Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ask the Pastor: How do the Ten Commandments Apply Today?

The 1st Commandment
            As we discussed last time while talking about lying, there are aspects of God’s law that are reflections of His very nature, and therefore cannot ever be changed or violated without violating God’s very character and holiness.

Within the Old Testament, we find three different types of laws. 
Laid out for Israel are civil and ceremonial laws that dealt with the government and sacrificial systems for Israel. Outside of Israel, those laws had no bearing. However, there is a third type of law given, which we see the foundation for laid out in the Ten Commandments, and that is God’s moral law. These laws don’t involve sacrifices and civil aspects- they are representatives of God’s moral character, which does not change--- ever. The Ten Commandments are the bedrock of God’s moral law. 

            Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the Ten Commandments, one by one and asking the question: “How does this apply to me, today, right now?” We’ll start this week with the first of the ten.

            Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” This command is given first for a reason. God is God. There is no other. He doesn’t accept rivals, and He won’t be relegated to any place on the list of our priorities other than first. This command is magnified in Matthew 22:36-38 to the level of loving the Lord with all that we have. He is the Author of life, the Creator of all, and the Father who adopted His followers into a personal relationship with Himself. Not only does He demand the supreme place in our lives, He is worthy of it!

            So, how does this command apply to believers today? Two ways:

1.         There is only One Lord. God does not tolerate competitors. He is not compatible with a lot of the forms of religion that we see around us. Whether it is pantheism, deism, polytheism, or some New Age religion- none can stand up to the scrutiny of the first commandment. There is ONE God who is separate from His creation and authoritative over it, and He lays down only one way to serve and please Him!

2.         Only One person can sit on the throne of your life! Okay, so you’re a Christian. You reject all other gods and religions. You go to church, pray and read your Bible. You’ve got this commandment down pat, right? Wait! Let’s think for a minute. If God demands an exclusive relationship with us, then it would follow that ANYTHING that crowds Him out of His rightful place in our lives is a false god. Let’s think. Is your job more important than God? How about fishing or hunting or playing/watching sports? Do any of these regularly trump gathering to give our Lord His due worship and honor on Sunday mornings? If so, you are violating this command. How about good stuff? Your family, husband, wife, kids? Are they more important to you than God? I challenge you to look at your life. Where do you spend your time and money? That is where your priorities lie! We need Christians who will put God back in His rightful place in their lives and then keep Him there, giving Him the honor that is due His name!

 I’d love to interact on this subject or any others through this blog or my email: pastorbrian@hughes.net. God Bless!!!

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