The Reason for the Law, Deuteronomy 5 - LJ Murray, Sermon Notes
Turn in your bibles to Deuteronomy Chapter 5
It's a tall task to stand up here and do this ….I'm not sure I am qualified to do it.
This is not a false humility- I mean while I was preparing this sermon I was picturing your faces thinking to myself I am going to preach to people who have been following Christ since before I was even born.
Think about that I am preaching to people who have known Jesus since before I was even born.
BUT -know this that no matter which of us was born first
if I stand here and CORRECTLY explain God's Word to us, If I accurately divide the Word of Truth(2 Tim 2:15) Then I have the right to be bold, confident, unashamed. If I accurately handle God's Word then it is as though God himself were speaking, that's awesome. That fires me up, that is something I want to be a part of.
So listen I am grateful to have this opportunity to preach...I really take it very very seriously. I put a lot of time into it, my wife can testify to that a lot of prayer and study and effort. I mean we really should be grateful to the men who take this task on a regular basis. It is a huge burden. I mean the amount of time that goes into this is just really consuming. I preach twice a year and it gives me gray hair.
SO... If this sermon is a stinker, rest assured that it took a lot of work to make it that way.
Gresham and I were discussing this and I think I have mentioned this before that it is a real struggle to figure out what to preach on. I had a few ideas but was struggling to come up with anything I felt confident about and what happens is -----at least to me---- is I pick something to preach on and then I start to question my motive for why I decided to preach on that. Right? Because my spiritual gift is noticing other peoples sins.
So Gresham and I decided to preach on Deuteronomy 5 because it was our daily reading in the Church's bible reading plan in early January. I was going to give an introduction to Deuteronomy 5 and Gresham was going to follow it up on the next Sunday.
Lets realize that this portion of Deuteronomy is a recap of what had already happened in Exodus. What we see in Deuteronomy 5 is an account of the first giving of the law followed in Deuteronomy 9 and 10 by the incident with the golden calf (Exodus 33) and the breaking of the first stone tablets which God had written the law on with His own hand.
In Deuteronomy Moses is giving a recap of all that Israel had been through wandering in the wilderness from the time God rescued them from Pharaoh until the entering of the promised land. Remember that Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land but only to see it with his eyes and toward the end of Deuteronomy Moses passes the torch to Joshua to lead the people forward.
So that's a brief context
Deu 5:1 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them.
Deu 5:2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
Deu 5:3 Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today.
Deu 5:4 The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire,
Deu 5:5 while I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:
Deu 5:6 "'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deu 5:7 "'You shall have no other gods before me.
Deu 5:8 "'You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Deu 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
Deu 5:10 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Deu 5:11 "'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Deu 5:12 "'Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
Deu 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Deu 5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work
That is where we will stop with the 4th commandment.
God's law divides doesn't it.
Pro 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law strive against them.
Pro 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
Pro 29:18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
More than ever in the world we see the battle lines being drawn between those who acknowledge God's law and those who do not/will not.
in case you have been living under a rock, I am here to tell you- The world HATES God's Law-
A passing glance at
-politics and justice-evil-corrupt
-marriage and sexuality
-the issue of abortion
-business- Video-are you a moral person?
any reasonable assessment of the current environment we live in from a thinking person will come to the conclusion that God's law -at the very least-is being ignored and I'd even suggest to you that it is under a full on assault.
Have you ever played the word association game?
What words would the world use to describe God's Law
That is how the world views God's law -no surprise.-John 15:25 The world hates God without cause
BUT what is surprising is the amount of “Christians” who treat God's law in the same way that the world does, as though it were outdated or burdensome or optional or restrictive.
Many Christians treat God's law like that. They perhaps acknowledge that its there but only submit to it when its convenient. Treating it as optional. And treating God's law as a real 'killjoy'
Many think that The Law is like God's giant syringe that He sticks into the heart of the world to suck all the fun out of it.
Some treat God's Law like a speed limit. 55 m.p.h--It's a good place to start but the fine for going 70 m.p.h isn't that bad and after all the chances of getting caught are slim. After all I'm a safe driver and I'm not hurting anybody.
That's not how we should view God's Law
Here is another way people view God's law-
If we stick with the car analogy we would say that some people view God's law like a seat belt. They only put it on to make the buzzer turn off.
Does your car do that? Is your car a socialist car like mine is?
“Like yeah I obey God's Law but only because I HAVE to obey it. Because its the law. It takes the fun out of life, its restrictive its old fashioned but my parents tell me to obey it my conscience tells me to obey it, the only way I can get the buzzer in my head to shut off is if I obey it--- so I do.”
Some Christians think of God's law like that. I use to view God's Law like that. Like it is just a total kill-joy. IF you think that way I hope we can remedy that this morning.
So that's kind of how the world or really immature Christians see God's Law
Even worse than that line of thinking, some “Christians” think that what Jesus did, somehow nullified God's moral law.
I am aware that most people in this church probably don't believe that okay.
AND it is crazy to me but I am telling you that many “Christians” believe that.
This is an unbiblical view that results in people living unrepentant, sinful, worldly lifestyles who claim Christ but they show no fruit of salvation and no regard for obedience to God's law, no sanctification.
This is called -antinomianism ….. I sound smart using a big word like that huh
Most people who are antinomian in their beliefs don't even know what the word antinomian means. It comes from 2 Greek words
anti- meaning against
nomos- meaning 'The Law'
antinomian- antinomianism is the belief that there are no moral laws God expects Christians to obey.
Come on L.J. People actually believe that? Look, here is what I do know ok. There is a MULTITUDE of people claiming the name of Christ BUT living in absolute disregard for God's Law.-Tell me that's not true
Claiming the name of Jesus while simultaneously living an idolatrous, blasphemous, adulterous, covetous lifestyle.
I am gonna do a little acting, you wanna see me do a little acting? The antinomian mindset sounds something like this.
I don't think its biblical for you to try and hold me to the standard of the law.
Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
You cant fully understand the circumstance surrounding my life and why it is important for me to.....
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under the law.
Don't you see that the blood of Christ has given us freedom and liberty
Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Rom 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
1 Cor 9:20 Paul said “I myself am no longer under the law.”
YOU LEGALIST!!- we love to throw that term around don't we.
That sounds like a super spiritual response doesn't it. I mean look at all the scripture I used defending my position.
I probably carried that on longer than I should have but I wanted you to see the deceptiveness and persuasiveness of that kind of thinking. It sounds sort of convincing doesn't it. If you mangle and twist scripture and take it out of context it sounds pretty good on the surface.
After all if no flesh will be justified in God's sight by observing the law then what is the point in observing it?
If all my righteous deeds are but filthy rags in the sight of God and if I am incapable of keeping the law then why bother trying to conform to it??
That understanding of how the Gospel relates to the law is ….incorrect.
antinomianism is a carefully designed “theology” that is meant to sound spiritually mature but is actually spiritually bankrupt and unbiblical. The worst part is that it leads Christians into committing sins that not only derail their testimony but also make them incapable of living a life that honors Christ, which brings into question whether or not true salvation has even taken place.
PLEASE Church lets not confuse legalism with seeking to live a holy Christ-honoring life.
1Pe 1:15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
1Pe 1:16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
NOW lets examine the truth shall we?
Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish The Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Mat 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Mat 5:19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Did you know that the phrase “the law” is used at-least 139 times in the new testament? It would be reasonable to conclude then that with so much being said about the law we would be well informed about its purpose-- correct?
Because I was scared I would say something stupid and inaccurate I read through every single one of those 139 verses ---not exhaustively---- but I read through each one of them. Here is what I concluded.
1.Not one single time is it suggested that we do not submit to the MORAL law of God. Not one time. What is addressed is HOW and for what REASON we obey the law of God. (more on that later)
Rom 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by our faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
2.Seeking to obtain righteousness through observing the law is condemned. Seeking to obtain righteousness in God's sight through works of the law is a very very bad plan.
Do you know what the law does to you? It condemns you. It makes your mouth stop.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
Over a dozen times the New Testament refers to being or not being “under the law” not one single time is it suggesting that we do not observe God's unchanging, righteous holy moral law.
One other distinction that we have to make because the bible makes it is the difference between the Moral law and the Levitical/ceremonial law
Example- A Christian is allowed to eat pork right? Cause that old testament law is done and gone Jesus fulfilled and abolished it.
Is a Christian allowed to use God's name in vain?-NO
Like here-1 Corinthians 9:20
20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.
Clearly Paul is speaking of ceremonial law here sacrificial law—not moral law.
Rom 3:12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
Rom 3:13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
Rom 3:14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
Rom 3:15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Rom 3:16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
Rom 3:17 and the way of peace they have not known."
Rom 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
Rom 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin
Clearly here Paul speaks of moral law.
Sometimes the scripture seems to refer to both at the same time.(Gal. 4:4)
L.J. Whats the point? The point is that when the bible speaks of us being redeemed from the curse of the law, Jesus being the fulfillment of the law, us being either under the law or not under the law, it never even comes close to suggesting that we as Christians or mankind as a whole do not live under God's moral law.
MAIN POINT #1
All of mankind is STILL under God's law revealed in the ten (2 great commandments) commandments.
Under its guidance.
Under its authority.
Under its Judgment. (unless Christ have redeemed you)
Is that true? I am so glad you asked that. Lets check it out.
1.A. God holds the the world accountable to His law.
Mat 19:16 And behold, a man (rich young ruler) came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"
Mat 19:17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
Mat 19:18 He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Mat 19:20 The young man said to him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?"
Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
Mat 19:22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
If the law is no longer in effect then why do we see Jesus using basically all of the 10 commandments here with this guy? Because the law stops the mouth and brings the whole world guilty and accountable to God. Rom. 3:19
Notice that Jesus doesn't say to the rich young ruler “for the time being you are subject to this law but as soon as I die on the cross for the sins of the world this law becomes null and void.”
In fact the opposite happens Jesus dies on the cross, the sinless lamb of God and saves a man named Saul (Paul) after Paul's conversion what does he say?
Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Rom 1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Rom 1:32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them..............
Rom 2:2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.
God's judgment falls on those who disobey His law
It is not debatable. The law of God stands and ALL mankind remains subject to it. Jesus called men to obey the law . The bible defines sin by disobeying the law and Paul shows us over and over that God will judge those who fail to uphold the law.
So is mankind still under God's law? Yep
WHY? Well the bible clearly says it. BUT what reasons does the bible give for why we are under God's law.
You see God could just tell us to do something without giving us any explanation.
Parent-Go to your room....Why? Because I said so!!
1.B. Mankind is under God's law because it is a righteous, eternal, reflection of His character revealed in creation.
I love this point, I learned a lot in studying this.
Not only did Jesus and Paul reaffirm God's law but creation affirms not only affirms but is the foundation of the eternal authority of God's Law
LISTEN- it is not a coincidence that the more society denies the creation account the more it ignores God's law.
When we read Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5 we have a tenancy to view those accounts as though God was finally revealing His righteous standard to mankind. As though mankind was living all this time without knowing the righteous standard of God and now finally at the proper time God is going to reveal it.----WRONG
Now- no doubt we see God revealing Himself to Israel in a more clear profound way by revealing to them His law in such clear concise terms, writing it down with his own finger. BUT that does not mean that God's law was unknown prior to that event. That somehow mankind was stumbling around in the dark being punished by God for violations of His righteousness that they were totally unaware of.
Like God puts 8 people (Noah and his family) in a boat and then kills everyone else for their wickedness, even though they had no idea that what they were doing was evil. NO-5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made humans on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
God has written His law on the heart. And long before the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, the law of God was in effect being known since Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, that knowledge of good and evil has been passed on to every human heart ever since.
Gen.4 Cain knew that what he did was evil. Tell me was Cain there on mount Sinai when the law was given?No. God did not have to explain to him why what he did was wrong.
So we conclude then that even before the formal giving of the law on Sinai it was written on the conscience.
R.C. Sproul- “Christians and all people everywhere, always in every society at all times and in all ages live under God's law”
How can we know that- with certainty?
Because we see the character of God in creation establishing and reflecting His righteousness THROUGH His law.
Whats the point - Mankind is under God's law because it is a righteous, eternal, reflection of His character revealed to man in creation.
Example- The Sabbath -Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
I have to confess to you I have had to change the way I think about The Sabbath. Jesus said God made The Sabbath for man not the other way around. I believe that God gave us The Sabbath day for our good, not for us to acknowledge in a legalistic way but to give us time to rest from our work and enjoy Him.
So commandment 4 -founded in creation
6th commandment- you shall not murder
In Genesis 9 God said to Noah and his sons Gen 9:6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”
When we honor the 6th commandment of God “you shall not murder” we are not obeying the law given in Exodus 20/ Deuteronomy 5 we are obeying the eternal law established at creation.
Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Man- made in the image of God
Women-made in the image of God
Those not yet born, inside the womb- made in the image of God
Evolution tells us that mankind evolved into the realization that murder was bad because it hurts the propagation of the human race. -OK
So what happens when mankind decides that in some cases murder actually helps the human race? Like say by legalizing abortion?
Why are we against abortion?
Because it hurts society?
Because it hurts women?
We oppose abortion because “In the beginning.... God made man in His own image, in the image of God He created them.”
L.J. Our atheistic culture doesn't believe in God so that argument doesn't work. -----I DONT CARE
How arrogant is it to think that we could come up with a better reason to oppose bloodshed than God did.
The Law of God stands against murder- because murder is taking the life of an “image-bearer”
AND as long as man is still bearing God's image the 6th commandment is still in effect.
Example-Marriage Mark 10:6But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,8and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
This is why marriage is not something for only Christians but for all people in God's creation. Because God has made all of us either male or female. Marriage (and obviously by referring to marriage we are addressing the 7th commandment) is given to man not to hurt man but to bless him.
The Law of God stands in authority over ALL mankind and we fight for it and we submit to it because it was established in creation. And therefore all of the creation is subject to it.
The Law of God is established for our good, to bless us not to harm us.
One preacher that I enjoy listening to from time to time loves to say “When God says 'DONT' He means don't hurt yourself.
The Law of God has been given to us for our good. It is for our blessing, The Law reveals to us our sin and points us toward The Savior. The Law is intended for the safety and well-being of our families and marriages and society as a whole.
The Law is only a curse when we try to use it to achieve righteousness.
Psa 119:39 Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your laws are good.
Psa 119:40 Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!
Psa 119:41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise;
Psa 119:42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
Psa 119:43 And take not the word of truth out of my mouth, for my hope is in your law.
Psa 119:44 I will keep your law continually, forever and ever,
Psa 119:45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.
Psa 119:46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame,
Psa 119:47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
Christians we submit to God's Law not out of fear of judgment,
we submit to God's law, NOT to obtain righteousness
WE submit to God's Law because we love Jesus.
WE submit to God's Law because we are thankful for so great a salvation because we are not our own we have been bought with a price.
We submit to the Law of God out of joy, because we have been saved and we have the Spirit of God which is life itself.
Christians we don't view God's Law as a list of don't do this don't do that.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
For the Christian the law doesn't say “you shall not commit adultery” it says “Love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her”
“Wives submit to your husbands as unto The Lord”
See the difference?
For us the law doesn't say “you shall not lie or covet” The law says speak the truth in love and rejoice over the success of your brother.
Obedience to The Law of God is a joy and a privilege for the Christian. It is an opportunity for us to be like Christ, who through perfect obedience to God's Law purchased our pardon.
So all mankind is under God's Law because it is eternal, being in place since the creation of the universe and therefore unchanging.
We recognize the difference between moral law and ceremonial law.
We understand that the Law of God is for our good. It is a blessing to us to have it and keep it. It leads us to Jesus because it shows us our sin.
And lastly we submit to the Law of God out of joy and gratitude for what Jesus has done on our behalf. Not seeking to obtain a righteousness of our own but because we have been given a righteousness through Christ and therefore we joyfully seek obedience to His Word.
Deu 30:11 "For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
Deu 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
Deu 30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'
Deu 30:14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Deu 30:15 "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
Psa 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
Psa 119:2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
Psa 119:3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
Psa 119:4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
Psa 119:5 Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Psa 119:6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
Psa 119:7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.