Exodus 20:1 – 17
The Ten Commandments made easy
1. Most of us do not know them, even though they are easy to learn.
a. 97% of Americans say they are important while only 5% can name only three of them. (Jerry Shirley)
b. 10 fingers, 10 commandments (teach)
[READ Exodus 20:1 – 17]
(Ill.) of the person who has a small 10lb dog. Macho… barks fiercely through a window at a big German Shepherd that walks past his house, like he wants to tear the big dog apart. It would see the small dog is despising the window because it’s keeping him from getting at the German Shepherd. He’d like nothing better than to break through the window.
Question: what’s the one thing that’s saving his life? The window.
God is not separating us from dangerous things because He hates us. God is not trying to spoil our fun. It is because God loves us. “Love and law go together.” (Jerry Shirley)
2. Most of us break at least one of them regularly.
a. “No other gods:” The first “god” we had was ourselves. “People are incurably religious.” When was the last time you skipped church for something that seemed important or desirable?
b. “No idols:” Explain “household gods.” Represented “god” or represented something that divided loyalties.
c. “Not misuse the Lord’s name,” to say something false (vain) about God, speak in God’s name when you don’t, uses God’s name as a swear word, use God to invoke a curse, using God’s name without meaning it (like “Christians”).
d. “Remember the Sabbath,” When did you work, fix a meal, cause someone else to do work for you, eat out, buy or sell.
e. “Honor your father and mother,” Ever disobey your parents?
f. “You shall not murder,” (not the word “kill”)
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, `Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, `You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.” [Matthew 5:21 – 22]
(“Fool” was someone who lived like there was no God… technically this may be judging someone’s salvation.)
g. “You shall not committee adultery,” Anything that breaks the marriage trust or divides loyalty. Men: lust… women: worry. Men are visual so we naturally notice, but we don’t have to think about it. Women naturally connect things continually and divide loyalty to their marriage.
h. “You shall not steal.” (Self explanatory)
i. “False testimony,” the New Testament version would be “gossip.” Telling a story to deliberately hurt someone.
j. “Covet,” We call this “commercialism.” The desire to “keep up with…”
3. Jesus said our righteousness was to go beyond the externals.
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20]
a. Everyone of the commandments has a New Testament internal, heart attitude.
b. Die to self, die to the world, yes or no, shadow of the things that were to come, “heavenly father,” forgive, the mind of Christ, cheerful giver, pray for, walk by faith not by sight.
c. In other words, if we follow Jesus, righteousness will be defined about the things that go on inside our attitude, the choices we make in the heart…. It is very possible to do or not do the externals yet still violate the essence of the law.
“And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!  For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother,' and, `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'  But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God),  then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.  Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” [Mark 7:9 – 13]
4. How are we to surpass this righteousness?
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"  Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." [Matthew 22:37 – 40]
a. “ALL”… anything less is technically sin… (We are comfortable with way less than “all.”)
b. “as yourself” … seriously?