4755 Kimball Bridge Rd. Alpharetta, GA 30005

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

Part Two: Loving Your Neighbor

Radiant Church’s lead pastor, Keith Welton, delivers a sermon from Exodus 20:12-21. Jesus told us the greatest commandment was loving God, and that the second greatest commandment is loving others as we love ourselves. Commandments 5-10 of the Ten Commandments tell us how to love others. Below, you can watch our whole service, or listen to the sermon audio, and access the sermon notes.

To listen to last week’s message on Exodus 20:1-8, you can access the audio or video here.


The Ten Commandments

Loving Your Neighbor

Exodus 20:12-21

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 13 Do not murder. 14 Do not commit adultery. 15 Do not steal. 16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. 18 All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 “You speak to us, and we will listen,” they said to Moses, “but don’t let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20 Moses responded to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.” 21 And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:12-21)

We are in a series on the Ten Commandments. We are doing this because these commands ground and frame what it means to live a life pleasing to God. It’s needed because we have me-centered, rather than God-centered, visions of our life. 

Ill 1. Tool found.

Ill 2. Historic companies are struggling right now because it is hard to find people willing to cultivate the values that have made those companies great. People want the company to conform to their individual preferences and values rather than adapt themselves to the company’s values. 

Heard people are also now demanding pay to go to job interviews. It’s crazy what the work ethic reveals of people. 

Also heard the cereal industry is struggling right now, because it takes too much effort to wash the bowl and spoon. 

People want everything convenient. I like convenience. But when it comes to our relationship with God we are the servant, he is the King. 

What is the law’s purpose? NCC Question 15.

That we may know the holy nature and will of God, and the sinful nature and disobedience of our hearts; and thus our need of a Savior. The law also teaches and exhorts us to live a life worthy of our Savior.

  1. That we may know the holy nature and will of God. 
  2. That we may know the sinful nature and disobedience of our hearts, and need of a Savior
  3. Teaches and exhorts us to live a life worthy of our savior.  

As we go through the law, we become aware of what God requires of us. We learn how we ought to live. We also become aware of our shortcomings, and as we become aware of them, we become aware of our need for a savior. 

It’s like the rules posted at the pool. Don’t run and no glass bottles. Those rules are there for the benefit of everyone. But if you break it and get kicked out, how are you able to come back? God provides a way for rule breakers to come back.

Last week we learned the first four commands dealing with worship of God: no other gods, no idols, don’t misuse the name of the Lord, and honor the sabbath. This week we look at the next six commands relating to loving our neighbors. 

*Prop: The Ten Commandments frame what it means to walk with God, and they move us to see our need for a Savior. 

5. Honor your father and mother.  

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 

It is to show honor and respect to those who are over us. It is to love them. We recognize God has placed them over us and that we are to treat them with respect and even as superiors. 

God gave you the parents he did for a reason. You are to show honor to them. Kids, honor your parents. Parents, honor your parents. Seek them out for wisdom, advice, where possible. 

Now showing honor does not mean you do everything they say. As you grow up you become more independent, but you still need to show them honor. 

Frame: the family is the fundamental sphere from which all others are derived. 

Honor those in authority over you. Common today that you don’t like something someone older than you says, you think they are stupid and you go find someone else willing to say what you do like. Honor them by seeking their input. 

Parents, teach your kids to honor you. Help them honor you. They need to know appropriate ways to respond. Modeling. Showing. A big sin in our house is being disrespectful to mama. Try that again. Train them.

There is a promise with this commandment. That your days may be long. There is a blessing that comes with living according to God’s design. When you learn from those older than you, you limit mistakes, practical wisdom. But also implied in this is God’s blessing. A blessing for obedience. 

God did not leave people to live in isolated units, but has placed them in communities with a governance, with structures of authority in which they submit to those over them. Chief of these communities are the family, the church, the state. The family is the basic unit of society. Society is held together by honor. 

6. You shall not murder. 

To preserve the life of ourselves and others, by resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices, which tend to unjustly take away the life of anyone. 

We must resist thoughts and tendencies to hurt others. We are not to take the life of others. 

May be self evident. But our society has a way of dressing up sin. The ending of the life of an unborn baby is considered murder. Our society calls it health care. Very deceptive. 

It also means unto ourselves. When little, some of our kids would occasionally hit themselves. Would often punish them for this. I am not going to let someone hit you, and I am not going to let you hit yourself. Don’t demean God’s image in you.

We are to value life and people who are created in God’s image. In the Old Testament David could have struck down Saul, who was trying to kill him, but he didn’t because of the fear of the Lord. He feared God. Be a respecter of life

[“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:21-22 ESV)

So when you are thinking about people with a different political view; don’t desire their ruin. Don’t desire they “get what they deserve.” Doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. But does mean you respect their life, their humanity, and their good before God. 

7. You shall not commit adultery

Required: chastity in mind, body, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel. WLC. 

Sex is an important part of life as God created it. But it is not ultimate. Commandment seven, not one. It is treated as the most important thing and the most definitive part of a person’s life. Our society puts a weight and value on sex it is not meant to carry. Scripture tells us sex is to be in service of God. God defines our sexuality. He defines what is in and out of bounds. We are to have compassion on those who are confused on this. We can respect and honor those people and their personhood, but it does not mean we agree with them. 

[The Bible does not counsel sexual abstinence before marriage because it has such a low view of sex but because it has such a lofty one.” 

Sex is… the most powerful God-created way to help you give your entire self to another human being. Sex is God’s appointed way for two people to reciprocally say to one another, “I belong completely, permanently, and exclusively to you.” Keller. MM. 224. 

It is symbolic of the marriage covenant in which two people become one: physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually.

Outside of marriage, sex eventually works backward, making you less able to commit and trust another person. 

Pre-marital and extramarital sex leads many people to feel trapped in relationships that are not healthy. To stay with people they do not like but feel committed to. 

This is foreign to many today. You don’t get this from TV, movies, etc. You don’t even get it in school. I didn’t. But I longed for a better way. I long to be in a relationship with someone I could trust and respect. What I saw outside the Bible told me something was wrong. 

God calls his people to a different ethic. 

[But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mat 5:28 ESV). 

-Great verse for your computer screen!

[But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. (1Co 5:11 ESV)

*Those who have been wronged. They will give an account to God for what they have done. 

8. You shall not steal.

Carry away. Steal. You don’t take your dad’s tools out of the tool box without asking. If you do, then you certainly better make sure you put it where you got it and you don’t leave it in the backyard by the creek. 

Theft, robbery, man stealing, receiving anything that is stolen, fraudulent dealings, oppression, extortion. Bribery, 

Assumes that God gives people property. They possess it and must prove faithful to it. 

9. You shall not lie.

Literally this command is, 

You shall not answer/testify/ 

on/against a neighbor 

“falsely, deceptively, lyingly.”  .

We are to be truthful, faithful, giving everyone their due, avoid unnecessary lawsuits, 

People who lied in Scripture: Rahab lied about the men coming into Jericho (said they departed and they had not), the midwives in Egypt did not obey the king’s command to kill the male babies and said the Hebrew women were vigorous and gave birth quickly before they could get there. At times Scripture commends what is accomplished without commending the action. Jesus was innocent as a dove and shrewd as a serpent. 

Despite this many theologians have taken the view that we should never tell lies in any circumstances. Will have to give an account. Who are we advantaging? God’s glory or ours? 

Conduct your business without lying. Tommy. I won’t lie for you. I also want you to know that I am not going to lie to you. 

Marriages. Speak clearly and honestly. What can I do for you? Nothing! You are giving the other person nothing to work with. If you need time to talk, help with dinner, or some TLC, tell your spouse. Cultivate honesty. Don’t lie. 

When hurting, don’t lie. How are you doing? I’m fine. You are mad and withholding yourself from your spouse. Seeking to punish them by cutting them off. You are not allowing others to help you. 

Follow through on what you say. Say you are going to do something then do it. Righteous swears to his own hurt. 

Feels like our nation is being ripped apart because nobody cares about truth. Everyone just wants to make a dollar and get a like, and they’re willing to say and do anything to get it. Civil servants ought to be leaders in integrity and they are some of the worst ones at it. Imagine a land when everyone tells the truth! No party is free of guilt. 

A righteous man…

[ swears to his own hurt and does not change;  (Psa 15:1 ESV)

10. You shall not covet. 

[17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 

Sin begins as a desire. Notice how this command is not just about actions but the internal disposition of our heart. We are to root those out of our hearts and minds. Culture today says follow your heart. Scripture calls us to bridle our hearts. We want God’s word to reign over us. This tenth commandment is key to all the other commandments. Adultery begins with a wrong desire. Liying, stealing, dishonoring people. Christianity is a religion of the heart. God told the people to write his word on their heart (Deut 6:5)

“inordinate, ungoverned, selfish desire” (BDB, p. 326). Israel was not to “desire” (Deut 7:25; ASV, RSV, “covet”) the gold adorning idols, to lust after prostitutes (Prov 6:25), or to covet fields (Mic 2:2; cf. Exo 34:24). 

This has a longer formulation that discourages us from trying to find exceptions to the universality of this command. Don’t covet would have been enough. But details are given because of the sinfulness of the flesh and desire to find loopholes rather than offer whole hearts. Can’t say well it’s just an ox. It’s just a donkey. It’s just a picture!

Don’t make loopholes for serving God. It’s not a big deal, it’s a small sin, it’s just…. I’ll fix it later. Stop. That is apathy toward God. You just are not interested in serving him. You are not interested in doing the right thing. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

This is a sin that resides in the heart. It is an attitude, a disposition. 

Not all desire is bad. It is good to want to be married and to have kids. But, it is wrong to acquire those in ways not pleasing to God. Coveting is desiring things contrary to God’s word and ways. Having a wrong desire and then we nurse that desire. We feed it, plan it, accomplish it. (Frame, DCL, 846)

Highlights the virtue of contentment. What God has provided for us is enough. Should be grateful for God’s blessing on us and his blessing on our neighbor. We are not to be discontent, envying, grieving the good of neighbor. 

It is how we view our situation in life, how we view the blessings he has given to us. Need to find another house, another spouse, another… 

Virtue of contentment. We are to be content and at rest with what we have. When you start wanting the bigger house, the more attentive husband, the newer faster, shinier car then problems begin to occur. 

Bad to be dissatisfied with God’s provision. Worse when we begin to be upset with our neighbor and want to wound him. 

The Heidelberg Catechism states this command requires, “That not even the least inclination or thought against any commandment of God ever enter our heart, but that with which our whole heart we continually hate all sin and take pleasure in all righteousness. 

Don’t do as little as possible to get by. Don’t make the commandments lesser to justify your life. 

It is a way of constant communion with God. God, I love you and want to honor you. I want you more than those other things. You have purpose and significance in all that you do. It all matters. All of life is worship. 

Effect of the Law. 

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:12-21 ESV)

The people were afraid and trembled. Who doesn’t feel this? I messed up at the pool and might not be allowed back in! Through the law we become aware of our guilt before God. It is a fearful thing. God is holy and requires perfect obedience to his commands. That means zero sin. 

We all fall short. The people plead for a mediator and Moses intervenes to draw near for them. We have another priest who will intervene for us. God loved us and sent his son to die for sinners. To remove their guilt,

Through the law God makes his righteous decrees known, and through this we become terrifyingly aware of our guilt before him. Sin deserves death, we are sinners, so we deserve death. Through the law we are made aware of our need for a Savior. God sends his Son to atone for our mistakes. We are reconciled to him and forgiven of our sin. 

God Requires zero Sin

We have XXXXX sin.

God saves idolators, adulterers, thieves, liars, murderers, sabbath breakers. In Christ we can be forgiven. 

[through the law we become conscious of sin. (Rom 3:20 NIV)

[for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (Romans 3:23-24 ESV)

[Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)

The God who redeemed them from slavery in Egypt delivers us from slavery to sin. He sets us free through faith in Jesus Christ. Gives us a name to call on–Jesus!

We become advocates not for the law but for salvation. We become advocates for a Savior. Is law helpful to society? Yes. We should take a stand on issues, we should have an opinion on matters of politics, but let’s make sure we don’t end with politics. We end with a Savior. This is why we are members of churches and not just political parties. We are here to tell people about Jesus. We are a gathering of believers who were dead in our sins of adultery, murder, lying, etc. God has had mercy on us, saved us, and shown us a better way. 

If you are here today and you are in the muck and mire. Know you can experience forgiveness and love and mercy from God. 

God gave us a name to call on to save us. Jesus. 

Some need your politics to get saved. Some need your Instagram saved. More interested in outward conformity to a few points of law, not the whole law because that would require too much of you, but some points of the law. 

You need to get saved. Saved is trusting in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It means you recognize your sin. Through the law we become aware of sin. We have fallen short. We deserve punishment. But we also realize that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. 

You have to turn to the Lord in humility, to admit your mistakes and submit your life to him. Don’t push it aside. Don’t say it is not a big deal. It is the biggest decision you will ever make. It is an eternal decision. 

Discussion Questions

  1. Can you state the Ten Commandments? Can you say what each one means?
  2. Which commandments were most helpful for you to learn? Which do you most want to grow in?
  3. How does the tenth commandment connect to sinning not just in actions, but in thoughts and desires? How does this connect to all the other commandments?
  4. How do the commandments point us to Jesus?
  5. Have you submitted your life to Jesus?
%d bloggers like this: