Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

02/10/2019A.M

 

Written In Stone

Introduction To The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20.1-17 & Deuteronomy 5.1-21

 

This morning we begin our promised study of the Ten Commandments...

A Code of Conduct given to Israel at Mount Sinai...

• Sometimes referred to as the Decalogue...

• Sometimes simply called the Law...

• The Ten are sometimes referred to as the Torah...

•T he Hebrew actually means Ten Words.  

 

What do we think of when the Ten Commandments are mentioned?...

• Some picture an obsolete legal code written in the dust of Ancient Mount Sinai...

• Some see the Ten as a good and proper moral standard to live by...

• Some believe obeying the Ten Commandments is the chief entrance requirement to Heaven...

• Good Bible students understand that the Ten brings us to faith in Jesus... These Commandments demonstrate our need for God’s grace and forgiveness through Him.

• To others... Seeing the Ten Commandments posted evokes anger and hate...

 

Our own John Shephard posted the Ten Commandments on the Walking Trail around Lake Bella Vista... Only to have them hatefully destroyed... Again...Again... And again... Until he gave up.

 

He posted them on his hunting property in a place he calls God’s Monument... Again... They were repeatedly vandalized or completely destroyed...

 

When posted on the Capitol Grounds in Little Rock... They too were destroyed.

 

• Many young people know little about the Ten... They only understand it has to do with what they perceive to be separation of church and state... Yet they know little of what it says.

 

Listen to this...

• In a survey... Routers News found that more people could name more ingredients in a McDonalds’ Big Mac... Than they could the Ten Commandments.

 

• When Jay Leno ask his audience to name one Commandment of the Ten... The first reply was that God helps those who help themselves.

Yet most of the audience could name the four Beatles... George... John... Paul...Ringo.

 

• USA Today reports that only 14% of Americans can name 5 out of 10... Only 14 percent!

 

Only 6% of Americans can name all Ten of the Sinai Commandments... 6 percent!

Yet when we examine the Decalogue...

    We see the essence of God’s standard for human conduct...

    We see the heartand intent of God...

    We see His purpose for us...

    We see proof of the fact that God created us for relationships...

•A right vertical relationship with Him...

•A correct relationship with one another... With others… All others!!

 

Even a casual examination of the Ten reveals that the first three have to do with our relationship with God...

• No other God’s before Me...

• No idols

• Do not use God’s name in a frivolous manner... Do not use His name in vain...

• The Fourth Command seems to be saying... Take care of yourself... Remember the Sabbath Rest.

 

The next six have to do with our horizontal relationship with others...

• Honor your father and mother...

• Do not murder...

• Do not commit adultery...

• Do not steal...

• Do not… Lie… Bear false witness... Against your neighbor...

• Do not covet your neighbor’s… Wife… His belongings... His property.

 

OK...What’s the purpose of the Ten Commandments?...

 

The late Charles Colson wrote... The Ten Commandments spell out what our love for God and our neighbor should look like.

 

In Matthew 19 and Mark 10... Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler Eternal life is about keeping the Commandments... Then Jesus begins to quote these Sinai Principles.

 

When the Young Man insisted he had kept them from His Youth up... Jesus seems to take exception saying... One thing you lack...Go sell what you have and come follow me.

 

Jesus was saying to this Young Ruler... And to us this morning... You have broken the first of the Ten when you place your possessions before me.

 

Jesus goes on to sum up the Ten Commandments with one verse... Love God with all your... Heart... Mind... Strength...and Soul... Love your fellow man... Your neighbor... As you love yourself.

 

It was this same Jesus who said... I didn’tcome to abolish the Law or the words of the Prophets... But to fulfill them.

 

Jesus fulfilled the Law and Prophets in several ways...

 

One... He said... All Scripture is about Me... I am the One... I am Messiah... The anointed One...God in the Flesh... Read...

 

Luke 24.44... Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.

 

John 5.39... You diligently study theScriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,

 

John 5.46... If you believed Moses, you would believe me... Listen Now... for he wrote about me.

 

Two... Jesus not only fulfilled the Scripture by His coming into the world... He lived out the Ten Commandments perfectly... Didn’t break a single one.

 

Three... Jesus fulfilled the Law by His teaching.

He fleshed out the real meaning of the Decalogue... These Ten Commandments not only reveal the heart of God... They reveal the Heart of each of us.

 

The Ten Commandments were about behavior.

Jesus said... NO!!!... NO!... God’s intent and purpose is not so much about behavior as it is about how we think in our heart.

 

Proverbs 23.7 has Solomon saying... As a man thinks in his heart... So is he... We are what we think... Not just what we do!

 

Proverbs 4.23 reads... Guard your heart... for it is the wellspring of life.

 

Jesus goes on to say... The issues of life come from the heart... A good man is good because of the good things in his heart...In His thinking... While an evil man is evil because of what’s going on in his heart... That’s Matthew 12.35 & Luke 6.45.

Blessed are the pure in heart... For they shall see God.

 

• Jesus taught that.. It’s not enough to not commit adultery... I tell you one that looks on the opposite sex lustfully... Commits adultery in his heart.

 

It’s not enough to not commit murder... I tell you hate is mental murder... Murder in the heart.

 

Jeff is teaching from the Sermon on the Mount... Where Jesus fleshes out God’s intent and purpose of the Ten Commandments...

 

God wants to change... Our hearts... Our Thinking... God knows that Motive is Everything!!!... He knows if our heart is right… We are right… And we are His.

 

So Jesus fulfills the Ten Commandments by turning them from behaviors to a heart condition... Are we listening?... Are we?... Really?

 

Here it is church... It’s not enough to just to do right... The Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ Day were doing right... But their heart was far from being what God wanted...

 

Matthew 15.8 has Jesus saying... These people honor me with their lips... But their hearts are far from me.

 

We need to stop thinking that... Just because we are here... Once,.... Twice...Three times a week that we are pleasing to God... He wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth.

 

Spirit and truth worship is heart worship... Right motive worship.

 

God pleasing worship is not a spectator sport... It is an activity where the heart is engaged... Amen?

 

Jeff & I were talking Friday about the fact that… Even though we are under a new covenant The Ten Commandments are eternal principles for at least three reasons...

 

One... They are all...Repeated... EXEMPLIFIED... Or INFERRED... By Jesus and the Apostles in the NewTestament.

 

Two... These commands were written in Stone... Which might be God’s way of saying... They are everlasting.

 

Three... This is direct inspiration... God Himself did the writing... By His own hand.

 

Well...What will we learn from this study of The Ten Commandments...

 

First...Our study will confirm the fact that God created us for relationships.

We’ll learn that we’ll never live... Joyous... Fulfilled... Enriched... Contented...Happy... lives until we correct our relationship with God and one another as expressed in these Eternal Principles from the heart of God.

 

Church...We need to understand something this morning that’s easy to forget in our culture... That being we cannot have a correct vertical relationship with God unless and until our relationship... with others... One another... Our fellowman... Is correct.

 

It was Jesus who eternally tied these two relationships together when he said... How you treat others... One Another... Your Fellowman... Is how you treat me... As often as you do it to the least of these you do it to Me.

 

Serving God... Becoming like Jesus... Conforming to His image... Includes serving others...

 

Listen to Jesus... “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me...

 

“Then the King will say ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world... The King will reply... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

 

It should not surprise us that theApostle of Love confirms the fact that these two relationships are inseparably tied together... Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love... Since God so loved us, we ought to love one another... For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen... Whoever loves God must also lovehis brother"

 

Again... It was Jesus who said... You have heard that it was said... Love your neighborand hate your enemy... But I tell you... Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

 

So the question becomes... How are we doing in our Decalogue relationships?

 

Secondly... We’ll learn how each of us is responsible for our own thoughts and behavior.

Our relationship with God and others is a result of our thoughts toward them... Be it our... Wife... Children.. Brothers and Sisters in Christ... Neighbors... Even our enemies.

 

Listen to these Sinai Principles... They tell us that we behave the way we behave because we choose to behave that way.

 

Our sinful thinking and behavior is...

• Not a disease...

• It’s not because of some genetic defect...

• Not a result of our environment.

Sin is a deliberate choice to do wrong when taught right.

 

Sin is a personal choice... Our culture says... My behavior is not my fault... Scripture tells us differently... It is our fault because we choose...

• We choose... To transgress... To disobey... God’s Law...

• We know to do right and refuse to do it...

• We involve ourselves in thoughts and behaviors that are not according to our faith.

 

So here’s the question...

• Are we taking responsibility for our own sin thoughts and behavior?...

• Are we... Confessing... Acknowledging... Our sin fault to God?...

• Or... Are we attempting to rationalize our sin failures... Denying our guilt?...

 

Here is John’s statement... If we confess... If we acknowledge... Our sins... He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

How are we responding to this voice from Heaven saying... You are responsible fOr your sin failures?

 

Thirdly... We’ll learn that we can not walk our own walk.

Solomon tells us there is a way that seems right to man but the end is death... Destruction.

 

Jeremiah10.23 reads... It’s not within man to direct his own steps.

 

The Ten Commandments give us God’s Divine principles for living.

 

Jesus said... I am the way to walk... I am the truth to obey... I am the life to live.

 

Question is... Are we listening... Are we following His instructions... Or are we stubbornly choosing to walk in our own... Way?...Truth?... Life?

 

Who or what are we following today... The ways of the world... Political Correctness... The way of... Popularity?... Finance?... Power?... Prestige?... OR these Sinai Principles?

 

Number four... In this study we will see our need for grace.

It was Paul who said... I would not have known sin... Had it not been for the Law.

 

Here it is... If it were not for the Law... We would not know what sin was... And we would just keep on sinning so as to be eternally lost.

 

So you see... Really... The Ten Commandments were a form of God’s Grace.

 

Paul goes on to say... A study of the these Principles will serve as a school master that brings us to the realization that we need Jesus Christ and the forgiveness found in his blood.

 

So now... The question is... Where are we this morning?...

• In Christ... Forgiven... Saved by His blood?

Or...Are we outside of Christ?... Never having been born again of water and Spirit?

 

As baptized believers... Are we allowing His grace to teach us how to live Godly lives in this present world...

 

Listen... His Grace has given us one more opportunity to make all things right in our relationships with God and with one another.

 

What will we do with this Grace Moment… As we stand and sing this song together?