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 4)

Exodus 20:15-17


·         I am the Lord your God- this is a code of morality that comes from God, not from human opinion. So that means, it transcends human opinion!

·         Remember, these Laws were given to a people already in a covenant relationship with God. These Laws were safeguards and a means to walk in right fellowship with God

·         Ps. 19:7-11 – God’s laws are a blessing, and there is a great reward for obedience!

·         I John 5:2-3-This is a matter of our love for God. If we do, His commandments are not grievous!


I.                    Thou shalt not steal- v. 15

a.      This law establishes the right to personal property- sorry communists and socialists! People have a right to private property.

b.      Bernie Sanders says if you have a lot of money the government deserves to take it from you- just because.

c.       Also, every totalitarian regime tries to take away the private property rights of its citizens- every free and decent society recognizes property rights

d.      Stealing is taking anything that does not belong to you.

e.      Stealing can take many forms including: robbery, kidnapping and human trafficking (Ex. 21:16, 1 Tim. 1:10), knowingly receiving stolen goods (partnering with a thief- Prov. 29:24), fraudulent business transactions (in Bible times- using false weights and measures Prov. 20:10)- (selling a lemon, false advertising- be careful salespeople!)

f.        Extortion (Ps. 62:10), crooked loan arrangements that take advantage of vulnerable people, borrowing without returning (Ex. 22:14- return that neighbor’s shovel!) this can also mean not paying off our debts! Proverbs 37:21, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again.” What a poor testimony!

g.      Plagiarism and cheating on a test- stealing someone else’s work.

h.      Stealing includes cheating on taxes, or the Government stealing from future citizens by wasting or creating a huge deficit, insurance fraud, filing false claims, employees not putting in a full days work, employers demanding more hours than the contract allows- there are many ways that man can steal!

i.        There is a positive implication of what our duty should then be if we are not to steal:

                                                              i.      Eph. 4:28- God wants us to lawfully obtain and further our wealth. This is God’s solution for stealing! The four letter word- work!

                                                            ii.      We are given the opportunity and privilege to work so that we might be able to lawfully support ourselves and our families, and so that we might be able to generously relieve the needs of others.

                                                          iii.      Col 3:23-24- teaches us that we should work diligently and cheerfully as unto the Lord!

j.        II Thess. 3:10- Paul bluntly said if one doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat! (Not people who can’t work)- illustr- 30 year old son who was taken to court (consumer/contributer)

k.       Wasting and misusing what God has given us is implied here too! He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster” (Prov. 18:9).

l.        We can be guilty of stealing our own possessions. This commandment is not just about ownership, but it is about stewardship! All we have has been entrusted to us by God!

m.    All we have belongs to God. When we withhold the things that are rightly His—our time and talents, our possessions and our finances- we are in effect stealing from Him (Mal. 3:8). So we can be guilty of stealing our own possessions!

n.      We can rob God by refusing to give Him ourselves for obedience and His service, because He bought us and owns us: knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19) 1 Corinthians 6:20 gives the same idea

o.      Victims of theft know how horrible it feels- how about God?

p.      This commandment teaches us that God owns it all. He’s the Creator and He’s the Provider. So, stealing is a sin against God in two ways. It is failing to trust his provision. Secondly, it is an assault on God’s provision for others.

q.      “Our first parents stole from the forbidden tree, and all of their posterity have been thieves ever since!”

r.       Jesus was crucified between two thieves! One repented and was saved, and so can you!

II.                  Thou shalt not lie- v. 16

a.      This is the sin of damaging not just someone’s property, but someone’s character!

b.      Once a person’s good name has been tarnished it sometimes can never be restored- unlike property

c.       This is given in the sense of a legal process, or injustice

d.      Jesus was a victim of false witness

e.      Colossians 3:9- Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

f.        Lying and false representations belong to the old man, not to the new life we have in Jesus.

g.      Satan is the father of lies- John 8:44, Acts 5:3

h.      Satan is not our father anymore- God is! God is a God of truth, a God that cannot lie (Titus 1)

i.        The sin of giving a false impression- even through silence!

j.        Lying seems to compound itself- it never ends with just one lie

k.       Compulsive liars, who’ve even deceived themselves!- Seared consciences speaking lies in hypocrisy- I Tim 4:2

l.        Unreliability is very close to this sin- no intentions of following through with commitments and promises

m.    Integrity is lacking in our world today! Politicians to preachers- may it not be said of us!

III.                Thou shalt not covet- v. 17

a.      All the first nine commands focus more on things we do; the tenth deals mainly with the heart and its desires.

b.      Some people think this is the weakest commandment and they take it lightly- Paul didn’t (I Cor. 5- put them out of the church!)

c.       Literally, the word for covet here means, to pant after. “Hebrew hamad, ‘desire’, is in itself a neutral word. It is only when misdirected to that which belongs to another that such ‘desire’ becomes wrong.” (Cole)

d.      Covetousness works like this: the eyes look upon an object, the mind admires it, the will goes over to it, and the body moves in to possess it. Just because you have not taken the final step does not mean you are not in the process of coveting right now. Ex: Eve in the garden of Eden

e.      This commandment passes from actions to thoughts. It shows that it is sinful for us to lust after something God never intended for us to have.

f.        Breaking this commandment leads to breaking just about all of the 10!

g.       Thy neighbor’s house…wife…ox…donkey- Covetousness can be expressed towards all sorts of things; it is the itch to have and to possess what someone else has. It speaks of a dissatisfaction with what we have, and a jealously towards those who have something “better.” Envy and jealousy are included here! Illustr- we can’t just trade our kids/spouse/etc. for a newer model!

h.      The opposite of this sin is contentment- which is great gain the Bible says!

i.        This last commandment is closely connected with the first commandment against idolatry- see Eph 5:5

j.        This is basically the sin of American materialism- keeping up with the Jones’

k.       Following the American “standard” of living can be sinful, and hazardous!

l.        Instead of constantly increasing our standard of living, what if we simply increased our standard of giving?

m.    Effects of coveting

                                                              i.      It takes over your heart- It sweeps away all spiritual interest- ye cannot serve God and mammon

                                                            ii.      It is an act of worship

                                                          iii.      It is addictive- never satisfied (JD Rockefeller- just one more dollar)

n.      See I Tim 6:9-10

o.      He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him. (Proverbs 28:22- Get rich quick schemes- I would even include gambling (playing Lotto, etc.) in here too!

p.      One cure for coveting is fasting- we make God our satisfaction


·         The purpose of the Law was to show people their sinfulness. Next, God graciously gave instructions for building an altar. This was to remind the people that sinners can approach God only on the basis of shed blood, not by lawkeeping. Illustr- girl who was trusting in 10 commandments didn’t know even know what coveting was!

·         V. 19-21- The people stood afar off- they were fearful of God. This is a natural response to God’s holiness (Isaiah 6). Thank God on the grounds of Christ’s sacrifice for us, we can now draw near into God’s presence and receive power for holy living

·         The Law stirs us to see our need for grace! Grace is the key!

·         If moral behavior were simply following rules, we could program a computer to be moral.

·         The Bible says the just shall live by faith! Colossians 2:8 says as ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him. We are saved by grace through faith and we can only walk in obedience by grace through faith!


Decision: Recognize my need of grace to walk in obedience to God/Salvation