Theme: Our theme for this week is “the ten commandments”. Three months after being delivered from Egypt, Moses and the Israelites arrive at the mountain in Sinai. This is where God first came to Moses and promised him that Israel would worship Him there. God enters into a covenant with His people here by way of the ten commandments (the law). God reveals the ten commandments to Moses and orders Moses to take them to the people. The purpose was not to give mankind a set of rules to live by so they could be saved, but to give mankind a mirror that would reveal how sinful they are (like a mirror showing you how your hair looks). Once we realize that we can never fully keep these commandments, we realize how deep of a need we have for a savior. God is pointing us all to Jesus and reminding us that Christ is necessary.
(The Heart of God ch. 19:1-6) The ten commandments reveal His heart for His people. Just before he reveals the law, the first thing we see is that the people of God have become a “Holy Nation”. This means that we have been set apart (we are different) than the rest of the world. In this new identity we were set apart for things like:
Obedience (our yes should be on the table)
Godliness (The more we begin to love God, the more we will look like Him)
Access to God (Meeting & talking w/ God then hearing His voice)
Unbelievers are incapable of living in this identity that we have been given access to so it is something to be treasured by God’s people. Now this new identity also comes with a new purpose. We are now God’s “treasured possession”. We have become God’s treasured possession in order to reveal His Glory to the rest of the world. We are God’s plan A to reach the world. This is accomplished by living in submission to Him so that our lives radiate God’s glory to those around us as we share the Gospel. Our lives will align with the Gospel that we share.
(The Way of Life ch. 20:1-21) The centerpiece of this covenant was the 10 commandments. Oftentimes people look at the law as the standard we have to live up to in order to find salvation. The truth is that God revealed the ten commandments not to save but to reveal how sinful we are and point to our need for a savior. This was a standard of righteousness that God set to expose us as flawed people.
In pointing us to a savior, it also became a blueprint to live by. As sinful people, we need guidance to understand the way we should walk. The first four commandments teach us about how to honor God, and the following six teach us how to function in society. Apart from them, we have no standard to strive for.
The ten commandments also become guardrails to focus us. As we walk through a life filled with sin, we tend to do whatever feels right in the moment. This leads to a life filled with destruction for us and those around us. These guardrails establish boundaries to restrain us from evil. If we follow the guardrails, we receive protection from ourselves and one another in pursuit of sin.
These commandments also become God’s word to delight in. David speaks of the law in Psalm 19 & 119. He uses language like “honey to my lips” & “my soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times”. David knew that to walk in God’s commands meant a joyful and fulfilling life. The idea of keeping with God’s commands is something he delighted in, as it should be for us.
(The Need for Christ) There is nothing that can reveal a need for Christ more so than the ten commandments. Majority of the time people read the ten commandments and immediately feel terrible. If you had to keep a record of wins and losses on the ten commandments, you would have recorded 10 losses because no one can keep the whole law at all times. The law teaches us that our faith isn’t about outward behavior change, but about inward obedience from a heart that desires to please God. That heart can only be achieved by following Christ and receiving a new one.
How has your week been spiritually? / What is God teaching you?
What sins are you struggling with that you need to confess?
Why does God want a “Holy Nation” set apart from the rest of the world?
As a treasured possession of God, what purpose do you have in life?
What are you doing to live up to that purpose? What more could you be doing?
What are the ten commandments? Explain how they are meant to be applied.
What struggles could be avoided in your life if you used these guardrails?
What causes us to struggle in delighting in God’s law?
What can people do to get to a place of delight when it comes to the law?
Read Romans 7. How does this drive you to worship God as you leave group this week?