The Ten Commandments are poking around in our hearts and exposing rotten wood behind what looked like a perfectly fine wall. The termites of sin have totally corrupted everything that was underneath the outer man. This is a problem. Thanks for joining us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I'm Bill Wright. And as Don continues teaching God's people God's word, he's going to resume his brief overview of each of the Ten Commandments, offering us a fascinating look at what every believer should know concerning the holy instructions God gave Moses on Mount Sinai all those centuries ago. So open your Bible to Exodus chapter 20.
Let's join Don Green now in The Truth Pulpit. We must have no false gods because God is holy. He is set apart.
He is alone. We must worship the true God in the right way because He is holy, and that's what He requires. We are to not use His name in vain. We are to honor His name because He is holy.
You start to see the theme here. Fourthly, the fourth commandment. Remember the Sabbath. Remember the Sabbath.
The fourth commandment is this. Remember the Sabbath, beginning in verse 8, where God said, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. This commandment is showing God's authority over daily life and in the structure of the way that life is to be lived over the course of time. It requires six days of labor and work, reminding me in the moment of the New Testament commands. It says, If a man doesn't work, neither let him eat.
This idea of universal income to able-bodied people who don't work is a travesty. God requires labor and work, and in the Old Testament the seventh day was set apart for rest. The fifth commandment, Honor your father and mother. Honor your father and mother. Look at Exodus chapter 20 verse 12.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. God's sovereign authority stands behind this command to honor earthly authority. God establishes earthly authority starting with parents, and then other applications of authority and social relationships flow out from there.
We'll find that the application of this command, the significance, the implication of this command go far beyond family relationships and go to the whole matter of dealing with authority. Ultimately this commandment informs all of our duties in all of our relationships, and we honor authority because God is holy and He established that authority to be honored. Look over at Ephesians chapter 6 where this is repeated. The Apostle Paul repeats this command and specifically calls upon it in a New Testament sense to apply the moral implications of this fifth commandment to the New Testament times. Ephesians chapter 6 verse 1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. Paul takes that commandment, applies it to Gentiles in the Christian church, giving us a sense that these commands extend beyond the nation of Israel. There's a lot of reasons to believe and understand that.
This is just one indication of it. The fifth commandment is honor your father and your mother. What God does here, what's happening in the Ten Commandments is He's established this vertical principle of honoring Him in the first four commandments, and now He goes and He starts to expand it out in a horizontal way in human relationships, and He starts with this premise of honoring authority, honoring parents, and that this is the key to loving our neighbor is to begin to understand something about the importance of honoring authority. Now, that means that for those of you with young children, it is imperative for you to teach them to honor you.
It's not an ego trip to do that. You are teaching them to honor the command that God Himself established. Your children are to obey you. They are to heed you. They are to listen to you, and their natural bent toward defiance, their natural bent toward disobedience is not something to be coddled, not something to be laughed at. It is something to be corrected at the earliest of stages.
Why? Well, because it's right, but also because it instills upon them something of the importance of honoring the commandments of God, and they learn it first at your knee. We honor authority because God is holy, and this is what He commands.
God is the sovereign authority over all, and He delegates authority in different earthly realms, and as part of our obedience to God, part of our honoring of the authority of God, we honor the lesser authorities that He places in authority over us. The sixth commandment, you shall not murder. You shall not murder. The sixth commandment is found in verse 13. I think it's two simple words in the Hebrew text translated in English with four words, you shall not murder. Now, this again is rooted in the holiness of God.
God is the Lord and the giver of life. God is sovereign over our days, and so He forbids the taking of innocent life that He has created, and the anger and the hatred that undergirds murder, the act of murder is forbidden, and what Scripture teaches us as we understand the Ten Commandments and the fullness of comparing Scripture with Scripture is that this command goes and regulates the motions of your heart as well. Look over at Matthew chapter 5. Matthew chapter 5.
Now, most of us, if not all of us in here, might say, well, I've got this command covered. I haven't physically killed anyone. Jesus is having none of it, none of that superficial attitude, because the Ten Commandments not only forbid certain external acts, these summary commands are also forbidding the inward attitudes that lead to the act in its culmination, and so it's not simply murder that is forbidden, but that which leads up to murder, and Jesus makes this plain in Matthew chapter 5, verses 21 and 22. You have heard that the ancients were told, you shall not commit murder, and whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.
Jesus goes on and clarifies what the original intent of the command was. He says, but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court, and whoever says to his brother, you good for nothing, shall be guilty before the Supreme Court, and whoever says, you fool, shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell, not having done the physical deed, and yet the commandment convicts and condemns to the point that hatred and angry words are enough to send you to hell. Now, which one of us hasn't been angry with someone at some point in our life? Which one of you hasn't harbored the most vile thoughts of revenge against someone who has wronged you and nursed the grudge and bitterness and resentment that that causes? Which one of you is free and innocent from that aspect of this command?
Do you see the problem? God said in the third command, I'm not going to leave unpunished anyone who takes my name in vain. Jesus clarifies and explains the sixth commandment, saying that the anger of your heart is enough to send you to hell. This puts a whole different perspective on it, doesn't it?
This changes the whole nature of the way in which we think things. We realize that to use a very crude picture here, that the Ten Commandments are poking around in our hearts and exposing rotten wood behind what looked like a perfectly fine wall. You punch out the drywall, you get beyond the external application alone of the command, and you reach underneath and you find that there's all of this corruption underneath, that the termites of sin have totally corrupted everything that was underneath the outer man. This is a problem, because this is a violation of the holiness of God, and He has made repeatedly clear that He will not tolerate the violations of these commandments.
There will be punishment to be had for them. Here we all are, only six commandments into it, and realizing that we're all thoroughly condemned by what they have to say, and by what God requires, and what His holiness means in its application to our lives. Do you see why the Ten Commandments would produce a fear of the Lord?
Do you see why the Ten Commandments promote humility and dependence in contradiction to the pride and self-sufficiency of our age, even within the church? Do you see when there is such condemnation from the law of God, why the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is so urgent? Men are guilty and going to hell, and only the gospel of Christ can answer that crisis. Do you see why there must be urgency in you in hearing the Word of God? You're guilty before Him in yourself.
The Philippian jailer cried out, like conviction, understanding that he was condemned by what was happening around him. And the cry of his heart goes out, what must I do to be saved? You know how often I hear that question from people? It ain't often.
It's just not important to them. Oh yeah, people like to gather together, like to hear the Word of God, like to fellowship with each other and go out afterwards, and all of that stuff's just great. But at the core of true Christian fellowship are people who have been captivated by the conviction of sin that God's law brings upon them, and by an urgent necessity of saying, I must have my guilt forgiven, what must I do to be saved? Where is salvation to be found?
And when we set aside the law of God to do other things and talk about other things, the urgency of the gospel sets like the sun as well. Jesus said, he who's been forgiven much, loves much. He who's been forgiven little, loves little. If you think your sin isn't too big of a deal, it's just a couple of infractions here and there, you know, maybe I committed a couple of misdemeanors against God, then you're not going to value and love the Lord Jesus Christ who went to the cross to stand in your place and suffer the infinite wrath of God on your behalf so that you could be utterly delivered from it yourself. When you realize your guilt is great, you have a great appreciation for the great sacrifice, that substitutionary penal sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, you love and treasure him for that because you realize how guilty and condemned you were. And to be delivered from that and to have no condemnation in Christ Jesus is the greatest thing that could ever have happened to you. But if you think sin is a trifling matter, hey, what's the big deal? Jesus gave me a little bump up that I needed to get me over the finish line.
No, Jesus resurrected you from the dead. And so the implications of this go everywhere and have a fundamental effect on the way that we think about ourselves in relationship to a holy God. The seventh commandment, you shall not commit adultery, found in verse 14. God is a God of purity.
God is a God of faithfulness. God established the institution of marriage and intends for it to be respected, so much so that in the New Testament in Hebrews chapter 13 it says, the marriage bed must be held in honor. God punishes those who violate sexual purity and he does it because he is holy. And as with the commandment of murder prohibiting the sin of anger, so also the commandment prohibiting adultery condemns and convicts the sin of lust. The inner man, that lingering look of desire on someone who does not belong to you. Those subtle clicks of the computer and feeding that sensual appetite in the privacy and darkness of your room, all of that violating this commandment. All of it violating the purity of the marriage bed.
All of it being a violation of the God who is holy who commands us to be separate and set apart. People talk about, I want to know what the will of God is for my life. I got to know what the will of God is for my life. You know, where should I go to school? What job should I take?
What should I do this week? What's the will of God for my life? And utterly trivializing the whole thing by a self-centered preoccupation with matters of earthly concern. God will work out his will in the providential details of your life. He'll be faithful to lead you in the paths that he's appointed to you.
If you really want to get concerned, especially as a young person, well, why are you limited to young people? We all need to hear this. Scripture tells us what the will of God is. In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 it says, this is the will of God, your sanctification.
That is that you abstain from sexual immorality. There's the will of God for you. Start there.
Start with something revealed. Start with something that's rooted in the Ten Commandments. There's the will of God for you. The eighth commandment, you shall not steal. Look at verse 15, Exodus chapter 20 verse 15. You shall not steal. This commandment requires us to see that all things belong to God, and it's not only a command against taking something that doesn't belong to you, it's a command, as the New Testament teaches us, a command to do what you are able to do in order to provide for yourself and not take from others. In Ephesians chapter 4 verse 28 it says, he who steals must steal no longer, but rather, see it's not just a negative prohibition, there's a positive commandment embedded in this, but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good so that he will have something to share with one who has need.
It's not simply don't take that which doesn't belong to you, it's to give of what you have to someone who needs it. That's how far-reaching this commandment is. We are to be content with what we have because God is holy, because God has provided for us. The ninth commandment, you shall not bear false witness, found there in verse 16. God is a God of truth. God is a holy God of truth. God is opposed to the father of lies. And so we are forbidden from using words that injure another man's name, we are forbidden from fudging the truth, we are forbidden from all those things that misrepresent the way things really are, and when people are relying on what we are telling them to mislead them as to what the state of affairs actually is.
Why is this a command? It's because God is holy. He is holy in His truthfulness.
He is set apart. Scripture goes so far as to say in the book of Titus, it is impossible for God to lie. There are some things that God cannot do, and one of the things that God cannot do is He cannot lie because it would be a violation of His own eternal character of truth. Well, there's your standard for the way that you are to speak and to represent and to carry yourself. Finally, the tenth and final commandment, found in verse 17. You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
To covet is to want what God has not given to us. And so in this command, God commands us to be content with the life, with the wife that He has given to us, that we're not to envy the good that He has given to others and wish that they didn't have it. And in this tenth commandment, clearly, clearly showing, even before the explanations of Jesus that we've already looked at, showing clearly that the moral law of God regulates all the motions and affections and desires of your heart. It covers everything that you do, everything that you think, say, and do in worship, vertically to God, the Ten Commandments do. And then it regulates every earthly relationship and everything that you think about all of these things during the whole entire course of your life.
It is comprehensive. With you, I say about my own life and self, this is devastating. This shows that me and myself, that you in yourself, there is a vast gulf, there is an insurmountable gulf between the holiness of God and who we are. How are we ever going to come to terms with that? How is it ever going to be made right? You see, the problem is not that the law reveals our sin. The problem is that we're sinful. That's the rub with the law. The law is perfectly good.
The problem is us. To meet the Ten Commandments is to meet our desperate need for a Savior, to meet our desperate need for the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, the bad news is that you have broken this law and you can never keep it on your own. You have not kept it. If you started now you would fail and say, I'll be perfect from here on.
You would stumble before you walked out of the door. It's that high and lofty and you are that fallen and sinful. The good news is, there is good news in this, the good news is that the conviction of sin that the Ten Commandments bring upon us has a purpose in the plan and the work of God.
They are to convict us of our sin and to act as a tutor, as a teacher that leads us to Christ. When we see how high and lofty the holiness of God is, when we see how desperately lost and depraved we are, we are left with no alternative but the fact that we need a mediator with God or we will be utterly lost and condemned. Do you see you could not possibly be made right, you could not possibly be declared righteous before a holy God by what you have done. We're all lost, we're all guilty, we're all condemned, we're all shut up and led away from our boasting in self-righteousness.
It could never be. The Ten Commandments close the door on self-righteousness and when it seems that we are locked in a room that we cannot escape, we look and we find there's another door. Christ said, I am the door enter through me and you will be saved. The good news is that such profound, damning guilt was paid for in full by Jesus Christ on behalf of those that he redeems. The good news is that Christ in his life perfectly kept all of the Ten Commandments every moment of every day. His life of perfect righteousness was fulfilled. And in a gracious amount of time this act of voluntary self-sacrifice, he gave that precious life, he shed that precious blood on the cross to pay for the guilt of everyone who would come to him for forgiveness of sin. And so the Ten Commandments condemn us and they show us how great Christ must be if he kept all of this in moral perfection. And so the good news is that all the guilt of all of your sin can be redeemed in Christ and he calls you to repent of your guilt in earnestness and put your soul and solitary faith in him alone, realizing that God has appointed him as the only mediator by which he can be approached.
You need a mediator. You need someone between you and God because you're lost without it. Christ is that one. He kept the law for us. He paid the penalty for sin. He rose from the dead.
He literally did everything on our behalf. Jesus said, this is the will of my Father. You want the will of God?
Here we have it again. This is the will of my Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in him will have eternal life and I myself will raise him up on the last day. Indeed, the holy thunderings of God's law could only be answered by the grace of God through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Well friend, next time more from Don Green's series called God's Forgotten Law here on The Truth Pulpit. Do join us then. Meanwhile, if you'd like a copy of today's lesson or you'd like to find out more about this ministry, just go to thetruthpulpit.com. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now on behalf of Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, reminding you to join us next time on The Truth Pulpit as Don continues teaching God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-09 22:35:57 / 2023-05-09 22:44:30 / 9