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1 Accept No Substitutes: The Second Commandment Exodus 20:4-6 Message 2 on our series called God’s Top Ten Keys to Successful Living Sunday, January 11,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Accept No Substitutes: The Second Commandment Exodus 20:4-6 Message 2 on our series called God’s Top Ten Keys to Successful Living Sunday, January 11,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Accept No Substitutes: The Second Commandment Exodus 20:4-6 Message 2 on our series called God’s Top Ten Keys to Successful Living Sunday, January 11, 2009 Speaker: Doug Virgint

2 2 Why did God give us commandments? Because He loves us and cares for us. Because He loves us and cares for us. Because the law teaches us about who God is and what He is like. Because the law teaches us about who God is and what He is like. Because the law protects us, our families and our society. Because the law protects us, our families and our society.

3 3 How do the 10 commandments compare to other legal codes? The greatest ancient extra-biblical code - The greatest ancient extra-biblical code - - The code of Hammurabi Numerous “Suzerain Treaties” Numerous “Suzerain Treaties” The languages and structures may be similar… The languages and structures may be similar… … but the principles and underlying thrust are entirely different. … but the principles and underlying thrust are entirely different.

4 4 How do the 10 commandments compare to other legal codes? The Code of Hammurabi never mentions God The Code of Hammurabi never mentions God It deals only with outward conduct It deals only with outward conduct The 10 commandments really deal with the heart The 10 commandments really deal with the heart

5 5 How do the 10 commandments compare to other legal codes? On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.“ (Luke 10: 25–27) He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.“ (Luke 10: 25–27)

6 6 How do the 10 commandments compare to other legal codes? In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord explains the original intent of the law – He internalises it. In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord explains the original intent of the law – He internalises it. So this law is more concerned with who we are than with what we do. So this law is more concerned with who we are than with what we do. What we do is important, but it really only reveals who we are inside – in our heart. What we do is important, but it really only reveals who we are inside – in our heart. And it is possible for us to scrupulously observe all the law – but to still have a heart in rebellion against God ! And it is possible for us to scrupulously observe all the law – but to still have a heart in rebellion against God !

7 7 Trying to understand this commandment Israel had just left Egypt. Israel had just left Egypt. Egypt was an extremely polytheistic idolatrous society. Egypt was an extremely polytheistic idolatrous society. The first commandment tells us who we should worship. The first commandment tells us who we should worship. The second commandment tells us how – and how not - to worship Him ! The second commandment tells us how – and how not - to worship Him !

8 8 Trying to understand this commandment The gods of the heathen are many The gods of the heathen are many - there is only one true God. - there is only one true God. The gods of the heathen are limited in their scope and power The gods of the heathen are limited in their scope and power - the one true God is omnipotent and omnipresent. - the one true God is omnipotent and omnipresent. The gods of the heathen need to be prompted The gods of the heathen need to be prompted - the one true God takes the initiative. - the one true God takes the initiative.

9 9 Trying to understand this commandment The gods of the heathen may be represented by physical forms (idols). The gods of the heathen may be represented by physical forms (idols). - the one true God is essentially spiritual and immaterial – He cannot be represented by any earthly or heavenly form. - the one true God is essentially spiritual and immaterial – He cannot be represented by any earthly or heavenly form. The gods of the heathen are imperfect The gods of the heathen are imperfect - the one true God is perfection – nothing man made can ever do justice in symbolising his perfection - the one true God is perfection – nothing man made can ever do justice in symbolising his perfection

10 10 Trying to understand this commandment The gods of the heathen are worshipped for pragmatic reasons – because of what they control and what they can do. They are a means to a desired end. The gods of the heathen are worshipped for pragmatic reasons – because of what they control and what they can do. They are a means to a desired end. - the one true God is worshipped for who he is – his own, essential intrinsic value. - the one true God is worshipped for who he is – his own, essential intrinsic value.

11 11 Trying to understand this commandment 1. An idol is contrary to the nature of God – He is invisible and immaterial. 2. Idols are demeaning of God – no created thing can do justice to his perfections. 3. Idols are contrary to the nature of faith – “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen. 4. Idols are contrary to God’s goal for worship – we are to worship him in the person of His Son Jesus-Christ.

12 12 Trying to understand this commandment You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,

13 13 Trying to understand this commandment or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. (Deut 4: 15-19) or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. (Deut 4: 15-19)

14 14 Trying to understand this commandment “You did not see God at Mount Sinai – therefore do not make any images of him.”

15 15 Trying to understand this commandment This commandment is not against art: (there were pomegranates and cherubim in the tabernacle) There is decorative art There is decorative art There is didactic art There is didactic artand There is devotional art There is devotional art

16 16 Paul’s take on idolatry The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

17 17 Paul’s take on idolatry For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like: - mortal man - and birds - and animals - and reptiles.

18 18 Paul’s take on idolatry Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

19 19 Paul’s take on idolatry Some lessons from this passage: Man perceives truth about God from creation, but his natural tendency against the truth is so strong that he suppress it. Man perceives truth about God from creation, but his natural tendency against the truth is so strong that he suppress it. Two truths about God are clearly revealed in creation: - He exists - He is powerful

20 20 Paul’s take on idolatry Some lessons from this passage: Man’s duty is to glorify God. Instead, he has fallen short of God’s glory: Man’s duty is to glorify God. Instead, he has fallen short of God’s glory: - they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him (1; 21) - for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (3:23)

21 21 Paul’s take on idolatry Some lessons from this passage: In this passage, there are always three results from idolatry: In this passage, there are always three results from idolatry: - Deception – “their foolish hearts weredarkened” (21) - Folly – “they became fools” - Slavery –“served” (25)

22 22 Paul’s take on idolatry Some lessons from this passage: There is always a tie between idolatry and immorality: There is always a tie between idolatry and immorality: - In the Old Testament the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth were tied to ritual prostitution - Paul links idolatry and immorality to sexual decadence and homosexuality.

23 23 Paul’s take on idolatry Some lessons from this passage: Idolatry is always destructive and leads men’s religion on a downward curve: Idolatry is always destructive and leads men’s religion on a downward curve: - heavenly bodies - mortal man - and birds - and animals - and reptiles.

24 24 Lets now apply this passage to ourselves We will either worship the true uncreated God or else we will worship some other (created) thing. There is no possibility of worshipping nothing. We will either worship the true uncreated God or else we will worship some other (created) thing. There is no possibility of worshipping nothing. We turn to idols because we want to control our own lives – instead of submitting to the true God in thankful submission. We turn to idols because we want to control our own lives – instead of submitting to the true God in thankful submission.

25 25 Let’s now apply this passage to ourselves Whatever we worship we will end up serving. Whatever we worship we will end up serving. We are “covenantal” beings – we enter into a covenant with whatever captures our hearts. It ensnares us.

26 26 Let’s now apply this passage to ourselves When we seek for fulfillment, or joy, or meaning, outside of God, we are idolaters. When we seek for fulfillment, or joy, or meaning, outside of God, we are idolaters. Sports Sports Career Career Education Education Appearance Appearance Sexuality Sexuality

27 27 Let’s now apply this passage to ourselves When we give love to somebody or something that should be reserved only for God, we are idolaters. When we give love to somebody or something that should be reserved only for God, we are idolaters. that friend that friend that boyfriend or girlfriend that boyfriend or girlfriend that habit that habit that possession that possession that goal in life that goal in life

28 28 Let’s think about God’s motivation Jealousy Jealousy - God is zealous for His holiness and glory and honour Consequences Consequences -Punishing the children for the sins of their fathers … third and fourth generation

29 29 Some applications Do we need to get rid of some idols ? Do we need to get rid of some idols ? - In our worship ? If we are using art as a devotional aid we are being idolaters and we are displeasing God. -In our lives ? If something is taking the place of God in our lives we need to get rid of it or put it into its rightful place.

30 30 Accept No Substitutes The second commandment Exodus 20: 4-6


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