Yesterday, we looked at the first 4 commandments which tell us how God wants us to behave towards Him. Today we look at the last 6 commandments in which God tells us how to behave towards other people. These 6, Jesus sums up in one line…
39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”Matthew 22:39-40 NLT
First, let’s look at an important point. An expansion of this second part would be — love your neighbor as you love yourself. Stop and think about this. How can you love your neighbor as yourself if you don’t love yourself? Now, loving yourself, doesn’t mean having extreme pride, vanity and arrogance. No!
You are made in the image of God! (We’ll be getting into that soon in the Book of Genesis). God doesn’t make junk! If you have a dim view of yourself, then you’ll have a dim view of everyone else. If you don’t respect yourself, how can you respect other people and their property?
We’ll get into what we can do if we break basic rules of relationships after.
12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”Exodus 20:12 NLT
The family unit is the foundation of society. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, there are an estimated 9.8M one-parent households (7.5M mother only and 2.4M father only) compared to 1.5M one-parent households in 1950. Many times the child never gets to be with, let alone get to know the missing parent.
Honoring means respecting them, being grateful and taking care of them. However, we have to respect their wishes if they don’t want you to take care of them. That happened to me.
13 “You must not murder.”Exodus 20:13 NLT
Do not kill another human being. Pretty simple, huh? Yet, we have a major problem when pure evil takes over a person. It seems like every day this week there’s been a killing somewhere. These cities are hurting because evil people took their anger too far: Atlanta, GA; Boulder, CO; Kenosha, WI; Indianapolis, IN; and Austin, TX. I pray for the families of the slain and of the shooters.
And, of course, unborn babies were also made in God’s image. Thus, abortion is murder. Period.
14 “You must not commit adultery.”Exodus 20:14 NLT
Lusting after your neighbor’s spouse is adultery. Again, pure and simple.
15 “You must not steal.”Exodus 20:15 NLT
If it’s not yours, don’t take it! This would also include, cheating. Like leaving work early thinking no one will notice. God noticed!
16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.”Exodus 20:16 NLT
Lying — we humans do that so easily. Whether it’s a little white lie or a major deception, it’s still a sin.
17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”Exodus 20:17 NLT
Sin — Setting your desires in the wrong direction — on what isn’t yours.
- Desiring (coveting) your neighbor’s house is envy.
- Coveting your neighbor’s possessions leads to stealing.
- Coveting anything that isn’t yours is a sin. It leads to crimes like fraud, embezzling, assault, and robbery.
Unfortunately, we are tempted to sin every day. We are tempted by the media, by others, by our greedy, prideful and lustful hearts. Some people are tempted by desperation. Like the homeless mother who steals a loaf of bread to feed her kids. Or the bookkeeper who starts paying his electric bill with the boss’ business bank account.
Now, I’m sure that there isn’t one of you reading this (or listening to the podcast) who hasn’t committed at least one of these sins in their lifetimes — even contemplated some.
Interestingly enough, as God continues in Exodus 20, to explain how He expects to be worshiped, he gives them a reminder of one of the first commandments…
23 Remember, you must not make any idols of silver or gold to rival me.”Exodus 20:23 NLT
Why do you think He felt He had to remind them? Probably because He knew that they would eventually create statues of animals and worship them. They would worship the gods of the locals in the promised land, Canaan, once they got there. Furthermore, many people still do that today...
Jesus himself admonishes one of the churches in the Book of Revelation on its idolatry and immorality. You’d think everyone would get the point!
The Good News is Forgiveness is Available to Everyone!
How do you get Forgiveness?
Simple. Tell Jesus you’re sorry for sinning and repent — that is, stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life. I know, it’s not easy, but Jesus doesn’t leave us alone in this. That’s where the Holy Spirit comes in.
For me, even after I was baptized 15 years ago, I still wanted to have one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. Believe me, it doesn’t work. Whenever I sinned, I’d feel this conviction in my heart. This guilty feeling told me — you shouldn’t have done that!
But, thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross where He carried all of our sins — past, present and future — away for good, I can go to Him humbly and say, “Jesus, I’m sorry for _________. Please forgive me. I promise not to do that ever again.” And He will.
That is the Salvation of Jesus Christ!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven and that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.