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Who Takes First Place? (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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November 1, 2021 4:00 am

Who Takes First Place? (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 1, 2021 4:00 am

By nature, we’re averse to rules and restrictions. But the Ten Commandments aren’t a list of dos and don’ts given to deprive us of fun and freedom. Discover how God’s laws are actually our pathway to freedom, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The most of us recoil commanded to do anything. We value our freedom or autonomy. So how should we think about God's commandments. Specifically, the 10 Commandments today on Truth for Life. We begin a new series that shows that God's laws are actually a pathway to freedom. Here's Alastair back with part one of a message titled, who takes first place. I invite you to take your Bibles and turn to the book of Exodus. In chapter 20.

As we both seek to consider the first of these 10 Commandments and also to give something of an introduction to the Commandments in general.

Exodus chapter 20 in verse three it reads as following you shall have no other gods before me or besides me there is an interesting change. It would seem to me taking place in many parts of our world, not least of all, here in the context of the United States of America. Perhaps this is your experience also but I find that people have no problem whatsoever about being prepared to listen or to read our text talk about spiritual things. Indeed, there seems to be a widespread interest in religion, so much so that people are prepared to listen to just about anyone or anything that is the bad side of the rise of Islam. The inroads of all kinds of mystical elements that attach themselves to the New Age movement are indicative of this very thing in the very same time.

Large segments of Christendom that which rep presents. If you like historic Christianity appears happy simply to set up their booths as and where on the corridors of time, alongside all these other little displays of the various religious options, and so we live in this kind of syncretistic pluralistic culture where men and women are increasingly interested in religion and at the same time decreasingly interested in doing anything that makes demands upon. I believe a door of opportunity is opening for us an opportunity for us to share with people that there is something that they need, albeit not something that they want indeed that what they want is actually a mirage and that what they need is something very real. Time magazine in the work of the previous editor-in-chief a man by the name of Grunwald, who was also ambassador to Austria wrote an article titled the year 2000 is at the end are just the beginning. I did it. He writes we are beset by a whole range of discontents and confusions for a great many of the dunghill has become a natural habitat. Observers of depravity would be stunned by the chaos of manners and speech is a secular man.

He says of someone observing this from a different vantage point were to see that chaos and manners and in speech, they would be absolutely flabbergasted at the same time.

He says they would be equally shocked by the hellish ubiquity of crying. The almost Democratic availability of drug by the new varieties of decadence rock songs about rape and suicide pornography at the corner newsstand says the man. We are witnessing the end, or at least the decline of an age of unbelief and beginning what may be a new age of faith before we jump up and go. This is terrific to understand what this means what he saying is in the materialistic mechanistic worldview, which is pervaded my quest kind of rationalistic scientific quest for Utopia has fizzled out the fire the rocket and ended and is now begun to calm on a parabola down is going to hit the ground.

I'm still having decided that there's nothing there now are going to get into faith the fact of the matter is, no, this is faith in faith. This is not faith that has to do with the object of faith whereby the ground of what we trust in gives credibility to our faith, but rather is just faith and faith to have is all about thing I wish I had your faith and is good to have faith and I'm glad I have faith knows what they're talking about, but he does use this worked and read it in time magazine or a Newsweek in this. That's it.

That's what we're into now well says the writer. We will need a new sense of drive and less emphasis on our rates and more on our responsibilities is not a Bible is the secular commentator.

This is the man looking over the panorama of the human seed and he says we have given wide-ranging to living on the basis of rights that we better thing responsible XYZ is timely for us to consider the Decalogue, the 10 Commandments, because here God expresses the responsibilities which he chooses to lay on men and women secular realism.

Secularism has not blossomed into the beauty that was offered up, and if you are a believer this morning. You understand yet to read your newspaper you read your Bible you think these things out and be prepared to go out on a Monday and challenge the thought forms of our generation. Grunwald says we are gradually dissolved. We have deconstructed the human being into a bundle of reflexes, impulses, neuroses and nerve endings is true manages the cosmic monkey man is now a turbocharged eight men and women are confused.

The really confused. I believe men are really interested in cutting through a lot of the that the Christian claptrap all the little slogans we've made and they're prepared to think the issues that know when we encounter somebody like that with that a great opportunity. Mainstream Christianity has tried to diminish its bits and pieces that folks want. Like so I said well if that's a problem for somebody we won't believe in that Mr. X1 like that. Then we can get rid of that and if the teenagers don't like this, then we won't worry about that. And so what it does is it just renders itself irrelevant the opportunity open students to stand up authoritatively in our day to take our Bibles and to say it is what God says and were unashamed about now. That's why were studying the 10 Commandments, so that we might get to grips with these issues in coming to them is vitally important that we understand a number of things because great confusion surrounds the 10 commandment. Some of us were brought up learning them off by heart.

Although 96% of America.

Susan believes in God. Very, very few could get the 10 Commandments in order in five very few could even get the 10 Commandments and some of us this morning would be hard-pressed with a white sheet of paper in front of us to write down more than two or three. So before we start applauding ourselves we better just understand the context. First of all we need to see this, that what we have in the 10 Commandments is not a formal list of do's and don'ts that have been given to us by God to restrict our personal freedom. People think that's what it is safe for the 10 Commandments. I hate that stuff in a bunch of things that you can do and it just making life miserable who came up with the answer is the 10 Commandments are not that rather they are a blueprint for life. Here's the way to live in freedom, says God, they are the kind of instructions that a parent would give a good. It would give to their child safe honey this is how I want you to live in.

This is how you will be protected and this is how you will grow to be the kind of person that God intends for you to be. That's the framework in which the 10 Commandments are given second thing to notice is that these commandments expounding the instruction of Jesus given to us in Matthew chapter 22. Remember one occasion, the Pharisees, who were really into rules and regulations came up to Jesus and asked him, teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law is Matthew chapter 22 verse 36 and Jesus replied, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Now wonder if you have thought this are met anyone who thought it was when you find you talk to people they say yes I know the 10 Commandments are in the Old Testament, but we don't bother with the Old Testament where the New Testament people, and in the New Testament. What we have is just love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. A force of all that is not true.

Jesus said these two principal statements are the very eye hinges upon which all of the law and the prophets hang in other words, he says if you get these two things and understand what they mean in your set. But if you don't, your difficulty, so I asked this morning during this is that I sorta love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul all night and all my strength good while you were a source of Asian walkaround going. I love the Lord about low my heart and soul of Lionel Mr. I can like a mantra to mean something. How do we find out what it means what it means is answered in the first four commandments. They tell us what it means to love God with all our sake.

First thing is you don't have any other gods you don't worship anyone other than the living God. Secondly, you don't worship the living God.

Any other way than the way in which he said, and soul. And we love our neighbor as ourselves. What is that me the last six commandments and select question to love my neighbor as myself is going to mean something practical and mean something very practical and you don't sleep with the lady next door unless she has to be away from the next.

All right image you don't, you don't rip your boss off and steal stuff out of the office, and beautiful.

Your income tax and if you don't drive around your neighborhood resented the fact that your car is the smallest car in the neighborhood never announces a bigger house and put an extension on the back and you didn't get one SMEs on the really practical, easy to love your neighbor as yourself doesn't just mean having a funny feeling in the pit your stomach that may only have to do with pizza is honestly love. Okay so want you to understand any of you have come with the notion that many will have that we in the Old Testament we have the 10 Commandments but somehow or another the blown out and now we just of two new one. No, what Jesus was saying, is expounded in the 10 commandment get third thing to say in general is that the 10 Commandments are not a ladder up which we claim to acceptance with God you went in the streets into somebody.

How do you think you can ever get to heaven.

One of that one of the class responses will be abated 10 Commandments. Okay, try your best to do the things that God said where the said brothers at the 10 commandment but to quantify what we discover is that the temperament is about a ladder up which we claim to acceptance with God.

But the rather a mirror in which we see ourselves because when we read these commandments we realize we got a problem for several commandment number one that were about to deal with now were supposed to have no other gods before God. I stop you put your girlfriend before God.

Anytime this by seven these guys are your boss before God for your marriage before God. When I read the 10 Commandments is like a miracle that was on my face and not embarrassing when you buy something in your face you don't know, maybe your best friends would tell you.

I remember in Scotland. I was visiting and some old ladies has taken flowers seemed old at the time probably only 40 and I was when I was visiting and some are not. I got the pollen on my fingers. I drive my car. I wrote my face, I walked in front is once give the flyer set down had a cup of tea, read the Bible, prayed with her and everything else lodges like I came out as I looked in my rearview mentor to drive away. I said holy smoke. I didn't really hate that all of my things she never told when she see in their final was going and see here in these 10 Commandments.

We look in the mirror. That's why a lot of people don't want to deal with in the mirror shows as were dirty and you can wash your face in the mirror so he sends us to the solution to the problem we encountered. So don't anybody go out of here this morning saying I got it clear there are 10 Commandments you try and do them.

If you do them. God likes you. If you don't do them. God hates you and the waiter really made godlike use of a the 10 Commandments. No what the 10 Commandments do is say I got a problem and they don't answer the problem if I must go look for an answer. You don't have to look far to find out the first thing to say is this, that the impact of the 10 Commandments on the unbeliever is to bring restraint in the civil realm.

In other words, in the realm of politics and democracy. Both Britain and America share this insofar as the 10 Commandments of largely framed the basis of their loss, and the 10 Commandments are there to restrain evil feeling about it. There is no way to restrain evil unless the society embraces a moral consensus to the society decides that it doesn't matter if you kill people is the wild West soon as a society decides that it doesn't matter if you steal that a social and the 10 Commandments have framed in Western culture. The basis largely on the civil jurisdiction of our day. Fifthly, the 10 Commandments exist to bring about conviction in the theological realm of largely said that in terms of referring to them as a matter. In other words, it is there that we find out that were not all that we thought we were.

And sixthly for the believer.

For those who are trusting in Christ, the 10 Commandments are there not in order to enable us to meet requirements for God because Jesus is the only one that can meet those requirements. But in order to enable us to walk in the fullness and freedom that our heavenly father intends this is how it is all of humanity has God's eternal law written in his conscience. Every man or woman, boy or girl made is made as a moral being they know things are right and they know things are wrong. It is not simply environmental.

They know instinctively, God is written it into conscience, but the law of God is only written on the hearts of those who trust in Christ and until I come to trust in Christ. The law of God only convicts me and only condemns me so if you keep coming here and you are living outside of a personal relationship with God in Christ this series and the 10 Commandments is either going to drive you far away from this building RNAs, God willing going to drive you to the wonderful discovery of faith in Christ because the law of God is written in your conscience, but is not written in your heart as sinners, we break the law of God. We don't delight in the law of God. It is only when he writes it in our hearts to be safe, I delight to do your will. The Lord, I delight to obey you, your pastor, the paths of righteousness, and all your ways are peace more to be desired, then goals are your laws and your statutes they rejoice. My bet is a radical transformation and for the believer that's with the 10 Commandments are the law of God shows me as I'm a sinner send me to Christ for salvation. Christ returns me to the law in order to frame my way of life, spirit of God works within my heart says come on I want to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul your mind your strength. How do I do it the first four commandments and your neighbor as yourself. How do I do it the last six coming now, having said all of that I may see a couple of things about God with a large G gods with a Ouija and then pointed to application okay number one God with a large G I am. He says the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other. The preamble you see is vital to understanding the law's in the same way that the preamble of the Constitution is a very important preamble because it sets out what is about to follow. We the people of the United States of America, believing that this and this and this and this and this, do hereby do this is what happens with the 10 commandments is people on them from the context, only here is that you shall divorced from the I and it is the I am that gives foundation to the you shall remember 1972 I was standing on a wall in Trafalgar square huge mass of people. There was a festival of light rally. Thousands of people from all over Great Britain had come to stand around the statue there of Nelson in Trafalgar Square and I was standing up on the wall is a vantage point, I heard a voice behind me say get down from the wall.

I spun around I said who says I wasn't smart the man was dressed in blue and he had a helmet that went up like this was one of my buddies. He said get down was the law is what he said I am the policeman you shall get down now. God you see is the one it says I am God, and because I am, you shall know the problem for us in our arrogant little tyrannies in which most of us live as a leader like anybody telling us what to do. Anybody. We don't want our moms and dads to do it. We don't want our bosses to do.

We don't want our teachers to do it. When will policeman to do it. We don't want anyone to do and the reason there were such a rebellious group of people is because we haven't seconded and the level of commandment number one reason for the incipient rebelliousness that pervades our culture is because we've missed it here back here we get this right then other things fall into place. See, I am your mom.

You shall clean your room answer. I don't care because all authority is derived from the authority of Almighty God who says I am God. Therefore you shall not see these couple things about God. Why should we put God first answer because of who he is because of who he is what we have here in Scripture is the statement that God has revealed himself that he is the creator the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. You look up at the ceiling and is fantastic right you have this.

He said I can't believe the magic all those lights and and symmetry in the come on and they go off and you say there's somebody really smart that this, and rightly so you stand out on a starlit night and look up into the vastness and in your heart because going to set eternity in your hearts you see in yourself somebody bigger than me. Did this psalmist says some 100. Verse three know ye that the Lord he is God. It is he who has made us and not we ourselves. We are his people and that she of his pasture.

That is why you see since the tail end of the 19th century with the shakiness of German theology that fed its way into Britain and into the United States and at the same time. The accompanying influence of Darwin. We have had for basically this whole century declining commitments and exponentially declining commitment to the truth of the creative handiwork of God. So while men and women are prepared to talk about God.

They are not taught about a God who made them.

And that is the only God, about which the Bible speaks know ye that the Lord he is God. It is he who has made us listing to Truth for Life Telstra bag splitting how the 10 Commandments are a blueprint for life today were not only beginning a series titled pathway to freedom were also offering Alistair's book by the same name to supplement your study of the 10 Commandments. This book school title is pathway to freedom how God's laws guide our lives. As Alastair explained, we are living in a time of moral crisis, both in our culture and in the churches will many today dismiss God's law as outdated or impractical when the book pathway to freedom. Alastair walks us through each of the commandments to show us how relevant they remain as you read the book you learn why the law and love go hand-in-hand. Why Christians still obey the law of Christ has fulfilled perfectly how we avoid the age-old crafts of legalism and license 10 Commandments continue to give us order direction and hope in them increasingly confused. Find out why Alastair says they are in fact the pathway to freedom. Discover why God's ancient code of conduct is far from outdated requester copy of Alistair's book pathway to freedom when you donate today by the book in our mobile app or you can visit us online at if you prefer you can call us at 88858878 Bob Lapine joining us tomorrow morning to find out just how easy it is for us to break the first commandment put loyalty to lesser things of our allegiance to God Bible teaching of Alastair big is furnished by Truth for Life. Learning is for Living

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