Summary: This is the first message in the 10 Commandments series. This is a revamp adapted with Power Points.
• SLIDE #1
• How many of you have seen the epic, The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston? What a great classic. I really believe that Moses looks like Charlton Heston!
• What are the Ten Commandments? Are they a set of archaic rules that were meant for people a few thousand years ago? Are they Commands we are to follow to earn our salvation? Are they just Ten Suggestions that can be ignored or changed at our leisure or is there something deeper to them and could society function without them?
• I believe you can tell the heart of a person or an organization by the rules they set.
• Think of the rules of your home, they reflect what is important to you.
• Today we will begin a ten week journey through the Ten Commandments.
• As we look at the commandments, we must realize they are not a condition of having a relationship with God, but they are a CONFIRMATION of the relationship we have with Him.
• In Matthew 22:36 when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in the Law was He answers,
• MAT 22:37-40 And He said to him, "’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ "This is the great and foremost commandment.” The second is like it, ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
• These thoughts are not specified in the Ten Commandments, but Jesus is telling us loving God and loving our fellow man is the foundation of the Law.
• This is one of the passages that backs the idea that the Ten commandments are not a condition of a relationship as much as a confirmation of one!
• As you look at the 10 Commandments, you will see they can be broken down into 2 sections, the first four dealing with our relationship with God and the last six dealing with our relationship with our fellow man.
• As we look at the commandments, I will be using Exodus 20 as my main text for this series. We will also look at Exodus 34 and Deuteronomy 4-5 throughout. I would like for everyone to read these texts over the next few weeks as we go along.
• Today we are going to start in Exodus 20:1-2. There has been debate over whether this first commandment should include verse 3 or stop at verse 2. Catholic and Lutheran scholars will include verse 3, Jewish scholars and some protestant scholars will cut it off at verse 2 as I will.
• Today we are going to look at the First Commandment!
• Let’s read Exodus 20:1-2 together this morning.
• SLIDE #3
• Exodus 20:1 - 2 (NASB) 1Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
• SLIDE #4
I. AN IDENTIFICATION IS MADE- I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD
• By cutting the first commandment off at verse 2 it may be a little bit tough at first glance to see what is being said.
• As we look at this first commandment, we need to understand that the statement “Ten commandments” is not how God addressed them as He wrote them. It was at the second writing of them (after Moses destroyed the first) in Exodus 34:28 where we first find them called the Ten Commandments, and then in Deuteronomy that statement is repeated in 4:13 and 10:4.
• The reason I bring this up is when we hear the word “commandments”, we think of “thou shall not” and “thou shall” statements. The Hebrew word which we translate “commandment” actually is usually translated “words” (see NASB marginal reading) or more accurately “sayings” or “declarations”.
• What God is doing is establishing who He is in this first statement. He is saying that HE IS THE LORD GOD. The Israelites had been in bondage for 400 plus years, they had lived in a land where many gods were worshipped. God’s first “word”, “saying” or “declaration” was that HE was the ONE true God.
• This had to be amazing to the Israelites because all they knew was slavery!
• Here God is saying He is the Lord YOUR God!
• As we look at this first commandment, this helps us to see that God lays down the authority of the one God more than commanding belief in one God. (Dr Laura, The Ten Commandments p.6) Belief in God would be hard to command.