The 10 Commandments

commandments-moses10Here I am again, getting ready to teach about Jesus being the focal point of every story of the Bible. We are walking through the Bible this year. We have arrived to the time when Moses leads the people of Israel through the wilderness, to the Promised Land. On the way, God makes a Covenant with Israel, and, within that Covenant we see the 10 Commandments. Let’s take a look at the 10 Commandments and see how they reveal Christ and what they reveal to us about ourselves.

I. Purpose of the 10 Commandments

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the 10 Commandments, let’s take a look at them and the main reason that they were given.

1.No other gods before Me

2.No idol worship

3.Don’t take the Lord’s Name in vain

4.Keep the Sabbath holy

5.Honor your father and mother

6.Do not murder

7.Do not commit adultery

8.Do not steal

9.Do not lie

10. Do not covet

The point of the 10 Commandments was not to give us a set of rules and regulations to check off and climb the latter of good deeds to get to God. This is what man made religions teach, that if our good out weighs our bad, then God will accept us. This mentality teaches us that we can work our way to God, if we are just good enough. The bad news is, we can never be good enough to get to God. The 10 Commandments set the standard of what God expects and, reveals to us that we cannot ever expect to meet those exceptions. Unfortunately, the hearers did not get this point. They were even taught that the 10 Commandments were given to show us the way to God. When Jesus came on the scene, He explains the heart of the 10 Commandments.

Jesus explains one of these commands when He preaches the famous “Sermon on the Mount“.

21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ‘ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court ; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court ; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matthew 5)

As I wrote, the people had heard or been taught from the 10 Commandants, “do not murder” and they were proud of the fact that they had never “murdered” anyone, physically, yet they did not realize just how murderous they were. Jesus reveals to them that just because you have not committed the physical act, you are still guilty of murder if you have done it in your mind. Why? Because the actions that we take all begin in the mind. Jesus explains that being angry with someone and “thinking” about hurting/murdering that person; then you are just as guilty as the man who has committed the physical act and you will stand before God just as guilty, unless you repent and receive the Gospel and Its salvation. How many people can honestly say, “I have never hated anyone or wished death upon someone” (even if you just thought it and never actually put it into words)? All humans are guilty of this and we need forgiveness. We are all murderers in our hearts (even if we have never actually committed the physical act).

The 10 Commandments were given to us to point us to the person of Jesus Christ, our only hope for salvation.

II. No idols

We already examined one of the ten, do not murder. I would like to turn our attention to the very first command, having no other gods but the One, True God. This is called idolatry. Anything that attempts to take God’s number 1 position in your life is an idol. In our modern world, we have many idols, just like in the ancient world. Their idols were made of wood and stone, but, it was the idea behind the idols that make them similar to our own modern idols. Some of our modern idols are:

  1. computers
  2. video games
  3. money/fame/possessions/wealth
  4. sports
  5. work
  6. smart phones
  7. happiness

In themselves, none of these is really bad or evil. They can actually be used for good. But, if they take a leading role in your life, over God, to where you dedicate your time, effort, thoughts, and energy to them, they become an idol and are actually being used against you. They enslave you. How much time do you spend on your computer every day? What do use your computer for, the majority of the time? What about sports, do you eat, sleep, and breathe sports? What about the idea of “happiness”, do you dedicate your time and effort to finding and holding on to happiness?

III. Honor your parents

This is a teaching that our modern society needs to hear. We live in an age when obedience is seen as a negative word. Children are taught to be disobedient in schools. The teachings are subtle but have a lasting impact. Children are being taught that they have rights without responsibilities. This is very dangerous. Children are learning how to manipulate their parents instead of obeying them. They are taught to be suspicious of all authority figures, even to be suspicious of their own parents. Instead of learning to be grateful to their parents for all that their parents do for them, they are taught that because of their rights, they parents owe them everything. Children are learning to be expectant, entitled to their rights without a second thought of their own responsibilities. I have even heard of cases where children have reported their parents to the authorities claiming that they are being exploited because their parents have made them do chores.  We have a couple of generations that have grown up with this entitlement mentality and we are seeing fewer and fewer children who respect their parents and show them the honor that they are due. Honor, or, respect is manifested in obedience. When we speak of obedience, we do not have in mind simply “hearing” what we are supposed to do. Obedience means hearing with the purpose of understanding and then, applying (putting into action) what we learn. Another form of honor is gratitude. When we honor our parents, not only do we obey them, we also are grateful for what they do for us. We realize that they owe us nothing and are appreciative for what they choose to do for us.

My dear friend, are you trying to work your way to God? Do you feel like you could ever be “good” enough to get to God? Are there any idols in your life? Are you a murderer with your words? Are you controlled by anger? Are you appreciative of all that your parents do for you? Do you honor and respect your parents by being obedient to them, obedient from the heart? Are you allowing the 10 Commandments to lead you to Christ so that you can repent and be born again? May the Lord bless us as we surrender to Him, moment by moment, day by day.

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