God’s Law: 3rd Commandment – Remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God, so that we do not despise preaching and His word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.
Example from the Bible: Numbers 15:32-36
Try it! Start a reading schedule to read the Bible every day and start going to church to see God’s Word.
The Sabbath day meant the day of rest in the Old Testament. This day was connected to the 7th day, Saturday, because God rested from creating the earth on the 7th day. However, when Jesus came, this day changed from Saturday to Sunday. The reason why this changed is that Jesus became our rest in God the Father. Jesus gives us rest from all our work by doing everything for us on the cross and by His resurrection.
Now this commandment means that we hear and learn God’s word, the Bible, through the book and through the Pastor that God has given the church to proclaim His word in a living voice. I want you to really think of that, God’s Word makes you holy. Jesus says that the person who keeps my word, loves me, and He will make His home with that person. Later, Jesus says that we will believe in Him through the word of the apostles. If you ignore Jesus talking to you through the Bible and through the Church, then you ignore God and it is easy for Satan to take away your faith. But when you pay attention to what Jesus says, He gives you life through His word.
What is His word? Jesus came because we were sinners and could not save ourselves. He came to save us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Now all people who believe that they are sinners and Jesus has died for them, will have everlasting life. This is His word, pay attention to it and don’t let it go.
God’s Law: 2nd Commandment – You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie or deceive by His name. But call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise and give thanks.
Example from the Bible: Leviticus 24
New habit to work on: Pray the Lord’s prayer in the morning and the evening.
We use God’s name in the wrong way when we cover up a lie with His name. For example, in the courtroom when someone swears on the Bible but then gives a false report of the situation.
We also use God’s name in the wrong way when we teach things that are not true and call it a teaching of God. For example, when the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that they are Christian and call on the name of God, but deny that Jesus is truly God and Man.
We use God’s name in the right way when we pray to him in times of trouble and when we give Him thanks for giving us all the good things we have.
Try to make a habit of calling on God’s name in the morning and evening. Use the Lord’s prayer and your own requests and thanksgivings. God promises to hear you and tells you to pray!
God’s Law: 1st Commandment You Shall Have No Other gods
You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean?
We should fear, love and trust in God above all things.
What does it mean to have another god? Clearly it doesn’t mean that there ARE other gods. Rather, it means that there is something else we put all our trust in, something we fear the most and something we love the most. Whatever we devote all our life to, this is our “god”. So there are many false gods that are out there: money, power, fame, the good life, women, cars, etc.
The true God is the triune (three in one) God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has revealed himself to us through the Bible and through His Son, who is the source and goal of this Bible.
Now what does it mean to fear, love and trust in God above all things? Fear means that we know God has the power to punish us and we deserve punishment. It means we must fall on our faces like Isaiah and pray to the Lord for mercy. Love means that we desire to follow God and do everything he tells us. We want to be united with him in our heart, mind and soul. Trust means that we depend on him for everything in our life and look to him to provide all we need. It also means we have confidence even in the bad times when we feel we don’t have everything we need.
What is the Church Year?
Every year the church goes through the life of Jesus and the Church he builds. The reason for this is that Jesus life has become the foundation of our life as Christians. (1 Corinthians 2) We are being built up as the temple of God. (1 Corinthians 2) Really this means we are connected to Jesus, because He is the true temple of God. (John 2) We are now part of the body of Christ. We gather for worship so that we may be united to Him through the message of His birth, life, teaching, miracles, death, resurrection and ascension. We receive those gifts He established in His life: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These activities shape the life of the church now on earth. This means that the life of Christ is the life of the church and we follow Him each year as we celebrate our life in Him. These are the major points of the church year and the life of Christ:
- Advent is when the church looks forward to Jesus coming again to bring us to our heavenly home.
- Christmas celebrates Jesus birth. (Dec. 25)
- Epiphany celebrates Jesus revelation as God, as the wise men come to worship Jesus.
- Lent is always 40 days before Easter, showing the 40 days of Jesus temptation.
- Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday as Jesus rides into Jerusalem. Jesus has the last Supper on Maundy Thursday, He is crucified on Good Friday and is in the Tomb on Saturday.
- Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on the third day. This season is celebrated until the ascension.
- Pentecost is the time of the Church when Jesus promises to be with His people through the Word of the Gospel, Baptism and the Lord’s supper and Christian life that comes from the Holy Spirit that dwells in us through these gifts.
If you read any of the Gospels and the book of Acts, you will see this life of Christ and how the Church follows His life each year. We remember that Jesus is the source of our life in the Church and He will keep us in the faith until He brings us home to heaven.
God’s Law: Where Life Happens
Bible Story: Genesis 2; Romans 13; Matthew 16 (Click to watch in ASL on Bible.is)
Before, we focused on how the Law is used. It is used to stop evil, show our sins and lead us in the ways of God. Now we will see what the Law establishes as areas of our life. These areas are church, family and government.
Jesus has established the church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16) What is the church? It is all true believers in Jesus Christ. (John 15) What does the church look like? God has appointed pastors as His servants to give His Gospel, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to His dear children. (Acts 20) So it is that there are Pastors and People in the church and in this way the church is a family of brothers and sisters that come to receive the gifts of their heavenly father through the pastor as His servant. (Acts 2) This is clear in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd commandments.
Next, God establishes the family when he speaks of the unity between a father and a mother in Genesis. (Genesis 2) He tells them to be fruitful and multiply. Later God would tell all people, “Honor your father and your mother.” (Exodus 20) So it is that God established father and mother as the authority over their children. They are to care for their children physically and spiritually and their children are to respect them. (Ephesians 5)
Finally, God establishes government when Paul states that all authority on earth has been given by God. (Romans 13) This is a clear pronouncement that all rulers who have been given authority are truly God’s servants to punish evil and support good. This is connected to the 4th commandment because it is fathers and mothers that give their authority to the government to protect them. So it is that the government must punish evil and support good and citizens must respect the government. (Titus 3)
Here you have all of the areas of life in a nutshell. From this, it is clear that we have more work to do then we could ever accomplish in a lifetime. Do not think that you do not know God’s will. You know exactly where you belong and what to do next!
God’s Law: What is it for?
Bible Story: Exodus 19 (Watch in ASL on Bible.is)
God’s Law does three things.
First, it curbs the evil of the world.(Romans 2) This is why there has never been a dictator that has continued forever. This is why there is a limit to the pain and suffering in the world. Because God has established authorities of government (Romans 13) and written this natural law on the hearts of all men.(Romans 3)
Second, they show us when we are wrong. This is the reality of all people, they are born in sin. You could say it is a sickness that started with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). Because of this sickness, they are now spiritually dead to God.(Ephesians 2) No matter what we do, we can’t come to Him because we don’t have the spiritual power to believe.(Titus 3) We are born as rebels. Just look at world history and you will see that no one is perfect and even worse, everyone does evil things. So what should you do! This is why Jesus came, to tell you that you must repent of your sins and believe in him. This belief is a gift of God that he gives you today as you see His word, that he has died for you to take away this sin and rebellion.(Ephesians 2)
Third, God’s Law shows us how we are to act as His children.(Psalm 119) In the same way that you learn how to behave in the right way from your father and mother, so now your heavenly Father shows you how to act as His child by staying in the natural orders he has created of Church, Family and Society.(Genesis 2)