Summary: This is a brief introduction to the series on the Ten Commandments that I preached. It sets the tone for the rest of the messages

Many things have been written about the Ten Commandments. So why sermon? Mainly because of the need to go further than just the command. These writings were given by God to His people who really did not know Him or understand their relationship to Him. They did not yet know that God had a plan for His people. A plan to use them for the salvation of the world. A plan to show everyone around them who the true living God is. In order for them to do that, they needed to know how to live in the freedom that they now had. Did I just say freedom? Isn't the Bible and more specifically the Ten Commandments just a bunch of rules and laws? Certainly not! The Bible exists as a love letter from our Heavenly Father to show us who He is, who we really are, and how we can have a relationship with our creator God.

On the subject of Law, the Commandments are certainly that. They are the measuring stick to show us that we can never be perfect like God. We can never do enough good things, be good enough or act right enough to overcome the fact that we fail at keeping the law. That is why we need Grace. That is why Jesus came to die for our sins ( the perfect sacrifice) and rise from the grave in glory and power to show us there is more than this life and a wonderful life after this. So, as you are reading this series of messages, please don't think that I am trying to lessen the authority or position of these great writings. My goal is to show that there is more than just the law. There is a framework for relationship that God is giving us that is still relevant and needed today.

You may be asking yourself why would we need a framework (or rules) for a relationship. If we were honest, we would see that every relationship we have has a framework that it operates in. If we violate the framework, our relationship suffers. For example, a simple framework between siblings might be 'you don't touch my stuff and I won't touch yours'. As we have probably seen in our own families, that rule gets broken. And what happens then? Someone gets upset, the relationship suffers. Maybe it's the understanding between friends that if I text you, you text back. If the expected thing does not happen, the relationship suffers. The same is true of our relationship with God. His people at Sinai and His people today just don't always understand how to relate to Him. But our lack of understanding doesn't mean that injury isn't done. God's Spirit is grieved by how we treat this relationship with Him. We need to see what He wants from us and respond to His loving care and guidance. We need to come to God on His terms, not on ours.

Okay, so we can find a framework in the commandments, what about freedom? How can there be freedom in rules? Well the prologue to the commandments is this:

Exodus 20:2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

One of the first things said by God is the reminder that He brought them out from slavery. We sometimes fail to remember that this group of people had never known anything but slavery. For generations they had been subject to the will of the Egyptians. I have been an American all my life. Even though I have traveled to other countries and seen other forms of government, I have always been free. I cannot even wrap my mind around the concept of being someones slave. In the same way, the Israelite nation had no idea of what to do with freedom. God here reminds them that He gave them freedom, and they need to follow Him as they use it. They are now literally free to worship their creator. But how do they do it? That is why we need a framework. My hope and prayer is that you will enjoy, and learn from the studies to follow. But remember, I am just a man giving an opinion. I believe an educated one. An opinion that I have researched and prayed about, but an opinion just the same. Feel free to chase the truth. Seek for yourself. Search out the Holy Scriptures. Let the God of creation create a love for His Word in you.

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