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The Lawgiver (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
March 2, 2023 6:00 am

The Lawgiver (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 2, 2023 6:00 am

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The Lawgiver delivered the Law, not by human inspiration, but divine. Because at the beginning of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, the first verse we read this, and God spoke all these words, that gives it all of its authority.

Without that authority, it is just human reason. The Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Deuteronomy.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick with part two of his message called The Lawgiver in Deuteronomy chapter 34. When his brother and sister turned on him, and that had to have hurt deeply, when they turned on him, God summoned those two, Miriam and Aaron, and there they stood before him. And there the Lord chastened the two of them.

That story is in Numbers chapter 12, and we pick it up in verse 6, God speaking to them. Then he said, Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I, Yahweh, make myself known to him in a vision. I speak to him in a dream, not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings. And he sees from Yahweh.

Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? You get goosebumps reading about this if you're mindful, I think, of how real it was and how real it still is. This man is astounding. And I want some of that, and that's why we preach on these things, because some of this is available. How much is available?

Enough. Enough is available according to God. Through this man's teachings, the Jewish people became the teachers of the world. This morning I'm reading to you from a Jewish document. And it is a testimony to the kindness of God and to the meaning of scripture in our own lives. God chose this great man to make possible Isaiah and Jeremiah.

And understand how I say this. God chose this man to make possible Jesus Messiah. Of course, it is Christ, the author and finisher.

Well, that's what I mean by understand what I am saying. This is the route God chose to take. And he heads down this route and he fortifies it through this man and the Ten Commandments, which we're going to come to in a moment. The divine Lord Giver gave his law for man to a man to deliver, and that he did. And the whole Bible largely, even our New Testament, is commentary on the Ten Commandments. That's not a legalistic saying.

It is a fact. There we have a summary of man's entire duty to God and his fellow man. And the Lord upholds it. He condenses it, but he upholds it nonetheless.

No better inscription can be placed upon a building dedicated to justice among humans than the Ten Commandments. The one great question of religion is this. Does God speak to man? Does God speak to sinners? Has God spoken to man?

If so, have we a credible record of what he has spoken? The Bible replies that God has spoken indeed, and it is credible. And that the Bible we have is trustworthy, a trustworthy account of what God has spoken and what he wants. The only alternative to that, the only alternative for an infallible record from the hand of God, revelation from God, for our guidance and for our salvation, the only alternative would be human reason.

And if that's my only alternative, you can keep it. I'll go with God's revelation. I find it easier to believe the word of God when I read the word of God than anything humans have to say without God. The psalmist, the psalmist saw the glory of God in the heavens in creation.

So did all the saints. In Psalm 19, he wrote, the heavens declare the glory of God. And the firmament shows his handiwork. But he saw the glory of God in the Ten Commandments, the revealed word of God to man. And then that same psalm, that same psalmist goes on to say the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. And by them, well, before he says that, he says, more to be desired are they than gold, yea, then much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward. He's talking about the Ten Commandments, which of course is broadened by other details that belong to the Ten, but the Ten stand. And the first three of those commandments, you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, of course in the act of worship. You shall not take the name of Yahweh in vain. Those three indicate to us that the word of God is more than social justice. That there is a spiritual feature to it that cannot be ignored, of which the consequences are quite severe.

And this is still our message. These three have to do with God and man's worship to God. And an unbeliever may come along and say, I admire thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, etc. But if he rejects the first table of the law, that says you shall have no other gods before me, you shall not carved images to approach me, you shall not take my name in vain. If he ignores those commandments, the judgments will not ignore him.

There will be judgment. The sixth of the Ten Commandments, Commandments 5 through 10, honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet. These concentrate on man's relationship with his fellow man in the presence of the same God who said you shall have no gods before me. There's a consistency here that is noble, that is high, that is glorious. It is the ultimate attraction that we could experience, that attraction to come and stand before God and hear him say, take the sandals off your feet. The ground you stand upon is holy. What Christian does not love that?

What Christian does not look forward to the day when we stand before God and instead of him telling us to take the sandals off our feet, he says, well done. The fourth commandment, remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. That centers on both man and God.

But the tenth one, you shall not covet. That pinpoints motive and desire, thoughts and cravings, things deep on the inside. It goes beyond deeds. This one looks forward to Christ and his declaration of the ten commandments. We learn this as we go through the scripture, a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. In John 25, we read just this little comment that means so much because you could not apply it to anyone else in history. And he had no need that anyone should testify of man for he knew what was in man. How perfect the law of God is will be seen if we imagine a society without these laws.

Or let's take it in the positive. What if we saw a society with these laws faithfully and fully observed? Well, you'd have to get to heaven for that. But to make the point to uphold God's word, to demonstrate that human reason cannot approach this level of sanity, we consider that God would always come first if the ten commandments were upheld. You shall have no gods before me. Religion would have no idols, no superstitions. There would be a universal day of rest and worship. The home life would be pure. Marriage would be sacred. Property would be safe for there would be no stealing. There would be no slander or malicious gossip or lying. No wars or rumors of wars and no need to correct those who were doing these things. There would be no coveting of another person's or another nation's possessions.

There's nothing wrong with a type of envy that says, I sure wish I had that too. But when it starts to take hold and becomes a dominant feature and goes beyond just admiring that there is something noble in something that someone receives, then it enters into covetousness. It enters into sin.

And it can get away from us very quickly. It would be a society ruled by the ten commandments which the Lord summarized when he said, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. He said this knowing that you had to first love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. This is the first of the ten commandment table and the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

This is Old Testament teaching too. Deuteronomy 6-5. You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. Leviticus 19-18. But you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

I am Yahweh. And of course man had come along and they had adjusted that so that you could only love the neighbor of the Jewish race. And Christ comes along and he fixes that. And so when we come to the New Testament, the author and finisher of all of scripture says this through his apostle Paul. For the commandments you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet. If there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this saying, namely, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. If you treat others the way you would like to be treated, you will not steal from them.

You will not lie. Galatians 5-14. For all the law is fulfilled in a single word, even this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. And this, when Paul wrote the Galatian letter, he's trying to stop them from being legalistic in their approach to Christ and coming to Christ. Getting them to come by faith, yet not without the rule of God's word. So the lawgiver delivered the law, not by human inspiration but divine. Because at the beginning of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, the first verse we read this, and God spoke all these words. That gives it all of its authority. Without that authority, it is just human reason.

The law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. There is life beyond death for everyone. What kind of life? What is the quality of that life going to be? Everyone has an afterlife.

You don't have to believe it for that to be true. Moses was prohibited from entering the promised land while he lived. The great lawgiver.

He could take the people out of slavery, he just couldn't bring them any further than that. His greatest moments are associated with three different mountains. Mount Sinai, where he did talk to God face to face and receive the law of God and the commandments of God. Mount Nebo, where God showed him the promised land and ended the life of Moses there.

In fact, this is a very interesting thing. One of my favorite things about Israel is you can stand in parts of Jerusalem and you can see Mount Nebo, which is in Jordan, across the Jordan River. It is though that in the shadow of this mountain you have the law of Moses looking over Israel, and most of the people don't get it. They don't understand. They don't accept their own scripture and how they got into that land.

They cannot connect the dots because they will not listen to God. The lawgiver, almost 1600 years after his death, on that third mountain of importance, the unnamed mountain, though it is identified to us as the mount of transfiguration, Jesus brings him into the promised land. The law could not bring him in. It could not bring him all the way. It could take him only so far. He still needed the Savior and the grace of the Savior. And there it is. The law could not bring Moses all the way. Only Jesus can do it. And that is still our message.

And yet, in delivering this message, we diminish not one part of the law. We just have it fulfilled. What about me?

That's what it always comes down to. What about me? The Ten Commandments, each of them begin with you. You shall have no other gods. You shall not carve images. You shall not bear my name in vain. You shall not kill. You shall not steal. It singles us out.

The word of God does not say y'all. It's you. You.

It is me. Christ comes along. Listen to what he says.

Mark 12 again. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart. Catch all the personal pronouns. With all your soul. With all your mind. With all your strength.

That doesn't leave much left, does it? This is the first commandment, he says. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. When Paul told Timothy, meditate on these things.

Give yourself entirely to them. I think we miss that. I think that it is not to point fingers and blame, but to take it and approach it a different way. I think if we remember that we are supposed to contemplate, to think it through. In the early days of pastoring, study time was learning the facts, eliminating things that didn't make sense, studying the writings of other great men of God, understanding what it was saying and what it was not saying largely. But now, in the latter years of ministry, on the foundation of those things, it is thinking about it. It is pondering it. It is letting the mind and the heart chew on what God has fed me.

The bread of life. To think about it when you're driving. To think about it when you're mowing. To think about it when you're shaving.

Ladies, of course, it's mainly for the guys. Whatever it is you may be doing, maybe when you're putting your earrings on. You're thinking about a verse you just read. You're exploring it a little deeper. Those I find to be refreshing times, I find them to be robust times in my own faith.

The things begin to stick with me. We cannot be used as Moses, but we can all be used by the same God, by the God of Moses. Each and every one of us can be used by God. The Bible says this—again, catch the personal pronouns—"I will pray with the Spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the Spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. I will talk to God, he says, and I will talk with reason. I will sing, and I will sing with reason." That's what our Bible teaches us.

Last we hear of this lawgiver, Moses, is in the revelation of Jesus Christ, and there he is presented in song, in duet, with the Lord Messiah himself, Revelation 15.3. They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the saints. We would expect maybe something more profound from our perspective, but I find it quite powerful that God says, in the end, what beats hell is praising God. It is the very thing Satan wants for himself and cannot have. Satan wanted the Lord Jesus to bow down and worship him, and of course the Lord quotes Scripture, You shall have no other gods before me. In the end, the final analysis, that was what he said, and you're not God. And so, this power to praise God in the midst of a life that does not seem praiseworthy, it is the flesh that needs additional reasons to worship God.

The spiritual man has the scriptural reasons, because those scriptural reasons are true. Law and grace. But sometimes, in the ministry of law, we are afraid that if we're too gracious, we might be disobedient.

We've got to learn to balance these things. Sometimes, kindness is wiser than the law, in application. Sometimes we have to be able to be led by the Spirit and turn the other cheek. It is part of grace. When we are the recipient of this type of grace, we are very happy.

But are we ready to be the one that gives it out, remembering our hard beginnings, remembering our failures, remembering that we're not so great after all, we die to our self-importance. It is the lawgiver of God that teaches us these laws from his scripture, and they are good laws. Still, here he is in Revelation 15, 3, they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God.

Still, he is known in heaven as the servant of God. I want that. I want God to say, you are my servant, ever the servant of the Lord, the man who does God's will. I'm going to close with two verses, and you'll get out of here early today. That is, I don't know, I feel like you're indebted to me for that. John's Gospel, chapter 13, a new commandment I give to you.

You see those little things that we don't tend to emphasize if we read too quickly. But when we think about it, a new commandment to go with the ten, and he's giving it to me, and it's coming from him. I give to you that you love one another. Well, I can honestly say my flesh wants to be selective in who it loves.

Not anyone can just earn my love. God says, you need to rethink that. And in the light of the New Testament, it's very easy to think. And if I want to get somewhere with God in my prayer, I better learn to praise him more. Because it is true, it is right, and without it, something is missing in my prayer.

My offering is incomplete. Jesus continues to say, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. You see, that I have loved you says, remember the things that you have done wrong? Remember your sins? Remember that I still love you? Remember your hard beginning?

Don't lose sight of it. And then finally, 1 Corinthians 13, But earnestly desire the best gifts, and yet I show you, and there it is again, that pronoun, you. I show you a more excellent way.

And that excellent way is love. Without Jesus, love dies at death. Without Jesus, everything that happened to you in this life will be useless to you. It will not help you one bit. Any love that you had in this life really won't help you.

It is the love of Christ that changes everything. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God, right here on CrossReferenceRadio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 06:16:11 / 2023-03-02 06:24:45 / 9

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