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1ST COMMANDMENT EXODUS 20:3 ‘NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME’

June 22, 2010

EXODUS 20:3 ‘NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME’

Why study these? 1) shows us how to love God and our neighbor..it’s the goal of the Law 2) Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 3) Cf. Western life is committed to minimal law and maximum freedom. Yet many laws also shows a lawless citizenship bec people are not self-governed by ethics. 4) because all cultures are built on false idols until Shiloh comes and subdues all nations under His feet…Rev. 19!   5) because no real change comes to us, the church or society until specific idols are dealt with…cf. Paul’s approach in Acts…ever gender, person, culture, etc has its own idols…and it is for God’s glory that we understand what this commandment means and how it impacts us!

The First Commandment: No other gods before Me

1)      What does this commandment reveal about God? I AM THE LORD AND THERE IS NO OTHER…HE DEMANDS EXCLUSIVE ALLEGIANCE, HE SEES ALL THINGS, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS, HE HAS POWER OVER ALL OTHER ‘GODS’ HE KNOWS THIS IS MAN’S TENDENCY TO LOVE IDOLS

2)      Why, in love, did God give this commandment to me? Bec all gods punish you when you break their laws! Cf. Romans 6 ‘what we yield to we become enslaved to!” …you don’t have a syndrome, you are enslaved to the god you serve!

3)      What is the true intention of this law?

  1. This is foundational/preeminent to all the other laws…this law is broke when every other law is broken? How? Ex. Covet – I love some material thing more than God. Adultery – I love my lust more than I do obedience to God. Etc, etc.
  2. Surface obedience – no bowing down to a carved image
  3. Heart issues – Romans 1 “suppress the truth of God in unrighteouness”

                                                               i.      The law of God written on man’s heart!

                                                             ii.      The true intention of the law! Jesus heightens the demands of the commandments, not just to outward but to inward issues!

  1. The root issue is idolatry – ‘anything that takes the 1st place of God, that gives me my identity, that I love so much I’ll sin to get it or sin if I don’t, when a good thing becomes an ultimate thing…cf the gospel is we are saved by grace alone, an idol is something else can save me or be/do for me only what God can/should do”  Israel was facing Canaan that had many gods. We have a Canaan we are facing also. 3 areas where we have gods

                                                               i.      Cultural

  1. Money – Artemis – cf. child sacrifices..some do it today w/ their families to get more money, etc.
  2. Power – Zeus
  3. Sex/Beauty – Aphrodite
  4. Politics – many look for deliverance for fellow man/self in right party rather than in gospel of Jesus Christ! Cf. Israel – God said bec Israel trusted in military power of Egypt to do what God could do…Israel gave up freedom, paid more taxes, and came under more control to serve her idol of ‘security’
  5. Intellectual/Reason – Athena – goddess of wisdom…science w/out God
  6. American god – the moral therapeutic deistic god; the break glass in case of emergency god…Tozer “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” 
  7. Greeks had gods for sex, work, play, etc for everything…why? Because everything can be a god…when something good becomes an ultimate thing it has become an idol.

                                                             ii.      Religious

  1. Tolerance – When we won’t stand strongly for Jesus being the only way…this is really syncretized worship or polytheism…cf David, Solomon, Rehoboam degenerating pattern!!! TOLERANCE under Solomon, all out war against the Lord under Rehoboam…death of society!
  2. Gifts…bec we can confuse our gifts and their efficacy for true fruit and they aren’t the same…cf. love, joy, peace, gentleness,
  3. When we would rather hold to traditions instead of embracing needful change to move forward
  4. When we want to change for the sake of being ‘new’ and on the ‘edge’
  5. When we can’t celebrate w/ like minded brothers/sisters of diff church/denomination when God blesses them, you’ve made an idol of your ‘church’.

                                                            iii.      Personal

  1. Belly – indulgence of food; when worry comes some find refuge (which what God is to be in their food)
  2. Emotions (you can’t say anything to me when my emotions are high! You are rude to speak past my emotions bec I feel strongly right now about…..)
  3. Relationships/romance/sex

                                                                                             i.            Kids – it will break the marriage…stunt its growth…and teach children that they are the center of the marriage rather than the 1 flesh union!

  1. Pleasure – Toys, web, cars, etc but can’t tithe??
  2. Health – seems to be the new way to reach immortality!
  3. Behind every idol is demonic forces! Cf. No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.  (1Co 10:20 NAU)
  4. “If I had ________ I would be finally happy. Or, If I did not have ________  I would finally be happy.” These are areas to look for the issue of idolatry in your heart!
  5. What are some signs of my idolatry?

                                                               i.      What do I praise? “out of the heart the mouth speaks” We praise by our nature, the gods we love.

                                                             ii.      What do I sacrifice for? Every god demands sacrifice

                                                            iii.      What do I evangelize others with? What do I try to get people involved with me,etc?

                                                           iv.      What do meditate on? Fantasize about? Learn deeply about?

                                                             v.      What do I pray to? Where do I have my hopes of fulfillment in this god?

                                                           vi.      Where do I find my greatest joy w/out giving thanks to God for it as seeing as only a gift from God? Psalm 16 “in Your presence is fullness of joy..Thanksgiving or lack thereof is a big indicator…cf again Romans 1 and the exchange because they wouldn’t give thanks!

                                                          vii.      “everyone is conformed to the God they worship”…so what do others say you look like? Angry, jump to conclusions, manipulative, worry, fear, greed, ungrateful, etc.? cf Psalm 115 “those who make them will be like them”…cf. 2 Cor. 3  “beholding Him we are changed from glory to glory”

Review: 1st bec foundational to rest….Lit. “no gods before my face.”

-what is the religious ritual of your daily life? What is this god promising you? How are you trying to appease this god/ manipulate it to get what you want? Cf. fertility gods and rituals/sacrifices…it’’s why OT is extremely relevant to your life! We deal w/ idols also.

  1.  
  2.  
  3. The negative implies the positive fulfillment and its aspects

                                                               i.      Allegiance to the one true God…John 14:6…Matt 11:27 ‘no one knows the Father except whom the Son reveals Him to.”   1 John 5:20b, 21 “even in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”  Illustr. – at  cabin, guy’s atheist friend “the river is my church/ the woods are my sanctuary”

                                                             ii.      A seeking after Him – a theological shaped mind/worldview, prayer, fellowship,

                                                            iii.      A full engagement of our whole person after the person of God alone.

                                                           iv.      Exclusive worship to the one true God…thanksgiving, adoration, praise…in short, Loving God w/ all our heart, mind, soul, strength

                                                             v.      ‘taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”

                                                           vi.      Pull down the idols of your life, culture, religion like prophets of old

  1. Why do we love/desire false gods?

                                                               i.      Our nature is to love anything but the one true God.   Calvin “we are idol factories.”

                                                             ii.      The promise to be refuge, deliverers, joy-givers, mighty towers, relief, promise to make us ‘holy/set apart’!, deliverance, promise – makers, etc etc…aka counterfeit gods….any and everything that the LORD promises to be for us the promise to do the same thru the CREATION!!! Here’s where we counter the lies of sin w/ the promises of God…Ex. I’m afraid so I look to (blank) for deliverance…How has Christ become your deliverance? Crucifixion, Second Coming, etc.   Again, cf Romans 1:18ff…again, why we don’t point at homosexuality as the “UGLY, UNFORGIVEABLE” sin bec when we disobey we are choosing the same God/idol exchange they are doing!

  1. False gods always bring wrath for not obeying their ‘laws’
    1. Self as god –

                                                                                                                                       i.      Culture of pop psychology of ‘self esteem’ or if we turn it around ‘esteem self’..cf. Gen 3 ‘You shall be as gods’

                                                                                                                                     ii.      how do you punish others for not meeting your demands?

  1. Where are you ‘depressed/defeated/beat down, etc’ because you have failed your god or because it has been unable to deliver you? 

                                                            iii.      We forget God’s eye is always upon us! Omniscience…Think how more reserved you are when you know someone is watching you and yet God is always watching, even when we show allegiance to other gods.

                                                           iv.      We forget God we are always in the full presence of God. Think how more reserved you are when you know someone is watching you and yet God always is watching you, even when you show allegiance to your other gods!

                                                             v.      Because God has given some amazing gifts in life…Gifts make good gifts but hard masters! Our sinfulness takes gifts out of  their proper place.

                                                           vi.      Bec we forget that sin is not just doing and pursuing evil things but sometimes it’s loving good, legit things supremely….cf. Matt. 4 – Jesus temptation to turn stones into bread…Was that legit need? Sure Was it God’s timing? Was it to take place over the priority of Him walking w/ Father? NO!

4)      How does Jesus Christ fulfill this?

  1. NOTE: fulfill means

                                                               i.      ‘to make full, show true intention of, to complete, perfect it!’

                                                             ii.      Goal – it reaches its destination in Him – note: we are ‘in Him’ as law keepers!

  1. Jesus as the revealer, the Logos, of God!
  2. By His active obedience DEFINE!!!, I’m imputed w/ righteous credit…Matt 4:9,10 “you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only
  3. In His passive obedience – DEFINE!!!! He absorbed my sin for breaking this commandment in His own body on the tree.  Matt. 26:42 “let this cup pass but not my will but your will be done.”
  4. What aspect of the ‘moral, civil, ceremonial’ divisions of law in relation to the fulfillment of Christ?
  5. As a model in word, deed, speech…Be careful w/ “What would Jesus do?” mentality…some things you should do like Him bec you can’t…plus it’s whole reason he came: to do what you couldn’t!!!
  6. The first commandment teaches us to worship Jesus as the one and only Lord, Savior, and mediator (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5). 

5)      How does love motivate me to fulfill this?

  1. Because He is my God..cf. Ex. 20:1,2
  2. Because of Christ He is also my Savior, I now am motivated by His love/sacrifice to practically ‘become’ what I positionally am!!!
  3. according to his Deity he is the one we honor and worship when we keep the law
  4. When I see the wonder, beauty of God’s perfections…sometimes we don’t need more counseling principles…many times we need more theology so we can be won by a superior joy that’s found in Christ…Cf. “turn your eyes upon Jesus…”
  5. THE PROMISES OF GOD…CF. WHAT IDOLS PROMISE TO BE/DO FOR US IF WE SERVE them…cf God promises to be our refuge, deliverer, comforter, etc.

6)      How do I use this in evangelism?

  1. It’s easier to expose people’s sins…bec/ everybody is living for something and if that something isn’t the Lord, it’s idolatry!

                                                               i.      Bec it makes it easier bec people don’t have to be involved in ‘bad sins’ to be exposed w/ the law of God

                                                             ii.      Bec it deals w/ the heart and the heart of the issue is love and where are your affections?

                                                            iii.      Bec speaking of idols makes you relevant in showing the change they/society needs…to not speak to the needs of the day with the gospel is to fail in changing the world for Christ…we can’t pick our evangelism issues, society has chosen them for us and it’s here that we must engage the gospel…

If you expose people’s idols, they will threaten violence against you. You will also be the focus of attack of demonic forces.

Interestingly, people  were mad at Paul bec his exposing and refuting their idols they thought would bring chaos to society…exactly the opposite was the case…Paul was showing that society’s gods led to the corruption of humanity and society!

“we will not have this man reign over us!”

-what is a god? Anything that you give allegiance, love, energy to in serving

                -everyone has a god…question is

-what some common god replacements in the church, your life, society? 

                -every god demands allegiance and has a religious ritual: I’ll sacrifice for it, I’ll serve it, I’ll evangelize for it, I’ll suffer for it, I’ll devote time to it, I’ll learn the ‘word’ of that god (magazine, tv show, some teacher, some ) , I’ll think about my god, I’ll desire to please my god, I’ll hope for it (fantasize over it)

                -allegiance to any god means slavery  cf. Romans 6 either slave of God or of unrighteousness! “cf. hear people say, “I can’t give up that much right now…they are saying I don’t want to be enslaved to God yet they are already enslaved, losing more than if they came to YHWH…’my burden is easy my yoke is light.”

-What is that makes legitimate worship and idolatry? Faith and trust…What or who are you trusting? Note: no idolater will have a part in the kingdom…but Jesus has come to set us free from our idols to lead us into true worship of the one true God because He is the one true way!

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