Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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BAC Sermons

Ten Commandments: Sanctify, Unify, Bless

2011-10-02 Exodus 20



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Ex 19:4 'You have seen what I did to Egypt...brought you to myself. 5 And now, if you will diligently listen to me and keep my covenant, then you will be my special possession out of all the nations 6 you will be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' 8  "All that the LORD has commanded we will do!"

20:1 God spoke all these words 2 "I am Yahweh your God, who brought you outof the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

The law (religious/moral/civil) was the means of blessing a redeemed people (sacrificed/blood as specified, and demonstrated faith).
                                                                                                                                                                See Whats Up with the Law on Truthbase.net
I. 3 You shall have no other gods before me.  Cx Pride               (independence is the essence of sin)
Faithfulness provides the basis of  worth and value in one's relationship with God (pleasing Him) rather than at the expense of others.
Lk 10:25 Inherit eternal life? 17 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."  cf Dt 6


II. 4  You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything...5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 and showing hesed/loyal love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

20:4 No images to which people bow  20:5 repeated in Ex 34=essence of God's glory;   Jn 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.


III. 7 You shall not bear the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who bears his name in vain. Cx Hypocrisy

Not about profanity but valueless profession. “Vain” is false Dt 5:20. To call oneself a believer/Christian, and not believe/follow is to no effect.


IV. 8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it...11 for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.   Cx Sloth & Self-sufficiency
The sign of this covenant (not in NT). Israel went into captivity for a period years equal to their failure to keep the Sabbath years  Lev 26:33-35


V. 12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.

Parents had the responsibility Dt 6 of passing on the words and walk with God so their kids would be blessed.

VI-X These commands to not engage in self-centered behavior at the expense of another (the opposite of love), flow out of our relationship with God built by the previous ones, esp #1.            Rm 13:10 Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.


VI. 13 You shall not murder.   (self-defense, justice, and just war OK)  Cx Anger; Vengeance


VII. 14 You shall not commit adultery.   (as long as you don't hurt anyone...someone always gets hurt)  Cx Lust


VIII. 15 You shall not steal. (basis of individual ownership and property rights; applicable to governments?) Cx Greed


IX. 16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (lying is demonic, and destroys relationships & trade -no trust)


X. 17 "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. Cx Envy

Coveting is the opposite of the first commandment, and gets to the heart of the matter. If our value system revolves around temporal rather than eternal gratification, we will incur guilt. If it revolves around God, all is good regardless of circumstances.

Col 3:5 Put to death...sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; 6 for which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 8 but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth.  9 Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man... cf  Rm 8:12-14


XI. Exclusively Fear God so you won't sin, and thus will enjoy His blessings.
18 All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance. 19 They said to Moses, "Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don`t let God speak with us, lest we die." 20 Moses said to the people, "Don`t be afraid, for God has come to refine/test you, and that his FEAR may be before you, that you won`t sin."  21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. 22 Yahweh said to Moses, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: `You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall most certainly not make alongside of me gods of silver, or gods of gold for yourselves. 24 You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace-offerings... In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:


  1. Which of the ten commandments would be a bad idea to follow today? Would God bless or curse NT disobedience to them (moral)?
  2. If we look to someone or thing other than Yahweh to meet our needs for security, significance, pleasure, or possessions, is that idolatry?
  3. Can you demonstrate how each of the commands can develop an individual's relationship with God, with others, and build civilization?
  4. How could people who experienced the Exodus and Sinai be worshiping a golden calf a little over a month later? Roller coaster believers.
  5. Evaluate yourself against the ten commandments, especially the first and last, and take any appropriate corrective action

Dt 5:29  O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them & children for ever!