Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Tenth Commandment gives freedom by helping us see that we can have our minds under control


Romans 12:2

“Transform Your Mind”

The mind is a dangerous place.

I’m talking about all that activity that goes on in your brain.

The thoughts that you are now thinking that have nothing to do with church.

That process going on in your head which is so easily distracted and can even be quite easily manipulated.

Let me show you what I mean.

I want all of you not to think about what your house looks like.

… …

How many of you are now thinking about what your house looks like.

Then perhaps you were thinking about jobs you needed to do.

Or maybe a room that needs to be tidied.

Maybe now you are thinking about next week and planning what to do at home.

And how many of you do this.

You’re talking with someone but there is something interesting going on in the background behind them.

Maybe there is a tv and the score comes on for a football game.

Or there is another conversation happening and you start wondering what people are saying. It is all sorts of stuff.

If ever we go to dinner at a place where they have the keno numbers going on in the background I can’t sit facing the screen. Otherwise my mind gets distracted trying to guess the numbers.

Silly ridicules things that the mind does.

You can see what I mean. The mind is a dangerous place. Distracted. Misdirected. Manipulated. But also a part of us that has been created by God.

So God understands how the mind works. He understands how we work.

Which is why, when we get to the tenth commandment, God uses a different approach.

Most of the previous commandments forbid an action

Don’t put other “gods” before the one true God.

Don’t blaspheme.

Don’t murder.

Don’t steal.

Don’t lie.

Forbidding action. However this command is forbidding a pattern of thought.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

Exodus 20:17

It isn’t saying

“You shall not covet your neighbour’s house and then and steal stuff from it.”

Or, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife and then commit adultery with her.”

The tenth commandment is only dealing with the thought.

So what is going on here is that this command is saying “Your thoughts can be punishable.”

How many of you find that a little concerning?

I have thought some terrible thoughts.

Some of the thoughts that go on in my mind are not godly … they are far from godly.

Now God is wrapping up the commands with a phrase that is effectively saying, “You will be held accountable for your thoughts.”

Is God deliberately doing everything He can to make our relationship with Him hard?

You might be tempted to think like that.

This just seems really, really hard.

A series of commands on what not to do.

Then a command on what not to think!

Is God deliberately trying to make it difficult?

Well we know He isn’t.

God is not in the business of deliberately setting us up to fail.

So what is going on?

Where is the freedom we have been able to find when we have been talking about all of these commands?

We are given freedom knowing that we can control the source of our sinful actions.

God would not say to us “Don’t let your inner thoughts get the best of you” if it were impossible to do?

God is not in the business of deliberately setting us up to fail.

So even when it comes to our thoughts and desires … the inner life which is so vulnerable to allow thoughts to get out of control … even there God gives us the capacity to overcome.

It is possible to have your thought patterns under control. To have the mind of Christ.

We can have freedom.

As we have been looking at the commands we have seen this reality.

The key to avoid not responding to God properly is to look into ourselves and realise that we can be quite spiritually arrogant. We need to look at that arrogance and change our minds about how good we think we are.

The key to avoiding violence and murder is to look at the level of anger which we have in our lives. We need to be open to the reality that these angry thoughts can lead to a path with is destructive.

The key to avoiding lying is to be people who love the truth. As we consider in our minds what is real truth it directs the actions we take and the way that we deal with other people.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion