(Exodus 20:2-3), “ I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
I want to begin a study through the 10 commandments and by way of introduction I want to point out two truths concerning the 10 commandments. The first is, the 10 commandments were never meant to be the means for salvation, not for Israel or for us. The law was given as a schoolmaster to point us to our need of a Saviour and to bring us unto Christ our Saviour. (Galatians 3:24-25), “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The law was given in order that sin might be known for what it is. The seriousness of sin was not rightly known before the law was given. Therefore the law was given to make sinners see their transgressions. (Rom.3:20b), “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The law was a temporary covenant given for temporary purposes, and when Christ the seed came, He fulfilled the law. (Matthew 5:17), “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.” The law remains in force today to condemn the wicked.
Secondly, not only was the law not meant for salvation, but it was also not meant to for staying saved. (Ephesians 2: 8 -9), “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. We are saved by grace and not works; we are kept saved by grace and not works. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, in speaking of the who have been saved by grace through faith; “He has been delivered from the curse of the law; he is no longer under the law as a covenant relationship between himself and God. But that does not release him from it as a rule of life.” The 10 commandments were not given for the purpose of salvation but God has not done away with the 10 commandments as a moral standard for holy Christian living. The 10 commandments cannot save us but let us not ignore them because in their place they are just as important as the glorious gospel. (Matthew 5:17-19), “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
In this study we are going to look at the first of the 10 commandments and then as the others in the future. The first commandment is, “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me!”
- THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT IN THIS COMMANDMENT (Exodus 20:2)
In this passage God is making a claim and He wants us to recognize who He is. Lord means, “Jehovah” which means, “He that will be and He that is and He that was. This is the name for the supreme, the eternal, the self-existing God.
- THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF THIS COMMANDMENT
In God telling us to not have no other God before Him, God is saying, that we are not only not to have other God’s before Him, but also, “don’t have any other God besides Me. Don’t you try to have Me as God, and then have your other Gods. Don’t you try to have some other God’s, and then have Me as your God.” The point God is making is, He is to be your only God, to be first and preeminent in your life. God doesn’t want a place in your life, nor does God want prominence in your life, but God wants preeminence in your life. God was warning the children of Israel against idolatry because in their day they worshipped everything you could think of. But God also warns us about idolatry today. People today are to refined to worship and bow down to the cow, the sun, moon, and stars, but in many cases they are just as bad in God’s sight when they put other things ahead of God and allow those things to have preeminence in their lives. A few examples are: some worship the god of nature on the Lord’s Day and say, “I can worship God just as well on the lake or in the woods as well as I can in the church. Others worship the god of health and stay in bed on Sunday mornings to rest, and then on Sunday nights, they say, “it is best that I rest and don’t go to church. Still others worship the god of sports, pleasure, making money, and on the list goes. Idolatry is not limited to worshipping cows and the creation, but an idol is anything a person loves more and values more that God and hinders a person from fulfilling their duty to God.
- THE ADMONITION OF THIS COMMANDMENT (Exodus 20:2-3)
Why should we not have any other gods before our God or in addition to our God? Because He done for us what nobody else could or would do. If it weren’t for Him we would still be living in our sins and be on our way to hell, if not already there. I want to give you some things that He has done for us and why we owe Him our total devotion.
He came down from heaven, endured poverty and hardship, rejected by the people that He came to save, was scourged, spit upon, mocked, humiliated, and crucified. He was raised from the dead, ascended back to heaven, poured out His blood on the mercy seat, sent the Holy Ghost into the world to convict us, convert us, and seal us unto the day of redemption. And thank God, one day He is coming for us. And these are just a few of the many things that He has done, is doing, and is going to do for us. There is no reason why we should have other gods before or in addition to Him in our lives. He should always be preeminent.
Pastor Allen Jackson