Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Ten Commandments #1: First Place Belongs to God

Exodus 20:1-3

INTRODUCTION

The Ten Commandments are not resolutions that may be changed by man.

Neither can there be any amendments added to the Ten Commandments.

They are the cornerstone upon which Western Civilization has built its house.

The Ten Commandments are a revelation of religious procedure, moral attitudes and practices that are absolutely  necessary if life is to be worthwhile.

As the Law of Gravity is necessary for life to be maintained on this earth, so are the Ten Commandments necessary for a wholesome society.

Violation of the Ten Commandments has caused great harm to our current society.

The Ten Commandments are divided into two sections: 1) The first four have to do with a persons relationship and duty to God. 2) The remaining six have to do with a person"s  attitude and relationship to fellow humans.

Our duty to God is FIRST and lays the needful foundations for the right relationship with each other.

Notice now with me the FIRST COMMANDANT.

I. DECLARES THE AUTHORITY OF GOD

(Vv 2,3) "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

A. People since the fall have a NATURAL tendency to reject the authority of God.

B. Because of Sin, people substitute the authority of God for their own personal whims of tradition, fads and fashions. (2 Tim 3:5) "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

C. But God's authority over mankind is based upon three principles:

1. THE PRINCIPLE OF CREATION

(Psa 19:1) "The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handiwork."

a) We are His property; He owes us nothing.

b) He has the right to rule. We owe Him our loyalty.

2. THE PRINCIPLE OF REDEMPTION

(Ex 20:2) "I am the Lord thy God: which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

a) It was God who had brought them out of Egypt, out of bondage. Speaks of Redemption.

b) Likewise in the New Testament God claims authority because of Redemption. (I Cor 6:19,20) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

3. THE PRINCIPLE OF PROVIDENCE

(Exo 13:21-22) "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way: and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. (22) He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

a) As the Israelites journeyed through the Wilderness, it was God who provided for their needs...manna, pillar of fire by night, cloud by day, etc.

b) Air, jobs, families, health, etc. (Jas 1:17) "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

D. Our LOYALTY to our God should be absolutely unmixed and unshared by any other gods.

II. REVEALS GOD'S PURPOSE OF GRACE

(Exo 20:3) "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

A. To reveal Himself as the true and only God.

B. False gods disappoint and to worship a false god is to bring disaster into one's life.

C. This life is one of self-destruction as well as being destructive to others around you.

D. Only God knows how many people have been destroyed by worshiping false gods.

E. The gods of fame, fortune, family and friends.

F. God is saying to permit any other god to have FIRST PLACE in your life will always end in disappointment.

G. In this first commandment God is laying the claim to the fact that He is our Creator, therefore our lives must be lived in relation to Him and to His will. (Matt 6:33) "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

III. RECOGNIZES A PERSON'S SPIRITUAL CAPACITY

A. Man worships because he must! - Williams James

B. Every person has a shrine where he or she worships - gives their true affections to! (Matt 6:21) "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

C. False gods are the center of worship when the True God is shut out because of unbelief.

D. When God is dethroned in your life, then you will defile yourself. (2 Pet 2:7) "And delivered just Lot, vexed (disturbed) with the filthy conversation of the wicked."

E. His WILL is replaced by your WHIMS and WANTS.

F. Generosity will become greed.

G. Love turns to lust. (2 Tim 2:26) "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

H. Time is far more important than eternity.

I. When God is not first in your life, he is not in your life

CONCLUSION

First place belongs to God. He will not play second fiddle in anyone's life. God proved his love by sending Jesus to die for our sins, dare we do any less and refuse to accept Him as the God of our Life? Are you really SAVED? Maybe the Ten Commandments don't mean anything to you because you haven't been saved? Think about it!