Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Ten Commandments: God's DNA

This Sunday we began a new morning series at Neon Reformed Presbyterian Church entitled The Ten Commandments: God's DNA. Having spent the Spring in Paul's letter to the Galatians, which emphasizes the moral law's pedagogical use (i.e. its use with respect to our justification), I thought it would serve us well to examine the law with a particular focus on its didactic use (i.e. its use with respect to our sanctification).

Here is a worksheet for the first sermon:

Text: Exodus 20:1-2, "And God spoke all these words, saying, 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.'"
Thesis: Because God is the LORD, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments (SC 44).

Moral law (Ten Commandments) (the law narrowly considered):
  1. You shall have no other God's before me.
  2. You shall make no graven images.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness.
  10. You shall not covet.
First Table (1-4)- Duties to God
Second Table (5-10)- Duties to man

Threefold division of law (the law broadly considered):
  1. Moral law (Ten Commandments)- Regulating all of life. 
  2. *Ceremonial law- Further regulating worship. Human-to-God relations. 
  3. *Civil law- Further regulating society. Human-to-human relations. 
*These laws were unique to the Mosaic covenant. Since the first coming of Christ, they have ceased to be directly applicable to us.

Threefold use of the moral law:
  1. Pedagogical (Disciplinarian)- The law serves to uncover and condemn our sin that we might flee to the mercy of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:20; 7:7-12; Gal. 3:21-24). 
  2. Civil (Common)- The law serves to restrain evil in the world among all men in common, especially at the level of human-to-human relations (second table) (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 2:14-16; 13:1-7). 
  3. Didactic (Moral instruction)- The law serves as a rule of thankful obedience on the part of the Christian (Matt. 5-7; Rom. 12:8-14; Gal. 5:13-24). 
Sermon Divisions: 
  1. The LORD’s Law (Covenant)- "And God spoke all these words saying, 'I am the LORD...'" The Hebrew word translated LORD is Yahweh. This is the personal name of God revealed to Moses in Ex. 3:13ff. It is uniquely associated with his covenant. The moral law is part of God's covenantal dealings with man, beginning with the covenant of works between God and Adam and his posterity in him in the garden prior to the Fall and continuing into the covenant of grace between God and Christ and his elect in him outside the garden after the Fall. 
  2. Our God’s Law (Creation)- "...your God..." The Hebrew word translated God is Elohim. This is the word used in Gen. 1:1 for God. It is uniquely associated with his work of creation. The moral law is revealed to all humanity by nature as part of the image of God into which we were created. It uncovers and condemns us in our sin according to the broken covenant of works in Adam, and it works to restrain evil among all men in common until the end. 
  3. Our Redeemer’s Law (Redemption)- "...who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." As Israel was freed from the oppression of the Pharaoh, so we are freed from the curse of the moral law through the person and work of Jesus Christ that we might therefore obey it, "not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind” (from WCF 20.1).  

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