Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#6): “You Shall Not Murder”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  •  Introduction:
    • Kiyoshiro Yamamoto could get 67 years in prison if convicted of smuggling and selling meat from endangered Sei whales at the now-defunct Hump restaurant in Santa Monica….[One person commented on that website article] “Isn’t that ridiculous! I can get less for killing someone!!!!!” [A person responded to that comment and said,] “There is an unlimited supply of you.” [4 people “liked” that response]
  • Questions:
    • Are men and women a special creation, or are they on the same level of importance as animals?
    • When does life begin?
    • What is at the heart of this 6th commandment? Is it more than just a command to keep yourself from killing people?
  • Proposition/Topic: 3 Topics About “You Shall Not Murder”
  1. [Genesis 9:6-7] Murder Is An Assault On the Image of God
    • (Explanation) What this really shows is that men and women are God’s most special creation, and to destroy a life is to destroy someone made in the “image of God.” [1] Signature on a painting. [2] Think of a how a mirror reflects a picture of you. So, if you murder someone you are murdering a person creation to be a reflection/mirror of God Himself. Therefore, murder doesn’t just affect others; it affects God also.
    • (Illustration) List of most valuable possessions…What are some of your most valuable possessions? {cell phone/wedding ring/laptop/people are much more important}
    • (Application) People are not only important and valuable to God, but they are important and valuable to us as well.
  2. [Psalm 139:13-16] Murder Can Start In A Mother’s Womb
    • (Explanation) When it comes to the issue of murder, we need to know what defines someone as a person and when life begins. According to the Bible, God is carefully involved in forming each child in a mother’s womb. And so, the popular topic in our day is about two options we have on human life: pro-life or pro-choice. What are the reasons someone would be pro-choice? Compare those reasons with what Scripture teaches about the beginning of life, the importance of human life, etc.
    • (Illustration) Duck, Duck, Goose. Do you all have any control over whether you’re called a duck or a goose? You never had a chance to make that choice; I made it for you. So it is with abortion.
    • (Application) So what does this all mean for us? What if a friend of yours got pregnant – teenager, before marriage? Let’s say they come up to you and ask, “Should I have an abortion?” [1] It is against God’s commands [2] Your baby is a human being created in the image of God, he/she is valuable.
  3. [Matthew 5:21-22] Murder Doesn’t Always Involve A Knife or Gun
    • (Explanation) Wow, those are some strong words. What this means for us is that a lot of us have broken the 6th Sure, we’re not convicted criminals, but we have committed sins that are just as wrong in the sight of a perfectly holy God. So, we can’t look at murderers and say, “At least I’ve never been as low as you” because Jesus says that even hatred against another person is just as evil. That’s a little scary for me.

Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#5): “Honor Your Father and Mother”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

***Quick caveat: for those that have read my other sermons on this series, you will notice that this one is basically an outline. Evidently, I was very busy this week and did much of the sermon prep on paper! But feel free to incorporate this outline into your own studies.***

  • Topic: God’s Heart For Families
  1. God’s Heart For…Fathers
    • (Explanation)
      1. Fathers Instruct (Ephesians 6:4)
      2. Fathers Discipline (Hebrews 12:7)
  2. God’s Heart For…Mothers
    • (Explanation)
      1. Mothers…Do A LOT! (Proverbs 31:10 and 25-30)
  3. God’s Heart For…Children
    • (Explanation)
      1. Obey & Honor Parents (Ephesians 6:1-3)
  • Conclusion: Why Are Families Important to God?
    • Our families on earth remind us of our relationship to God (John 1:12)
    • When we live out the roles in our families, we are fulfilling God’s purposes for us. (Ephesians 5:22-25 & 5th Commandment)

Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#4): “Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep it Holy”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  • Introduction: Name the country that has the highest average of vacation days per year. (Germany – 30)
  • Subject Step: Today we’re talking about a pretty relaxing topic: rest.
  • Proposition: Why Is The Sabbath Important?
  • (Genesis 2:2-3) The Sabbath Follows The Pattern Of God’s Creation Week
    • (Explanation) In Genesis 1, we read of the details about how God created the universe, and the things we see on earth. Days 1-6, God created everything that was to be made, but on the 7th day, He rested. It wasn’t like He needed a break, but He was purposefully setting a pattern for our weeks.
    • (Illustration) Tuning a guitar – the idea is, “We need a standard for living.”
    • (Application) If we take 1 day out of the week devoted to public worship, resting from our jobs, taking some time to relax, spend time with family and friends, I think we’d find our lives to be a little more in synch with God’s will.
  • (Mark 2:23-38) The Sabbath Is For Our Own Good
    • (Explanation) What had happened is that the Pharisees were hard-core law police. They knew very well that God had said for His people to keep the Sabbath and rest from work, but in their pursuits of keeping the rules of the law (and adding their own rules on top of God’s law), they missed the purpose of these laws and their attention was turned away from God Himself.
    • (Illustration) Comparison: a love letter from a wife vs. a grocery list
    • (Application) The Pharisees didn’t really seem to pay attention very much to the things written in the Bible about how God has a loving relationship with His people – on the other hand they had the commands down. It would be as if my entire focus in my relationship to Cindy was just to check off things in a shopping list but to have no affection for her. We can do that easily with studying God’s commands that we focus so much on doing obeying these 10 commandments, but we forget that these commands are for our benefit. This is good news that we have a day in each to reflect and worship God who pursues us for a relationship.
  • (Acts 20:7 & Heb. 4:9-10) The Sabbath Reminds Us Of The Gospel
    • (Explanation) So here’s what this verse teaches us: the churches from the time right after Christ had ascended into heaven were meeting together for worship. Now, instead of meeting on Saturday, they met on Sunday (“the first day of the week”). That brings us to an important point: When we gather together for public worship, our focus is not on ourselves, but on Christ and what He’s accomplished – we are reminded of the Gospel!
    • (Argumentation) Hebrews 4:9-10
    • (Application) The Gospel is so important because we really work hard to please God on our own efforts, but it’s never enough. On the other hand, the Gospel says that Christ has already accomplished the work necessary to be reunited with God.
    • (Illustration) Ultramarathon – some of these are over 1,000 miles during a period of several days. 70,000 people, approximately, attempt to run these events. I’d probably die, but I at least know that it doesn’t sound appealing to me. A lot of people constantly live their lives as if they always on a treadmill – that is, they are constantly trying to do religious things in order to be accepted in God’s sight. Can you imagine coming into church with the option of sitting in a nice, comfortable recliner or a treadmill – which one would you choose? Here’s the thing about the Sabbath – it reminds us of the Gospel! It reminds us that we are accepted into God’s family by simply placing our faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross.
  • Conclusion: What happens once we get rest? We are empowered to work; serving God, then, becomes a joy. That’s what happened to me, I thought if I could just complete a few more items of my “Christianity” list, then I would be accepted and have rest. But with God, it’s the other way around; He says, (1) “Enter my rest” (2) Now, go into all the world and make disciples.

Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#3): “You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God in Vain”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  • God’s Name was so greatly respected by the Israelites that they wouldn’t write out His full Name; sometimes they wouldn’t even say “God” they would just say, “The Name.”
  • Proposition: What is so great about God’s name?
  • God’s Name Saves (Acts 4:12)
    • (Explanation) Everybody looks for a Savior, the problem is they look in the wrong place. This verse teaches us that no one can be delivered from sin and be restored into a right relationship with God – except through the Name of Jesus. Back when the Bible was written, a Name was more than an I.D. badge. A Name told the story to everyone about who you really were. Somebody’s Name was not just a bunch of letters to make a word, it reminds you of that person’s attributes.
    • (Illustration) Attributes of a person (son, brother, father, Christian, teacher, etc.)
    • (Application) When you hear the name “God,” yes there are the three letters “G-O-D” but you also are reminded that God is Personal; there are attributes about God that might pop into our minds: all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, righteous, loving, good, merciful, gracious, etc. One thing, of course, that we can’t forget is that He is our Savior. [repeat verse] In other words, God Himself, with the authority of His Name, saves you by His grace.
  • God’s Name Provides (John 14:13-14)
    • (Explanation) So, is this passage teaching that Jesus is like a genie? I always thought that if I had a genie to grant me 3 wishes, one of them would be to have an infinite number of wishes. Hmmm, so is Jesus offering us an unlimited amount of wishes? I don’t think so. Consider this: how do we normally end our prayers? “In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” When we pray that way, we are attempting to agree with what the Third Commandment says. So, we’re not trying to get things out of Jesus like he’s a vending machine, but when we pray in Jesus’ Name, we are agreeing with God – we are saying, I trust in Your will, not mine. We can be totally honest with God (ex: God I want you to heal [this person] from her kidney problems, that’s my desire; nevertheless, I know your ways are best, so I pray that in whatever happens, You would be glorified).
    • (Illustration) Paper airplane vs. 747 jet
  • God’s Name is Holy (Matthew 6:9)
    • (Explanation) When we admit that God’s Name is Holy, we are also admitting that God Himself is Holy. Now, what is holiness? Basically, I think it means to be living consistent with God’s character. You often hear the phrase, “Holier than thou.” Well, the truth is, no matter how holy we are, God is still “Holier than thou.”
    • (Argumentation) Isaiah 6
  • Conclusion:
    • Where would we be if God did not reveal Himself to us? Right? Because God’s Name reveals a lot about who He is?
      • 1- We would be lost as sinners and without a Savior
      • 2- We wouldn’t know how to pray according to God’s will
      • 3- We wouldn’t realize how perfect and righteous God is
    • I hope that we leave here tonight with a greater respect for the Name of God and that we wouldn’t take His Name in vain – that wouldn’t treat Him as if He’s worthless but that He is priceless.

 

Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#2): “You Shall Not Make For Yourself Any Carved Images”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  • Proposition: How do we “make carved images” for ourselves today?
  • Transition: There’s a couple of ways, but we’ll see that it has a more to do than a matter of carving things from wood.
  1. We Worship An Incorrect God (Exodus 2:4-6)
    • (Explanation) We probably aren’t tempted to go out, buy some wood and a decent carving knife, and then make little icons of God. Because, after all, the people of Israel were surrounded by other people who had gods that could be touched and you could see them. Why is that a big deal? Because people are more comfortable with a god they can see, touch, and have some control over. On the other hand, if we come to realize that God is a lot bigger than a totem pole, that He is able to whatever He pleases, and that we’re held accountable to God for how we live, that scares us! So what do we do? We start making up in our minds how we think God should be like, instead of looking into His Word and drawing out truths [Ex: Heaven & Hell]. WWJD compared to WHJD.
    • (Argumentation) John 4:24
  2. We Worship the Correct God…Incorrectly (Amos 5:21-24)
    • (Explanation) The problem wasn’t that their songs were bad, or that their offerings were poor quality, the issue was their heart attitude. They would come to their place of public worship, and they would have this incredible “appearance” of being sold-out followers of God, but when you would take a look at their lives outside of what was kind of like their “church services,” they were completely different people. It was Bi-polar spirituality: when it was time to be religious they put on a good show, but at other times they were completely different. What can you do if you are caught up in the problem of knowing and believing in the right God, but you don’t care to worship Him?
    • (Argumentation) Romans 12:1-2…That verse is talking all about our lives being submitted to God for worship. What’s the remedy? First, to submit ourselves to God, but especially this, “renewing your mind.”
    • (Application) 3 Ways to Renew Your Mind: [1] Scripture Reading [2] Scripture Memorization [3] Meditation: Thinking on what you know about God. You see, the mind is a very powerful part of your soul, and when you live your everyday life, your mind encounters all kinds of things – both lies and truths.
    • (Illustration) For example, someone sins against you, or you are diagnosed with a health problem, or you go through a tough break-up in a relationship, and the question pops into your mind, “Does God really love me?” “Did God mess up this time when he allowed this to happen?” And slowly we start to lose that passion for God because we get discouraged and confused. We mouth the lyrics, and might fake a smile, but our hearts just aren’t there in public worship, and so our private worship is no different either.
    • (RE-Application) 3 Ways to Renew Your Mind
  • Solution to the 2nd Commandment: (Colossians 1:15-16)
    • Jesus is our image we look to.

Sermon on the Ten Commandments (#1): “You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me”

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Series Introduction: When I served as a youth pastor, I taught a series on the Ten Commandments. The applications were geared towards teenagers. These sermons were essentially my sermon notes and will hopefully help you in your studies, though I’m sure if I were to preach these again, there are some things I would change. Enjoy!

  • Question: Why Is God Greater Than Idols?
  • Transitional: 3 Reasons…
  1. Idols Do Not Hear Us – God Does {1 Kings 18:25-39}
    • (Explanation) A long time ago (1000 B.C.?) there was a prophet of God (someone who speaks on behalf of God), Elijah, who believed in the one true God, the God of the Bible. But during his day there were these prophets who believed in a different god, his name was Baal. And so you can understand the confusion as an average person back then, you would just want to know who is God? So this is what happened: Elijah and the prophets of Baal basically had this contest to see who was the real God. Baal’s prophets would bring an animal sacrifice to an altar, and pray to Baal to hopefully bring fire to consume the sacrifice. But, Elijah would have the same chance. And so, if either Elijah or the prophets of Baal were worshiping the True and Living God, we would find out.
  2. Idols Are Harmful – God Is Good
    • (Explanation) The prophets of Baal did everything in their power to get a response from their god. They even starting cutting themselves, thinking if Baal sees how much we’re sacrificing for him, then he will finally listen (1 Kings 18:28). But if you look in the very next verse we see the most terrifying thing about worshiping false gods (there was no voice, no one answered, no one paid attention). You see, this is the very dangerous thing about idols – we look to them for making ourselves feel good, we look to them to give us pride, but they always leave us empty because they are a poor substitute for God.
    • (Illustration) Sugar & Equal packets – what’s the difference? One is the real thing and one is a substitute. One is satisfying, and the other tastes similar but leaves you with an aftertaste. This is not a perfect illustration by any means, but you get the picture, an idol is a god-substitute.
    • (Application) “Dating relationships” are one of the most common god-substitutes, not just for those in high school, but for people of all ages. Can a dating relationship be a good thing? Absolutely (the question of when and who you should date is another question that we don’t have the time to go into tonight). Here’s a tough question to consider, (take the example of dating relationships) how do we know when something becomes an idol? I would suggest that it is when we are willing to sacrifice everything in our lives for that thing – God says keep the marriage bed undefiled, idolatry says I’ll do whatever he or she wants; God says that if you aren’t married yet that you are to marry “only in the lord” (Christians are to marry other Christians), but idolatry says, “I know what the Bible teaches, but I just don’t care.” Idolatry is harmful in the long-run: you will constantly have to choose between pleasing your idol or pleasing God, and that is a struggle that you don’t need to have. Instead, you can choose to give God the highest attention in your life. And then what you will find is a much more fulfilling life when you rest on God instead of idols. Which leads us to our third point.
  3. Idols Are Created – God Is Creator {Isaiah 43:1-2 and 5-7}
    • (Explanation) Not only does this passage show us the incredible things that God did for His people, but it also tells us “why we were created” – [Why were we created??) “For His glory.” So that means when we get caught up in idolatry, we are going against God’s intentions for us.
    • (Illustration) Ever try to walk up an escalator in a mall when the steps are going downward? That’s the thing about idolatry: we’re so stubborn that we want to do things the hard way, it’s like walking up an escalator going down.

Song: “Matthias Job”

Earlier in this year, my nephew, Matthias Job, passed away shortly after birth. My wife and I wrote and recorded a song as a surprise for my sister-in-law and her husband. My wife’s parents and my brother-in-law and his wife helped with the lyrics and we also took some lines from my sister-in-law’s letter that she wrote to Matthias. We want to share it with you and hope it will bring comfort to others who have faced burdens and tragedies in their lives.

Lyrics:

As you felt your mother’s heart beat out her love for you,
And you heard your father’s whispered words of care,
Through a rain of tears we watched you slowly slip away,
And this path of pain seemed more than we could bear.

Yet I’ll trust in God, who heals and brings me peace.

Through it all God remains the same,
He’s still good and perfect and merciful,
And though he gives and He takes away,
Still I’ll choose to say blessed be His name.

Now we long to hold you, mourning memories never made,
And we hold to hope until that glorious day,
As we ache for Heaven, this Earth loses it’s appeal,
When we join you, sin’s curse in our hearts will heal.

In the afterward of Heaven.

Through it all God remains the same,
He’s still good and perfect and merciful,
And though he gives and He takes away,
Still I’ll choose to say blessed be His name.

You went far so we would draw near,
Pain is not wasted, God’s will is made clear;
Richer through losses, empty we are filled;
Joy in the morning, in the afterward of Heaven.

God healed your broken heart when He took you home,
And I have this hope, my God will carry me.

Through it all God remains the same,
He’s still good and perfect and merciful,
And though he gives and He takes away,
Still I’ll choose to say blessed be His name.