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The Ten Commandments 01 - Worship Only the True God

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Reading: Isaiah 44:6-8 / HC Q&A 94, 95 p.48
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-3 (NIV)

I.     Grace is the Foundation of Law

       A.    We were in Slavery

               1.    Israel was literally enslaved in Egypt

                       a.    They were made to work to build the structures of a pagan nation

                       b.    Their children were killed

                       c.    They were beaten, and killed

               2.    We suffer our own kinds of slavery

                       a.    We get enslaved to our addictions

                       b.    Money, prestige, entertainment, food, alcohol, relationships

                       c.    We get trapped by our own hopes

               3.    All of us are enslaved by sin

                       a.    We think we’re exercising freedom

                       b.    But it’s a lie–we’re trapped

       B.    We couldn’t free Ourselves

               1.    Israel could not rescue itself from Egypt

                       a.    They didn’t have the power

                       b.    They didn’t know how

                       c.    They didn’t know it was possible

               2.    We can’t free ourselves from our sin

                       a.    We don’t have the power

                       b.    It isn’t possible

               3.    Unless someone else comes along, we’re stuck

                       a.    We need a rescuer–a savior

                       b.    No matter how bad we feel about it, we’re still stuck!

       C.    God set us Free

               1.    God empowered Moses to liberate His people from Egypt

                       a.    Moses was set apart at birth

                       b.    Still, God took 80 years to shape him into the instrument He needed

                       c.    Moses didn’t do it–God did!

               2.    Jesus has set us free from our bondage to sin and death.

                       a.    The power of sin and death has been broken!

                       b.    Our liberation is sure!

                       c.    D-day is over–V-day is coming!

II.    Know no God but our Rock

       A.    Who has Done what He has done?

               1.    Who else has set us free?

                       a.    Do you know anyone else?

                       b.    Do you know anything else?

                       c.    Where else do you find real freedom?

               2.    Who else has provided so faithfully?

                       a.    Who has cared for us like God?

                       b.    Have we done that good of a job?

                       c.    Has anyone been more faithful?

       B.    Who could do it Better?

               1.    Could we?

                       a.    If we really were in charge. . .?

                       b.    Would we do better than others?

               2.    Could a bigger bank account?

                       a.    If we only had more–then . . .

                       b.    Money is power, but only power to get certain kinds of things.

               3.    Could anything else?

                       a.    Could self-indulgence give us a better life?

                       b.    Could aspiring to the best: music, art, loyalty, honor, bravery, family?

                       c.    Could philosophy, tolerance, new age, liberalism or conservatism?

       C.    Who can Foretell what will come?

               1.    No one but God knows what’s coming

                       a.    Not even Allan Greenspan!

                       b.    We can sometimes get close in weather, economics, politics

                       c.    But never 100% – or even close!

               2.    Only God has planned what’s coming.

                       a.    God not only knows it, He plans it!

                       b.    To the tiniest detail.

                       c.    With all the love that’s in Him.

               3.    Only God can control what’s coming.

                       a.    Nothing can happen unless it’s part of His plan.

                       b.    The Devil’s worst can’t derail God’s plan for each of us.

III.   Serve only the True God

       A.    We quickly Serve other masters

               1.    We are quick to substitute a god we think we can control, for the True God.

                       a.    Moses wasn’t even down the Mtn!

                       b.    We aren’t really all that different!

               2.    We have short memories/shallow hearts

                       a.    We forget how good God is and how he set us free.

                       b.    We don’t think a life of loving thankfulness is a big deal.

               3.    That’s why this is the 1st commandment

                       a.    We need the reminder!

                       b.    Why do the other 9, if we don’t acknowledge Who’s in charge?!

       B.    Tear down the Idols!

               1.    What other gods are in your life?

                       a.    What competes with God’s place in your life?

                       b.    Even the best things can become gods for us.

               2.    Take the necessary steps to remove them from God’s place your life

                       a.    Get rid of them, destroy them, limit them, put them in their place.

                       b.    The Exodus groups are helping many to do exactly this!

               3.    Even if it feels like cutting off a part of yourself–it sometimes does!

                       a.    Jesus: “It’s better to enter the King-dom minus an eye, than not at all.”

                       b.    Living without our “security blanket” can be scary and painful.

                       c.    Who said it would be comfortable?

       C.    Worship Only the true God

               1.    Only God deserves our service

                       a.    Only God can ever set us free!

                       b.    Only He gives us the joy we seek

               2.    Serve Him with your whole being

                       a.    Make no room for any competition

                       b.    We serve completely, or not at all

                       c.    Choose today whom you will serve

The Bottom Line:

Love the Lord Your God with All your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Sing to the Lord, Sing His Praise Blue #187 vv 1,3


Notes:

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 94-95

Q&A 94

What does the Lord require in the first commandment?

That I, not wanting to endanger my very salvation, avoid and shun all idolatry,1 magic, superstitious rites,2 and prayer to saints or to other creatures.3 That I sincerely acknowledge the only true God,4 trust him alone,5 look to him for every good thing6 humbly7 and patiently,8 love him,9 fear him,10 and honor him11 with all my heart.

In short, that I give up anything rather than go against his will in any way.12

1 1Cor. 6:9-10; 10:5-14; 1John 5:21

2 Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:9-12

3 Matt. 4:10; Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9

4 John 17:3

5 Jer. 17:5, 7

6 Ps. 104:27-28; James 1:17

7 1Pet. 5:5-6

8 Col. 1:11; Heb. 10:36

9 Matt. 22:37 (Deut. 6:5)

10 Prov. 9:10; 1Pet. 1:17

11 Matt. 4:10 (Deut. 6:13)

12 Matt. 5:29-30; 10:37-39

Q&A 95

What is idolatry?

Idolatry is having or inventing something in which one trusts in place of or alongside of the only true God, who has revealed himself in his Word.1

1 1Chron. 16:26; Gal. 4:8-9; Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:19

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