As we travel these six weeks serving classrooms virtually along the Pacific Rim–each week I’m also leading a small group of students that are studying all the way through the Bible in 2021. You are welcome to join us. This is TODAY’S study that Bonnie helped me to record when we finished in the classrooms. We have gotten to the sixth key chapter of the Bible. The 10 Commandments. Hope it blesses you as much as it has us to do the study!
Hello and welcome, John Barnett here. Thanks for coming to the small group study. Now, for those of you that it might be the first time, what I’m going to say, everybody that’s been with us for the last five weeks now that we’re on week six have heard five times, but I have to say it every time. First of all, I’m thrilled that you’re here. This study started just a little more than five years ago at Starbucks, Panera, and Chipotle. Three places that I met the 10 small groups that I began to study with, in 2015. As I began this study, I realized that it was so exciting. The most exciting time that I had known in my ministry of meeting with men that were on the cutting edge, raising their family, working at their jobs and their businesses, just going through life together as a small group, encouraging one another, accountable to one another. Then what happened is, I started sharing this with my wife, and she began having small groups like this. Those became incredible times in her life. By the way, I’d like to thank Bonnie publicly. On the other side of that camera, my wonderful wife is always working. She’s my dearest friend. The one person in the whole world I want to spend all my time with and wish I could. I’m just so glad for this time in our life that we can work together.
If you look at the screen, we’re on week six. We are daily studying, with notebook in hand, God’s word as we’re looking at what I call the 52 greatest chapters in the Bible. I’m going to explain that a little more in a second. For those of you that are joining, you don’t have to catch up. You can go from right here forward. This study is designed so you can start at any point. Even though today is a Friday, February 5th, and Bonnie and I are traveling through these virtual classroom studios provided for us by Missions. We’ve filmed all day; I’ve done four classes and Bonnie has helped me. She films and edits. She always is the one that logs the grades and schedules everything for me, so I can study and prepare. We’re teaching primarily classes on the Pacific rim. We are teaching to students right now in Australia, in Singapore, in New Zealand, in Thailand, Korea, a few groups that are meeting in China that we’ve heard from, Japan, India and I guess that’s off the Pacific Rim but it’s over in Asia, South Asia, East Asia, all over there. But for those of you that are tuning in, this is my home. After I do my work all day long and teach these virtual classes to Bible Institutes and Seminaries and small groups that we serve, I am keeping this study up with those of you I started with. This is my small group. Instead of meeting in a coffee shop or something, you’re having to watch on your mobile device, or your computer, or whatever you’re doing, but let’s jump right in.
The 10 commandments. I titled this and you’ll see it in a moment in my journal when I show that to you. The 10 commandments are God’s laws for mankind. Now, the 10 commandments were one of the most significant events in history. It’s shaped the Judeo-Christian ethic that permeates so much of the Western World.
The next slide shows you where we are. We are right here in Exodus 20, looking at the 10 commandments. This is the sixth week. We started studying creation, looked at how we got to life as it is in the universe, right now. Remember Paul said in Romans chapter 8, the whole universe is groaning. Entropy, heat death, the laws of thermodynamics that show everything is wearing down and going to go to a zero heat death ending according to physics. Now, we know it doesn’t. We know it all burns up and God makes it new. But in physics it looks like the whole universe is going toward a wind down. That’s because of week two. When you study week two, the fall of humanity into sin and all the universe into sin, Romans 8 says, all of creation is chained by the corruption, the decline, of sin, and the fall, and decay. Then we looked at what shaped the geography of our world, the global flood.
Then we looked at how the Gospel began to go global, Abraham’s call. Remember God said in that chapter, when we studied it, that through Abraham Genesis 12 says, all of the nations of the world will be blessed. Remember, this book the Bible comes through the Jewish people. Every part of the Bible is written by a Jewish person except for two authors that got in there. One is Nebuchadnezzar who was Chaldean and became a believer through God’s judgment on him. Then of course, Luke was a Greek proselyte. But everybody else was a Jewish author.
Then we looked, last time, at the Exodus and Passover. That mighty outpouring of God’s power against all the gods. Basically, it was an attack on Satan’s domain and it shook the practitioners of Satan, those magicians, to the core. It showed the hardness of the human heart as Pharaoh, remember we learned last time, hardened his heart 10 times. The scriptures say 10 times Pharaoh hardened his heart. To show the amazing power of our sovereign God, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart 10 times. So, there were 20 hardenings. 10 and 10.
Now we’re on the 10 commands. Do you remember, this is the picture of the smart board when I started this study or my marker board, the 52 key chapter study. I picked 52, one for every week of the year. That’s why you can start this anytime you want and just keep going with us through the 52 weeks. If you’re starting with us today, February 5th, you can go to February next year, Lord willing. It’s the key chapters. What I mean by that is, we’re going to hop between these 52 little islands in the Bible. As you hop and do each week study you will, in one year, master and I mean that. I’ve been teaching in Bible Schools, Seminaries. I started teaching, let’s see, in The Master’s seminary. In 1986. So, 35 years I’ve been teaching at a seminary level. And Bible Institutes, and Bible colleges, and local churches. I pastored local churches from 1978, all the way through 2016. Almost 40 years in local churches, 35 years in seminaries.
If you want to master the word of God, there are two ways you can. Quit your job, attend a seminary for four years/ three years, and really focus or start a systematic personal Bible study using key resources, like I’m going to show you. You can come to a theological understanding. Look what this says, the doctrines, the key chapters. You actually understand all 1,189 chapters of the Bible, all 66 books, how they fit, what’s going on. Also, those doctrines and theology, and the attributes of God. There are 20 plus. The systematic theologians have found 20 plus attributes of God, His character, how He operates, it’s his operating system, who He is. If you want to understand the Bible, understand the character of the author that’s revealed in this book.
Then, this is the practical part, the verses. I’m going to hit this all the way through every single week and within each week. There’s only one way to be transformed. “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” The Bible out here doesn’t do a lot to me, it just sits on the shelf. But when I read and study it, I start exposing my mind to it. When I memorize and meditate on the Bible, my life changes. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.” That means only the scriptures can affect me on the inside. I can take all kinds of pills, and by the way, since my heart attack 13 months ago I’ve learned to take a lot of pills for all the repair work that’s going on in the marvelous body the Lord has given us, but that only affects the physical. If you want to repair the spiritual, the nonmaterial part of you, your inner person, there’s only one way to do it. The word of God empowered by the Spirit of God.
That’s why on that slide, this is just my marker board example, I have cards and I’ll show you at the end where I do this. I learned the first letter of each word. See here’s the verse, 2 Corinthians 5:21. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Those are the verses I’m learning, and I’ll show you how they’re packaged in with this whole course.
Now, every week I offer you what I call extra resources online, for you to deepen your study of Exodus.
This is what I mean, here’s one. Are Christians supposed to obey the Old Testament? This is a YouTube video. It’s titled and all of them are titled, first you go to the playlist that’s called Understanding the Bible and if you get to that playlist, you’ll see that each of the videos has a four digit or four letter code. It’s called 52 Greatest chapters. FTGS. Then this week has 06. Now this lesson is 52 Greatest Chapters FTGC-06, week six and that is the full name. But then this one on the Sabbath day is 06a, then the next one I’ll show is 06b, the next one I show you 06c. If you went to YouTube, here’s the description. What is the Sabbath? The New Testament Sabbath is God inviting us to set aside time with Him because we love Him. That’s what the Sabbath day is. That’s what it began as. Now, it changed immensely. In fact, the whole Jewish religious life began to surround the Sabbath day. It took two full days of reading, one Jewish scholar said, just to read all the rules. If you read them aloud continuously from books and manuscripts that the Jewish people have of their law, it would take you two full days to ready it. That’s 48 hours. It only takes 72 hours to read the whole Bible. You can tell there’s a lot more than in the Bible. Are Christians supposed to obey the Old Testament law?
In our study, I’m just surveying chapter 20, but if you want to really master the scriptures you need to take the time to work through this lesson. I go through; the Sabbath is not a day we observe, but an attitude that flows from a relationship with the Creator.
That’s the first online added resource. I talk about the Sabbath day, dietary laws, Jewish holidays. Be careful, there are a lot of Christians, born again Christians, who are getting under the bondage of externalism. I meet them all the time I go to Bible conferences where I teach. You see that they have little tassels coming out of their shirt tails because they’re wearing a prayer shawl like the Jewish people do. They are living kosher. There’s nothing wrong, by the way, with the dietary laws. There’s nothing wrong with the Sabbath day. There’s nothing wrong with Jewish holidays. Our family took one whole year and celebrated all the Jewish holidays. I took my family over, we lived for a whole month in Jerusalem, our whole family in the old city and just immersed ourselves. Every day we went out and what an incredibly powerful time to understand the backdrop of God’s chosen people of promise. But we are not to live under the Old Testament law. We’re supposed to have lives built on the unchanging truth of the scripture but not, listen, the ceremonial laws.
That’s what I get to in this next one, this next resource. This would be FTGC-06b, What is God’s law? What parts are still binding on New Testament believers? None, some, or all? I start right there in the sermon on the Mount. If you go to YouTube, this is what it would say. To answer the first question, we need to define God’s law. As we open the Matthew 5 today, we’re about to hear the final ultimate voice in any discussion on the law. Who’s that? Who’s recorded in the sermon on the Mount? Jesus. He said that we are to understand that God’s moral law never changes His character. What God has declared is forever settled in Heaven, but He wrote His ceremonial law to the Jewish people. Those dietary laws, all those Sabbath regulations were a part of their lives, not ours. I won’t cover that again, but that’s what’s in that slide.
The bottom line is this, the ceremonial law, that’s what you wear, like not having mixed fabrics and not planting plants together, not mixing. Not having veal, which is the baby cow cooked in the mother’s milk and all that. All those dietary, kosher laws are called the ceremonial law. They were for the Jewish people to keep them distinct, from merging with the nations. They were supposed to dress different, act different, eat different, live different, have a totally different schedule, to be unique as God’s people of promise. But the moral laws, they are for me, they are for you. They reflect God’s character. In fact, what you find is all of those moral laws from Exodus and Leviticus and restated in Deuteronomy are what Paul talks about in Romans, Galatians, and Jesus says in Revelation that those who are not obeying the commandments of God, the moral law, will not have a part in Heaven. But will have their part in the Lake of Fire.
The next slide, embracing God’s perfect law. This is amazing. If I’m having struggles in the nonmaterial part of me, my emotions, my mind, my total struggle with everything that can’t be fixed by surgery, or chemicals and pills. What is that? It’s the non-material, the spiritual part of me. Now look what that slide says. When we embrace God’s perfect law it fixes our innermost being.
Two verses I want you to see. John 14:21. This is what it says in John 14:21. Jesus is speaking and Jesus said this, verse 21. Let me put my stylists down, I get swinging that around here. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Do you know what Jesus says in John 14:21? He says I have revealed my commandments. Those are my unchangeable truths that I have laid out my law. My doctrines. Basically, it’s the word of God, the truth of God’s word. Jesus says all scripture is given, but through Paul, He said all scripture is given by inspiration. God is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. That’s what He calls His commandments, His law in John 1421. He says we keep it not because we’re afraid God’s going to hit us and punish us, but because we, what? Love Him.
Love is the reason I want to obey God. I’m not afraid of God squashing me like a bug. I’m not afraid of Him whacking me. Although, He does chasten every one of His children. He does chasten us. He does discipline us. I obey Him not because I’m afraid of His discipline, but because I love Him supremely. Now, pause for a minute. Do you love God? That’s the essence of eternal. This is life eternal, that they may know the only true God. That knowledge has an intimate, loving relationship with God. Do you have that? If not, right this moment, think about it for a second. The Bible simply says, whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. If I was drowning right now, we fly over a lot of oceans. Bonnie and I recently flew to one spot that is the longest single segment you can take over open ocean water. The pilot told us that. He says, by the way, as you’re boarding this plane, this is the longest haul you do anywhere in the world, across the Pacific. I went, oh thank you for reminding us how fragile we are. What I thought about is, we were flying across the Pacific, that I know God, and if that plane went down in the Pacific, yeah it would be horrible and scary for a moment, but I love Him and His arms are around me right now. Would you like to have that relationship? The Bible says, whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. How do you do that? You agree with God, what His word says, that you’re a sinner. You believe that Jesus Christ is who the Bible says He is. That He is God the son. God in human flesh. The second person of the triune God revealed in the book. You say, He gave Himself for me and you call out to Him. That’s ABC. Agree with God that you’re a sinner. Believed Jesus Christ is your only hope, God the son who died as your substitute. Cry out to Him. You can do that right now.
I do this all the time. I add the gospel right in as I’m teaching. I get notes. I get messages. I get emails. I get texts from people I’ve never met from all over the world that say I got saved. They even tell me what message they were listened to on YouTube or on our website. They said, I just did it. In fact, the best one, and some of you have heard me tell this but I love this one the most, this person was listening with their earbuds on the London Tube riding around London looking down at their phone, and they were really struggling. So, they typed hope into Google and YouTube offered Season of Hope, one of our videos, very popular one. This person watched a quick six minute clip of me sharing the gospel of hope. I said, bow your head. They bowed their head right on that subway of London. I said, if you want to cry out to Lord Jesus Christ, I want to pray for you, now raise your hand. They raised their hand right on the subway. With their hand up like that, they, with their headphones, in their heart called on the name of the Lord. I thought, I wonder what it would’ve looked like if I had been on the subway or you would have been there, what would it look like they were doing? They had their phone in their lap, they were looking down at it, and they had their hand up like this. Who was on that subway? God. The Lord Jesus Christ heard that person cry out to Him. They wrote to me six months after. They said it was six months ago, I was right on that subway, and they said I can’t tell you how much my life has changed. They said everything is changing. They said, it’s God. I’m in His word. I’m fellowshipping and growing but I want to tell you to keep on sharing the gospel like you did because I raised my hand on the subway, and Jesus saved me. John 14:21 says. If you have His word and love Him, you’ll keep it. But it’s only if you get a new heart.
The next verse, right here, is Psalm 19:7. That’s where we’re getting into this lesson. It says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.” Only the word of God can do heart surgery on the inside of me and change my inner beauty. That’s what this whole lesson is about.
Let’s go to the next slide. Sacred history, where we’ve moved from Genesis, which we started in week one to Exodus. Remember I told you that we’re coming to Job, but Job was from this early period. Now, we’re in the next period, after the Exodus deliverance we saw last week. I call this sacred history. Everything happens some time.
This is right here where we are. Creation, the fall, the flood, Abraham, the Exodus, and the next time we’re going to be looking at David, one of the monumental people of history.
A simple Bible event timeline, and this comes from many napkins and placemats in restaurants where I’m dealing with new believers or old believers that have never grown. They say, history confuses me. I said, okay. On the left, just think of Adam being zero, the beginning of humanity. To flip down to human dating, 2,500 BC is when Noah lived. Noah and the Ark. Actually about 1,650+ years after Adam was the flood, but you don’t have to worry about that. Then Abraham is approximately 500 years after Noah. Abraham lived 500 years after Noah, wow. Moses is about 500 years after Abraham. David and Goliath is about 500 years after Moses. So see, this is pretty nice little increments that you can think about. 500 years from Noah to Abraham, 500 years from Abraham to Moses, 500 years from Moses to David, and then 250 years to Isaiah the prophet, and 250 more years to Ezra. Then 500 years, about, to the time of Christ. That’s just a quick, simple, biblical timeline.
Now we come to what I call sacred geography. Everything happens somewhere. Now, do you remember the Exodus starts right here in Egypt, where the children of Israel are delivered. They crossed the Red Sea, began the wilderness wandering, come up through, 40 years. They spend 40 years here. They spend 400 years in bondage, 40 years wandering, and then they come up on the east side of the Rift Valley here, and they come up into the land. That’s where Joshua takes place. After they come up and they’re reconsecrated the Lord. Then they do the conquest. The Exodus is here and here, and it ends. Actually, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy cover this whole time period of sacred geography.
What is the pattern that I follow? And for those of you that have been with us, it’s the same thing every week. I’m going to show you my Bible. I’m going to show you what I marked. I’m going to show you my journal. I’m going to show you what I found in my journal. Then I’m going to type it out and we’re going to use that as the application this week. The key to this study is not more facts, but more application into my life.
Let’s just bow right now, before we go to the scripture, and pray.
Father, I pray Psalm 119 verse 18, that You would open my eyes and our eyes, everybody that’s joining us, to behold wonderful things out of Your word. Lord, You’re the great teacher. It’s Your Spirit that anoints us so we can understand. I pray for Your understanding. I pray for You to empower this spiritual gift of teaching so that I can teach Your word through this class, this special sixth week tonight that we’re working on. In Jesus name, Amen.
Remember, always pray and invite the Lord to open up your eyes. Each day of this week I read the passage. I spend all week long in week six. Every day, seven days, I read the passage. I’m reading Exodus 20 and I don’t just read 20. I would read 19 too. The whole run up to the exodus. With Mount Sinai shuttering, and fire coming, and earthquakes, and the sound of a trumpet. You need that in your mind. I’m reading that in the Bible and, of course, I’m marking. We’re going to go through that. I’m highlighting and marking. Basically, I’m trying, each time I go through the scripture, I’m trying to sift it and look for any details.
Bonnie and I were just reading this morning when we started our day, and we were reading aloud. We’re actually reading through the Bible in a year in the MacArthur one-year Bible reading program, where you read the Old Testament, a Psalm, a Proverb, and the New Testament. As we were reading I said, Honey, have you ever noticed that before, what we saw? She said, I never have seen that before. I thought, I have read the Bible 100 times and I’m still seeing with fresh eyes for the first time some of these truths. Then, after I read through the Bible, I start checking all the background materials in the MacArthur Study Bible.
Let’s jump into this. I’m going to do a handheld. I’m going to show you my Bible and I’m going to show you what I’ve marked and what I’ve found. Then, we’ll come back and keep going into how you journal. I’m right here, getting to chapter 20. I’ve written up here in the margin; Love fulfills the law, Romans 13:10, as a cross-reference. You notice that verse 18 here, says that there was smoke like a furnace and whole mountain quaked. This is chapter 19, the run-up. What you can see right here is, let me see if we can get a little closer there, God is so holy the earth quakes. There are fires, and smoke, and trumpets when He comes down to the Earth. It says Moses went down to the people and spoke to them, but it scared him because of all this manifestation of God’s holiness.
This is our chapter this week. Each day this week I’ve been reading, and studying, and marking. The first thing I did is, I marked the 10 commandments. They’re clearly, verse 3 is the first, verse 4 is the second, down here verse 7 is the third command. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain,” and the fourth command the Sabbath day. “Remember the Sabbath day…” Then, I wrote in what struck me about the 10 commandments being fulfilled. Remember Romans 13:10? By the law, love is singular. So, if I love God, I’ll have no other gods. Love is faithful, I’ll not make any carved images. By the way, that has to do with the faithfulness we’re to have to the Lord, as well as, reflected in our marriage, that faithfulness. There love is reverent, you don’t take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
I often use the 10 commandments at marriage and say that to the couple, if you really love each other, you’ll have eyes single for each other. You’ll be faithful to each other, as long as you both shall live. You’ll never speak easily in an evil way, hurtful way toward each other and if you ever do, confess, and forsake, and repent of it. Love seeks intimacy. Sometimes it’s so interesting. Many people only think of marriage in a sexual way, but there’s an intimacy spiritually and emotionally that feeds the physical, and that’s what many couples are lacking today. They don’t have the emotional and spiritual togetherness.
You notice that I wrote up here and I already brought it out in the notes, the literal six day creation is all verse 11 would mean to 3 million Israelites, written by the finger of God. Genesis 31:18 is where it says He used His finger. When the Lord said, six days you labor and rest the seventh, just like six days I labored; they would have thought of 24 hour solar days. That’s the creation account right here. I noted that then I keep going, numbering, the fifth commandment is honor your father and mother, verse 12. The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth commandments. Love is submissive, harmless, pure, honest, truthful, and content.
Then you noticed that we get down here to this next section, after the 10 commandments are finished, starting in verse 18. Look what the Lord says in verse 20, He says, “Moses said to people, ‘Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.’ So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.” This is very interesting. A lot of times we forget how Moses got to see God face to face.
Then up here, the last thing I want to show you here, the Lord talks about making an altar, starting in verse 22. Then He even ends in verse 26 with this statement, “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.” You say, what is that? What an unusual thing to say. Did you know God is holy and pure. He’s around and watching us, so we should be modest. We should be those who guard our bodies as the temple of the living God. That’s something that comes out in the deeper study.
That’s the handheld looking here at my Bible with a tripod so that you all don’t have any motion sickness. Now, we’re going to go into getting this written into our journal. This is my marked up Bible, that we just saw, where I start every day’s reading. I note everything that stands out as I go through the text.
I’m following what I call the devotional method. Remember in the first class I told you that Rick Warren, the one that wrote Purpose Driven Life and all those things. Rick Warren, his very first book is called 12 Bible study methods. In that, his first method is universally agreed upon by all Bible teachers is the devotional method. There are 11 more, but I liked the devotional method.
Devotional method is, you write your own title for every passage that you study. I’m saying that it would be good for your life to write your own title in your Bible and studying your journal, all 1189 chapters of the Bible. In this study, we’re only doing one passage a week. So, you write a title for the passage you’re studying. You mark in your Bible. Then, note all the lessons, and truths, and doctrines you can find. Then you go through all the background in the MacArthur Study Bible. But here’s the reason we’re doing all this, you could buy a summary of the Bible. Someone has a book, learn the Bible in 30 days and someone else has the one minute Bible online, you can find all these summaries. The goal is not knowledge alone because knowledge puffs us, it makes us proud. That’s not the goal. The goal is, look at that, application. Write a prayer in which you asked the Lord to unleash one of those truths or lessons you found into your life.
Let me tell you a story. When I first started this out, over five years ago, I had all these small groups of men. For many of the men in my small groups, there were 30 men in 10 small groups, did you know, it was the first time they had ever studied the Bible and applied it to their own life in one of these prayers. For many of them it was the first time they prayed out loud, in front of a group. But worse than that, it was the first time they ever said, God, I want you to change this in my life. I want you to change this in my family, as I lead my family. I want you to change this in my marriage, as I’m supposed to reflect Christ. It was humbling for all of us. We walked through, that original group almost went two years. We not only did the 52 greatest chapters, we did the 52 greatest verses, one a week and studied them, and memorize them, and quoted them in front of each other. So, that’s the application prayer. Now, here’s my journal. Let me show you, I’m opening it up here, this is Exodus 20. See, Exodus 20, 10 commandments. What I wrote is, my lessons. God spoke directly, number one. God identified Himself as deliver, number two. Then, I go through each of the 10 commandments. God showed His power and glory in verses 18 to 21. Then, I wrote this prayer. I’ll just read it to you. Lord, I bow before you as the one who redeemed me from the slavery of sin and death. You are my deliver. You are my Redeemer. I will hear, and seek, and obey your call to live your way. You told me in Romans 13:10, that love fulfills the law, so I want to be loyal to you, faithful to you, reverent, intimate, respectful. See, everything I found I wrote into this prayer and said, Lord, I want you to change me, so I am respectful, and submissive, and harmless, and pure, and unselfish, and truthful, and content. See that? Applying the word of God. So, that’s my journal.
Now, all this that I wrote I now typed out for you. It used to be that I had my journal, everybody else around the table had their journals, and I could explain and point to stuff. But since you’re, coming through cyberspace, look at this next slide here, this is typed out what my journal says. It’s the sixth week of the 52 Greatest Chapters. We’re doing Exodus 20. The 10 commandments are God’s law for mankind. Now remember, I work on this all week long. So my original, what I wrote in my journal, was the 10 commandments, but the next time I said it was really God’s law for the world. This is how the Lord expects everyone who has an awareness of His truth to live.
Remember, we’re all born with two candles. Romans 1 says, the candle of creation, the candle of conscience. Creation, that candle, if I’ll look for the creator, because I see all the symmetry, and order, and grandeur out there, He’ll reveal Himself to me, He promised. That’s the candle of creation, that I can go out into the dark looking for. Remember Acts 17? Write that down, Acts 17, Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill said that God is within an arm’s length. Do you see how far my arm goes out here? An arm’s length, my arm’s length, means God is within reaching distance of everyone in the world. Anybody that reaches out to Him, they can touch Him. So, these laws are for everyone who will seek God.
Now, the other candle is our conscience and that’s God’s ally, He puts within us. Our conscience is God’s mechanism inside of us. It says, should you be doing that? I don’t think you should do that. I think that was wrong. I don’t think that’s a good idea. That conscience, that candle makes us realize how far short of God we are. It makes us reach out to Him asking for forgiveness, but you know what most people do? The first candle of creation they go, no Creator. I evolved. I’m chance. Protoplasm. Primordial soup. They take the other candle, and they blow out the candle of conscience by blasting and hardening their mind against God and their sin. They say, it’s not wrong, I can just do anything I want. So, they blow out their only two candles that lead them to the true and living God.
Here’s the summary, everything that I found in study. Paul said, love fulfills the whole law. The law was a school master. Now, this is me thinking about it all week long, this isn’t everything. I’m going to show you the verses. This is me just seeing the big picture. Remember, I told you the 10 commandments is huge. Paul says that the 10 commandments are a school master that bring us to Christ. We’re not under the law, but under grace he said. Jesus reduced the 10 commandments to love God and your neighbor. That’s in Matthew 22. We already covered John 14:21. That love demonstrates that we love Him by keeping His commandments, all the decalogue. All the 10 commandments. Deca = 10. Logue = words. The 10 words, the 10 commandments, all of them are repeated in the New Testament as binding upon New Testament believers, except for the fourth. Did you know that?
Jesus re-instituted 9 of the 10 commandments in the New Testament, as did Paul and the apostles, except for the fourth. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. That was assigned for the Jews, it’s not for the New Testament Church. Now, in the future, in the millennium, God re-institutes the Sabbath day. He can do anything He wants. I assume the millennium blends right into the eternal state, that we will be remembering God’s great creation and rest, but for us now, this side of the cross, we’re not under the fourth commandment obligations. Jesus said, if we keep the whole law but offend one point, we’re guilty of all of it. By the way, God is changeless and immutable. That means, what He said was an abomination 3,500 years ago still is.
Here are my lessons, the ones I marked in my Bible, and wrote in my journal, and I typed them just for you, so you could read them.
- God spoke the 10 commandments. It says He spoke them. They are His standard.
- God reminds them of His Passover deliverance.
- Then, these are the 10 commandments. No other gods.
- No images.
- DON’T take His name of vain.
- Remember the Sabbath.
- No murder.
But do you remember Paul said in Romans 13:10, love fulfills the law. What does that mean?
No gods before me. Love is singular. That means that if you love someone, you have an eye single for them. You aren’t looking at everyone. You’re looking at one. So, if you love God, you’re looking at Him not at the world, as He said. Which is the competition. It’s either the world or God. So, we love Him, and we deny the world.
No images mean love is faithful.
Guarding His name, love is reverent. Remember, Jesus said in the Lord’s prayer to hallow the name of God.
The Sabbath day reminds us love needs intimacy. Now, God built us that we need rest. We need time off. If you’re married, you need time to focus just on your husband or wife. You need time as a family to renew, and get close, and bond together. You need time as a church. Do you understand? It’s huge, the Sabbath principles built in. For the Jews, they had to do nothing on the seventh day. For us, we’re to find time to seek intimacy with God.
Love is submissive. That’s why we honor our parents.
Love is harmless. If you love someone, you don’t harm them, murder them.
Love is pure. So, no adultery. That’s why Jesus said that we’re supposed to forgive as He forgave us. The whole Lord’s prayer reminds us of all this.
Love is honest so we don’t steel.
Love is truthful, so we don’t lie.
Love is content, so we don’t covet.
Those were the lessons I found. There is one more, just for a second, look in your Bible at Exodus 20. I want to show you something because I’m a creationist. Remember I said that in the biblical framework? Do you know why I’m a creationist, a literal six day creationist? Genesis says it, but a lot of people say what does Genesis mean. Look, there’s no doubt what Exodus means. It says this in verse 11 of chapter 20, “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the Earth.” Now wait a minute. How did we get the 10 commandments? God, with His finger wrote in the tablets of stone that Moses hewed out and brought up to the mountain. The 10 commandments are the only part of the word of God written by the very hand of God, the finger of God, into the stone. So, you want something that is very authenticated by God. Do you know what it is? Verse 11. Do you know what God said? “In six days the LORD made the heavens and the Earth, the sea, and all that’s in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
How were the people supposed to remember? The first law of biblical interpretation is, how did the people that first got this understand it. Back up. Look at verse 8, “Remember the Sabbath day”. So, He’s talking about the Sabbath to the Jews, coming out of Egypt. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work.” How are we supposed to understand that? He said you work for six days and on the seventh day you rest, why? Because verse 11, “In six days.” Just like your days. Yom, Hebrew word for day with an ordinal, with a number always means a literal 24 hour day. When it’s the first day, it’s not the first age or era, it’s a 24 hour day. I’m a creationist because God’s a creationist. We cover that in the Genesis study.
Looking at the next slide, this is my application prayer. I want to, at this point in the class, just pray this as if we were in a small group study, and then in a moment I’m going to encourage you to do that with someone.
I would say, Lord, I want to love you in these ways you have expressed. I love you above all else, faithfully, reverently, and seeking to get more intimately tied to you each day. I want to keep your commandments because I love you. Help me to love you more today; and my neighbors as myself for your sake. Lord, fill me more and more with your love so I can love you and my neighbor in a way that reflects you. Help me to keep your law because I love you. Remind me that only faith can justify me, not trying harder to obey you. I’m praying this now, in Jesus. Amen. You see, that’s me. That’s just one, by the way I write many prayers and that’s actually two days’ worth combined. But I’m asking God to do what His word says in my life.
Next slide, we’re doing all this because the book of Jeremiah says we’re to find God’s word, that’s our devotional study. Where to eat them, that’s as we meditate and think about it, and write it down, and ponder what it says. Then, we find God does something inside of us. We have joy and rejoicing, that’s the spiritual transformation the word of God brings to me, and He wants to bring to you every day. I am called by your name; I’m identified with you. That’s what the Lord wants, that’s what the Lord offers, that’s why we’re in this study.
Two final challenges, I give these every week. Number one, don’t be doing this course solo. They don’t have to do all the studies with you, but you need to find someone with whom you can share your findings and application prayer. I just do it this way, now I have Bonnie and she loves this. She studies the Bible, marks her Bible, we do the same thing. She shares what she finds and tells me what she’s asking God to change in her life. I share with her what I find and I’m painfully aware of how sinful I am. I tell her, I want God to change this in my life. That’s how we grow together. We just celebrated, in December, our 37th anniversary and we are excitedly into our 38th year of marriage. I wish I’d have met her sooner. She is my dearest, closest friend. The one person I want to spend all my time with, but I need to change and grow in Christ’s likeness. I’m sharing with her my application prayers. Find someone, go up to them and say, I’m in this class, I’m in 52 weeks and I’m learning all these truths and studying. Can I just share a few of them with you? I’m asking God to change my life because He can change me on the inside. Don’t do this as an island. Come together in community with someone and share what you’re finding.
Number two, start or review scripture passages. I always tell people, put your verses on the back of your phone. That’s my phone and whatever I’m currently memorizing is on the back of my phone.
This is the MacArthur Scripture Study System. It goes with the MacArthur Study Bible. You can buy it, it’s out of print but they have them on Amazon. I bought that one for $7 plus about $10 postage.
Here are the verses. You can just do a screenshot of this if you want. You don’t need to buy MacArthur’s, but these are the 52 greatest verses in the Bible. Of course, John MacArthur gives a reason for all 52 of them. He writes out a little message about why, in his whole lifetime, he feels these are the greatest verses in the Bible. I agree with them that they are. There they are.
Here’s one of the cards, this is week 10. Look at this, it perfectly fits with our study of Exodus 20. It says, “The law of the LORD is perfect.” It’s the only thing that can change me on the inside. So, this first card I just highlighted, actually marked some of the repeated words. God’s word is perfect. God’s testimony is sure. His statutes are right. His commands are pure. Then, I put for verse 6, “the law of the LORD is perfect.” See my first letter of each word method? That’s just for you to see.
I invite anyone who comes across this video, if you’d like to help us, pray for us. This is my wonderful wife, Bonnie, the one that’s filming all these, and doing all the grading, and everything, and scheduling. Bonnie and I work in Sub-Sahara Africa, we work in the Middle East, we work in Europe, we work across Asia; our primary ministry, we have focused this last era of our lives, this last lap of our lives. In fact, I typed into Google and it says at my age, I have 4,500 days left. Isn’t that nice, Google can tell me how long I can live. I said, honey, we’re still in good health, this was five years ago in 2016, we had this conversation. In 2017 we launched. Four years ago, we launched to be missionaries; equipping and mobilizing partners, reaching the least reached peoples. We are working with the next generation of God’s servants around the world. Right now, we’re teaching virtual classes in the classrooms around the Pacific Rim. We’re back from this, February 20th and then we leave in March and we’re going to be working in the United Kingdom. Actually, we’re going to be teaching classes, we were going to the UK, but I’m going to be teaching groups. I’ll be zooming and doing virtual classrooms all over the United Kingdom, as well as the Commonwealth. I have groups that are in all of the different parts of the old British empire. We’re focusing on that in March and in April, until mid May. We’re full-time missionaries traveling between, either internationally when COVID isn’t knocking us down, we fly 10,000 miles a month around the world, teaching in these places. Right now, we’re rotating between virtual classrooms, studios that different ministries allow us to use. I’m teaching classes. In fact, when we get back, on February 20th, to the next station or the next virtual classroom, I’m charted to teach Hebrews, Leviticus, and Revelation. All those solely get uploaded.
The conclusion, week six, Exodus 20. The 10 Commandments are God’s laws for mankind. Let’s close.
Father, bless this class to everyone’s heart. Use your word in my life every day and in each one of these who are watching. Maybe they get started reading, studying, and letting your word transform them on the inside. In Jesus name, Amen. God bless you. Thanks for joining us.