Too often we think of the Ten Commandments as God preventing us from realizing our dreams and reaching our potential. Some even wonder if they’re relevant today.
Christianity can be viewed as: God has rules, and if I follow the rules, God will love me and save me. That’s not what happened in the story of the exodus. The Ten Commandments were not given so we could earn our salvation. The Israelites were an oppressed people and God said, “I hear your cry. I will save you because I love you. And when you are saved, free, and forgiven, I’m going to give you a new way to live.”
May God help us to joyfully obey His commandments for His glory and our good.
God gave His people the Law (Exodus 20:1-17)
The Law helps us in four ways:
- It is a T_________ to magnify the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)
- It is an X_______ which exposes our heart (Mark 12:30-31)
- It is a T_________ to lead us to Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:24; John 5:39-40)
- It is a T ___________ which provides direction for life (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
Main Idea: God gave us the law to lead us to Jesus and turn commands into promises.
Who laid down the “law” in your home? How did you try to bend the rules? What were the consequences? Which rules were unbendable?
In Exodus 3:12, God promised Moses a sign that he would worship on the same mountain as the burning bush. This promise is fulfilled as the Israelites receive God’s calling, (19:1-9) and are spiritually prepared to receive the Law (19:10-17) as God speaks to Moses (19:18-25). God then gives 10 rules for this covenant. Ask your group: How many Commandments can you list without looking at Ex 20:1-17?
The Ten Commands reveal God’s character so we can worship Him. List the Commands (20:1-17) and beside each one, write the lesson you learn from His character (ex: Do not steal – reveals God is trustworthy and generous). How does your worship serve as a thermometer of your love for God?
The Commandments are an x-ray exposing sin. Why do you think God chose these 10 commands for this purpose? If you evaluated your life based on Law, which command is an area of strength? Which command reflects your greatest weakness? When weaknesses are exposed, where do we turn?
The Law is a teacher to lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24). How does the Law function as a tutor? Before you knew Christ, how did you see the 10 Commandments? Did God use the Law as a means to expose your spiritual need? How might you use the Commandments to witness to family and friends? Why do some use the Law as a microscope to judge rather than a telescope to see God’s glory (John 5:39-40)?
How is the Law like the tracks for a train? Why do we need a “locomotive engine”, the Spirit, to run on the tracks God provides for us? Read 2 Corinthians 3:12-18. What does it say about the power of the Holy Spirit to help us live the Christian life?
Which of the commands speaks to your greatest struggle right now? How will God’s empowering presence help you heal relationships with others harmed by breaking these commands (Rom. 6:14)?
Assignment: Take your struggle to God. Ask Him to make this an area of victory by His Spirit’s power. “Dear Father, thank you for giving me Your Ten Commands to reveal Your glory so I may worship You. You know how I battle with __________________ (name the sin), and in so doing break Your Command to __________________ (name it). Give me victory in this area by the power of Your Spirit who abides within me. Thanks for Christ’s work on the cross that enables me to stand before You forgiven and cleansed. In His precious name I pray. Amen.” (Adapted from Colin Smith, Unlocking the Bible Story, p. 87).
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