by Dave Gustavsen

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Ten Commandments (10 of 12)
Series: Exodus - A Future and a Hope
Dave Gustavsen
Exodus 19-20

Alright-we are taking this winter to go through the book of Exodus. And this morning we come to another section of Exodus that's pretty well known-because it's the scene where the people of Israel receive the Ten Commandments. Now: when you just heard me say that, or when you pulled out your notes page and saw the sermon title today, it probably stirred up certain emotions. Maybe good emotions; maybe memories of some bad church experience; maybe visions of people demanding to have the Ten Commandments posted in public courthouses and schools.

And what I'd like to do today is to get beyond some of that emotion, and look at the Ten Commandments in the context in which they were given-because that's always a good thing to do. And the first thing you see is that the Ten Commandments were not the only laws given at that moment. Because after the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, God gives a whole bunch of other laws all the way through chapter 23. So instead of just talking about the Ten Commandments, I'm going to call this ''The Law.'' Alright? So this whole set of rules about how to live, the Bible often refers to it as ''The Law.''

So let me begin by asking this question: What was the purpose of the Law?

And let me start by saying what the purpose was not. A lot of people assume that the purpose of the Law is sort of a checklist that qualifies people to be accepted by God. Like, if I do a pretty good job keeping these rules, God will accept me; if I fall beneath a certain level, God won't. You know why I think most people view it that way? Because when I ask people the most basic question: ''If you were to die today, would God welcome you into heaven?'' Most people say, ''Yes-I think so-I hope so.'' And if I say, ''Why?'' Almost everyone says-you know what they say? ''Because I've been a pretty good person. I've kept the rules pretty well. Not perfectly! But bett ...

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