When we marry our spouse, we each make a covenant or an oath that our spouse and God are the only ones that our hearts will belong to. Marriage can be a beautiful reminder of who we are in Christ. When we become Christ-followers, we make an oath that our hearts will belong to no other (see commandments 1 & 2). But we don’t always act like that is the case.
As followers of Christ, we are His bride. How often do we, as God’s people, long for other things or long for that which is not God – essentially committing adultery in our hearts? I can say for myself that it is all too often. Yet, God keeps His promise. God keeps his oath that we are His people – forevermore. That’s why He sent Jesus; so that we could be purified from sin and presented as the gleaming bride. Jesus gave His life up for his bride…for us!
Have you rejoiced in God’s grace today because our hearts belong to Him forever?
Associate Pastor, Preschool & Elementary
In today’s society, we have approached this command with a very pharisaical mindset. We have looked at the direct text and considered ourselves free from guilt because we have never killed. We justify our sins because they are “little” in comparison to murder.
Murder is an extreme reaction to a preexistent, sinful heart condition. Cain murdered Abel out of jealousy. David had Uriah murdered to cover up his adultery. If you read the biblical accounts of murder, most of them began well in advance of the act itself. Jesus lays this out for us in Matthew 5:21-26 as He talks about the connection of anger and murder. These “little” sins such as anger, malice, or jealousy left to fester in our heart lead us into extreme reactions. This isn’t always murder. Though these extreme reactions are abhorrent sins in their own right, we would never have gotten to that place if we would have checked our heart condition and become repentant of the “little” sins that are disrupting our relationship with the Father.
A theologian once said, “honor should produce reverence, obedience, and gratitude.” We expect children to give parents (or elders) a listening ear of obedience. We can learn so much from the parent-child relationship. Have you as a parent ever caught yourself feeling an unholy emotion rise up within you when your child disobeys? I have learned to repent and practice restraint; showing mercy because my Heavenly Father offers such kindness to me. As a child there was never a time I was not in the principals’ office or getting a spanking for the sins I committed every hour! It took many years until I began to visibly honor my parents and teachers, but even then I was disobeying without being caught. I just got better at dishonoring. That is what we do as humans. We are all little children who naturally dishonor their Heavenly Father. In college, I finally began to fear the Lord. My dishonor condemned me. My sin was exceedingly sinful! A reverent, holy fear is what people need in order to come to God in true repentance. Once God changes the heart then we obey and listen to His commands. This translates as love, devotion, and gratitude for the immeasurable riches of His grace which He lavishes on us who do not deserve it.
Director of Community Missions & Evangelism
Join us as Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Exodus 20:8-11 (the 4th Commandment) in our Summer Sermon Series: “Meant for More. A Study of Commandments.”