A FAITH THAT WORKS THROUGH LOVE
The Ten Commandments as a fundamental structure for the law of love.
TEXT – Exodus 20:1-17
second message based on Galatians 5:6; “It is a Faith that works
we shall discover that the ten commandments are the
framework, or a fundamental structure for developing a faith that
works by love.
been many who have taken the 10 commandments and divided them up so
that the first 4 deal with our relationship with God, and the other 6
deal with our relationship with one another as I have done in the
was quickened to a truth that one of the commands could deal with our
relationship with God, and with one another. So I wanted to really
take a deeper look at the commandments for myself and see if all the
commands dealt with both of these relationships or not.
when a house is being built, a foundation is laid, then it is framed
out. So the ten commandments are the framework for our Christian
lives, with our faith in Christ being the foundation.
Matthew wrote in chapter 22:35-40 that; “One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a
question, testing Him, “Teacher,
which is the great commandment in the Law?
He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR
HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
“This is the great and foremost commandment.
“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.
“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
wrote in Galatians 5:14, “For
fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR
NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
us take a look down through these commandments to see for ourselves
how the law governs our relationship with God and others.
first command clearly commands fidelity to God. This is the Trinity.
God The Father, God The Son, and God the Holy Spirit which as a whole
makes up the one true God.
we choose to make something in our lives more important than our
relationship with God, then we have made those things our god.
Now how can this command spill over in our relationships to one another?
answer is that until our fidelity is to God alone, and to what
pleases Him, that our relationships will be always be in jeopardy
with one another.
when we have put away from us all the false god's; humanism, license,
intellectualism, and all our ways of thinking that are contrary to
God's will, then we will find that our relationships with each other
Remember it is the law of love to be faithful to God and to one another.
Exodus 20:4 "You must not make for yourselves an idol...
command makes a lot of since to us in regards to God because we know
that no created image could ever be a good representation of who God
is in His fullness.
Now how does this commandment relate to our relationship to one another?
answer is that just as we are not to make images or snapshots of God
and say that is who he is; we are not to take snapshots of each other
or make judgments in regards to one another.
If we cast snap shot judgment of some one, and say that this is who they
are, then we are not walking in the law of love that causes us to
all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
things. (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Do not judge (or
GR make a decision about some one )
so that you will not be judged (have
a decision made about you)
Romans 14:13 says;
“Therefore let us not
another anymore, but rather determine this-- not to put an obstacle
or a stumbling
in a brother's way.''
a faith that works by love in the Christians life compels us not to
make snapshot judgments about God, or one another.
20:7 "You must not use the name of the Lord
God thoughtlessly;(or in vane)
take God's name in vain, First, By hypocrisy, making
profession of God's name, but not living up to that profession.
By covenant breaking. If we make promises to God, and perform not to
the Lord our vows, we take his name in vain.
By rash swearing, mentioning the name of God, or any of his
attributes, in the form of an oath, without any just occasion for it,
but to no purpose, or to no good purpose.
By false - swearing, which some think is chiefly intended in the
letter of the commandment.
By using the name of God lightly and carelessly.
can also dishonor one another through hypocrisy, by breaking our
promises, by making some one but of a joke, by lying about each
are to obey the law of love to also not speak thoughtlessly about one
another. How many people have been hurt by the thoughtless words said
law of love demands that we treat one another in the same reverence
as we do with the name of the Lord, and that no corrupt
communication should come out of our mouths about God or about one
Exodus 20:8"Remember to keep the Sabbath holy''.
can understand that we need to take a break from the grind of life to
spend some time being refreshed by the Lord and resting.
how does keeping the Sabbath holy have anything to do with our
relationship with one another?
answer is that we need to also set apart time for one another. The
Sabbath is about refreshing, renewing, resting, and enjoying God and
law of love draws us into a loving relationship with God and with one
another. We take time out to enjoy these relationships which cause
them to flourish.
”There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as
God did from his.
us, therefore, make
every effort to
enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example
of disobedience. “(Hebrews 4:9-11)
Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother...
here we have specific command in regards to our relationships with
each other. (our parents)
does honoring our father and mother also apply to our relationship
answer is that as we are loving our parents by honoring them, then we
are honoring our God who is our ultimate parent.
is so much we learn about God in the parent child relationship. We
learn that the law of love teaches us to honor those who have been
place in a position of responsibility over us.
command does not say to honor our parents if they are honorable. We
honor them because we love them, and because we love God. And by
honoring them we are honoring God too.
6. Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”
discover in the New Testament that hatred is the same as murder, and
that we can not covet hatred in our hearts and have a relationship
is a miracle of the grace of God in our lives that we are able to
forgive, and be delivered from a bitter spirit. The law of love
demands that we forgive. Then we can echo with Jesus, “forgive
them for they know not what they are doing.”
7. Exodus 20:14“You shall not commit adultery.
again the New Testament deals with adultery in the heart. Adultery in
a heart is born out of selfishness, it says I will not be faithful to
my spouse because I do not value my commitment I made to them.
through the Old Testament Israel was always depicted as an adulterer
in her relationship with God. We can just look at the Life of David
to see how much adultery in a heart can lead a person into so many
other destructive sins like lying, and even murder.
said when he repented that his adultery, deception , and murder was
against God only.
I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You,
You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that
You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.”
law of love call us to be faithful in our commitments to God, and to
8. Exodus 20:15) “You shall not steal.”
says a lot about some ones relationship with God and with others.
There are many reasons why some one would steal, but it all comes
down to what some one values.
things more important to me than relationships?
we value our relationship with God, then we will not be stealing
from one another. When we see that relationships are much more
important then possessions, then we will see that the law of love
will keep us from stealing that which belongs to another, which in
reality belongs to God.
20:16) “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9th commandment forbids misinterpreting the truth in our
relations with others.
is a moral obligation of the holy people to bear witness to their
God who is the truth and wills the truth in our relations with each
against the truth express by word or deed is a refusal to commit
oneself to moral uprightness:
are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to
him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent
blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run
to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows
discord among brothers.”
The Old Testament contains a number of prohibitions of false witness, lying, spreading false reports, etc.
In cases where false testimony was suspected (perjury), the judges were
to make a thorough investigation, and if false testimony were proven,
the false witness was to receive the punishment he had intended to
bring on the person falsely accused.
false witness against some one else is offensive to the God who is
truth. Truth is a liberator just as lies create enslavement. The
devil is called the father of lies.
"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your
father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in
the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie,
he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of
law of love demands that we do not bear false witness against our
neighbor, but rather speak the truth in love. In doing so we will
find ourselves walking in the true nature of God which is the truth.
we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth
is not in us.
we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our
sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is
not in us.”
we can even bear false witness about ourselves , against God, as
well as others. The truth is the pathway to freedom and freedom is a
result of the law of love that is the foundation for relationship
with others, and with God.
(Exodus 20:17) “You shall not covet.”
has been said, "selfishness is the parent of all sins.
Our English word
"covet" comes from a Greek word meaning "grasping for
"covet" as "grasping, greedy, greed of wealth with a
view of hoarding it."
from a selfish nature.
Because a man is
selfish, he covets. Because he covets he steals, lies, commits
adultery, murders, disregards others.
Jesus said, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a
man's life consist not in the abundance of the things which he
possesses" (Luke 12:15).
We are not unlike Eve, when she lived in Eden and felt deprived.
Much of our focus is on what we want that we don't already have. This
attitude makes it difficult, and all but impossible to enjoy the
riches we do have.
(Ecclesiastes 4:8 NIV)
“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content
with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and
why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is
meaningless-- a miserable business!”
“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is
meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And
what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?”
often many people spend their lives comparing themselves to others,
coveting where they are, and what they have.
Paul writes,"We do not dare to classify or compare
ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure
themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they
are not wise” (2 Corinthians
God is Concerned with Our Hearts Desires.
other commandments forbid overt sin, but this one reaches to the
inner motives, condemning as evil the entertaining of the
thoughts of wrongdoing.
17:9 describes the heart: "The
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
94:11, "The LORD knows the thoughts of man, that they are
is something we do need to covet in our live, we must covet God's
will for our lives.
The psalmist writes,"Whom have I in heaven but you? And
earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may
fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”
covet other things in place of God is a violation of the law of love
because we are placing more value on other things than on God
"Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither
poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I
may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
first four commandments instruct us to put God first. The last six
commandments teach us what happens to our relationship with others
when we put God first.
must not forget that our relationships with each other are governed
by our relationship with God.
Christ came, He not only sought to reconcile the world to himself,
but he also sought to reconcile us to one another.
must remember, there can be no reconciliation with God when we are
not reconciled to each other.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he
himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the
barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh
the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to
create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and
in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,
by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace
to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For
through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (NIV)”
the immediate context Paul is speaking of Jew and Gentile, but it
applies to all.
came to make peace. He seeks to destroy the hostility between us
through the cross as he reconciles us to God in one body, which is
seeks to bring peace to our relationships by recreating us in his own
Christ came to reconcile us to God through the love manifested on the cross.
law of love isn't about rule keeping, but it is a boundary that God
set up for us to be able to love one another and to love Him.
13 Paul describes The kind of love that He is reproducing in His
choose to call it the law of love when defining the word
agape' in this scripture, for it is the love of God poured into our
hearts by the Holy Spirit that enables us to love God, and to love
one another. (Romans 5:5)
is the practical walking out of this love that has been deposited in
each of us by the Holy Spirit and the boundaries set forth in the
Ten Commandments defines our relationship with God and with one
1- If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have the
law of love,
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 - If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all
knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do
not have the
law of love,
I am nothing.
3 - And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I
surrender my body to be burned, but do not have
the law of love,
it profits me nothing.
The law of love is patient, the
law love is
kind and is not jealous; the
law of love does
not brag and is not arrogant,
5 - does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6- does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 - bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures
8 – the
law of love never
fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if
there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be
9 - For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 - but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11 - When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a
child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with
12 - For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know
in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully
13 - But now abides faith, hope, and the
law of love,
these three; but the greatest of these is the
law of love.
“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.
If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s
For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not
murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.”These—and other
such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love
your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of
the Law is not something that is to be dismissed, but embraced to
show us how to love God and love others in practical ways. It is how
we walk out our love.