The Context of the Law

For the first time in my ministry, I have been studying in some depth the Ten Commandments. This has been a most profitable study in my own heart and life. I have been encouraged to share my notes, and while it is not the same as the message, I pray that someone might gain some profit from what is written. Lord willing, I will seek to share my notes on each message over the coming weeks. Please note these are the sermon notes I worked from, and do not contain the complete text of what I shared in the ministry of the Word.

“The Context of the Law”

Text: Exodus 20:1-17, “And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13Thou shalt not kill. 14Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15Thou shalt not steal. 16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Intro: Our introduction to the Decalogue began by considering seven main points. We looked at their 1) Appearance summed up the law as the two great commands given by Christ, namely, a) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and b) Love your neighbor as yourself. With 2) Access we can understand that all are guilty because the law is written on the heart of mankind. 3) Authority tells us that God is the Giver and Fulfiller of the law. 4) Ability of the law is devastating in that it can only bring condemnation and separation from the holy, righteous God of heaven. 5) Assurance comes from the precious passage found in Psalm 19 and describes the perfect law of God. 6) Adversary of the law pointed directly to Satan. And 7) Acceptance of the law for a believer helps us love what provides protection. The main aspect we learned is that in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord we must learn to adore what God adores. He has given the law and it is in this law that we are to meditate day and night.

As with the purpose of every one of the 1189 chapters in God’s Word, the 20th chapter of Exodus is for the purpose of focusing on God. We do not need a chapter to show us how bad we are. Our depravity is always evident and even after salvation, the flesh can choose at times to revolt and bring dishonor to a holy God. This can and will result in discipline if the correction from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit do not bring changes to our heart and life.

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