Summary: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS– The Practice of Proper Worship

Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV)

[3] You shall have no other gods before me.

[4] You shall not make for yourself an idol. . .

[7] You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. . .

[8] Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . .

[12] Honor your father and your mother. . .

[13] You shall not murder.

[14] You shall not commit adultery.

[15] You shall not steal.

[16] You shall not give false testimony . . .

[17] You shall not covet.


How often have you heard, “Limited time offer” or “This offer won’t last long”? The idea is that if you don’t act soon you will miss out on this chance of a lifetime. The only problem is that sooner or later they are making the same offer all over again, or by chance you might even hear that now it is a better offer (unfortunately you are one of those who went and bought the previous limited time offer)!

I believe that Satan had a “Limited time offer” that he only made available one time. When this offer expired it was over, and this offer has never been made again. Do you know what it is? The devil met Jesus in the wilderness and showed Him all the kingdoms of this world with all their glory and power and said, “All of this is mine, but I will give it all to you if you bow down and worship me, but hurry this offer won’t last long!” Jesus said, “The Word says, ‘Worship God only and serve Him.’ No deal devil! Take your offer and get lost.”

Satan does continue to make similar offers to us. We bow down and worship for much less than what Jesus was offered. We will bow down for just a little power and prestige; we bow for money, fame, convenience. We will take the devil at his word and give our worship in exchange for temporary pleasures. The unfortunate reality is that all too often what the devil offers today in exchange for our worship he will take away tomorrow.

This morning we continue our study of the 10 commandments. Last week we saw that God established the PRIORITY of worship. “You shall have no other God’s before me.” Just one God so give your worship to the best. This morning we are going to look at commandment #2. It’s not a repeat of #1. The second commandment focuses on the PRACTICE of proper worship.

I. The practice of proper worship begins as we worship the right God.

1. You cannot keep the second commandment if you don’t start out by keeping the first. Worship God! Obedience to the commandments begins with number one.

a) If we are going to obey the commandments we need to understand them correctly. While the first two commandments seem similar they are not the same. The reason we sometimes think God is saying the same thing is because the second commandment is based upon the first. Don’t confuse the first two commandments because they are not saying the same thing.

a) Another way to thinking about the first commandment is when God says “You shall have no other gods before me,” the Lord is talking about his IDENTITY AS GOD. When you look around you can find lots of other things that will vie for the position of being your god, but all of these other so called gods are just IMPOSTERS.

 Imposter gods of false religions;

 The imposter god of power;

 The imposter god of fame;

 The imposter god of family—your ancestors or your kids;

 The imposter god of SELF;

 The imposter god of money.

Mark 12:29 (NIV)

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. [Quoting Deuteronomy 6:4]

b) With the second commandment God says, “Don’t give me the same kind of worship given to those imposter gods.” The first commandment established the priority of worship; “I alone am God so worship me.” The first commandment establishes the Lord’s identity as God.

The second commandment says practice proper worship. In other words the second commandment deals with our INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE TO GOD. Will we live out a life of worship that is pleasing to God? Or will our worship offend God and be unacceptable to the Lord? Look again at the second commandment:

Exodus 20:4-5 (NIV)

[4] "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. [5] You shall not bow down to them or worship them. . .

c) Put simply God is telling us not to worship Him the same way the people around us worship their imposter gods. God had just delivered Israel from Egypt where on every corner they saw that the Egyptians had an idol set up to some god that they worshipped.

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