Participants: Dale Leamon
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000001
00:30 Hello, I'm Dale Leamon.
00:32 I'm from Battle Creek, Michigan.
00:34 And I'm really glad you've decided to join us today
00:37 as we study God's word together in depth.
00:40 But before we do that,
00:42 let's bow our heads for a moment of prayer.
00:45 Father in heaven, I'm so thankful for your word
00:49 and I know that those who are viewing this program
00:51 are also very anxious to know the truth
00:54 and they love the Bible and I pray that your spirit
00:57 will just accompany this time together
01:00 that we may understand your will for us
01:03 and rejoice all the more in the gospel.
01:05 In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
01:10 Our topic which we'll be covering for several sessions
01:17 together is the Ten Commandments.
01:20 Now don't all stand up and clap your hands
01:22 and rejoice and say hallelujah at once.
01:25 I know that even a lot of Christians are
01:27 not that enthusiastic about the Ten Commandments.
01:30 Sometimes when we say, let's talk about God's law
01:34 we hear people saying,
01:36 I don't want to talk about the law,
01:37 let's talk about grace.
01:40 Well, when people say that,
01:41 they just reveal that they don't really know
01:45 the meaning of God's Ten Commandments
01:48 because the gospel is in the Commandments.
01:51 We usually read the Commandments "Thou shall not."
01:55 "Thou shall not."
01:56 Well, the words are there, aren't they?
01:58 And it sounds like don't, don't, don't.
02:02 Nobody likes to hear don't, don't, don't.
02:05 However, there's another way of reading "Thou shall not."
02:09 It can also be read you won't.
02:13 In other words, it can be read as a prediction
02:15 instead of as a command.
02:17 You won't behave in this way
02:19 and you won't behave in that way.
02:21 And when we read it, that way,
02:24 we see that the Commandments are actually promises.
02:28 Tremendous, beautiful, gospel promises of the lifestyle
02:34 and the behavior that God intends to produce
02:38 in his people, so in that way,
02:41 the Commandments become a prediction,
02:43 a prediction of the victory
02:45 that God will have in the lives of his people.
02:49 In fact, I suppose most of you have heard the law
02:52 referred to as the Law of Liberty.
02:55 It was James who expressed it that way.
02:59 It is a Law of Liberty, isn't it?
03:01 Because, God gave the law to reveal to us the liberty
03:06 that He was going to give us over sin
03:09 and selfishness and self rule and idolatry
03:13 and all the other things that the Commandments
03:15 predict God's people will no longer
03:19 experience in their lives.
03:23 As you know, the Commandments start out with
03:27 "Thou shall not," but there actually is a preface
03:32 to that first don't and that preface is found
03:37 in Exodus Chapter 20, the second verse.
03:41 Where we read, "I am the LORD your God,
03:46 who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
03:51 out of the house of bondage."
03:56 You see that preface shows us
03:58 that God has already delivered Israel and He gives them
04:04 His Commandments after He sets them free.
04:09 In Egypt they were not free to obey Him.
04:12 They were tied to the rigors of labor
04:18 under the Egyptian building program
04:21 that made it impossible for them to really
04:23 give their attention to God.
04:25 They were surrounded by idols and false Gods.
04:27 They were forced to work seven days a week,
04:29 so they couldn't even have a Sabbath.
04:32 They were required to do many things
04:35 that were out of harmony with God's purpose.
04:37 And so as you know, God sent Moses and the people
04:40 were delivered and set free
04:43 and then He gives them His Commandments.
04:46 The next verse, Exodus 20 and verse 3
04:50 expresses the First Commandment.
04:52 And what does it say,
04:54 "You shall have no other gods before Me."
04:58 Now I'm reading that from the New King James Version,
05:03 which says it much more like I like to hear it.
05:06 You shall have no other gods before Me.
05:08 Because I've set you free, because I've delivered you,
05:12 because I've taken you out of bondage now,
05:16 you won't have any other gods before Me.
05:18 In other words, it's a prediction,
05:20 it's a prophecy, it's a promise of what
05:23 God is doing for His people rather than a stern Commandment.
05:28 Some people, you see, read the Commandments
05:31 from a false view of God.
05:34 As if God is saying because I've done so much for you,
05:36 now you've to worship Me.
05:38 No, that's not what He's saying at all.
05:39 He is saying, because I've delivered you,
05:41 now, I'm going to make myself your favorite person.
05:45 And you will want to worship only Me.
05:49 Well, of course, there's a good reason
05:51 why we naturally don't find ourselves in harmony
05:55 with God's Commandments.
05:57 We aren't there yet in other words.
05:59 We look at the law and the reason
06:01 we find it challenging and we don't necessarily
06:04 always like to hear it even is because we recognize
06:07 that it doesn't yet perfectly represent the way we're living.
06:10 We're still falling short.
06:11 We're still failing in many respects.
06:14 Even Christians still fail in many respects.
06:17 Why is it that, that we fail?
06:19 If God made these promises so long ago,
06:22 isn't He keeping His promises?
06:24 Well, Romans 7 and verse 14,
06:27 explains our human condition and I'm afraid
06:29 we all find ourselves in this condition.
06:32 "For we know that the law is spiritual,
06:35 but I am carnal, sold under sin."
06:41 So you see, even though the law is beautiful
06:47 and even though it predicts the life
06:49 that we'll have with Christ forever and even though
06:52 we desire to be in harmony with God's law,
06:55 we do have within us that flesh nature,
06:58 that carnality, we were sold,
07:01 the whole race was sold.
07:03 Adam sold us, didn't he, in the garden so long ago.
07:08 And so we find ourselves unable to respond
07:13 to the spiritual law but you know I'm so glad
07:16 that we wake up to that early in our experience becuase
07:19 it just shows us again that the law has to be a promise.
07:24 It can't be something we can do for God.
07:25 It has to be something He does for us.
07:29 And so we see that, rather than resent the law,
07:31 we just need to look at it as a precious promise
07:35 that the Lord is making to us of what He is doing for us,
07:39 has done for us through Christ,
07:41 and will do for us in a complete way,
07:45 as we continue to walk with Jesus.
07:50 Well, another scripture which explains our condition
07:55 is in the chapter just following Romans Chapter 8 and verse 2.
08:01 Here the Apostle Paul says,
08:03 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus
08:07 has made me free from the law of sin and death."
08:12 Moses delivered Israel from Egypt and Jesus
08:18 has delivered His people from the Egypt of sin.
08:23 Jesus has already won a tremendous victory for us.
08:27 Jesus himself is the one,
08:30 who is fulfilling the promise of the law,
08:33 because in Christ, we find the first human being
08:38 to walk on this planet,
08:40 who has lived in perfect harmony with God's law,
08:43 so we see in Jesus,
08:45 the fulfillment of the great promise
08:48 of the Ten Commandments.
08:51 Now, you probably are aware of the Old Testament Temple
08:57 and the original version, as you know,
08:58 was built by Moses in the wilderness
09:01 and it was covered with skins and it had three sections,
09:06 the courtyard, the holy place, and the most holy place.
09:12 And in the heart of that temple, in the most holy place,
09:19 was where there was a box that was covered completely
09:23 with gold and even had a solid gold lid on it,
09:26 which was called the mercy seat.
09:29 And that box represents the Thrown of God
09:32 in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.
09:36 But that box is called the Ark of the Covenant
09:42 and what was inside of it, well the covenant of course.
09:47 What is a covenant? A covenant is a promise.
09:50 A covenant is a pledge.
09:54 A covenant is a testimony.
09:57 It is a testament. It is a binding relationship.
10:03 And the beautiful thing about the Ten Commandments
10:05 in that Ark of the Covenant is that,
10:07 they are the covenant.
10:09 Not our covenant to God.
10:11 We didn't write the Ten Commandments.
10:13 We didn't say that we thought
10:16 we could keep all of those things.
10:17 God wrote the Ten Commandments and gave them to us
10:20 as His promise to us
10:23 that we would be restored
10:28 into the image of God and the day would come
10:31 when all of those Commandments would be written in our hearts.
10:37 And we would be able to obey them with joy
10:41 and with great aptitude even though we find ourselves
10:46 yet in this world struggling to see how we could live up
10:51 to all those beautiful principles.
10:53 We have an absolute promise in Christ that,
10:57 that it is what He is going to do for us
10:59 and in fact has done for us through His holy life.
11:02 You see Jesus kept His Covenant already
11:06 because He kept His law.
11:08 And by keeping the law,
11:10 He overcame every temptation to sin.
11:13 And He has proven His ability to workout
11:17 His will in the flesh.
11:20 And that's our hope isn't it.
11:21 That's really the gospel.
11:22 That's good news that Christ can restore the human race
11:26 back to His purpose in His plan for us.
11:32 This is promised very clearly also in the Book of Romans.
11:37 In Romans Chapter 6 and verse 14,
11:41 here the Apostle says,
11:42 "For sin shall not have dominion over you."
11:47 And what is sin?
11:49 My sin is the violation of God's law, isn't it?
11:53 And it says very clearly, "Sin shall not have dominion
11:56 over you for you are not under the law but under grace."
12:00 You see God always knew that as long as we were under the law
12:03 that is trying to be holy by the observance of the law,
12:07 sin would continue to have dominion over us.
12:09 We'd still fail.
12:11 But here He promises that because now we're looking
12:14 at the law as a covenant, as a promise
12:19 and instead of being under a system of salvation
12:22 by law keeping, we've come under Jesus' grace.
12:25 Now, He says, we can stop sinning.
12:28 We can find sin eradicated from our lives through grace.
12:32 And so we can actually find through Christ's great victory
12:36 that His promise is being fulfilled in our own experience.
12:39 Oh, I don't say that we're looking for instant perfection,
12:42 but we are looking for continued growth in grace,
12:46 continued increase in victory,
12:48 continually more love for the will of God in our lives.
12:54 Why? Because the grace of Jesus
12:57 that grace by which He conquered all temptation
13:00 and kept every precept of His covenant promise to us.
13:04 Now, that grace is bestowed upon us.
13:08 What fantastic thing then the law of God is.
13:12 What a beautiful, beautiful promise.
13:16 Well, I hope you're already
13:17 starting to see the law in a new way.
13:20 I hope you're already starting to think
13:22 that's better than what I had in mind.
13:24 It's not just god erecting a barrier and saying,
13:28 let's see how hard we can make it for these humans
13:30 to make it to heaven,
13:31 let's really give them some hard,
13:34 strict regulations and see if we can challenge them.
13:38 No, no, no, not all.
13:40 The law is God's beautiful promise,
13:44 His purpose, His plan for the race.
13:49 And that is why He put it right there in the foundation
13:53 of His own thrown in the most holy place.
13:56 He tells us He will not break His covenant.
13:59 He has kept it in Christ Jesus and we'll all be recipients
14:03 of every part of it as we continue
14:05 to hold on to Christ.
14:08 But we all want to be changed, don't we?
14:11 We all want to experience that.
14:15 And I would like to help you to see how Jesus himself
14:22 did in fact keep that First Commandment.
14:25 How did He keep the Commandment, which says,
14:27 "You shall have no other Gods before Me."
14:33 Well, Jesus, of course,
14:37 started out in heaven.
14:41 What a tremendous loss to comedown from heaven to earth
14:47 and give up everything that He was used to there.
14:51 I had the privilege of doing a little traveling.
14:53 I have had had the privilege several times
14:55 of going to third world countries
14:56 and sharing the gospel in those places
14:59 and I'll tell you, there's no place like home.
15:03 After you've been without indoor plumbing,
15:06 and after you've been without a comfortable bed,
15:09 and after you've been without the convenience
15:12 of air conditioning, and a car to take wherever you want to,
15:16 whenever you want to go,
15:18 and you live that way for a while,
15:19 and my, my, my, how you miss home.
15:25 Well, Jesus could have treasured those things that He had.
15:32 He could have treasured the worship of all the angels.
15:35 He could have treasured the streets of gold.
15:37 He could have treasured the freedom to travel
15:39 from planet to planet around the universe.
15:41 He could have treasured many things,
15:43 they could have been even to Him,
15:45 His God, but they were not.
15:50 He left it all behind to fulfill the will of the heavenly father
15:55 and become a baby born and lain in a manger.
16:03 Jesus was tempted as you know
16:06 in the wilderness by Satan
16:09 and we have that story told very clearly
16:14 in the gospel of Mathew Chapter 4.
16:18 I'd like to draw your attention to verse 10.
16:24 The devil has just offered Jesus the whole world
16:28 if he'll just bow down and worship,
16:31 and what does Jesus say to him,
16:34 "Away with you, Satan! For it is written,
16:40 'You shall worship the Lord your God,
16:42 and Him only you shall serve."
16:46 So Jesus gained a powerful victory
16:50 over the worship of material things.
16:55 In fact, when the main other God
17:00 that we really tend to have above the God of heaven
17:03 of course, is the God of self
17:06 and the God of self is very much attracted to glory
17:10 and aggrandizement that is why human beings
17:14 are tempted to worship images.
17:17 Because in worshiping an image,
17:19 they often make that image an image of themselves
17:23 or of even something more earthy
17:25 and lower than themselves in a way
17:27 that kind of exults the human,
17:29 so self worship is very, very much at the heart
17:32 of our failure to make God first.
17:35 But Jesus had none of that.
17:38 Satan offered Him kingship over the world.
17:41 That was why Jesus had come.
17:42 Why not take it? Why not go for it?
17:44 Here's a quick and easy way.
17:46 And yet Jesus didn't covet kingship of the world.
17:50 He coveted us. He wanted us.
17:53 He didn't come to be a king.
17:54 He came to die because His first priority was not Himself,
17:57 it was us. Jesus shows in His worship of the father
18:01 that He's given up selfishness.
18:04 In fact, he never had any.
18:07 But He shows even in the human flesh
18:09 that He wore
18:12 that He has no willingness to put self first.
18:18 How many of us could turn down an offer like that?
18:22 Or even a much smaller offer,
18:24 a few million dollars perhaps.
18:25 Don't give me the whole world,
18:26 just a few million dollars.
18:28 How many of us really do have other Gods
18:31 and yet Jesus has conquered this for us.
18:33 He's kept a promise of the law
18:36 because He said no to Satan, Away with you.
18:39 I'm not interested in worshiping anything
18:42 but only the Heavenly Father.
18:46 Well, I don't know about you,
18:48 but I need that victory.
18:50 That's the victory that's at the heart
18:52 of every other victory.
18:53 That First Commandment is the First Commandment
18:55 for a good reason because when God
18:58 becomes first in our lives, everything else falls in place.
19:02 And I'm so thankful that Jesus
19:06 has already won that victory.
19:11 But of course, the wilderness of temptation
19:14 and Satan coming to Him
19:15 and challenging Him to kneel down,
19:17 that was not, by any means,
19:20 the greatest example of Jesus' victory
19:25 in the area of making God first.
19:28 Oh, no. It was a much harder test, wasn't it?
19:32 That harder test came in the Garden of Gethsemane.
19:40 I know that you've read those passages,
19:41 but every time I read them, my heartbreaks again.
19:47 He had to face this test three times.
19:50 Even though He had spent his entire life
19:52 putting God first, even though
19:54 even before He was born as a man, He declared,
19:57 Lo, I come, in the volume of the book
19:59 it is written of me to do thy will, Oh, my God.
20:01 Still, He had to face that test again three times
20:06 before He went to the cross there in the garden.
20:09 He told His disciples, "Oh, I wish you'd stay awake
20:12 and pray with Me this night."
20:15 This is a night when I could really use your support
20:17 but of course, they didn't.
20:20 And, in fact, one wonders if they could have
20:23 because this was a victory only Jesus could win
20:25 and He won it alone.
20:30 You remember how that evening went.
20:34 After being with His disciples for the last supper,
20:39 Jesus finally, sadly, with a heavy heart,
20:47 led His disciples out to the Garden,
20:50 where they had often gone
20:51 to pray among the olive trees,
20:54 but this time, He is heavier than ever before.
20:56 And His disciples sense it and He even tells them
20:59 that He's burdened and He's feeling a load,
21:03 which is greater than any He's ever felt before.
21:05 You know, what He was carrying.
21:06 He was beginning to feel the horror of our sins.
21:09 He was beginning to feel what it really cost
21:13 to be alienated from God and to be torn away
21:19 from the source of all life and hope and joy.
21:23 He was beginning to feel the eternal hopelessness
21:26 of those who refuse to accept
21:29 the promise of God's Commandments
21:31 and they're determined to go their own way.
21:33 And in the horror of that moment,
21:34 as He looked straight ahead to the cross,
21:38 Jesus own heart almost failed.
21:41 The real battle was this. Shall I go home?
21:48 Shall I go home? No one here seems to care.
21:50 My disciples won't even stay awake and pray with me.
21:53 Or shall I go ahead and do
21:55 what the Father is telling me to do.
21:57 Remember, Jesus was equal with the Father.
21:59 It would have been no sin
22:01 if He had just gone back to heaven.
22:03 He had the right to do that.
22:04 This had to be a mutual choice
22:06 and Jesus had to go along with the decision
22:09 just as much as the Father, but would he?
22:12 He's wrestling there.
22:15 The devil is of course surrounding him
22:17 with suggestions that his sacrifice
22:21 will not achieve the salvation of humanity anyway,
22:24 that no one will really care.
22:28 And yet, Jesus goes to that rock,
22:34 He bows His head. He says, "Father, if it is possible,
22:39 let's find another way, make this cup pass from Me."
22:42 And the Father says, "There isn't any other way."
22:47 And Jesus says, "Not my will, but thine, be done."
22:56 There it is, the victory He is determined
22:59 to have only one God and to worship
23:02 no other to obey no other, not even His own self will,
23:06 which is the main thing we put up
23:08 against God in our own hearts.
23:10 No, He will not.
23:11 But still, he hasn't quite got the victory.
23:14 He moves away from that place,
23:16 talks to His disciples for a few minutes,
23:18 and He feels in himself still, the urging to run,
23:23 and so He goes back again and falls again on the ground.
23:27 And says, "Father, isn't it possible,
23:29 isn't there some way that we could save this race
23:33 without my going through this terrible experience"
23:35 and the Father says, there is no other way.
23:38 And once again, Jesus says,
23:39 "Not my will, but thine, be done."
23:44 And again, the third time, He goes and says,
23:48 the very same prayer once again.
23:51 And the third time is the time when the victory is complete.
23:57 And you know when the victory is complete,
23:59 there's no longer any longing to do the wrong thing.
24:03 Jesus very soon is surrounded by a mob of angry people.
24:08 one of His best friends comes up
24:11 and kisses Him on the cheek in betrayal.
24:14 And Jesus says to that crowd,
24:19 "I could call 10,000 angels to my aide."
24:24 But He's not tempted to do it.
24:26 He says to Peter, "Put away your sword."
24:29 He holds out His hands for them to tie him
24:33 because He's won the victory
24:36 and He has kept the First Commandment.
24:41 He has fulfilled the promise of the law for us.
24:44 He has gained complete and absolute worship
24:48 of the heavenly father alone.
24:51 And he will not go against the will of his Heavenly Father.
24:59 And so the victory of Christ is offered to us today.
25:03 You and I can claim it.
25:05 We can look at the Ten Commandments
25:06 and instead of shaking and saying, oh, no, no,
25:09 I don't want to see the Commandments, give me grace.
25:11 We can say, wait a minute, this is grace.
25:14 This is the Law of Liberty.
25:15 This is the promise of victory.
25:18 This is what Jesus has done for me.
25:21 Jesus has done these Commandments for me.
25:23 Jesus has like Moses come and delivered me
25:28 from Egypt and now these--
25:32 this law is no longer my enemy to condemn
25:34 and accuse and criticize me
25:36 but is a great promise of exactly
25:39 where Jesus is taking me by His grace.
25:45 Do you want to claim that victory in your own life?
25:48 I know you do. I know you do.
25:54 Jesus has already won.
25:56 He has already waged the battle
25:58 with sin, slavery, and He has conquered.
26:05 You know, dear friend, today,
26:07 I would like for you to look into your own heart
26:10 and just evaluate your attitude
26:12 towards God's Commandments.
26:14 When somebody quotes the Commandments
26:17 or you see them, you know,
26:18 how they're printed out sometimes,
26:20 hanging on the wall, what do you think?
26:24 Do you think, oh, I, I sure hope that's been done away
26:28 with because there's no way
26:30 that I'm ever going to live up to that.
26:33 If that's been the way you felt about the Commandments
26:36 or if you've kind of turned away
26:37 or if you've tried hard not to think about it,
26:39 because you felt condemned by them,
26:42 I want you to know today there's no reason
26:43 for you to be condemned by the Commandments.
26:46 Jesus has borne all the condemnation for our failure
26:50 to live up to the Commandments.
26:51 He has already taken all of that upon Himself.
26:53 The Bible says the inequity of us all was laid upon Him
26:57 and he has also conquered all of our human weakness
27:02 and gained victory over all of that
27:06 and kept the Commandments perfectly.
27:08 Therefore, the promise of liberty in the Commandments
27:10 has been ratified by Jesus Christ
27:13 and therefore God has kept His promise.
27:17 And whether you feel totally victorious today or not,
27:20 you can take hold of Jesus hand
27:21 and say, I know that since you've begun a good work in me
27:24 you will bring it to completion, I know the victory is mine.
27:26 These Commandments are going to be written in my heart.
27:34 Well, Jesus has kept the promise
27:36 of the First Commandment, dear friends.
27:39 In our--in our next studies together,
27:41 we'll see, how he has kept the promise
27:42 of all the Commandments and how beautiful they are,
27:47 as he works them in ours own hearts.
27:51 Let's praise God for the victory.