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August 10, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn begins a chapel series entitled “Oh How I Love They Law.” Today’s scripture passage is Exodus 19.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were beginning a series entitled. Oh how I love thy law, which is a study of the 10 Commandments. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Sam Horn and BJ you president Steve Pettit will introduce him today. We are beginning our series are doctrinal series. We are audit this morning to have Dr. Sam Horn the coming give us really a foundational sermon for the rest of the semester. Dr. Horn, I'd like to ask you to take your Bible this morning to the 19th chapter of Exodus we will be spending our semester talking about laws that are articulated for us in the 20th chapter of Exodus and in the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy and so will be very familiar with these two sets of texts that sort of layout for us. God's laws for true life and that's really the theme that comes as we look at these 10 Commandments this morning that I want to sort of as we start Leah context for these in the best way to do that is to come to this 19th chapter in a moment will look at a number of verses out of this text, but I want you to think for a moment that 3500 years ago a man went to the top of the mountain and that mountain was shrouded with clouds. It was shaking as as though a great earthquake were taking place on that mountain. There were thundering's and there was lightning that was coming from that mountain. It was a terrifying experience and I want you in your minds eye to think of that mount for a moment and then imagine a solitary man making his way to the top of that mountain little later they're going to be 70 other man that go with him. But there only to go halfway up that mountain and at the top of this mountain. This solitary individual and you know his name and we all are familiar with the incredible place that he had in the history of the formation of God's plan, particularly with relation to these 10 Commandments, and that man was Moses and at the top of that mountain he had an unbelievable encounter a face-to-face encounter with the God who authored these laws and who wrote them with his finger into tablets of stone, each of the tablets was written on the front and on the back and I personally believe that each of the tablets had each of the 10 Commandments written on them.
One of the tables was representing God's ownership of these and the other table, representing the people of God's responsibility to these and those 10 Commandments, literally, have shaped the world that you and I live in for 3500 years and so this morning I think as we begin our study on these 10 Commandments, there is a valid question that we should ask yourself and that is this why devote an entire semester to giving the kind of detailed attention to this part of God's word especially when it is so familiar to us. You have heard about these 10 Commandments, your entire life.
Many of you know them by memory. You can quote them you. You have heard them being talked about.
You have actually probably some of you sat under preaching about these 10 Commandments allied take a semester to revisit information and ground that is so familiar and I would say that there are two compelling reasons that we need to think about this morning that give rise to a series like this. The first of them is this there is a radical orientation that these laws.
This law of God has when you contrasted to our world, Philip Graham Rieke wrote a little book on the 10 Commandments call written in stone.
I highly recommend it to you is a fabulous little exposition in its devotional in nature, and it's a great way for you as you hear the sermons and as you spend time personally, maybe even in your own devotional life this semester. In Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 and you sort of meditate on the on the bigger purpose behind the law and how it relates to you, Graham Rieke and Philip Graham rankings work written in stone is is an incredible valuable aid to that he said this, you and I live in a world that is radically antinomian in mindset in perspective and input in behavior. We are radically anti-non-moss that every level. Our proclivity for moral relativism has elevated our sense of self deity so that we do what we want to do when we want to do it where and how we want to do it and with whom we want to do it with. We are anti-non-moss to our core goes on to say that over and against this human propensity stands the non-moss of God. 10 words carved in stone. Based on the character of God given by the grace of God and leading to life and blessing from God. They really are true words of life. Those who truly belong to God. Have a radically different disposition and orientation to these words than all of the surrounding culture when they come against these words.
People who are rightly related to God and who have truly received a life from him feel this way about the law they feel like the psalmist felt in Psalm 119 verse 97 when he said oh how I love thy law, it is my meditation all of the day, and if there were a goal for the series. If there were sort of an objective for everything that we are doing beyond just giving you theological information that informs your head and stirs your heart.
It is this that there would come in you that would rise up in me a deep love for the law of God. There's a second reason that you and I should take a semester in devote time to the study of this law of God is not just that we are are related to this law in radically different ways than the surrounding culture. The second reason that you and I should take time to study these laws is that there is a surprising unfamiliarity with the true nature of these laws and maybe the story that best lays it out for us is the story in your New Testament that recounts an encounter that Jesus had with a young educated successful ruler in the New Testament who came to Jesus with a deeply sincere question about eternal life and the law.
This story is so important that it is recorded three times a New Testament is recorded in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 and in Luke 18. You know the story. This rich young ruler comes to Jesus with a very sincere question. Jesus validates his sincerity in the way that he responds and the right of Scripture want you to know that Jesus loved this young man and the young man had a question and then the question was this what I have to do to inherit eternal life. And Jesus answered his question with a statement you know the commandments and working to find out that this young man really did have intellectual knowledge of the commandments that Jesus goes on to quote Jesus proceeds to quote the second half of the law and in precisely the commandments that govern man's duty to love his neighbor as himself, and this young man looks back at Jesus and in and in total sincerity says to him I have done this.
I've done this. I know these commandments I'm very familiar with them and I have kept them from my youth up. So Jesus was right when he told this young man.
You know the commandments we really did know them and he had been hard at work keeping them. And Jesus went on to expose that as familiar as he was with these commandments and is sincerely, as he had been working to keep them. He really did not understand their true nature. And he had totally missed their true intent.
I wonder if that is true for some of us, Jesus goes on to talk to this young man very directly and he asks the question, why do you call me good because, in fact, there is no one good but God then if you really believe that I'm good then you have to conclude something that I'm not sure you're ready to embrace yet and that is this that I am God, and the moment that you do that you are going to come into a very different understanding of the law, because actually the thing that you are looking for eternal life is this eternal life is knowing God and enjoying God and being with God forever.
In fact, Jesus is good is going to actually define eternal life that way. In John chapter 17 verse three. So he looks at this young ruler, and he says the key to your question is and what you called me you called me good, and the implication of that. Even though you may not totally see it yet is that I am God, and in that relationship you come into a completely different perspective of the law. So here's the essence of what I want to ask you if you really want eternal life if you really want to know God and you really want to enjoy God and you really want to be with God forever then sell all of your possessions and give them to your give them to the poor you will have reward in heaven. For that, but, and be with me because that's the essence of eternal life. The essence of eternal life is not the keeping of these commandments essence of eternal life is being with me so sell your goods given to the poor and come and be with me and the implications of the law. The full weight of the law came crashing down on this young man and he was grieved and you know the story turned away, and in so doing, he revealed that he really didn't love the Lord his God with all of his heart and all of his mind and all the strength because he loves something more.
He turned away and the Scripture says the reason he turned away and the reason he was grieved. His week was because he had great possessions, so there really was something that he loved more than God, and there really was something that he loved more than his neighbor, and so this morning as we come to a story like this is entirely true that laws we have heard our entire life that we have sincerely been attempting to keep with our entire strength, RR laws, in which there is a sense that we really don't understand, and we don't grasp.
So this morning as we begin our series. I want to try to answer a number of questions about these 10 Commandments, and so the first of those questions is this why did God give this law, what is the true purpose of the law.
What are its goals and its objectives, and so I had to turn to Exodus 19 because I think that the context out of this law behind this law rather gives us some insight into its purpose. Notice what the text says in verse four, you have seen God speaking now to Moses and to the Israelites, you have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bear you on Eagles wings and brought you unto myself the context behind all of these laws that were to be reading about in Exodus chapter 20 is the most powerful display of grace in the Old Testament. It is the redemption and the deliverance of an entire nation who are being oppressed by nation of Egypt, and God came and he heard their cry.
In Exodus chapter 2 and he remembered his promise that he had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so the context of what God is done to the Egyptians, and for his people and bearing them away is not based on their performance. It is based on his promise and after redeeming them and after calling them in verse five, to obey his voice and keep my commandments, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people for all the earth is mine and you shall be under me as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. There is an incredible context behind this law and and and God has acted redemptive layout of grace for them and that is produced in in God's grace to them a mission. They are to go to the nations, and they are to do two things.
They are to represent God's character accurately to those nations you are going to be a peculiar people, you're going to be a special people to be your to be like a crown jewel in all of the nations that belong to me because all of the earth is mine and your mission is to go to those nations and to represent to them. What I really like who I really AM and what I am really like.
So your represent my character to those nations effectively and then your to reflect my grace to them attractively your ear to tell them what I am like, but you're also to display them.
What my grace does to people. So you are to live this grace out into reflect what God's people are like and the means by which these two big goals are to be accomplished are these laws that I'm going to give you in Deuteronomy chapter 4. They are described as wisdom that God gives to his people in the sight of the nations. And if you keep this wisdom, the nations will look at you and they will be astonished and they will ask you how is it that you have a God like that that is so close to you and so near to you and does what he does for you guys is these laws are going to be the means by which you display my character and my grace.
That's why you are to have no other gods before me.
Because you're going into a nation or nations who have multiplied gods and they have all kinds of different beliefs and you alone of the nations have a relationship with the one true God, and you are to display that to them so that they will know who I am and what I'm really like this is why you are not to make any images of me or any icons of me. I have already made an image of myself when I created you. I made you in my own MN. You are the image that is going to tell the world who I am and what am like in order for you to do that. Here are the ways that you should live in. Here are the laws that are going to help you live that way the other nations of all made images of their own gods and actually when you look at those images they look a lot like them.
You are the image the icon that I have made the image that I put in you is going to be the image of me, so that when you think the way I think and you value what I value and you respond to life and circumstances the way I think and respond.
You will accomplish this with the nation.
This is why your to take a day to celebrate God's righteous goodness and graciousness in your life. This is why your love your neighbor as yourself here to love his life here to care about his wife here to care about is good here to be respectful of his name.
This is why you're not to covet things that I have not given because you're supposed to be displaying to the nations that you serve a gracious and good God that can abundantly supply everything that you need and desire. So these laws become the means for that.
Now let's look quickly. Secondly, at what these laws are really like the nature of these laws and very quickly. Let me give you three words or three ideas that will will help you to grasp these laws because we think of the 10 Commandments, sometimes very negative ways. First of all they are good. Lots posited Timothy, the law is good when used properly they are the divine summary of how God's image bearers are to live in order to have productive and beneficial lives.
You were designed by a master designer and he knows exactly how to structure life so that you will be able to live in ways that bring you maximum freedom, true joy and lasting satisfaction. These laws are matched up to the very way that God requires you and if you really want true freedom and true joy and lasting satisfaction gods are meant to give you the pathway to money for a moment think about what the world would be like if everybody did the exact opposite of these laws. What if everybody killed what if everybody stole everybody else's possessions. What if everybody took everybody else's life. What if everybody took everybody else's name and disparaged it.
What kind of a world would we live in.
So the good laws there, gracious laws we noted in Exodus 19 the passage we were looking at that these laws were not given as a condition for redemption, God did not say look, layout these 10 laws and if you agree to do them. Then all agreed to deliver you.
It's the exact opposite. God comes to Moses and of the people and he says now because I did for you. What I did here is now how you are going reflect my grace and my mercy to the nations, and then I want you notice thirdly that they are grave laws. Romans seven versus 7 to 12 is very clear about this.
The apostle Paul describes these laws and he says this good law that was intended to bring me life has actually produce death and and were to talk about that here just a moment, but that's the nature of these laws are good there gracious and their grave. Thirdly, what is the function of this law. How is it intended to work and we could set this way is not the only way to describe it but this is a helpful way and you'll hear this described in a lot of the theology classes that you take in the books that you read on the law of God, you could say this way.
This is a helpful way to kinda understand the law that the foundation of the law is the moral law of God.
This establishes and reveals God's universal expectations for righteous conduct and that's the basis of the 10 Commandments God's righteous conduct. Now these moral laws had to be lived out in the context of a nation and this nation belong to God. It would be ruled as a theocracy under God and so these 10 Commandments had to be expressed so that they would affect every area of life.
And so as you keep reading through the book of Exodus and through the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
You come to what you find and what is been called the civil law.
This is the revelation of God's national expectations for the personal and social and political life of Israel.
Based on these 10 Commandments, and then there was a part of the law that talked about their worship. How do you worship the God who gave these commandments especially as we wait for him to fulfill the promise that he made to us about his son and and so we have a section of the law that relegates the religious practice and worship of Old Testament Israel before the coming Messiah. The ceremonial law. Now these three parts of the law were all in play in the Old Testament, but when Jesus came, and the nation of Israel was set aside the parts that dealt with the national life of Israel in the Old Testament worship of Israel were set aside because they had been fulfilled up to that moment but the moral part of that law is actually in play for you today because you continue to be the people of God and the character of God that was behind these commandments. And by the way, that same character as before Moses. These laws were actually written in the heart of man. They were communicated to the conscience of men. Rather, they were written on tables of stone, and eventually as as a son of God came in the spirit of God dwells either actually written in your heart and so this part of the log continues today and that brings us to this. How do we use this law how to use and there are three ways that we use the law. I wish this was original with me because it's a wonderful way to describe it, it's actually in that little book by Reich and I mentioned the law serves you and me in three ways.
Number one, it serves as a muzzle. It restrains sin and society by establishing norms for all of human behavior.
First Timothy 18 through 11 speaks to this so serves as a muzzle. It serves as a mirror.
It shows sinners. Their total inability to keep these laws and their desperate need for Savior. And that's the way the law leads us to the wonderful merciful Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That's what Paul is talking about in Romans chapter 7, when he talks about the law, slaying him and at the end of all of that, he says, but it's a good it's a good law and then it serves as a map.
It serves as a map which shows a redeemed people who have experienced the grace of God in their life how they are to live for God's glory and they are good weeds in this way, my relationship to the law. Is this.
I have been redeemed from its condemnation.
Romans chapter 8 verse one there is now therefore no condemnation. I been released from its penalty, the law is no longer my execution is not my judge anymore and is no longer my execution Romans chapter 3 describes the fact that we have been made righteous by a righteousness from God, apart from the law, so when you and I have the righteousness of God.
We have a righteousness that meets the standard of the law because it's a righteousness that Jesus obtained not just by his death, but by his life and that's been imputed to me and do you and so the laws no longer are judged and it's no longer our executioner law is our friend. It's our guide. It shows me how to love God with all of my heart and my soul and my strength. It shows me how to love my neighbor as myself, and it helps me to mortify the lust of my flesh and to cultivate cultivate godliness through contentment with the will of God for my life. No wonder the psalmist said. Oh how I love thy law is my meditation all of the day, we should ask with the psalmist open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law, and we should commit with psalmist this prayer, so shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever and I will walk in liberty, for I seek thy precepts. So we have a wonderful semester ahead of us and I trust as we learn about these gracious laws that it will be encouraging strengthening and motivating thing for us. Father, thank you for this part of your word. I pray as we study and that it would encourage us and grow us and strengthen us into thy likeness. We pray in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Sam Horn join us again tomorrow as we continue this series on the 10 Commandments here on The Daily Platform