Summary: To lead the people to understand the meaning and importance of obeying the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:3-18
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand the meaning and importance of obeying the Ten Commandments.
Illustration;Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master".
Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 22.
2. Explanation of the Aim: God gave the people of Israel the Ten Commandments to lead them in a life of practical holiness. Through the Ten Commandments people could see the nature of God and his plan for how they should live. As New Testament Christians we are no longer under the law, but grace. Still, we should seek to obey the commands of God because they give us clarity about the Lord’s will for our lives.
3. The Bible Story: The Ten Commandments were given as guidelines for how God expects individuals, families and societies to conduct themselves. Only the Lord knows the best ways for people to operate if they expect to receive His blessings. When we follow the commands of God we are able to show great love, respect and service to one another despite the problems of everyday life. In our lesson the people should learn the meaning and importance of each commandment to help them obey God’s will. Help the people to see that obeying God’s commands is not just so He will protect and prosper us, but as a means of pleasing the Lord. Remind the people that Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and keep them, he is the one who loves me.” (John 14:21)
4. Help the people consider what are some of the advantages of knowing the Ten Commandments.
Can anyone quote all ten of the Ten Commandments and explain their meanings?
Ask the people what is means when the Pastor says, “We are no longer under law, but grace?”
5. The BIBLE STORY teaches the people the basic meaning and importance of each of the Ten Commandments so they may obey all of God’s commands.
6. What do you think God means when He said, “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God will give you.” Find out why it is important to keep the commands of God out of a desire to express our love for God rather than to get a reward? Why do some people see the keeping of the law an end in itself rather than a means to expressing our love for the Lord?
6. Consider what are some of the advantages of knowing the Ten Commandments. Ask the people if they can say any of the Ten Commandments and explain its meaning? Ask the people what is means when the Pastor says, “We are no longer under law, but grace?”
7. God gave the Ten Commandments as a way of helping people lead a life of practical holiness. The law of God is given as an insight into the holiness, truth and love of God for man. Mature believers delight to obey the commands of God as way of expressing their love for their heavenly Father. God is not simply interested in outward obedience, but love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. His commands give us guidelines to know the ways that we can please the Lord and bear fruit in every good work as we increase in the knowledge of Him.
8. People who try to obey God out of a mere sense of obligation end up becoming legalistic or hypocritical. New Testament Christians realize that it is impossible to keep the whole law of God without the empowering of the Holy Spirit who lives within us. James wrote, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” Sins of commission (Lying, stealing, cheating etc), sins of omission (failure to do what we ought to do), sins of wrong attitudes (hating, judging one another) or sins of faulty assumptions (prejudices, patronizing assumptions etc), are all ways of failing to live up to the holy character of Christ likeness. Whether in the heart or the conduct, in thought, word, or deed, to omit or to vary any thing, is sin, and the wages of sin is death. Without Christ we would all be headed for hell, but He makes us righteous through the justification gained by our saving faith.
9. The first four of the Ten Commandments tell about our duty to God. It is important that we learn to love the Lord more than we love our neighbor, as He deserves our greatest affection. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God. The first commandment concerns the person of Jehovah and only him. Worshipping the Lord is our number one priority. The worship of creatures is forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.