Summary: This is part one of this series. It introduces the series and discusses the first commandments and how it relates to the New Testament teachings of Christ.
The Ten Commandments Part 1
Scriptures: Exodus 20:3; Phil. 4:13; 1Cor. 10:13; Eph. 4:27
This morning I am starting the series on the Ten Commandments, with a focus being on l the nine that were carried over into the New Covenant. When God brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt, He spoke Ten Commandments audibly pertaining to how they were to live before Him. Now before I go any further and to address what some of you are probably thinking, I want to clarify the purpose of this sermon series. The Ten Commandments were part of the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses did not apply to non-Jews (Gentiles) so therefore the Ten Commandments did not apply to the Gentiles. So if the Law of Moses did not apply to Gentiles and the penalty of not keeping the Law was fulfilled through Christ death, why are we even talking about anything pertaining to the Law? Well, while the Ten Commandments, as originally given to the Children of Israel, were not kept by the early Christians, nine of the ten became a part of the New Covenant teachings/program. The fourth commandment pertaining to keeping the Sabbath was omitted from the New Covenant entirely.
If you recall, Jesus taught that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath when He was accused of breaking the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Early Christians did not keep it and did not teach others to do so (Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:9-10). They observed the first day of the week for worship after Christ resurrection and they did this, not as a matter of commandment or obligation, but for other reasons including the fact Christ rose on the first day of the week. Christians are not obligated to keep any particular Sabbath so this one commandment will not be covered in this series as it does not apply to how we walk before God. Also, something to consider, the Sabbath was a day of rest as it pertains to the things of the Law. And, as we studied in the second chapter of Romans during Bible study, since Christ fulfilled the Law, we now live in the Sabbath – our new born-again nature does not need to fulfill the requirements of the Law. Why? Because we are now a law unto ourselves! (Romans 2:13-15) Now, as it pertains to the other nine commandments, I want you to understand why you should understand them and why they are an important part of how we should live. Unlike life in the Old Testament, the difference for us that we should keep in mind is that all of the penalties pertaining to the Law do not apply because Jesus wiped them out. And it is because Jesus wiped them out that we have grace and forgiveness. Having said that you may still be wondering why since we have never been under the Law but always under grace, why am I even bothering to talk about these commandments and sin in general. Well I will tell you why but before I do I want to level set you on the idea of being an overcomer of sin, not within our own power, but through the price that Jesus paid on the cross for us and through the power that is available to us now through the Holy Spirit of God living within us. Write these Scriptures down and memorize them in this order and I promise you it will make a difference in your life.
Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” All things mean just that, ALL THINGS – overcoming sin included.
1Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” Sin is a temptation. God is faithful and His word says that He will always provide a way to escape sin so that we can endure the temptation without giving in to it. When we accept the fact that sin is a choice and we can make a different one, we will tap into that power to make that different choice.
Ephesians 4:27: “And do not give the devil an opportunity.” The King James version says do not give the devil a place. Paul said this as he was addressing our being angry and not sinning. But it also applies to all of our “temptations.” We have to stop giving the devil an opportunity or a place in our lives. Let me tell you what that looks like. When we give place to the devil, it’s like dedicating a room in our house for him to live in. We are allowing him to live with us. We feed him. We clothe him. He takes a bath when he’s dirty - and he’s always dirty! We need to close the doors we have open for him and don’t answer the door the next time he comes knocking.