Series: New City Catechism
Title: Question 8
Text: Exodus 20:3
Q: What is the law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?
A: You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below – you shall not bow down to them or worship them. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. You shall not covet.
Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
For a long time, I looked at and read the “rules” or laws of scripture like a checklist. They were rules to follow so I could live up to the standard of my belief in God. It wasn’t until I came face to face with what grace truly is that it all changed. Now I read Scripture to meet with God, find out more about who He is and grow in my relationship with Him. As I do this, my desire to be obedient to the things Scripture commands comes naturally. The laws feel more like love. God gave them to us because He knows what is best for us. He knows that chasing after other god’s or idols will not satisfy and He knows that striving for unity in relationships is life giving. I love how the commentary in NCC puts it, “The Ten Commandments are God’s gift to us. They protect us. It protects society. These principles are at the heart of how God created us to live.”
Psalm 119:97-103“Oh how I love your law!It is my meditation all the day.Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,for it is ever with me.I have more understanding than all my teachers,for your testimonies are my meditation.I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.I hold back my feet from every evil way,in order to keep your word.I do not turn aside from your rules,for you have taught me.How sweet are your words to my taste,sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
The first four commandments are regarding our relationship with God. The last six are about our relationship with people. When our relationship with God is in its rightful place, we pursue the commands of loving others the way Scripture instructs in order to bring glory to God. Our desire to treat others with love should flow from our desire to reflect God. When we keep God’s laws, we get the incredible and humbling opportunity to show the world what God is like! Keeping God first in our life and loving Him actually enhances the relationships around us. When our needs are fully met by the Lord, we in turn look out to the world and think more about what we can do for others, instead of what we need. For example, when my needs are fully met and satisfied in the Lord, I am much more able to approach my marriage in a selfless way. Instead of thinking of what I need, I think more about what my husband needs because God is already satisfying my need for love, attention, and value. I am satisfied, so I set my sights on showing my husband love and putting him first.
Matthew 22:37-39“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Philippians 2:3“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Psalm 23:1“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
I think the simplest answer is to follow and strive to live by what the Ten Commandments say. Love God, Love People, and do this by following the law that was given. Our ultimate mission in life should be to reach people with the gospel. We cannot reach people with the gospel if our life looks different from what God encourages us to do. The love of Christ compels us to live a life that represents God well. Our lives, full of joy, love and devotion for the one true God, seeking the needs of others and not our own, should look infectious and attractive to those around us, giving us opportunity to share God with a world in desperate need of Him.
Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the manwho walks not in the counsel of the wicked,nor stands in the way of sinners,nor sits in the seat of scoffers;but his delight is in the law of the Lord,and on his law, he meditates day and night.He is like a treeplanted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season,and its leaf does not wither.In all that he does, he prospers.The wicked are not so but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”