What Does God Expect from Christians? Deuteronomy 4:41 5:11. Key Verse Deuteronomy 5:6; Emphasize the exclusive loyalty God requires from His people.

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1 Scripture Focus Deuteronomy 5:1-11 What Does God Expect from Christians? Deuteronomy 4:41 5:11 Key Verse Deuteronomy 5:6; Emphasize the exclusive loyalty God requires from His people. TDM Competency Live Biblically: Understand and apply biblical principles to all areas of life. Overview As we continue to examine God s expectations for His people, we look at the first three of the Ten Commandments. The children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land. Moses was preparing them by repeating the Ten Commandments that were given to this generation s parents. Theme Living biblically by understanding and applying God s standard to all that we do. The issue of loyalty is of utmost importance in our relationship with God. He calls us to be exclusively loyal to Him. Desired Learner Response [Aiming at the Heart for Life Transformation] Response: To repent of divided loyalties and confess loyalty to Christ alone; to examine our hearts in order to see if we have broken any of these commands. Note To Teacher: In response to incredibly helpful feedback from teachers, the TDM lessons will be limited to a maximum of 5 pages. Thank you, teachers, for your continued feedback. Outline God Expects us to be loyal to our Master (5:1-11). REVIEW 5 Expectations of God in Deuteronomy 4 A. To reject ungodly worship. (vv & 23) B. To recognize unique works. (vv. 20 & 32-40) C. To remember unholy ways. (vv ) D. To render unadulterated worship. (v. 24) E. To reverse unbelievable wanderings. (vv ) INTRODUCTION Deuteronomy 4:41-49 A. Moses established cities of refuge where perpetrators of manslaughter could flee until their cases could be heard (Num. 35:9-28). Note that these cities remind us of God s grace towards sinners in the Old Testament. 1

2 B. The law in v. 44 referred specifically to God s commands which Moses was about to recite. C. The testimonies in v. 45 referred to the conditions agreed to by contracting parties. Although the covenant God made with Israel was not based on their obedience, God still required faithfulness to His Word. D. Moses repeated events which had already been covered in order to establish a chronological and geographical setting for the giving of the Ten Commandments (vv ). Lesson I. God Expects Us to Be Loyal to Our Master (5:1-11) A. Moses was about to speak the principles by which Israel was to live in the land of Canaan. B. called Israel (v.1) The summoning of the congregation was for the purpose of proclaiming the Word of God. Gathering to hear the Word of God taught has been a part of God s plan for His people since He called a people to Himself. Remind your class that gathering to hear the proclamation of the Word is characteristic of God s people. C. statutes and judgments (v. 1) That which God gives for His people to live by are not only rules (statutes) but also the measure by which He will judge people. Statutes carried the idea of God s specific decree for mankind. The Ten Commandments were not arbitrary suggestions but rather specific laws by which God expected His people to live. Ask: If God were to judge you today by the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty? Ask: If guilty, does that concern you? Note: God will judge by His perfect standard, which is impossible for any man or woman to perfectly keep. We are all guilty of breaking God s law. We all deserve the wrath of God as punishment for breaking His law. But God who is rich in mercy sent His only Son, Jesus, to bear the wrath of God that was due to each one of us. D. learn and be careful to observe (v. 1) Again, just as the idea in the word statutes, Moses reiterated that God literally expected His people to carefully observe the Ten Commandments. We must continuously examine our hearts and actions in light of the revelation of God s Word. God does not give us a general rule of thumb to live by in which we generally live a good and moral life. Rather, throughout His Word God gives us specific commands and expectations that we are to carefully examine and carefully obey. Living Biblically is one of the Core Competencies in TDM. To Live Biblically is to live, in a sense, with an open Bible. E. but with us in v. 3 reflected the privilege of the current generation entering the Promised Land. God made the covenant with Abraham, but it was this generation that would be the first to enter the land of promise. This entering was a reminder that God would keep His covenant/promise with His people. Even though the rebellion of the previous generation kept them from entering the land of promise, God would still fulfill His promise in giving the descendants of Abraham the land. Man s disobedience does not prevent God from being true to His Word. God will do what He says. 2

3 F. Moses was a mediator between God and the people (v. 5). G. THE FIRST 3 COMMANDMENTS Verse 6 was a reminder of their deliverance wrought by God, which served as the backdrop for each commandment. Loyalty to the One who alone could and did deliver them was the issue at stake. The people of God were to represent Him in the exact manner He prescribed. We do not get to choose what is and is not Christian living. God has already determined what actions are characteristic of people that call Him Lord. 1. before me (v. 7) Literally over against me or in my presence a. Ancient Eastern cultures absorbed many gods into their belief system, using them for their own purpose. It was an accepted practice among pagan religions to add new gods to their list of deities. God demanded exclusive loyalty. b. Other gods must not be brought into God s company. He alone is holy; therefore, anything less than holy is not allowed in His presence. Note: The reason it is necessary for us to be cleansed by Christ, clothed in His righteousness, and declared innocent in Christ is that none of us could enter the presence of God in our own sinful condition. Nothing unholy can stand in God s presence. c. Israel was to refuse false gods being placed in with their worship of God. To refuse other gods meant that Israel would have to make a public stand for God in the face of other cultures that would pressure them to worship false gods. Note: It was characteristic from early in the history of God s people for them to publically stand for the exclusivity of God above and beyond all other gods. We are not facing anything new in America. To stand for Christ as the only means by which man can enter heaven is very characteristic of God s people in all times. The call to renounce other gods and proclaim God as the one and only true God requires absolute loyalty to Him. d. All false gods stand in opposition to the true God, and the worship of them is incompatible with true worship. Loyalty cannot be divided. The command against having other gods was not merely a call to reject those gods, but also an indictment against any idea that another god could compare with the one true God. None is like Him. None is comparable to Him. None is worthy to even be in the same conversation as He. Ask: How do we see believers attempting to harmonize other gods or religious ideas into Christianity? Note: We must stand firm on the exclusivity of Christ alone for salvation. The exclusivity of Christ is rooted deep in the Old Testament, is clearly revealed on Calvary in the New Testament, and must be upheld by the church today. 3

4 2. not make for yourself a carved imaged (v. 8) a. Described anything made out of wood, stone or metal. To worship that which is material is to worship that which is created. God made Himself known as Creator of all that exists; therefore, He is to be worshipped above all creation. b. Demonstrated the impossibility of representing God in any concrete form. Attempts to represent God in any visible form is sinful for God cannot be contained in a single image or idea. c. Destroyed the role as caretaker over creation that God gave man. God gave man dominion over all creation. To bow down to creation is to invert God s order. d. The worship of man-made representations was nothing less than hatred of the one true God. Such worship would reveal a heart that had turned from God by turning from His commands. e. bow down (v. 9), literally meant to serve. Seeking spiritual benefit from material objects is idolatry. Such an act implies that God is not sufficient for all of man s needs; therefore, man must design objects out of that which God made in order for his needs to be met. Idols are the ultimate representation of man s rejecting God. At minimum an idol reveals that man has not properly understood the nature of God as revealed in His Word. f. To serve other gods was to reverse the Exodus, deny God s grace, and go back to bondage. In Exodus 32 we get a glimpse of the devastating effects of an idol. The people worshipped a calf not only as a god, but professed it to be the god that brought them out of bondage. Again, loyalty to God cannot be divided. Loyalty is either fully towards God or fully against Him. g. Children would experience the impact of their parents breaching God s law (v. 9). The actions of parents would be repeated in the next generation and normally degenerate to greater sins against God. h. The effect of a rebellious generation was to plant the seed of disobedience in their children. We do not live in a vacuum in which our choices to obey or disobey God go without influence. Our choices produce ripple effects that impact future generations. i. In like fashion, God showed His greatness through His obedient people. He will not be misrepresented by blessing a people that are disobedient to Him. But, God will demonstrate His mercy through an obedient people in order that He might be rightly represented to the world. Ask: Are you looking to possessions or achievements to provide only that which God can provide? If so, those things are idols. Ask: Are you living biblically by the specific commands of God so that He is rightly represented by your life? 4

5 3. in vain (v. 11) a. To use God s name in such a way that His character or deeds were misrepresented. b. To fail to perform an oath in His name was to deny His existence since the guilty party obviously had no further thought of God. It is the idea of seeking advantage by invoking God s name, then once advantage is gained, live in such a way as if God played no part in the success. c. You shall not lift up the name of God without reason. God s name is to be so highly revered that to use it without the expressed purpose of honoring Him is sin. d. Ancient Semitic belief stated that knowledge of one s name was a means of manipulating that person. To use God s name in vain meant to try to manipulate God. It was an act that denied the omniscience (all-knowing) of God. He cannot be manipulated for He knows the heart of man. e. Ancient Israelites did not pronounce God s name out loud. They feared God to the point that they would not risk misrepresenting Him or even the appearance of manipulating or wrongly using His name. Note: It is the idea of name droppers today. Often people will use the names of others in a conversation in order to convince their hearers that they have the approval of the people they are mentioning. f. Violating the sanctity of His name was a serious offense against God. It demonstrated a lack of proper respect for God. g. For the believer in the church age, swearing by His name is not needed to verify authenticity (James 5:12). We are to represent Christ with our loyal lives and not seek to use His name to persuade others that He approves of our lives. Ask: Does your life reflect that you are loyal to Christ alone? Note: Examine your heart this week, asking God to show you ways in which you misrepresent Him. Repent and biblically live for His glory. 5

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