moon in two seconds at that speed! Yet, not reach the closest star until four years later.
Think of how big that makes the universe. Now, tell me it just happened by chance?
Are you familiar with irreducible complexity. You should be. I’ve told you about it before.
Irreducible complexity says everything is required for the complete thing to function.
Now, theories abound that say man developed from anything but by God. Yet, none of them can explain to me how a set of lungs, a lone heart, and a spinal cord all met along the road and started to form a human being.
Nope, science itself says there are laws the can’t be broken. They, also, say to be proven it must be repeatable. Let’s see them make a person from dirt.

Secondly, The Bible Announces it.

The Bible never argues there is a God. It just says “I am the LORD your God.”
Genesis 1:1 tells us “God created the heavens and the earth.” There is no discussion, philosophy, rationale, or defense of the fact. The Bible profoundly, emphatically, soundly, justly, says that the LORD is God who created everything.
Do you notice the Bible does not argue atheism. It does, however, lend it a verse:
Psalm 53:1 CSB
The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.” They are corrupt, and they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.
A man that denies facts is a fool. A person that denies the obvious fact that there is a God and that the universe, every living thing, all the natural laws, and even human beings are made by God is according the implication of Scripture a fool.
Ever wonder why its so difficult arguing with an atheist? Well there you go. Refuse to accept the fact that are in your face must mean that person is simply put, a fool. “A fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.”

Thirdly, Faith Announces it.

Nature, the Bible, and now we see how faith announces God.
Ever hear some say something like, “Christians believe there is a God by blind faith?”
Well, part of that is true and part of that is false.
We do believe there is a God by faith, but our faith is not blind. Our faith is rooted in evidence. Now, faith is not just evidence, but goes beyond what even evidence provides.
ILL - The unbeliever says, “Prove to me there is a God.” and I say, “Prove to me there is no God.”
See, people of faith chose to believe. We say things like, “I live by faith,” and “healed by faith.” Faith is central to believing in God.
Get this, recall the fool says “in his heart there is no God?” See, its not a matter of what the person thinks, its not in the head. That person has a heart problem. That person does have a twisted faith. The problem is they chose to believe in the wrong thing. Instead of choosing to believe in God, they chose to believe in the “No God lie.”
TRANS - Now that we’ve discussed the announcement, lets turn our attention to considering the boundary God puts in place.

Almighty

God will not permit denial .
We already looked at that. Look at our verse in another translation:
Exodus 20:3 NIV84
“You shall have no other gods before me.
On top of not allowing denial, do you know God will not permit a rival?
Some don’t believe in God. Some believe in the wrong god or other gods.
Are you aware that the Greeks had 30k gods?
You can make a god out of anything. Americans love to talk about being “busy.” But, the Bible talks about lovers of money who value it more than loving God.
Pleasure can become a god. The Bible talks about people who get fat, “whose God is there belly.”
The Bible speaks to covetousness which could describe much of why people in this incredibly rich nation, where even our poor are wealthy by world standards, constantly think we need more to be happy. Recall the gift of the quail, should be a warning to all of us.
Look again at our commandment “have no other gods before me.”
The Bible tells us about fishermen that caught fish and then worshiped the net — they worshiped their business. Ever hear someone say, “My business supports me.” Guess what. That’s idolatry.
ILL - I like a story Adrian Rogers once shared:
Adrian Rogers Sermon Archive II. The Discrimination of the First Commandment

A little boy brought a loaf of bread, and someone asked him, “Where did you get that bread?” “Oh,” he said, “I got it from the grocery.” He said, “Where did the grocer get it?” “Well,” he said, “the grocer got it from the baker.” He said, “Well, how did the baker get it?” He said, “Well, he made it out of flour.” “Well, where did he get that flour?” “He got it from the miller.” “Well, where did the miller get the flour?” “Well, he got it from the farmer.” “Well, where did the farmer get it?” “Well, he got it from God.” “Well, let me ask you another question, or the same question: Where did you get that loaf of bread?” This time, he smiled, and said, “From God.” Amen? You see, dear friend, don’t you say that your business takes care of you. It is God that takes care of you. It is God that sends the rain to make the grain grow. It is God that causes life.

God does not have to take your life. He only has to stop giving it. The Bible is pretty clear on this (Ac 17:28a) :
Acts 17:28 CSB
For in him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’
Anything loved more than God makes one an idolater.
Anything one trust more than God likewise.
Anything heard above God or trusted more than God, too.
Isaiah 42:8 CSB
I am the Lord. That is my name, and I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.
God says “I will not share my glory with another.” (Isa 42:8)
TRANS - God announces it and God is almighty. Lets look now to the appeal of the Word.

Appeal

God is absolutely almighty. We just noted that point. In this point we are looking at the demand “the LORD your God.”
God asks, appeals to, requests, actually He demands to be Master and LORD who reigns in the life of people.
If God is your LORD, then you serve Him, obey Him, love Him.
Now, recall the fool refuses to believe? I think the bigger fool is someone who believes and does not obey God.
They know they are willingly sinning, grieve the Holy Spirit, and more or less are along with those who crucified Jesus, spat in His face, and had Him flogged.
Look at the Bible’s description of such a person:
Romans 1:21 CSB
For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.
I believe that in our day many are to the point where they have no fear of God.
Some see God as soft, give-all grand poppy, who says “you bad boy or girl” and “don’t do that again.”
I want to to clearly understand that God is a flaming fire who says:
Romans 12:19 CSB
Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.
“Vengeance belongs to me” God says. The Bible says:
1 Peter 2:13 CSB
Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority
“Submit…because of the Lord.” This is the appeal, the request, the demand of God.
TRANS - The announcement, the Almighty, the appeal, and now we move to our final point to talk about apprehending the First Commandment.

Apprehend

“Calling all cars” might ignite your imagination with thoughts of police shows. But get this, God is calling all people. In a way, like a police chase, God calls people to seek Him.
How is it the Bible says people apprehend God? Let’s look this three ways.

Submit Self to God

Jesus in Mt 11:25 basically says He it thankful God does things the way He does. And, to the one who thinks they know, you hide yourself from them.
When come to intellectual pride, God hides:
Matthew 11:25 CSB
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants.
How to you know God? Not because of a science experiment. You put aside theorems and philosophies.. You put aside formulas, measures, calculations, scales, and such. You come to God like a child.
Humankind have nothing on God. God is, as we noted, Almighty. All powerful, all knowing, and as we see in this point all we need.
What you know about God yo know by revelation as through His Word God, by way of the Holy Spirit, speaks to your heart.

Sincerely Seek God

To come to God as a child, a person must submit sincerely. Come with a hunger and a thirst for God and as the prophet says:
Jeremiah 29:13 CSB
You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.
Come to church half-hearted and leave empty. That’s the Bible’s teaching.
Yet, come with a heart wanting to know God, longing for Him, saying, “I must be fed.” God will then speak to your heart as the Bible says:
Matthew 5:6 CSB
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Scripturally See God

Lastly, to apprehend this commandment you must come Scripturally.
You must come submissively, sincerely, and Scripturally.
God reveals Himself in Scripture. God give us His Word so we can know Him.
The Bible says:
Romans 10:17 CSB
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
What does the message say to us:
John 14:6 CSB
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
That means to know God, for Him to be your God, Jesus Christ must be your Savior.
Jesus says, “I am the way” with me you will get there.
Jesus says, “I am the truth” with me you will know Him.
Jesus says, “I am the life” with me you will truly live.
If you really want God to be real in your life, if you want Him to be the Lord of your life, then receive Jesus as your personal Savior. That’s how you can know God.

Conclusion

ILL - Passing the Lifeline
1001 Illustrations that Connect Illustration 628: Passing the Lifeline

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac. Ice on the wings prevented the plane from having a successful takeoff. Almost all of the passengers perished. The few that survived struggled in the icy river as rescuers tried to reach them.

Five times a helicopter dropped a rope to save Arland D. Williams Jr. Five times Williams passed the rope to other passengers in worse shape than he was. When the rope was extended to Williams the sixth time, he was too weak to take hold and succumbed to the frigid waters.

His heroism was not rash. Aware that his own strength was fading, he deliberately handed hope to someone else over the space of several minutes. The bridge near where he died has now been named the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge.

Jesus did not rashly give his life for us either. Being a sacrifice for us was his destiny from eternity past. We need only take the lifeline handed to us to be saved by his sacrificial death on the cross.

See you will not know God by logic or reason. You come to know God by redemption. You trust and obey.
Are you willing to say, “God I don’t want to be like a fish in the tree.”
I want my life to have meaning.
Jesus died for you. I can’t do any more for you. Jesus died that you might be saved.
The Bible says:
John 6:37 CSB
Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.
I promise you this on the Authority of Scripture, if you come sincerely, submissively, and Scripturally saying, “Lord God, I believe Jesus died for my sins and by faith I repent of my sins and ask Jesus to become Lord of my heart.” God will hear and answer that prayer.
God will make you new and you will grow. Not perfect, but with all God offers you can improve immensely.
That’s the first step to a brand new wonderful life where we who know God, as Acts 17:28 reads, “we live, and move, and have our being.”
(end)
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