“The Ten Commandments” – Exodus 20:1-17
3rd Sunday in Lent – March 4, 2018
Suggested Sermon Subject: The Ten Commandments – unpacking shoulds & should nots.
Context: out of Egypt, across Red Sea, toward Promised Land.
Confirmation Sermon Notes – heard the law; heard the Gospel. Explain to kids first…
Ten Commandments – think of them as Law… shoulds (3 & 4) & should nots (1,2,5-10).
But v. 2 – Gospel before the Law – brought you up out of Egypt! (OT great act of deliverance!) From “God For Us” – “The Ten Commandments are God’s good gifts intended for the protection and happiness of His creatures.” WOW – have you ever thought about them that way before? We think of them as rules. God: this is what I have done for you, now this is how I want you to live.
Two tablets: picture as one dealing with our relationship with God, second with neighbour. That’s how the Commandments are divided… like Lord’s Prayer – God’s things first.
LSB p. 321 – Catechism – except for First Commandment, Luther explains how we break each Commandment, then how we keep them. [11:00 – We reviewed that in our confession.]
Confirmation – rewrote Commandments… all with word “Respect” and one/two words. [Tablets]
Jesus’ NT summary: Love God; Love neighbour. [show heart]
Trouble… we can’t keep them! Jesus (Mt. 5): “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these Commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven… Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Paul: “All have sinned.” James: “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
What do we do? Actually, the right question is… what has God done? Back in Matthew 5, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” Jesus kept perfectly; sinless; holy; right before God (centurion’s confession at the cross). More than that… Jesus took all of our failures to keep the law, and died with them. 1 Cor. 15 (5 words): “Christ died for our sins.” Col. 2 (6 words): “He forgave us all our sins.” 1 Peter 2 (10 words): “He bore our sins in His body on the tree.” That’s the Gospel – NT great act of deliverance.
It’s like God said, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of slavery to sin… Now this is how I want you to live – in relationship to me, and in relationship to your neighbour.”
[show Love God / Love Neighbour heart] Amen.