The Jewish law served as a guideline to ensure the Israelites’ behavior reflected their position as God’s chosen people, a holy nation. God’s laws intended to build a healthy, loving culture where others would be attracted to Him through His people.
THREE TYPES OF OLD TESTAMENT LAW:
• Civil/Judicial – These laws were specifically for the Israelites, to help them live lives set apart for God.
• Ceremonial – Instructions for feasts and festivals to remember God’s presence in their lives and point to the coming Messiah.
• Moral law – To govern our behavior based on the nature and character of God.
TODAY WE WILL LOOK AT THE 10 COMMANDMENTS.
• Commands 1-5 address our vertical relationship with God.
• Commands 6-10 address our horizontal relationships with each other.
SHOULD WE STILL FOLLOW THE 10 COMMANDMENTS?
Galatians 3:23-29 (NLT) 23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. 24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
• Before our faith in Jesus, we were tutored by the law.
• Those in Christ no longer need the protective custody of the law.
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
• The lawmaker became the law keeper and then died for lawbreakers.
There are 613 commandments in the O.T. that roll up under the 10 commandments. The 10 commandments roll up under the Great Commandment given by Jesus in the New Testament.
Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV) Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The 10 Commandments are foundational for us to live out a loving relationship with God and with others. But we are to follow them for the right reasons.
• They are to be obeyed… but not to achieve salvation. Our Salvation IS NOT a reward for our obedience.
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”
• When Jesus saves us, He says ‘I want to give you a new way to live.’ Matthew 4:19
When we become followers of Jesus, our hearts soften to God’s ways. Our desires change, which changes our perspective on obeying God. Instead of “I have to follow the law” we shift to “I want to follow the law because it is good for me and for those I love.”
WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE 10 COMMANDMENTS:
1. They establish who God is and why we should obey Him.
Exodus 20:2-3 (ESV) “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
• God clearly establishes that we are His, bought with a price.
2. They identify how we are to be set apart from the world we live in.
Exodus 19:6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
• We are called to be a Holy Nation. 1 Peter 2:9
• The 10 Commandments are the blueprint for Christian ethics.
3. They give us freedom.
John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
• Freedom enjoys the benefits of doing what we should, not doing whatever we want at the expense of others.
1 John 5:2-3 (NIV) This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
• God’s commands are not heavy but liberating. When we live in His light, obeying His commands, we have a clear and free conscience.
• Read through the 10 Commandments this week and meditate on the heart of God.
• What changes do you need to make in your life to align with God’s ethics, heart and will?
• How will you help someone else understand them in light of God’s heart?
LIFE GROUP QUESTIONS
Passages: Exodus 18-24.
Sermon Reflection – Share something that challenged you from the sermon.
Questions to discuss:
1. Look Exodus 19:1-15. Describe what is happening in this passage. What does God promise to his people? What is their part? What is his part?
2. Read Exodus 19:16-24. What does God want his people to understand about their relationship with him? How intentional would they have to be to set themselves apart for God as his people according to this passage? What kind of commitment to being in relationship with God would that require to be consecrated that way?