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August 20, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Dan Olinger continues a chapel series entitled “Oh How I Love They Law.” Today’s scripture passage is Exodus 20:15-16.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist, Dr. Bob Jones senior. His 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 biblical preaching from the university chapel platform.
Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a study series entitled Oh How I Love Thy Law, which is a study of the Ten Commandments. Today's message will be preached by seminary professor Dr. Dan Olinger. He'll be preaching on the eighth and ninth commandments entitled Telling the Truth and Honoring Others. B.J., you, President Steve Pettit will introduce him.
Well, we are honored again to have one of our own faculty members speak today. Dr. Dan Olinger, we are continuing our series on Oh, How I Love Thy Law. And I think that you will be challenged this morning because a part of being a Christian is God puts his love in his heart for his own character. And the Ten Commandments reflect the character of God. And so open your hearts and your ears. This morning is Dr. Ellinger Gums.
Since in the Lord's Providence, it has fallen to me today to be speaking in chapel on Faculty Staff Appreciation Day. I wonder if I could take just a moment to presume to speak for the faculty and the staff, since I've served on both faculty and staff and express my appreciation to the SLC and to all of you for what you are doing. It is a great privilege and a joy to serve here.
It is unusual in that both the people for whom we are working and the people on whom we are working are delightful and generous and gracious.
And I would express the appreciation of the faculty and the staff for all that you have done and all that you will become.
Every so often I have interacted with a student, a graduate out there, and every so often I have had the occasion to say to him or her, you know, graduates like you are the reason the teachers like me get up and go to work every day.
And may you be one of those. May you be hundreds of those.
Last month, Sasha Evans, a 23 year old caregiver from Darlington, England, admitted in court that while providing care for a wheelchair bound 39 year old man, she used his phone to make ninety one hundred pounds, or nearly thirteen thousand dollars in withdrawals from his bank account. She had excitedly told him about the new laptop she had bought and about the tattoo she'd gotten on her leg without informing him that she had bought those things with his money. When confronted with the evidence of her theft, she alleged that the man had sexually propositioned her a an allegation that the court ruled to be false.
After her conviction, she announced that she was going to move to another city to be the caregiver for her mother.
Today in our series on the Ten Commandments, we're talking about two commandments together, the eighth and the ninth in Exodus 20.
They read like this verse fifteen thou shalt not steal verse 16. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. So why are we doing two commandments in one day? These commandments less important than the others and each of them gets just a half a chapel sermon. Is the chapel calendar too crowded? And we need to get a day back.
Is there something else Dr. Pettit wants to talk about in three weeks, or is there a reason that the two commandments belong together? Well, thank you for asking. Let's talk about that for a minute.
What is stealing? Stealing is taking something that doesn't belong to you. Why is it wrong? Well, let me suggest a number of reasons, perhaps some that you haven't thought of.
Turn over to Romans, Chapter 13, Romans Chapter 13, and we'll start reading in verse eight.
Oh, no, man. Anything but to love one another. For here that loveth another had fulfilled the law for this. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Thou shalt not covet. And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying namely thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Love work if no ill to his neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
Most obviously, then when you steal, you're not loving your neighbor.
And that's the secondary commandment. After all, you're depriving the victim of what he has earned.
But beyond that, there are a lot of other reasons that stealing is wrong by stealing from him. You're saying that he's not really in the image of God and you don't have to respect him. You're saying that what you've taken really belongs to you. You're saying that God, your abundantly generous heavenly father, has not given you everything you need. You're saying you need more. And you're saying that he doesn't care, that you need more. What else? Flip over to Ephesians Chapter four, if you would, Ephesians Chapter four, and we'll start in verse 17.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord that ye henceforth walk, not as other Gentiles walk. And he gives several examples of what that means. And then down in verse 22, he says that you put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Being a believer is about turning away from how you used to live and taking up a completely new way of living. Paul describes it in terms of taken off some old clothes and putting on some new ones. This new way of living is characterized by loving God and loving others in particularly, in particular, loving others more than you love yourself.
If you're a believer and you steal, then what you're saying is you haven't taken off the old life.
You haven't put on the cloak of righteousness. You're saying that God hasn't fundamentally changed you from the way you used to be.
Keep your finger here in Ephesians four. Going to come back here and just flip the page back. For those of you who are actually using pages, flip the page back to chapter two. You know, it's actually in my Bible software. It's a literal little harder to flip back a page or two in the software than it is in the book.
But the reason I'm a firm believer in Bible software is because of this.
I can make the print bigger and I have found that to be a valuable skill.
Ephesians, chapter two, verse one.
And you have a quick and who were dead in trespasses and sins in which we're in in time past. You walked according to the course of this world, according to prints of the power of the air, the spirit that now work at than the children of disobedience, among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
And we're by nature, the children of wrath, even as others.
If you sin, if you steal as a believer, you're living as though you're still by nature at children, a child of brath.
That's like being a square circle. It just doesn't make any sense.
And when you steal, you're denying that God is really the owner of everything and that he will certainly bring you to justice.
In short, you're lying.
You're lying in a dozen different ways, and that's why Paul mentions stealing in the context of lying back to Chapter four where we just were.
And let's read verse versus twenty five and twenty eight, verse twenty five.
Wherefore putting away lying speak every man truth with his neighbor for where members one of another.
Then he lists some other things and then in verse twenty eight let him that stole steal no more but rather let him labor working with his hands. The thing which is good that he may have to give to him that need it.
When you steal you're not telling the truth and you're not living the truth. And there's nothing good down that road.
You don't like it when other people do that to you. So how can you excuse it in yourself?
And that's why we're dealing with two commandments at the same time in chapel today, both stealing and lying. They're two sides of the same coin. Stealing is just one way of lying. And oddly enough, lying is just one way of stealing.
There are several examples of stealing and lying in the scripture. I'd like to look at one of them today turned to Ax.
Chapter four, please ax for the last paragraph of that chapter.
I want to start reading and verse 32 of X. Chapter four. And the multitude.
The multitude of them, the believed were of one heart and of one soul. Neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own. But they had all things common and with great power, gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked for as many as were possessors of lands or houses, sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles feet. And distribution was made under every man, according as he had need. And Josef's, who by the apostles was sir named Barnabus, which is being interpreted the son of consolation or encouragement, a Levite and of the country of Cyprus having land, sold it and brought the money and lated at the apostles feet. But a certain man named Anna Nice with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price. His wife also being privy to it and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles feet. But Peter said and and I asked why I had Satan filled dying heart to lie to the Holy Ghost and to keep back part of the price of the land while it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why has now conceived this thing in my heart that was not lied under man, but under God and.
And and EIAs hearing these words fell down and gave up the ghost and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up. That is in burial clothes and carried him out and buried him.
And it was about the space of three hours after when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in and Peter answered under her, tell me whether he sold the land for so much. And she said, yay for so much. Then Peter said under her, How is it that you have agreed together to test the spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried my husband, are at the door and shall carry these out.
Then she fell down straightway at his feet and yielded up the ghost, and the young men came in and found her dead and carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church and upon as many as heard these things.
Why did in a nice and Sapphira do this? Why did they lie to their professed Christian brothers and sisters? Well, they wanted approval and acclaim from those brothers and sisters.
How do we know that? Well, the juxtaposition of the previous paragraph, the last paragraph of Chapter four with the first paragraph, Chapter five, it's very clear what their motivation was.
Barnabas had sold some land and he had donated the money. And the church was so grateful and they applauded him and they commended him. And Antonius and Sapphira wanted a piece of that action.
They wanted the praise of their peers, but they didn't want to make the sacrifice.
So they're willing to lie to get their reward without expending the effort.
Nearly all sin is based on pride and self centredness, isn't it? You want something for yourself more than you want God to be glorified.
I say you. I do that too. We want something for ourselves more than we want God to be glorified.
And this in spite of the fact that God has already given us all spiritual blessings, and he has already given us all that we need for the day.
He clothes us. He feeds us.
He gives us warmth and light and shelter. And he promises much more to come.
So what would you do for recognition? What would you do to have fellow believers think well of you? If you do something that God forbids, then you've made yourself into an idol that you worship.
Can you think of anything more ridiculous than that? You know, the physicists have told us that neither you nor I has enough mass to be the center of the universe.
So what was their sin?
Well, they lied to the church. But at bottom, look at verse three.
Peter says, you've lied to the Holy Spirit. Verse four, you've lied to God.
How stupid is it to lie to somebody who's on Nishan?
You know, sand does make you stupid. I mentioned to one of my classes just yesterday that one of my hobbies is reading accounts of stupid criminals.
And there are so many Google the Darwin Awards. Not in chapel, but later. One of my favorites is the guy who held up the bank and he wrote the holdup note on the back of one of his checks.
Look, sin makes you stupid. Teachers aren't supposed to use that word, but I feel justified in this instance.
They didn't have to do any of this. Peter says you. It was your property. You could have kept it.
You could have sold it if you sold it. You could have kept all the money for yourself. It was your property. By the way, sometimes people say that the early church practice, socialism and socialism isn't really voluntary.
That's the impression I get from looking at socialist countries.
This was voluntary. There's a really big difference there.
They could have done anything that they didn't have to do this.
Did they really think God wouldn't know what they'd done? Well, that's just stupid.
So what's the penalty?
Well, an ice falls down dead.
That seems a little harsh, doesn't it? I'll confess that it seems a little harsh to me. But you keep in mind that this is a direct act of God. Peter didn't command Dana. Nice to fall down dead.
And God has the right of life and death. And he is just. And when all of this story is over, every one of us will look God in the eyes as Romans 14 and tell him that he was just in all that he did.
But what's really interesting is the next step. Verse seven. Notice what happens next. Safire gets wrapped up in this thing as well. We're told earlier that she knew what Atomize was doing.
CNN has a way of spreading, it has a way of getting out of control.
Someone said send we'll take you farther than you'll want to go. Keep you longer than you'll want to stay. And cost you more than you want to pay.
An alliance is supposed to be a tender shepherd for his wife. And he leads her, Anderson.
And her conspiracy just makes everything worse. So what's the outcome? Verse eleven.
Great fear comes upon the church. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Well, fear sometimes makes little children obey and obedience is a good thing.
The Bible tells us the perfect love casts out fear. God doesn't intend for us to live in fear. He doesn't intend for us to be afraid of being caught.
It's a shame, really, isn't it, that that fear had to come upon the church at all when the life of the church be better if fear wasn't necessary? It's our sin that brings fear into the picture. Wouldn't your life be better if you didn't have to try to remember which lies you had told of which people?
If you didn't have to live in fear of getting caught, why live in fear when God calls you to grace and mercy and peace?
How are you stealing? There are the obvious ways, of course. How are you lying?
Well, not giving a full day's work for a full day's pay might not be so obvious, but it's stealing from your boss. Not paying your big bills is stealing from the people you've borrowed from gossip.
Gossip, how is that stealing? Well, let me quote that great scholar of 16 eleven named William Shakespeare, who wrote in his work a fellow good name and man and woman, dear, my Lord, is the immediate jewel of their souls who steals my purse, steals trash to something, nothing to his mind.
It has been slave to thousands, but he that filch is from me. My good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor. Indeed you know God has never stolen from you. He's never taken anything from you that was rightfully yours. He's done the very opposite. He's given you infinitely a whole list of things that were not rightfully yours. If you're a believer, he's given you grace and mercy and peace with him. He's given you abundantly all things that pertain to life and godliness. He's given you perfect to righteousness through the life and the death of his only son.
He's given you everything and he's never lied to you either.
He's told you the truth about your desperate condition, even though it was hard for you to hear because you needed to hear it.
If you've turned to him, he's kept all his promises to you for forgiveness and cleansing a new birth and adoption and life in the sun.
And he's made promises to you about the future.
And he's going to keep all of those promises as well, because all the promises of God in Christ are. Yes. And a man. Now, if you're not a believer, if you're, you know, wearing the Christian mask, just trying to slip through that any hassle.
God's never lied to you either. He will keep his promises to you for good or for bad. And he stands ready today to give you all of the things he's given the rest of us. He stands ready today to keep promises to you just as he's kept them for us. All you need to do is come to him. All you need to do is trust him. All you need to do is turn.
Thank you, Father, for the delights of your word. We are so grateful that you are the truth.
We are so grateful that you are the gracious and abundant giver of all things to us that are not ours.
May we, father, follow you in that way? Help us to speak the truth and to give to those without things that are not theirs.
May we bring joy to your heart, to the hearts of our beloved friends and neighbors and to our own hearts as we follow you in the delightful path you've laid out for us.
In Jesus name. Amen.
You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by seminary professor Dr. Dan Olinger, which is part of the study series about the Ten Commandments. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series here on The Daily Platform.