The First of the Ten Commandments

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me"

Exodus 20:1-6

March 1, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Matthew 5:18)


A.    The Ten Commandments are THE most neglected part of the Bible today.

B.     Yet, these Ten absolute Statements of right and wrong are repeated in some form or another throughout every Book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation!

C.     Most people believe they are trying to keep these Ten commandments, but they can’t even name half of them

D.    Most Christians even have the false notion that they have all been done away with – no longer necessary – which is rubbish (Matthew 5:18)

E.     These Laws of God, the Ten Commandments are for our benefit


1.      Not to save us from sin - Not to make us perfect

2.      But to humble us, and show us we need a Saviour, who could make up for all our failures and sins, by the Messiah’s perfect life and obedience to God’s Laws!

3.      And God’s laws are beneficial, because they show us how to live – how to treat each other, and especially how to worship the only God that there is!


F.      If no one else obeyed these laws, at least Christians should, because they were given to us by the same God that gave us Jesus! God did not save us to just live as we please, but by His rules.

G.    So, Over the next few weeks, let’s let GOD define for us morality. Let’s let HIM tell us what is right, and what is wrong. Let’s let God, the Creator of all things, show us how to vote in these constant referendums about abortion, and same-sex marriage.


II.    Background (Exodus 20:1-3)


A.    These Ten Commandments are God-Given (20:1)


1.      God gave these ten commandments. Not Moses, and Not a king. But the highest authority

2.      These ten eternal statements are not man-made

3.      They were NOT developed by evolution

4.      No vote, or church council came up with them

5.      But were WRITTEN with the very finger of God

6.      On two tables of STONE – to last – won’t fade away

7.      Proven by the very fact of the continuing existence of the nation of Israel, and their Bible!


B.     These Ten Commandments are Good


1.      The only way to have a good world, is with good laws.

2.      And the only source for good laws, is God!

3.      They are God’s Design for Government, Religion, Personal Freedoms, and a Safe Society!


a.       God is setting up for His now free people, a government


1)      NOT anarchy, where everyone can do as they please

2)      Not a democracy, where everyone gets to vote on everything

3)      But a Republic, where everyone is ruled by Laws

4)      A Monarchy comes 450 years later under king Saul, and David and Solomon


b.      This was GOD’S ideal way to run a country

c.       This is God’s way to operate religion

d.      These are protections of personal freedoms, and society in general

e.       They are timeless, and they are perfect!

f.       As a matter of fact, isn’t Ireland a REPUBLIC? Aren’t Enda Kenny and Joan Burton subject to the VERY SAME LAWS as every one of us? AMEN!


C.    These Ten Commandments are COMMANDMENTS (Ex 34:28)


1.      They are NOT God’s Ten Suggestions, or Ten outmoded, ancient religious superstitions.

2.      Means that they are spoken in full authority to direct you and me to do or not do something. Full stop.

3.      As in, “That’s an order!”

4.      There are God’s demands upon the human race – that’s why most people absolutely reject them

5.      And believe me, HE has all the authority He needs to make these commands


D.    These Ten Commandments Start with God – not with you and me!


1.      They explain Who God is (Ex 20:1-3)


a.       He is the LORD – Jehovah God


1)      Not a wimpy, neutral god, who never interferes in people’s lives

2)      Not a lovey-dovey, effeminate god, who doesn’t care how people live, or what they do, because he just always loves them, and always forgives them!


b.      He is THY God – a very personal God – THANK GOD!


1)      Ps 23  “The LORD is MY Shepherd”

2)      Ps 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation”

3)      Zech 13:9  “The LORD is my God”

4)      Heb_13:6 “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”


c.       The Saving God – saving people from the bondage they always get into


1)      Brought all of the nation of Israel out of the world’s most powerful empire of the day, Egypt, without an army, weapons, diplomacy, terrorism

2)      He can save ANYBODY from any sin and any bondage they find themselves in

3)      That’s why we live by these ten commandments… because we are obligated to!


2.      How we treat Him (Deut 6:5) – love Him


E.     These Ten Commandments focus on how we treat others!


1.      It is not all about US folks

2.      Eternity, heaven, hell, righteousness, sin… they are not about how YOU feel today, or how happy or sad you are, or how many problems, or blessing you have

3.      These commands are based upon what GOD thinks, and what God SAYS!

4.      Ethics, morality, all morality comes from the God who wrote these commandments!

5.      Listen! There is a GOD in heaven, who made everything there is, who is holy, and right, and will judge each and every one of us, so you had better be doing what GOD says!

6.      Something is wrong because GOD said it is wrong. Period. Not because it was wrong way back then, and it is okay now, NO!


F.     As a matter of fact, all these Ten Laws, can be condensed and summarised into TWO laws (Matthew 22:35-40)


a.       Love God supremely

b.      And love one another


III. Message


A.    The First Commandment - No Other Gods (Exodus 20:3)


1.      Pretty clear, don’t you think?

2.      No other gods besides the Jehovah of the Bible!

3.      There are so many gods (1Cor 8:5,6)


a.       The god of this world – Satan

b.      Demons, principalities and demonic powers

c.       There is such a major push today to worship either nothing, or anything except the God of this Book (2Thes 2:4)!


4.      Yet, There is only ONE God


a.       The God of Israel – not a European god like Thor, or American god, or African god. Psa 72:18  Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

b.      He is THE ONLY REAL GOD that there is (Isa 44:6,8)

c.       He is the Creator God – not an evolutionist (Isa 37:16)

d.      He does not give His glory to another – doesn’t share His glory with anything or anyone else (Isa 42:8)

e.       There is only ONE Saviour (Isa 45:21)

f.       That’s why we know that Jesus is not “A” god (John 10:30)


5.      YOU MUST CHOOSE / decide / make up your mind


a.       Choose to Own only one God


1)      Do you want to live well? Live simply? Have only one God! Monotheism!

2)      Hold to no other gods, except Him


a)      Not Allah of the Muslims

b)      Not Hari of the Sikhs

c)      Not the millions of gods and goddesses of the Hindus

d)     Not the Ancestors of the Chinese and Japanese

e)      Not Jupiter of the Romans

f)       Not Zeus of the Greeks


3)      Some of you own an expensive TV, Netflix, Movie channels

4)      Some of you own a fancy holiday home

5)      Some people own a load of money

6)      Some of you have a big fancy job

7)      When those things are more important than your walk, worship of almighty God, your time spent serving others as a CHRISTIAN, then you have broken the first commandment!

8)      You and I need to OWN one God, and only one. Everything else is fluff, unimportant!


b.      To Be Owned by only one God - To serve only one God (Mt 4:9,10; 6:24; 1Cor 6:20)

c.       To FEAR only one God – worry only about HIS pleasure, or displeasure. 1Sa 12:24  Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

d.      To OBEY only one God (Acts 5:27-29). If you obey ANYTHING ELSE besides God, then you are BREAKING God’s FIRST COMMANDMENT


1)      Your PILLOW – laziness on a Sunday morning when we have CHURCH is SIN!

2)      Your boss – if he gave you more money to work on a Sunday

3)      Your hobby – if it is more fun, more “rewarding” to miss God’s word, and God’s people on GOD’S DAY, then that is SIN!

4)      Your wife or husband

5)      Your children – constantly only doing what makes them happy, but not GOD

6)      Porn – obeying your lust for filth

7)      Cigarettes

8)      A bottle, and buddies at the pub

9)      Your friends – just living to please them, and do what they think

10)  Your belly – just walking around doing things that only please YOU

11)  Then you need to repent of giving in to any of that!


e.       In other words, You must choose, to NEVER put or allow ANY OTHER authority ahead of God! NOTHING, nor no one!


1)      Don’t tell ME that you are “keeping the ten commandments”, and yet you so easily obey the world culture around you over God’s laws!


a)      Giving into to peer-pressure doing whatever your “friends” say do

b)      Giving into your emotional feelings, into lustful desires

c)      Staying in bed on Sundays

d)     Never reading your Bible from cover to cover in a year

e)      Never taking time to walk with God in prayer throughout your day

f)       Never obeying God when he says wine is a mocker, and strong drink is raging,

g)      Never apologizing for your filthy mouth, or your wandering eyes, or your angry and critical spirit!


2)      All of those things are signs that you ARE BREAKING God’s FIRST of His ten commandments!

3)      And don’t you tell me it doesn’t matter! James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”


6.      Atheism is not the absence of God, it is the choice to NOT believe there is a God.


a.       You HAVE that choice!

b.      But once you have made that choice, to believe that there is NO God, you have condemned yourself to live in just as much in bondage as someone who falsely worships a thousand false gods!

c.       Because you are deciding to remain a solitary life, strapped to nothing, floating in the “sea of life,” who will end up stressed out, panicking, paranoid, worrying about everything and anything in the end, because none of it can never make sense, or be put in perspective other than your own.

d.      Just be honest and admit that you have just taken the lazy way out, by choosing to believe there is not any God. Fine.

e.       I choose to believe the God of this Book, who has proven He is there, and proven that He cares! And not only that, but I choose to OBEY the God of this Book!


7.      God obviously is jealous when we choose otherwise (Dt 4:23,24; Ex 34:14)


a.       To obey, love, live for, hold to any other god, is a mockery of the only God that there is

b.      You see, If He is all that there is – if He is the only real deal…

c.       And yet people are constantly living under the power, the authority of everything and everyone BESIDES HIM, then that is bad! Seriously bad!

d.      He is jealous because He has a heart! God is not passive, or unfeeling – He has a heart that gets hurt by our rejection!

e.       He is very protective of His honour


1)      When we give what belongs to God to something or someone else besides God, it makes Him jealous

2)      When we give our obedience, Our heart, our fear, Our money, our time, our worship, our efforts to mere men, or to false gods, or to fake religions, then OBVIOUSLY God is going to be upset!

3)      Just like you would be!


a)      If someone took the money that you earned, and instead of paying YOU, they paid someone who didn’t work for it

b)      If you bought a car, and the dealership GAVE that car to someone walking down the street, you would be furious!

c)      If you got married, and your wife spent all her time with other men, you would be furious!


8.      Summary


a.       The only way to have a good world, is with good laws.

b.      And the only source for good laws, is God!

c.       And He wants to be known as the only God there is, and the only Person to obey. You don’t need to go from country to country, and culture to culture and religion to religion to find out what is right or wrong.

d.      To have anything in our lives that interrupt the FIRSTNESS of God in our lives, is SIN.


IV. Conclusion


A.    Oh, that is just the FIRST Commandment of God


1.      Have No Other Gods – The First Commandment (Exodus 20:3)


B.     It’s funny how the Ten Commandments are THE most neglected part of the Bible.

C.     These Laws of God, the Ten Commandments are for OUR benefit


1.      Not given by God to ruin our freedoms

2.      Not given to us to save us from sin

3.      Not even to make us perfect

4.      But to humble us, and show us we need a Saviour, who could make up for all our failures and sins, but HIS perfect life and obedience to the Laws!

5.      And they are beneficial, because they show us how to live – how to treat each other, and especially how to worship God!


D.    Questions


1.      Is there anyone in this room this morning, who will admit, they have broken these two commandments?

2.      Is there anyone ready and willing to stand before God’s judgment for such sin?

3.      Would you not rather humble yourself, and believe that GOD already made it possible to forgive you at Christ’s expense?

4.      Will you let Jesus save you now?