Summary: This is from a series I preached on the 10 Commandments.
Title: The 10 Commandments – I&II Script: Ex. 20
Type: Series Where: GNBC 10-6-19
Intro: I remember being a 6yrs old entering Kindergarten at Kendall Elementary School in Marion, IN, in the fall of 1972. As walked through the entry doors and stood in the foyer in plain view on the wall stood a replica of the 10 Commandments. Ten utterances. Ten words. That is how some scriptural traditions refer to the imperatives Moses brought down from Mount Sinai on stone tablets. Those utterances, known today as the Ten Commandments, transformed the world. They clarified for an emerging nation of Bronze Age refugees that deity was not simply manifest through miraculous deliverance. Yes, the God of Israel could unfathomably part the Red Sea — but instead of drawing his chosen people to him through repeated displays of awe-inspiring interventions, he would free and refine each one of them through the expectation of adhering to ethical edicts. Those straightforward laws gave the men and women of Israel choice and accountability for how each one of them related to the true and living God and for how they interacted with one another, and for generations they seemed to for us as well. They provided a code of conduct that honored family, protected life, secured property, defined boundaries, enhanced trust and thereby secured the foundation for cohesive and productive social interaction. The Ten Commandments launched into human history the hypothesis that a society could be peacefully ordered under a rule of generally applicable laws rather than the forceful whim of autocrats. But there was also more. They too, like all of the OT, pointed to the need for and the coming of man’s redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Prop: Today we will examine the first two in our series on the 10 Commandments.
BG: 1. 1st 4 Commandments relate to our duty towrds God. 2nd 6 relate to duty toward man.
2. The 10 Commandments show us our need for Christ, why we need the imputed righteousness of Christ, why we should give thanks for Christ, and how Christ, ultimately is the substance of what the Commandments promised.
3. I have bemoaned the removal of the 10 Commandments from society, yet I am a hypocrite, because I have never preached on them individually during the totality of my ministry.
Prop: Today we begin an examination of the 10 Commandments.
I. The Object of our Worship: No Other Gods. Exodus 20:1-3
A. The First Commandment is instructive on Who is to be the Sole Object of our Worship.
1. We are to have no other gods in our lives except the Lord our God!
a. The 1st Commandment is a matter of the heart. The commandment not only tells us to not worship false gods like Baal, Molech, Chemosh, Ashterah, and others that the Hebrew children would have come into contact with, it also teaches us to avoid placing anything other than the true God ahead of Him in our thoughts, actions, and affections. So, not only are we to reject literal polytheism (Narrow meaning of the verse.), we are to reject ANYTHING that competes with God for our allegiance, obedience, and affection. Ultimately, this is a matter of Lordship and God tolerates no rivals!
b. The narrow teaching of the 1st Command is not to worship any being other than the one true God. IN the Bible and in history we see 100s of false gods demanding our worship. These may be completely fictional or they may be demonic in origin (I Cor. 10:20) who sinfully attempt to claim prerogatives of God alone. Upon entering the Promised Land God told Israel to break down every pillar and altar and site of false worship, to utterly destroy every vestigae of the false Canaanite religions. (Ex. 23:24; 34:13) Why? Because God knew then as is the case today that would be a stumbling block to them.
2. The 1st Commandment Address the Issue of Worship in our Lives.
a. The 1st 4 Commands deal w/our relation to God. IN all of our relations to God we stand as worshipers. In the Bible, when people meet God, they bow down. God made man to worship and have fellowship with Him. The 1st Command deals with the exclusivity of the object of worship.
b. Illust: Some people have asked, “Why are the 10 Commandments so negative?” 8 of the 10 are stated negaitvely as prohibitions. (Only 4&5 not.) Must remember, God made a Covenant with His people, The very notion of Covenant loyalty requires us to refuse rival loyalties. Illust: I have performed dozens of weddings over the years. One of the key phrases I have said in each wedding service and required both individuals to repeat: “Keeping yourself only to each other so long as you both shall live.” Why? Marriage is an exclusive covenant by design. When someone comes to this country and becomes a US Citizen, during ceremony asked to renounce any and all foreign loyalties. Why? Covenants require loyalty. 1st Command reminds us that there are to be no rivals that will attempt to cause us to become disloyal to our God, King, and Sovereign.