AS SET FORTH IN TEN COMMANDMENTS
A. J. Kirkland Memorial Lectures
Texas Baptist Institute and Seminary
December 5 -- 8, 1995
(The original notes for these lectures have here been edited by the author to correct spelling and typographical, spelling and grammatical errors and also to make new margins and clarifications.)
God: The word, God, has been defined as "The Sovereign of the universe." I accept that definition as far as it goes. However, I do not believe that it goes far enough.
God's domain extends into an area known to us as "heaven." It is my belief that this goes beyond the physical universe. Therefore, I will use the word, God, to mean "the Sovereign of all heaven and earth; the Sovereign of all that is." In other words, I believe God to be the Sovereign of all the earth, all the universe, all of heaven and all of anything else that exits everywhere.
Law: The word, law, means "A directive, commandment or rule of conduct which is prescribed by a higher power or authority." As it relates to God, I will use the word "law" interchangeably to mean either a single directive from God or a set of directives from Him.
Ten Commandments: The term, Ten Commandments, will refer specifically to the ten directives which God gave to Israel as a basis for the covenant which He made with the people of Israel. I will use a shortened form of some of the commandments which I believe will express the essence of these commandments as they are given in full. .
Purpose: I am fully aware that I do not have the final word on this subject nor on any Biblical subject. There is much concerning every aspect of God's word from cover to cover that I do not fully understand. I do hope, however, to be able to shed sufficient light on the subject to help you to have a greater appreciation for the Ten Commandments and the place which they occupy in God's dealings with sinful man.
I hope to impress upon you the great value of everything written in every part of God's Word. Every book, every chapter, every verse, every statement, every word, every jot and tittle is important. It should all be studied carefully and all of it should be treasured greatly.
I especially hope that this study of the will of God as set forth in the Ten Commandments will give you a greater appreciation for the grace of God which is extended to us through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
First I want to show you The Ten Commandments in their entirety. Then I will show you the shortened forms which contain the essence of the entire commands.
I am going to encourage you to commit these commandments to your memory -- at least in their shortened forms.
Yet memory work alone is not sufficient. I want to briefly acquaint you with the meaning of each commandment.
I. A reading of all ten commandments
A. Please give attention to the commandments in their complete forms as recorded in Exodus 20:3-17. (KJV)
1. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," Exodus 20:3.
2. "Thou 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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God and a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments,” Exodus 20:4-6.
3. "Thou 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," Exodus 20:7.
4. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But 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: For 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," Exodus 20:8-11.
5. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee," Exodus 20:12.
6. "Thou shalt not kill," Exodus 20:13.
7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery," Exodus 20:14.
8. "Thou shalt not steal," Exodus 20:15.
9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour,"
10. "Thou 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," Exodus 20:17.
B. Next I want you to see the shortened forms of these commandments:
1. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," Exodus 20:3.
2. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image," Exodus 20:4.
3. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain," Exodus 20:7.
4. "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," Exodus 20:8.
5. "Honour thy father and thy mother," Exodus 20:12.
6. Thou shalt not kill," Exodus 20:13.
7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery," Exodus 20:14."
8. "Thou shalt not steal," Exodus 20:15.
9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness," Exodus 20:16.
10. "Thou shalt not covet," Exodus 20:17.
C. Please note that the shortened form of each commandment gives the essence of the whole commandment.
II. A brief explanation of each commandment
A. The first commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
1. The Hebrew words, which here are translated "before me" have been variously translated: "Before me, beside me, beyond me or in my presence."
2. A literal translation of the Hebrew is "before face of me" and smoothes out to: "before my face."
3. Therefore, God is not saying in this verse that it is acceptable to worship another god as long as one does not give the other god preference above Jehovah.
4. Rather Jehovah God, who is present in all places both in heaven and in earth, is saying, "Thou shalt not worship any other gods of any kind,
anywhere before my face." (In other words, "Thou shalt not worship any other god, period!"
B. The second commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image," Exodus 20:4
1.. It has long been the tendency of fallen man to want a god which he can see and touch.
a. Although Job never desired to worship an idol god, yet even Job expressed a desire to be able to come before God and talk with Him face to face as before another human being, Job 23:3.
b. The Children of
2. Never-the-less, God has forbidden man to make any image of any kind and to bow down in worship to any image whatsoever. (Not even if the image was designed merely to represent the true God in heaven. The use of symbols is legitimate. The furniture of the tabernacle and temple were used as symbols in the Old Testament. The Lord’s Supper and baptism were used as elements in the New Testament. However, when one considers the symbol to have supernatural powers to protect from harm, to give good health or to bring good fortune then the symbol becomes a false god.)
C. The third commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain," Exodus 20:7
1. The Hebrew word which is translated "in vain" means, "lightly."
2. Thus, the name of God is not to be used lightly.
a. Man is not to have an image which represents God on earth, but, rather, the name of God represents God on earth.
b. The name of God is not to be taken lightly because God, Himself, is not to be taken lightly. (God is to be taken seriously.)
3. There are ways that man may use the name of God acceptably such as prayer, praise, preaching or teaching.
4. There are many ways that people use God’s name in vain, such as using it as outright profanity or as a by-word. (Even many slang expressions which substitute the names of other gods show disrespect for the name of God.)
D. The fourth commandment: "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," Exodus 20:8
1. The sabbath day did not originate with the writing of The Ten Commandments.
2. The sabbath originated in the Garden of Eden.
a. God had worked six days making the earth a livable place for man and beast.
b. On the seventh day God rested That is -- He refrained from
work), setting an example for man to follow.
c. In order to make sure that man understood that he is to follow that example, God told him to follow it.
3. God did not rest on the seventh day in order to recuperate.
a. He was not tired.
b. He rested in order to set an example for all mankind to follow.
4. Neither did He instruct man to rest on the seventh day just in order that man may recuperate from his labor.
a. It is true that recuperation is one of its benefits.
b. But the chief reason that God instructed man to observe the sabbath was in order that it might be a day of worship.
c. In Genesis 2:3 it is said that He "...sanctified it because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created
d. This means that God "holied" this day; He "set this day apart" to be a day in which man was to worship His Creator.
e. It was especially designed to keep man ever aware that God is the Creator of all things, including man, and that God is to be
worshipped by every man.
f. Every sabbath day was to be a day spent by all mankind in worshipping God and remembering that God is the Creator.
5. However, by the time The Ten Commandments were given, most of the people of the world had abandoned the worship of the true God in
preference for the worship of idol gods.
a. Thus, God gave this fourth commandment to instruct God's covenant people, the Children of Israel, that they were to strictly observe the sabbath day to worship the true God.
b. They were never to fail to stop their labors on the sabbath and worship the God of creation.
c. They were never to fail to make this a holy day. ("...keep it holy...")
6. As long as the Children of Israel were in the wilderness they would gather at the tabernacle on the sabbath day, offer sacrifices, sing
hymns, pray and listen to the word of God. (The writings of Moses were not yet written, but they probably had the Book of Job, they now had the Ten Commandments and they would soon have the five
books written by Moses.)
7. The implication is that after they reach Canaan's land they were to continue this same kind of worship. However, it would not be
practical for everybody to go to tabernacle or temple every sabbath, but every sabbath day they should gather together in groups in each city and village and worship God.
E. The fifth commandment: "Honour thy father and thy mother," Exodus 20:12
1. The subject matter in the commandments makes a sudden turn at this point.
a. Up to this point the subject matter has dealt with man's relationship with God. (Man is to worship God. He is to worship only one God, the true God; he is to make no image nor bow down to any image; he is to reverence God's name; and he is keep the sabbath a holy day of worship to God.)
b. However, beginning with this verse, the subject deals with man's relationship with his fellow man.
2. This commandment begins with the relationships within the home.
a. The home is a good starting place in learning to relate properly to others because this is the place where children have their first experiences with their fellow man.
b. It is also the place where they receive their earliest training.
c. The home is the basic unit in all society.
3. This command gives a directive from God that children should obey their father and their mother. (As parents are to obey God, even so
children are to obey their parents. Parents are authority figures. They have God-given authority over their children.)
a. The word used in the commandment itself is "honor," meaning "respect." (This implies obedience and teaches obedience. It is so interpreted in Ephesians 6:1-3.)
b. The Israelite people would understand that the greater responsibility is given to the father because the father is listed first and, therefore, the greater emphasis is upon obedience to the father.
c. This is in keeping with the fact that woman was created to be a help meet for man, Gen. 2:18.
d. It is also in keeping with the instructions which God gave to the woman after the fall saying that her husband should rule over
her, Gen. 3:16.
4. This commandment implies that parents are responsible for their children as long as they remain in their care.
a. They are to provide protection and see that their material needs are supplied.
b. It means also that they are to teach and train the children in the ways of life.
c. It especially means that the parents are responsible for training their children to worship the true and living God as set forth in the first four commandments. (The children are to be taught to worship the one true God and Him only, to never put anything between themselves and God, to reverence His name and to take time out from all other activities of life one day each week and worship God.)
F. The sixth commandment: "Thou shalt not kill," Exodus 20:13
1. This commandment follows up on man's relationships with his fellow man and forbids man to kill his fellow man.
2. It was never intended to forbid capital punishment, Gen. 9:6; Lev. 24:23; Deut. 13:6, 10.
3. Neither was it intended to forbid war. (God instructed Joshua to go to war and take the promised land from the Canaanites, Josh. 1:2ff.)
4. It was intended to forbid murder, Pro. 6:16-17.
a. It would seem that this commandment would be unnecessary.
b. However, because of the sinfulness of man, murder is a very common occurrence.
5. It would also forbid waging war out ruthlessness and greed.
G. The seventh commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery," Exodus 20:14
1. The word "adultery" in its modern definition means "A sexual act by a married person with someone other than his or her spouse."
2. However, it was the purpose of this commandment to forbid all immoral sexual conduct.
3. This commandment was designed to maintain chastity and moral purity in the lives of all the people.
a. It was designed to prevent immorality among the married.
b. It was designed to prevent immorality among the unmarried.
c. It was designed to prevent immorality between members of the same gender, such as homosexuality.
d. It was designed to prevent beastiality.
e. It was designed to prevent incest.
4. This commandment was given with the assumption that God has the right to tell all mankind what is permissible and what is not.
5. It is also made on the assumption that unless God sets restrictions, all mankind would live without restraint.
H. The eighth commandment: "Thou shalt not steal," Exodus 20:15
1. This commandment forbids one to take property which belongs to another without his approval.
2. The temptation to reach out and take that which belongs to another is always going to be prevalent among sinful men.
3. This law recognizes God's approval upon private ownership of property and is not at all in harmony with the communistic doctrine of collective ownership of all property.
I. The ninth commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness," Exodus 20:16
1. In its fuller form, this command says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."
2. "Against thy neighbour" takes on the idea of deliberate intent to slander or harm someone else by telling a lie.
3. Yet it should be understood that every lie is going to harm someone. With this in view, this commandment actually forbids every lie of all
J. The tenth commandment: "Thou shalt not covet," Exodus 20:17
1. To covet is to desire or long for that which belongs to another.
2. This is a sin which is committed, not by an overt act, but by a desire within the heart. (This is where all sin begins. It all begins in the heart.)
3. One thing that makes covetousness so evil is that it breeds other sins. (Covetousness can cause one to break other commandments: To lie,
to commit adultery, to steal or even to kill in order to get what one wants.)
4. God, Himself, lists some examples:
a. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house...."
b. "...Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife..."
c. "...nor his manservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's."
5. We could think of a long list of other examples. (Such as the neighbour's automobile, his salary, or his bank account, etc.)
III. A summation of the ten commandments
A. Two statements in the Old Testament summarize the Ten Commandments.
1. One is found in Deuteronomy 6:5, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
(This is a summation of the first four commandments.)
2. The second is found in the latter part of Leviticus 19:18, "...but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." (This is a summation of the last six.)
B. Jesus, Himself, recognized these two statements as a summation of all ten, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hand all the law and the prophets," Matt. 22:36-40.
C. The whole law can be summarized in one word, "love."
1. There must first be love for God, for this is the first and great commandment. (It is also first because it is the fruitage of the Holy
Spirit in the new birth. One does not have this kind of love until he is born again.)
2. If one loves God, his love for God will produce love for his fellow man: "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law," Rom. 13:10.
THE BASIS FOR THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
In this message I want to show the basis for the Ten commandments. However, before I pursue that thought, I think it would be helpful to note that the Ten Commandments are an expression of perfect righteousness and holiness. They are a standard by which righteousness or unrighteousness may be measured. I John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Since they are a measurement of perfect righteousness, they are a measurement of God's own righteousness. I Samuel 2:2 says, "There is none as holy as the LORD..." Men or things may be called "holy" in the sense of being "Separated or set apart to God," but none are holy like God is holy. God is perfect holiness and perfect righteousness. I John 1:5 says, "...in him is no darkness at all."
Therefore, the Ten Commandments, which are an expression of perfect holiness and righteousness, are an expression of what God is. They are based upon God's own attributes.
I. The pre-existing principles of the law
A. The Ten Commandments did not exist as a written law until the time of Moses.
B. However, the principles of the law existed from the beginning because God existed and those principles existed in the nature of God. (The principles of
the Ten Commandments are as old as God Himself. They have always existed.)
1. Romans 5:12 reads, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so that death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
2. Since sin is the transgression of the law and since Adam sinned, this means that Adam broke the law of God.
a. For one thing Adam broke a spoken command of God. (God had given him a directive.)
b. God had forbidden that Adam eat the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
c. This command was not one of the Ten Commandments, but it was in harmony with the Ten Commandments. (It was in harmony with the first commandment, which sets God forth
as the One Supreme Being and, therefore, He is to be worshipped and obeyed.)
d. It was also in harmony with the summary of the first four commandments which requires man to love God with all of his heart, soul and mind.)
3. Adam's offspring who lived prior to the giving of the Mosaic law sinned, and their sin was a transgression of the unwritten principles of
the Ten Commandments.
a. God did not issue a verbal command to Cain saying, "Thou shalt not kill thy brother, Abel."
b. But when Cain killed Abel it was a sin and he was punished for his sin.
c. The murder of his brother, Abel, was a transgression of the principle in Commandment number six, which says, "Thou shalt not kill."
d. It was also a transgression of the summary of the last six commandments which requires that one love his fellow man.
e. The sins of the people prior to the flood were not transgressions of any written commandments, but they were transgressions
of the unwritten principles of the Ten Commandments.
II. The one most fundamental principle upon which the law is based
A. The one most fundamental principle upon which the law is based is God's existence.
1. The Bible does not argue that God exists, but it does declare that He exists.
2. He exists as the Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth.
B. If God did not exist there would be no basis whatsoever for the law.
1. A God which does not exist could not make laws.
2. In the event that a law should be attributed to a non-existing God, there would be no God to punish the lawbreaker for his disobedience nor to reward him for obedience.
C. But since God does exist, and since He rules all heaven and earth, it is essential that He have laws or rules by which He shall govern.
1. Every command He gives should be obeyed.
2. Every expression of His will should be followed.
D. When God gave the written law through Moses, the chief reason which God gave to motivate the people to obey His law is that He is God: "Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God," Lev. 18:4.
1. There were other reasons of lesser importance:
a. He had already blessed them by bringing them
b. There would be wondrous blessings if they obey.
c. There would be severe punishment if they disobey.
2. But the chief reason for obedience to God is because He is God! And God is to be obeyed!.
III. The second fundamental principle on which the Ten Commandments are based
A. The second fundamental principle on which the Ten Commandments are given is that God is Almighty. (Even though God exists, if He lacked the power to enforce His commandments, then His law would be without effect.)
B. But the Bible teaches that God is Almighty.
1. In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, "...with God all things are possible."
2. In Job 37:23 He is called "The Almighty."
3. Revelation 4:8 speaks about four great angelic creatures who stand before His throne day and night saying, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
C. Since God is Almighty then He is most certainly to be obeyed. (It was earlier pointed out that the chief factor which God gave the Children of Israel
to motivate them to obedience is that He is God. Add to that the fact that He is Almighty and you have a very powerful motivating factor.)
D. Thus, the law is based on God's eternal existence and God's almighty power.
1. He does not need anyone to improve His laws.
2. He does not need anyone to approve His laws.
3. He and He alone is Almighty God!
IV. The third fundamental principle upon which the Ten Commandments were based
A. The third fundamental principle upon which the Ten Commandments were based is the Holiness of God.
B. The Bible teaches that God is perfect holiness.
1. Psalm 99:9 reads, "Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy."
2. Isaiah 6:1-3 reads, "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled
the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
C. The basic meaning of the word "holy" is "separated; set apart from others."
1. It is often used to describe a person or thing which is separated to the service of God.
2. With reference to God, it speaks of God being totally separated from that which is sinful.
D. There is none holy like God is holy. .
1. I Samuel 2:2 says, "There is none holy as the LORD..."
2. He is so holy that He has never sinned.
3. He is so holy that He will never sin.
4. He is so holy that He cannot sin. (Not that He lacks the power to sin. We have less power than He does and we sin. Rather, it is not in His nature to sin.)
E. God's holiness requires that He judge and punish the guilty for every sin. .
1. In Psalm 96:13 it is said, "...he shall judge the world with righteousness..."
2. Acts 17:31 says, "...he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained..."
V. The fourth fundamental principle upon which the Ten Commandments are based
A. God is love.
1. I John 4:8 reads, "...for God is love."
2. It is His nature to love and to desire to be loved.
B. Since God is love, it is, therefore, strange that the Ten Commandments do not mention love whatsoever.
1. They do not inform man that God loves him.
2. They do not require man to love God.
3. Neither do they require man to love his fellow
C. However, even though the commandments do not mention love, yet they are built upon the principle of love.
1. As has been noted earlier, the first four commandments have been summarized to mean: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind...," Mark 12:30.
a. God loves man and God desires to be loved by man.
b. The whole purpose of the law is to lead sinful man to Christ that
he might be saved.
c. Salvation will enable man to love God.
d. Then as a result of loving God, one will be enabled to love his fellow man.
2. As has been noted earlier, the last six of the Ten Commandments have been summarized to mean: "...Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself..." Mark 12:31. (This involves love for one's fellow man.)
3. Therefore, while the Ten Commandments do not mention love and do not specifically require a man to love they are based upon love --- God's love for man --- and are designed to lead man to love God and also to love his fellow man.
VI. The entire list of attributes of God upon which the Ten Commandments are
A. All of the Ten Commandments are derived from all of the attributes of God. (They are a reflection of what God is.)
B. God's attributes are as follows:
1. God is Spirit, John 4:24.
2. God is self-existent, John 5:26.
3. God is eternal, Psalm 90:2.
4. God is unchangeable, Mal. 3:6.
5. God is omni-present, Psalm 139:7-10.
6. God is Almighty, Matt. 19:26; Rev. 19:6.
7. God has all knowledge, Psalm 147:5.
8. God has all wisdom, Rom. 16:27.
9. God is holy, Psalm 99:9.
10. God is love, I John 4:16.
VII. The commandments as derived from God's attributes
A. God's existence, God's power and God's authority are principles which underlie all ten commandments. (With every commandment, man is to obey because
Almighty God gave the command.)
B. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
1. God does exist, He does desire that man worship Him and in this first commandment He requires man to worship Him.
2. Since God is the only true God in existence, He commands that man worship only Him.
C. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any grave image."
1. Since God is Spirit and has no physical body, therefore, man can make no image in His likeness.
2. Since there is no other god in existence, therefore, no image should be made of any thing in heaven or earth for the purpose of worship.
3. Therefore, God commanded that no image be made or worshipped.
D. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in
1. This means that the very name of God is to be highly adored; it is to be reverenced in every way.
2. The summary of the first four laws is that God is to be loved with all the heart, soul and mind.
3. Therefore, His name is to be reverenced and is never to be taken in vain.
E. "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy."
1. Since man is dependent upon food for sustenance, he must spend time in labor.
2. Yet it is God's prerogative to set aside one day each week which man should use principally for the worship of God.
F. "Honor thy father and thy mother."
1. All ten commandments, require obedience on the basis of God's authority, but God's authority is especially important in this command.
2. Obedience to parental authority is obedience to God's authority. Disobedience to parental authority is disobedience to God's authority.
3. Thus, as children learn to be submissive to their parents, this should teach them to also be submissive to God in other matters.
G. "Thou shalt not kill."
1.. Man is made in the image of God and the murder of a fellow man shows great disrespect for God. (It is failure to love God with all the heart, soul and mind.)
2. It is also a failure to love one's fellow man as himself.
H. "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
1. Love for God is the basic principle which also underlies this commandment. (A proper love for God would forbid one to commit such a sin and, thus, bring reproach on the name of God.)
2. Love for one's fellow man also underlies this commandment.
a. Love for one's neighbor would prohibit one from committing adultery with the neighbor's wife or daughter or sister or mother or aunt or niece.
b. Love for the woman or girl would also prohibit one from committing adultery with her and, thus, bringing shame and trouble upon her. (It is lust rather than love that causes one to commit adultery. Adultery can bring disgrace, unwanted pregnancy, divorce, disease or even death.)
H. "Thou shalt not steal." (Again the most prominent underlying principles for this commandment are love for God and love for one's fellow man.)
J. "Thou shalt not covet." (Love does not want to take one's possessions from him, but, rather, desires to give to him.)
Let me summarize in this way: God gave these commandments to man because He exists, because He has the authority to do so, and because He has the power to enforce them.
But in addition to this, God gave these commands to man because He loves man and desires the very best for man. They were never given to hinder man, but to help him. They were not given to deprive man of pleasure or blessings. They were given to provide for man the greater pleasures and the greater blessings.
AN EXPANSION OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The Ten Commandments are a very compact unit. They are a perfect standard of perfect righteousness. Only God could state in such few words a perfect standard of righteousness.
We have already seen that the Ten Commandments can be further reduced by summarizing them into two commandments and even into one word --- love. They can also be further expanded and they are expanded in Scripture. Those expansions cannot reverse nor change the spirit of the original commandment. An expansion is intended chiefly to explain the meaning of the original commandment or to show how it is to be applied in certain circumstances.
Jesus said that upon the two summarized commandments hang all the law and the prophets, Matt. 22:40. Since these two commandments are simply a summary of the Ten
Commandments, then all of the law and the prophets hang, not only on the summary, but also on the original Ten Commandments from which the summary was derived. Thus, the
writings of all the law books are an expansion of the Ten Commandments. Not only that, but Jesus said also that all of the prophetic writings are an expansion of those same
I can think of no such statement to that effect regarding the writings of the New Testament. Yet they, too, must be a further expansion of the will of God as revealed
in the Ten Commandments. Since the Ten Commandments are a perfect standard of God's righteousness they are a compact expression of God's will for man. All Scripture, therefore, must be written in keeping with the perfect will of God for man and that includes the New Testament. On the commandments hang all the law and the prophets plus all the writings of the New Testament.
It is my purpose in this message to show at least a few of the ways in which God's will, as expressed in the Ten Commandments, are enlarged upon in the Bible.
A. This commandment sets forth the fundamental idea that God does exist, that God is Supreme and that God is the only God.
B. The Genesis account of creation hangs upon this great truth and is a partial explanation of it.
1. There was only one Creator because there was one only one God.
2. As the Creator, He owns it all and rules it all.
C. The Bible doctrine of Judgment hangs on the truth set forth in this commandment.
1. Since God is a Holy and righteous God and since He is Sovereign over all then He will bring all into judgment.
2. Solomon summed it up the Book of Ecclesiastes: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil," Ecc. 12:13-14.
3. Romans 14:11 reads, "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
D. The Bible doctrine of the Holy Trinity is an expansion of this first commandment.
1. It is not explained in the first commandment nor in any of the Ten Commandments that God is a Trinity. (It merely teaches that there is but one God.)
2. Yet other Scriptures explain that the One God is a Trinity, consisting of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Matt. 28:19.
E. The worship and practices of New Testament churches as taught in the New Testament is an expansion of this commandment.
1. The New Testament teaches that there is but one God, I Tim 2:5.
2. This is the only God worshipped in New Testament churches.
F. The New Testament doctrines of eschatology (end-time events) is an expansion of the first commandment.
1. This earth will pass away and a new earth will be made, Rev. 21:1.
2. The Holy City, New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven and God will set up His throne in this city, Rev. 21:1-3.
3. All the inhabitants of this new earth (the redeemed of all the ages) will make pilgrimages to the throne of God in the New Jerusalem and
worship the one true God, Rev. 21:24. (No other god will be worshipped.)
4. It will be clearly seen in that day that there is but one God, there never has been but one God and that there never will be but one God.
II. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image," Exodus 20:4
A. Actually this second commandment is an expansion of the first.
1. The first commandment teaches that there is but one God and that He alone should be worshipped.
2. The second enlarges on that idea by forbidding the making of any graven image.
B. In the commandment, itself, man is forbidden to make a graven image for the purpose of bowing down to it and, thus, worshipping it. .
1. The word "graven" refers to an image that has been cut, chiseled or carved out.
2. The complete command states that this prohibition includes images of all things that are in heaven above, here on earth or in the waters of the earth. (It seems that this would be hard to enlarge upon.)
3. But in Leviticus 26:1 God does explain in greater detail. "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing
image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God."
a. Lest someone should say that God has forbidden only images which are carved out, God enlarges on the original command.
b. In this verse "idol" speaks of any thing set up to be worshipped; “graven image" speaks of that which is carved out whether it be of wood or metal (metal that would first be molded into a basic form and then finished with engraving tools); "standing image" speaks of a pillar of wood or stone with engravings on it; "image of stone" speaks of a figure chiseled out of stone.
C. I Samuel 15:23 says that stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. (It sets self up in the place of God and, therefore, makes oneself to be an idol god.)
D. The Bible also condemns witchcraft, II Chron. 33:6.
1. Witchcraft is but another form of idolatry.
2. It looks to demons spirits for the help and blessings instead of God. (Witchcraft is never portrayed by those who promote it as an evil
force, but as a force for good --- a source of blessings.)
3. But it violates the spirit of the second commandment.
III. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain," Exodus 20:7
A. It was pointed out in a previous message that there are three ways in which God's name may be used which are acceptable to God. (It may be used in prayer, praise and teaching. This includes preaching. Any other usage of God's name is to take it in vain.)
B. It is obvious that the use of God's name in slang or curse words is not included in either prayer, praise or proclamation.
C. Neither is the use of words which are substituted in the place of God's name. (In such expressions as: By Jove, by Jupiter, ye gads, etc.)
D. Even though it is acceptable and desirable to praise the Lord, yet it is not acceptable to praise Him insincerely, Isa. 29:13.
E. Although it is acceptable and desirable to preach and teach in the name of the Lord, yet preaching or teaching false doctrines in the name of the Lord is
a misuse of the name of the Lord, Jer. 29:8-9; Deut. 18:20; Jer. 14:15.
F. The name of God was to be promoted, but even the mention of the name of false gods was forbidden, Exodus 23:13. (It puts the name of a false god in
competition to the name of God and, therefore, profanes the name of God.)
G. To engage in the practice of false religion profanes the name of God, Lev. 18:21; Lev. 21:5-6.
H. In offering prayers to God, the Christian is further instructed to pray in the name of Jesus, John 14:13-14. (This is an expression on the use of God's name.)
IV. "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy," Exodus 20:8\\
A. The Lord had sanctified the sabbath to be observed every seventh day of the week, Gen. 2:3. (It was to be a day of worship for all mankind.)
B. He incorporated the sabbath into the Ten
1. No labor was to be done on the sabbath by anyone in the household, including the servants and beasts.
2. Neither was any foreigner among the Israelites to do any manual work.
C. The original command was further expanded or explained in Exodus 35:2 where the death penalty was given for breaking the commandment. (This applied only to Israel and only to the Law Age.)
D. It was further expanded or explained in Exodus 35:3 where instruction was given not to kindle a fire for cooking on the sabbath.
E. It was expanded again in Numbers 15:32-36 when the Lord ordered a man stoned because he gathered sticks on the sabbath day.
F. Special sabbath days which did not necessarily fall on the seventh day were to be observed during the various religious feasts. (For example, a special
sabbath would always all fall on the day following the Passover, Num. 28:16-18.)
G. In Leviticus 25:1-7 the law of the sabbath was expanded to include a sabbath year.
1. While manual labor was not forbidden during the sabbath year, yet all agricultural labor was forbidden such as sowing, cultivating and
2. Although this instruction was given at Sinai in the wilderness, it would not apply until the people entered Canaan's land. (While they were
in the wilderness they did not cultivate any land; God supplied them with manna.)
H. In Leviticus 25:8-55 the law of the sabbath was expanded to include The Year of Jubilee.
1. The Jubilee was to be observed every fiftieth year and it always followed a seventh year sabbath.
2. The laws concerning labor were the same as those for the seventh year sabbath. (They could do some manual labor, but could not do agricultural work. They could not sow, cultivate or reap a
3. The chief difference was that all Israelite slaves were to be set free upon the arrival of the jubilee and land which had been sold was to
return to its rightful owner.
1. In New Testament times Christians are not under the law of the sabbath, but in keeping with its principles, the early Christians did set aside the first day of the week for worship, Acts 20:7. (The seventh day sabbath commemorates God's work in creation. The first day of the week commemorates the resurrection of Christ and, therefore, God's work in salvation.)
1. This was done in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on the first day of the week.
2. The Apostle Paul instructed the church at
V. "Honour thy father and thy mother," Exodus 20:12
A. Some of the things which have already been noted about this commandment are as follows:
1. This commandment implies that parents are responsible to care for their children.
a. They are responsible for providing their material needs, I Tim. 5:8.
b. They are responsible for providing protection.
c. They are responsible for providing teaching and training.
d. They are especially responsible for teaching and training them in the worship of the true and living God.
2. The commandment declares that children are responsible to God for honoring their parents and implies that they are to obey them.
B. We will now note some of the expansions which the Scriptures make regarding this commandment.
1. In the expansion of this commandment, it is not merely implied that the parents are responsible for the religious training of their children. (They are specifically commanded to teach and train their children and their grand-children.
a.. "...but teach them thy sons and thy sons' sons," Deut. 4:9.
b. "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up,” Deut. 6:7.
c. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it," Pro. 22:6.
2. In Exodus 21:17 we read, "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."
3. In Deuteronomy 21:18-21 it is commanded that a child who is rebellious and will not obey his parents is to be stoned to death.
4. In Ephesians 6:4 the Apostle Paul said, "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
5. Children are to honor their parents, not just while they are in their childhood and under their parents’ jurisdiction, but even in their adult years.
a. They are to honor them as long as they live by following their teachings, "That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life...," Deut. 6:2.
b. They are to care for the parents in their old age as the parents cared for them in their young age. (Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for neglecting to do this, Mark 7:11.)
c. The children of both Abraham and Job set good examples by honoring their fathers all their lives. (Abraham's descendants honored him even after he was dead.)
VI. "Thou shalt not kill," Exodus 20:13
A. It has also been noted that this commandment was not intended to forbid capital punishment.
1. God had established the practice of capital punishment long before The Ten Commandments were given. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man," Gen. 9:6.
2. After the writing of the Ten Commandments, God expanded on the sixth commandment and confirmed the practice of the death penalty. “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death," Exodus 21:12.
B. God further expanded on this commandment in Leviticus chapter twenty-one.
1. If one accidentally killed another, he was to flee to a city of refuge for protection from an avenger until he could be tried by a court and
have court protection, Exodus 21:13; Josh. 21:13.
2. If one even strikes his father or mother, he is to be treated as though he has murdered them. "And he that smiteth his father, or his mother,
shall be surely put to death," Exodus 21:15.
3. If one strikes and injures another but does not kill him, he is not to be put to death, but he is to be punished, Exodus 21:18-19.
4. If a man smites a slave and kills him, he is to be punished, but not executed, Exodus 21:20.
5. If a slave is injured but not killed, the guilty party is not even to be punished, Exodus 21:21.
6. If someone injures a woman with child so as to cause a miscarriage but the woman recovers, the guilty person is to be punished according as the husband and the court shall determine, Exodus 21:22.
7. If the woman dies, the guilty party is to be put to death, Exodus 21:23.
8. In case of other injuries, the guilty is to be punished on the basis of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, Exodus 21:24-25.
9. If the injured person is a slave, the offender is not to be punished at all, Exodus 21:26-27.
C. God further explains this commandment in the New Testament.
1. One who hates his brother is a murderer in the sight of God, I John 3:15.
2. One who is angry with his brother without a cause (that is --- a just cause) he is a murderer in the sight of God, Matt. 5:21-22.
VII. "Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Exodus 20:14
A. As was noted earlier, this commandment was given to maintain chastity and purity in the lives of all people.
B. The original command was very simple: "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
C. The first expansion of this command forbids coveting another man's wife.
1. "...thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife ....," Exodus 20:17.
2. That is adultery in the heart.
D. Incest is also forbidden:
1. With one's father or mother, Lev. 18:7
2. With one's step-mother, Lev. 18:8
3. With one's sister, Lev. l8:9
4. With one's niece, Lev. 18:10
5. With one's half-sister, Lev. 18:11
6. With one's aunt, Lev. 18:12-13
7. With one's uncle, Lev. 18:14
8. With one's daughter-in-law, Lev. 18:15
9. With one's sister-in-law, Lev. 18:16
10. With a mother and her daughter, Lev. 18:17 (This forbids even marriage with both.)
11. With two sisters, Lev. 18:18 (This, likewise, forbids marriage with these two.)
E. It forbids homosexuality, Lev. 18:22.
F. It forbids beastiality, Lev. 18:23.
G. It forbids rape, II Sam. 13:12-14.
H. It forbids whoredom, Lev. 19:29.
I. It forbids fornication, Eph. 5:3. (The Apostle Paul recommends that every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband in order to avoid
J. Jesus said that if one looks on a woman to lust after her, he commits adulterer in his heart, Matt. 5: 28.
K. He also said that if one puts away his wife except for fornication, he causes her to commit adultery, Matt. 5:32.
VIII. "Thou shalt not steal," Exodus 20:15
A. In an expansion of this commandment, God requires a just and honest measurement in all business transactions whether they be in weight, linear
measurement, dry or liquid measurements, Lev.19:35-36; Deut. 25:15; Pro. 11:1.
B. In dealing with the animals and property of others, God requires honesty.
1. If one steals an animal and is caught while the animal is in his possession and alive, he is to restore double what he stole, Exodus 22:4.
2. If one is charged with a theft and is found guilty before the court, he would be required to pay double, Exodus 22:9.
3. If one is in charge of a beast belonging to another and the beast dies, is hurt or driven away and there is no witness the accused is to be considered "not guilty" providing he will take an oath of innocence, Exodus 22:10-11. (If there be witnesses and theft is proven, then
restitution is to be made, Exodus 22:12.)
4. If a man digs a pit and leaves it open and an animal belonging to another person falls in and dies, the man who digs the pit shall pay the owner for the dead animal which will then belong to him, Exodus 21:33-34.
5. If one man's ox hurts another man's ox so that it dies, they shall divide the dead ox, sell the live ox and divide the money, Exodus 21:35-36.
6. If a man steals another man's animal and butchers it or sells it, then he shall restore five-fold if it be an oxen and four-fold if it be a sheep, Exodus 22:1.
7. If someone is caught breaking into a house at night and is killed, the owner is not to be held responsible for his death, Exodus 22:2. (The
night-time is established by the context.)
8. If one is caught breaking into a house in the daylight hours and is killed, the person killing him is charged with the death, Exodus 22:3. (If
the thief is not killed, but is caught, he shall make full restitution or be sold into slavery to cover the restitution.)
9 One is not to move a property landmark in order to gain extra land for himself, Deut. 19:14.
C. God considers it theft to defraud a laborer of his fair wages, Deut. 24:15; James 5:4.
IX. "Thou shalt not bear false witness," Exodus 20:16
A. The Lord lets it be known that He hates all lying, Pro. 6:15 19.
B. The Lord warns that a false witness will not go unpunished, Pro. 19:5, 9; 21:28. (Ananias and Sapphira lied and were kill immediately, Acts 5:1-11.)
C. Yet in spite of the Lord's hatred of this sin, lying is a very prominent sin, Psalm 58:3.
1. One does not have to be taught to lie; it is in his depraved nature.
2. Man does have to be taught to tell the truth; it is not in his flesh nature to do so, Psalm 10:4-7.
D. Lying is wicked; it is Satanic, John 8:44.
E. Even Jesus suffered the brunt of vicious lies, Matt. 26:59; Mark 14:56.
F. The most harmful of all lies are religious lies, II Peter 2:1. (They damage people spiritually.)
X. "Thou shalt not covet," Exodus 20:17
A. In this commandment God, Himself, listed five things commonly coveted in that day and concluded with a broad statement covering everything else.
1. He said, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house..."
2. "...Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife..."
3. "...nor his manservant..."
4. "...nor his ox..."
5. "...nor his ass..."
6. “...nor anything that is thy neighbor's."
B. Yet this commandment is enlarged upon in Scripture.
1. "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye..., Pro. 28:22. (Hasting to be rich shows a covetous heart.)
2. A covetous heart can cause one to do wrong in order to get the things which he desires. “Better is the poor that walketh in his righteousness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich," Pro. 28:6.
3. Covetousness also makes it very difficult for an unsaved man to repent of his sin and trust in Jesus for salvation.
a. "...Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven," Matt. 19:23.
b. "It is easier for a camel to go
through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the
c. In Luke 16 the rich man died and lifted up his eyes in hell, Luke 16:22-23.
d. The rich young ruler which came to Jesus inquiring about salvation would not trust in Jesus because of his covetous heart, Luke 18:18-25.
C. If one loves God as he should and loves his fellow man as he should, he will not wish to take another man's possessions, but, rather, will desire to do him good.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS TO CHRISTIANITY
Christians are not included in the law covenant and, therefore, are not under the law, Rom. 6:14. Yet the Ten Commandments are still beneficial in New Testament times,
II Tim. 3:16-17. For one thing, they aid the lost sinner in coming to Christ for salvation. For another, they are an expression of perfect righteousness and, therefore, an
expression of the will of God for the Christian. Christians are not to be guided by the "letter of the law" but rather by the "spirit of the law," II Cor. 3:6. Therefore, the Ten
Commandments are a valuable aid to Christians as a guide to the perfect will of God for their lives.
I. Never intended as a way of salvation
A. It was never intended that one could get to heaven by keeping the Ten Commandments.
1. Christianity is not an alternative to the law. (That is, it was not added because the law had failed.)
2. Jesus stood as a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, Rev. 13:8.
3. From the very beginning salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus was the only plan of salvation God has ever had.
4. If man could be saved by keeping the law, then God would have never planned for Jesus to go to the cross, Gal. 2:21; 3:21.
B. Nobody was ever saved by keeping the commandments. (The commandments would serve only to lead the lost sinner to Christ for salvation, Gal. 3:24-25.)
1. They would show the sinner that he has sinned, Rom. 3:19.
2. They would show one's need of repentance.
3. Repentance would then produce faith in the promised Christ.
C. Thus, faith in Christ was God's plan of salvation in Old Testament times.
1. The Ten Commandments were accompanied in Israel by a law system of worship.
2. The commandments showed that man is a sinner.
3. The law system of worship, with its sacrifices, showed that repentance is necessary.
4. The blood animal sacrifices typified that the blood of a Redeemer would be shed so that the sinner could be pardoned of his sin.
a. Every morning and every evening a lamb was sacrificed.
b. The smoke of the sacrifices would ascend throughout the day around the clock as a testimony of the shed blood of the lamb.
c. The writings of the prophets showed the meaning of that sacrifice --- that the blood of the Christ would be shed so that the lost sinner could be saved, Isa. 53:4-7.
d. The lost repentant sinner was to place his faith in the promised Christ for salvation, Hab. 2:4.
D. It was also in God's plan that the time would come when the law system of worship would be replaced by Christianity, Gal. 3:19. (The law system of worship was added to serve only until the promised Seed would come.)
II. A guide for the saved in doing the will of God
A. The unredeemed sinner possesses only a carnal mind and is, therefore, an enemy of God, Rom. 8:7.
1. He does not love God and cannot love God as long as he is in his depraved unregenerate condition.
2. The commandments can help to convict the sinner of his sin and help to lead him to Christ for salvation, I Tim. 1:8; II Tim. 3:16.
3. They can, therefore, help to lead him to Christ and to the new birth, which will enable him to love God and subject himself to God.
a. When one is saved he is enabled to love God, `Rom. 5:5; I John 4:19.
b. He is enabled also to love his fellow man, I John 5:1.
c. As the commandments aided men in Old Testament times in coming to Christ, even so they can still aid men to come to Christ in these New Testament times.
B. Additionally, they can assist the Christian in doing the will of God.
1. The Ten Commandments are still a perfect standard of perfect righteousness, and, therefore, a perfect expression of God's will
for New Testament Christians.
2. Yet the Christian should be warned not to attempt to come back under the law in any way, Rom. 6:14. (This was a big mistake which the
Judaizers made in Paul's day.)
III. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND CHRISTIANITY
A. The first commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" ("besides me")
1. The first commandment teaches that there is but one God; the New Testament likewise teaches that there is but one God, I Tim. 2:5.
2. The summary of the first four commandments is: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," Matt. 22:37.
3. This leaves no room for love of any other god.
4. It calls upon the Christian to devote himself fully to God.
a. It calls for adoration and worship, John 4:23.
b. It calls for a surrendered will to God , Matt. 26:39.
c. It calls for obedience, John 14:15.
B. The second commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image..."
1. The letter of this commandment forbids any graven image; the spirit of the law forbids putting anyone or anything between the worshipper and God.
a. Jesus said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me," Matt. 10:37-38.
b. Jesus asked Simon Peter, "...lovest thou me more than these...?" John 21:15.
2. In Old Testament times, the Israelites had to be careful not to be led away into idolatry; in New Testament times, Christians have to be careful not to be led away into erroneous doctrines, "...beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness," II Peter 3:17.
C. The third commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain..."
1. Of all people in the world who ought to avoid cursing and profanity, the Christian most certainly should do so, "Do not they blaspheme that
worthy name by which ye are called," James 2:7. (Even though non-Christians ;may frequently misuse the Lord’s name, yet Christians should never do so.)
2. Jesus taught Christians to pray, "...Hallowed be thy name," Matt. 6:9. (This not only should be the Christian's prayer, but it should be his
3. The tongue is an unruly member of the human body, but the Christian should earnestly seek to tame it.
D. The fourth commandment: "Remember the sabbath day
to keep it holy"
1. The principle set forth in this commandment is that all men should take one day out each week to spend in worship to God.
2. In Old Testament times, the day which was designated as a Sabbath was the seventh day. (This was the day set forth as the sabbath in the book of Genesis and this is the day which was spoken of in the fourth commandment.)
3. It has already been called to your attention that the early Christians observed the first day of the week in worship in tribute to the resurrection of Jesus.
4. This is a good example of the Christians observing the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law.
5. Every Christian ought to be in the Lord's house every Lord's day to worship God. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching," Heb. 10:25.
a. There ought not be any difficulty in getting every able bodied Christian to be faithful in attending God's house for worship.
b. It is a sad state of affairs that in these days that a great many professed Christians seldom attend the house of God for worship.
E. The fifth commandment: "Honor thy father and thy
1. This commandment calls for children to be in subjection to parents and for parents to be responsible for the teaching and training of their children.
2. The New Testament verifies that this is God's will for the Christian home in New Testament times, Eph. 6:1-4.
3. The neglect of this principle in this modern day is one of the great blights on the society of this day.
4. For some parents the commandment might as well be written: "Parents, honor your children and obey them in all things."
5. There is little wonder that this world is in the mess that it's in.
F. The sixth commandment: "Thou shalt not kill"
1. Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment that they should love one another, John 13:34-35. (This new commandment did not change the old commandment, but was an expansion it.)
2. Romans 13:9 and James 2:11 both mention the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," but both connect it with the new commandment which Jesus gave requiring Christians to love others. (See James 2:8.)
3. Jesus also gave an expansion of it in Matthew 5:21-22. (He said that it is not only wrong to kill, but also to get angry with a brother without cause.)
4. Furthermore, Galatians 6:10 teaches that the Christian is to do good to all men, especially to those of the Christian faith.
G. The seventh commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery"
1. I have already tried to show that this commandment, in its expanded forms in Scripture, forbids all sexual immorality. (This includes
sex before marriage, unfaithfulness of a marriage partner, incest, homosexuality and beastiality.)
2. The New Testament abounds in admonishing Christians to avoid this sin. (For example, in Ephesians 5:3, the Apostle Paul speaks of
fornication and said, "...let it not once be named among you.")
3. One of the problems is that modern society not only condones of sexual sins, but promotes them.
a. The entertainment world ridicules anyone who holds to a high moral standard.
b. A Christian need not go out into the world and live promiscuously to commit adultery; he can sit in his own living room and hold hands with his own wife and yet commit adultery
with a gal on the television screen.
4. This is a day in which not only young unmarried Christians need to say "No" to adultery, but the adults also need to learn to say "No."
H. The eighth commandment: "Thou shalt not steal"
1. Of all people, God wants Christians to be honest and not guilty of stealing from anyone. (This includes stealing from businesses,
companies, governments, churches, parents or any other individual.)
2. It may be conceded that generally Christians are more honest than those who are not Christians.
3. Yet how many Christians (or at least, professed Christians) have been guilty of cheating on their income tax?
4. How much property belonging to the employer has found its way into the homes of Christian employees?
5. Or what about Christians who shop-lift?
6. How about a Christian salesman who uses his business to case homes which he will later burglarize and carry away thousands of dollars worth of property?
7. Or, how about a pastor or pastor's wife who embezzles thousands of dollars from church funds?
8. There is a lot of room for improvement even among Christians in the field of honesty.
I. The ninth commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness..."
1. Likewise, God wants Christians to be truthful and most generally are.
2. But how many lies and half-truths are told by professed Christians?
3. One joke which is commonly heard among Christians is, "I do not lie --- unless I have to." (That may be more truth than fiction in many cases.)
4. It is even more damaging to the cause of Christ when one who occupies a place of Christian leadership lies. (Yet it was commonly said of one Christian leader, "He had rather tell a lie than to tell the truth.")
5. Then there is the matter of gossip: How much vicious gossip is spread by the tongues of Christians! (How many vicious lies?)
6. Brethren, this ought not so to be!
J. The tenth commandment: "Thou shalt not covet..."
1. This gets to the heart of the problem in the lives of Christians.
2. The real problem is in the heart.
3. There are many Christians who covet their neighbor's house.
4. There are many Christians who covet their neighbor's wife or husband.
5. There are many Christians who covet their neighbor's good paying job, their neighbor's bank account, their neighbor's fancy clothes or their neighbor's automobile.
6. How many Christians buy lottery tickets or frequent the gambling casinos?
7. Brethren, covetousness is still a sin; it is a wicked, wicked, wicked sin!
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man," Ecc. 12:13.
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye o, do all to the glory of God," I Cor. 10:31.
"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them of the household of faith," Gal. 6:10.