Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


The Ten Commandments (Part 2)


Exodus 20:7-11


Introduction:

·         At one time the 10 Commandments were proudly displayed throughout our nation as a symbol that law and order come from God Himself. It was also a recognition that our nation was founded on Christian principles! Sadly, cities all over America have removed the 10 commandments from public buildings. 

·         David Cortman, with the Alliance Defending Freedom said, “Americans shouldn’t be forced to censor religion’s role in history simply to appease someone who is offended by it or who has a political agenda to remove all traces of religion from the public square.”

·         You can light up the White House into a Gay pride rainbow flag, but you cannot display the 10 commandments!

·         It hasn’t always been this way. James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court Justice once said, “[L]aw, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God… Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine… Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

 

I.                    The Purpose of the Law

a.      The Law reveals to us the holy character of God, and our desperate need for Christ

b.      “It is wrong to steal, or murder, or covet, not primarily because these sins are forbidden by the Decalogue. They are forbidden by the Decalogue, because they were previously forbidden by conscience; and they are forbidden by conscience because they are forbidden by the nature of things; and the nature of things is God.” (F.B. Meyer)

c.       Points us to Christ- See John 5:46-47

d.      Luke 24:44 regarding Christ’s fulfilment of the Law- the fulfilment is always better than the shadow/picture 

e.      Was never given as a way to life, but a rule of living for a people already in the covenant of Abraham. Sadly, Israel misinterpreted the purpose of the Law and sought righteousness through it and rejected their own Messiah.

f.        As NT believers we are not under the Law, the Law is under us. It is written in our hearts and naturally flows out of our salvation. Remember, the greatest commandment is to love- Matt 22:37-39

II.                  God’s Name- v. 7

a.      We do not care if people use our name flippantly, so why is God so concerned? God’s name is infinitely more important!

b.      There are interesting traditions among the Jewish people through the ages. Some have gone to extreme measures to avoid violating this command, refusing to even write out the word God. Some early scribes would even take a ceremonial bath before writing down God’s name!

c.       This is foreign to us because our identity is usually not tied to our name. Tall or short, man or woman, a distinctive appearance- these are the things that usually identify us. God does not have physical features, so it is by His name alone that we know Him and communicate with Him!

d.      God has a name- He is not just some mysterious force. He is a personal God, and He is a knowable God! Through His name we can approach Him!

e.      God has chosen for Himself a name full of meaning- LORD- Jehovah

                                                              i.      The ever existing/self existing one- I am that I am

                                                            ii.      This name speaks of authority, power, and should cause us to marvel and stand in awe!  

                                                          iii.      He is Creator and Provider- which means we must look to Him for everything!

f.        There are at least three ways this command is commonly disobeyed.

                                                              i.      · Profanity: Using the name of God in blasphemy and cursing.

1.      This is the only time some people even talk about God!

2.      What does it say about us when we watch movies and tv shows that do this?

3.      By the way people that always use profanity are just showing that they have a limited vocabulary. Illustr- Revival in Wales the donkeys and cattle had to be retrained!

                                                            ii.      · Frivolity: Using the name of God in a superficial, common way.

1.      God’s name has become a filler for when something bad happens (through talk or text!)

2.      Singing, praying in a mechanical way- insincere. Having His name on our lips without having it on our hearts!

3.      Overly casual, lazy approach in our worship

                                                          iii.      · Hypocrisy: Claiming the name of God but acting in a way that disgraces Him. Many Christians pray and call Christ Lord -but they do not live as if He is truly their Lord and Master- see Matthew 15:7-8

g.      When Jesus taught the disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9- Hallowed be thy name

                                                              i.      It’s a sacred name

                                                            ii.      It is a powerful name- it will cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess that Jesus is Lord one day!

                                                          iii.      It’s a name that brings salvation, turns a sinner into a saint!

                             Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
                             Sweetest Name I know,
                             Fills my every longing,
                             Keeps me singing as I go.

 

III.                God’s Day- v. 8-11

a.      The fourth commandment: Remember the Sabbath day.

b.      We can profane God’s name, and we can also profane God’s day!

c.       “to keep it holy”-  The command is to respect the seventh day (Saturday) as a day of rest (you shall do no work). This rest was for all of Israel – for the son and the servant and the stranger – even including cattle.

d.      God commanded Israel – and all humanity – to make sure that there was sacred time in their life, separated time of rest. 1 Day in 7 principle

e.      The Lord’s Day is the NT expression of this commandment

f.        There were many traditions added to this-

                                                              i.      In observant Jewish homes today, one cannot turn on a light, a stove, or a switch on the Sabbath, or operate any machinery- cars, elevators, etc.

g.      Colossians 2:16-17- Christians do not cherry pick God’s commands, we just understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant

h.      9 of the 10 commandments are repeated in the NT- the exclusion being this commandment

i.        Hebrews 8:13- we are participants of a “better” covenant. The power of the Law is gone- we are not punished by a Jewish state for disobedience, but the principles of God’s moral character carry forward. I believe the Sabbath principle is applied to the Lord’s Day.

j.        God established the pattern for the Sabbath at the time of creation.

k.       Sabbath means- to rest; to cease from work. Jesus fulfilled the purpose and plan of the Sabbath for us (Hebrews 4:9-11) – He is our rest!

l.        The rest we enter into as Christians is something to experience every day, not just one day a week – the rest of knowing we don’t have to work to save ourselves, but our salvation is accomplished in Jesus (Hebrews 4:9-10).

m.    The Sabbath commanded here and observed by Israel was a shadow of things to come, but the substance is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17)

n.      7th Day Adventism - Salvation by grace through faith but maintained by commandment-keeping

                                                              i.      Can one be an Adventist and be genuinely saved? Yes, but there are some serious doctrinal errors within the group.

                                                            ii.      They believe the Sabbath is a sign of the seal of God, Sunday worship is mark of the beast

                                                          iii.      Ex. 31 is clear that the Sabbath became a command only for the children of Israel. It was never given to the church. When one asks, when did the Sabbath change? I say it didn’t but the Law has been done away with!

o.      For the NT believer- which we are- Sunday is our day of worship celebrating the day Jesus rose from the dead. This was the practice of the Apostolic church (Acts 20:7, I Cor. 16:2, Rev. 1:10- The Lord’s Day)

p.      Guzik- Under the Law, men worked towards God’s rest; but after Jesus’ finished work on the cross, the believer enters into rest and goes from that rest out to work.

q.      Consider the importance of a day of rest- Maintenance- God has built us so that we need rest. Like a car that needs regular maintenance, we need regular rest!

r.       It is a rest from our normal labor

                                                              i.      Many still labor on Sunday brining kids to Sunday School, preaching and teaching, and leading special songs, and playing instruments

s.       “To keep” means more than just to honor an appointment, but to guard against things that will invade this space

t.        We should do things on the Lord's day that refresh us for his service, intellectually, physically and spiritually. All day Sunday is the Lord’s Day!

u.      What does it mean practically to keep the Sabbath holy? I think it is largely a matter of personal conscience. But our conscience must still be guided by biblical principles!

                                                              i.      Are there some jobs and tasks that must be performed on the Lord’s Day? Sure, but there are many unsaved, and backslidden Christians that can do those jobs!

                                                            ii.      Illustr- Eric Liddle- During the Paris Olympics – because the heats of the 100m sprint were held on Sunday, he withdrew from the race – a race considered to be his strongest. Instead, he concentrated on the 400 metres as the race schedule didn’t involve a Sunday. Before the final, a trainer slipped a piece of paper into his hand. It included the words from the Bible 1 Samuel 2:30 “Them that honour me, I will honour.” He won the race, setting an Olympic record at that time!

v.       The cry of our age is “busy.”

                                                              i.      How are you? “Busy.”

                                                            ii.      How was the shopping mall today? “Too busy.”

                                                          iii.      Can you help me? “I’m busy at the moment.”

w.     The fast-paced busyness of life sadly pushes God to the margins and we get burned out

x.       Taking a weekly day of rest:

                                                              i.      Shows that we desire God- to ourselves and to the world! Above financial reward, social status, promotion in the workplace, etc. Psalm 37:4- delighting in the Lord

                                                            ii.      Shows that we trust God- See Ex. 16:22-30, Matthew 4:4 We trust God that his provision for the present is adequate and his promise for the future is sure. Surrendered Christians on paper miss out on extra income/opportunities (shifts, banking your tithe, etc.) Discipleship is counting the cost, and counting Christ more valuable!

y.       I think it is really sad that now in our culture, the Lord’s Day is just another day off for man to plan his activities (sports clubs, parties, etc.)  

z.       Some might chaff and say this kind of doctrine will cause a shift in all of my commitments, priorities, and goals- maybe that’s the way it should be! This is just another reminder to us that our pursuit of Christ encompasses our entire life, even impacting our weekly schedule! 

Conclusion:

·         Illustr- the Law is like the little mirror a dentist uses to discover cavities, or any other abnormalities. But he doesn’t use the mirror to drill or remove any teeth. This morning the invitation is not about- I need to start doing these things, rather it is I need to allow Christ to be my all in all!

 

·         Christ fulfills the Law and He wants to lead you and guide you into obedience and fellowship!