2011 11 06

Forceful Language

Reverend Anthony R. Locke

November 6th, 2011  www.FirstPresTucker.org

at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker


Ten Commandments Sermon Series 02


Exodus 20:1-2 English Standard Version
1    And God spoke all these words, saying,
2    “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,

       out of the house of slavery.[1]

If the Lord is with you then He will incline your heart to obey His commandments.

Like we saw last week when the Ten Commandments entered the Temple’s inner sanctum, the presence of God filled the Holy place.

And the connection between the presence of God and the commandments of God is not limited to the Old Testament. In John 14:23 Jesus said If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

As we obey the commands of God our soul is filled with His glory just like the Temple was filled with the glory of the promised Messiah.

God desires for us to radiate the majesty and beauty of the resurrected and glorified Jesus. We do this by keeping the commandments.

The more we hang out with God, the more we daily walk with God, the more Jesus abides in us, then our personality picks up the Divine personality traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If the Lord abides with you then He will incline your heart to obey His commandments. And this process of transformation will continue as long as we do not grieve the Holy Spirit by breaking the commandments.

I think it is important that we define what it means to keep the commandments?

Keeping the commandments does not mean that we obey them perfectly. We have already broken them so it’s a little late for that. We are already labeled “law breakers.” The commandments can no longer be for us a path to life through perfectly obeying them.

God hasn’t forgotten Ecclesiastes 7:20 which says Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. We have all sinned and fallen short of the commandments of God. We cannot be saved by keeping God’s commandments because we already broke them.

God does not delude Himself with the notion that we are going to turn over a new leaf of moral goodness and start obeying them perfectly.

The commandments remind us that we are in need of a Savior. God wants us to keep the commandments.

So how do we keep the Ten Commandments?

The commandments are a reflection of the glory of God. And, we keep the commandments by believing that the glory of God was revealed in human flesh when Jesus perfectly performed all the will of God. And if we love Jesus, then we love the commandments for we understand that they shed light on the will of God for our life.

We believe with King David that Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

When we repent of our ways, and we embrace God’s ways, then we are keeping the commandments. King David was a man after God’s own heart because He loved God’s Law. David didn’t always obey, but he held the commandments dear to his heart.

King David wrote in Psalm 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

This is what it means for the believer to keep the commandments. We hide the commandments in our hearts that we might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11).

Deuteronomy 11:18-22 You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him.

Holding the commandments dear to our life will draw us near to God. As we obey the commands of God our soul is filled with His glory just like the Temple was filled with the glory of the promised Messiah.

So how important are these specific Ten Commands in comparison to all the other commands in the Bible. How much priority do these words have?

Well, these are the very words that God spoke to Moses. God also personally spoke these words to the children of God. This is the meaning of verse 1 And God spoke all these words.

But God did more than just speak these words. Spoken words can be changed and altered over time. God spoke words to Adam and then Adam spoke those words to Eve. Adam did not speak the same words. He changed them. Adam altered the spoken words of God and opened the door for Eve to be tempted and disregard the command of God.

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he held in his arms tablets of stone that were engraved by the very hand of God.

The first time, God personally etched both tablets of stone for Moses. God spoke these words, but God then etched them in stone.

Do not downplay the drama of this story. These Ten Commandments are God’s Top Ten.

Why did God engrave these words into stone? So that we would never alter them. Every generation has the opportunity to hear these words and obey them as if they were receiving them straight from the mouth and straight from the hand of God. They are that important.

Verse 2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

These words come from our liberator. God pulls us out of our sin and misery. God removes our heart of stone and puts within us a heart of flesh. God finds us in the darkness of our own devices and brings us into the light of His glory and grace.

This is what God does for us. Based on what God does for us we own Him our life.

1 Corinthians 6:19c-20 You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. We owe God more than a debt of gratitude. We owe Him our life.

But the first part of verse 2 is more about who God is for us than what God has done for us.

How much force do these words have? They were spoken by the only God that exists. Even if He never did anything for us, He is the One Living and True God!

Deuteronomy 4:35 the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

Nehemiah prayed (Nehemiah 9:6You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

In this one God we live, move and have being. Our Creator is speaking words of life in the commandments. We should listen very carefully.

Finally, why does God speak such forceful language?

Some people would consider such forceful language as overreaching.

Let me illustrate. My wife and I invited a few families in our area over to our home for trick-or-treating. Only our immediate family said that they were going to come over.

But on the day of Halloween, another family asked if they could come over. We really wanted them to join us. The Lawtons have four children and have been friends for decades.

But when they discovered the group was only immediate family, they came up with a sorry excuse for why they couldn’t come over.

So I called them and used forceful language to persuade them to join us.

I called the mom, I called Sheri and said on her voice mail that she was coming over because we loved her. She was going to be here at 5:00 pm, bring pizza toppings and cheese, and join our family because she was family.

Then I left a similar message on Bobby’s phone. I said that “if he wasn’t at our house at 5 pm to eat pizza and go trick-or-treating, then I would assume he had lost all control over his family and was a weak husband.”

I said it playful, but I was serious.

I was trying to make the point that they needed to cast off those outsider feelings. I wanted to remind them that they were loved as family. I said things in a forceful way to encourage them to stop with the silly excuses and get over to our home for some good fellowship.

God speaks this way in these Ten Commandments. God uses forceful words to remind us to get ourselves over to His house and enjoy His provision. God wants us to cast off our outsider feelings. God strongly desires to treat us as family.

And if we will stop with the silly excuses, then we can embrace fellowship with our Creator by keeping His commandments.

And God uses forceful words to shake us loose from our complacency. God is trying to get our attention so that we will see Jesus in His glory and run to embrace Him.

There is a second reason that God uses forceful language.

My family enjoyed On the Border on Halloween day. They sent me an e-mail that kids ate for free, so we rushed over.

And as we exited our car my two youngest, Eli and Maddie, darted across the parking lot to the restaurant.

I used forceful words to stop the actions that could have cause them lifelong misery. I am not embarrassed to say that I yelled at my children.

I didn’t care that other people were watching and listening to me use stern language. I didn’t care that I was speaking negative words – Stop Running! I didn’t worry what my own kids thought of me. I was protecting them.

Have you ever considered that God probably doesn’t care if we like the negative tone in His Ten Commandments? He is acting like a loving Father. He is using forceful language to protect us, bless us and lead us in the paths of righteousness.

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. If we do not keep these commandments then we do so to our peril. Breaking these commandments will drive one’s life into the ditch. If we keep breaking them without any fear of God, then we will crash and burn, in this life and the next.

God is speaking with fortitude and certainty to straighten out our minds and bring us into the paths of peace.

To not keep these commandments is to prove that God is not with us. To disregard these commandments is to profess that we are not being transformed into the likeness of Jesus.

If the Lord is with you then He will incline your heart to obey His commandments.

And as we obey the commands of God our soul is filled with His glory just like the Temple was filled with the glory of the promised Messiah.

God desires for us to radiate the glory and beauty of the resurrected and glorified Jesus.

The more we hang out with God, the more we daily walk with God, the more Jesus abides in us, then our personality adopts the divine personality traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Commandments are the key to knowing and loving God. The Commandments are the key to loving your neighbor. The Commandments are the key to knowing and becoming like our precious Savior, the Only Begotten, the Lord Jesus.

May God give us the grace to keep His commandments every day.



[1]  The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.



I want to buy him




Leave a Comment