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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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The Ten Commandments

The Preeminence Of God

Exodus 20.1-3

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[Do you believe in God?  Do you Worship God?]

[Read Text.]

[In the New Testament our Lord Jesus Christ, when tempted by the devil to worship him rather than God, said,]

[Matthew 4:10 10 . . . Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.]

[Too many in our day think more highly of themselves than they ought; perhaps they have not consciously declared themselves to be a god, but in practice the have enthroned themselves as a God.  They have bought into Satan’s lie when he said to Eve in the Garden of Eden,] 

[Genesis 3:4-5 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. ]

[Of Eve and her fall in the Garden of Eden God says,]

[1 Timothy 2:13-14 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. ]

[What do you think about God?  What does your life reveal that you really believe about God?  Your actions reveal your heart, and your heart is guided by your thoughts or mind.  You might say that you have no other god’s before Jehovah God, but what does your life reveal.  Is God, the one and only true God, really your God?  Is He really the Lord of your life?  Is this first commandment] 

[Exodus 20:3 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.]

[A commandment that is preeminent in your heart and life?] 

Of this Commandment Let Us Consider, 

A.    The Estrangement Of God (2 Tim 3.1-5; Rev 3.20) [– Just what is a God?] 

[Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary - 1 capitalized   : the supreme or ultimate reality: as  a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe  b Christian Science   : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit  : infinite Mind  2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship;  specifically: one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality  3 : a person or thing of supreme value  4 : a powerful ruler] 

[Has our idea of God changed over the years?] 

[Webster’s 1828, American Dictionary of the English Language – 1. Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the creator, and the sovereign ruler of the universe.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John iv. 2. A false god; a heathen deity; an idol.  Fear not the gods of the Amorites. Judges vi. 3. A prince; aruler; a magistrate or judge; an angel. Thous shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. Ex xxii. Ps. Xcii. [Gods here is a bad translation.] 4. Any person or thing exalted too much in estimation, or deified and honored as the chief good.  Whose god is their belly. Phil. iii.] 

[Relevance - I point out the distinct difference between these two definitions to note that there is a remarkable difference in what our culture views as God in comparison to the Christian culture of nearly 200 years ago.  Now, someone might argue, “It just does not matter what people thought 200 years ago, all that matters, all that is relevant for us today is what we know or believe is God today.”  Yet, it is far more relevant than our secular society would like to believe.  As a matter of fact this first commandment, is the first commandment, because nothing else in your life will fall into place until this first commandment becomes the preeminent foundation of your life.] 

[In considering, first, the estrangement of God in reference to this first commandment, I will diligently consider what our culture and its people think and feel about God, or perhaps the gods.  What our culture thinks about God has found its way into the philosophy and ministry of many self-proclaiming Christian Churches and had caused a growing estrangement from God in our society.] 

[This estrangement has not caught God by surprise.  Our Lord warned us of this development when He said,] 

[2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.]

[In the book of Revelation the Laodicean Church of Revelation three existed in the days of the apostle John and it was described as a lukewarm church where the Lord Jesus Christ stood on the outside and look into the congregation and our Lord said to them,] 

[Revelation 3:20 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.]

[Almighty God, when giving this first commandment knew that the tendency of mankind, the current of the human will would be to draw people away from the Lordship of Almighty God and toward the independence of self-control and personal autonomy.  Yet our living Lord God, the one and only Jehovah God, reminds us,] 

[Exodus 20:3 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.]

[In this estrangement from God I will mention three primary currents of which we must beware,] 

1.      The God of Philosophy (Col 2.8; Rom 3.3-4) [– Philosophy deals with what you feel, think or believe about God, those who strive to discover God by discovering their thoughts or ideas develop their own god and then declare that their god is because they believe he or it is.  Through the concepts of philosophy every person in essence creates their own God.] 

[Groups of people will often hold ideas about their god that is similar to those of others and they will come together and develop religious and even denominational systems based on the similarities of their various philosophies.  The reality is that this is a poly theistic system that in essence declares that whatever God is to you is your God.  This is the idea that God exists because you believe that He is.] 

[IllustrationThe Peter Pan God – Most of us are aware of the story of Peter Pan and are familiar with Peter Pan’s beloved Tinker Bell.  As the story builds there comes a point in the story where it is revealed that Fairy’s like Tinker Bell only exist because people believe they exist.  If people stop believing in fairy’s then they cease to exist.  Many people have developed a Tinker Bell idea of God in that God only exists because we believe He exists.  This is the Tinker Bell faith of our secular culture.  In this philosophic scheme your belief system, whatever it might be, is your faith, but this is far from the faith described in the Bible.] 

[Of this philosophic god system the Bible warns,] 

[Colossians 2:8 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.]

[A dynamic example of this philosophic religious system is found in the Muslim faith system.  Dr. David Jeremiah in his book, “What In The World Is Going On,” considers how Mohammad established the name Allah as the god of his faith system by picking the name Allah out of the pantheon of 360 Arabic deities.  Allah was elevated to preeminence because Mohammad, and those who follow him, choose to worship that god.]

[God states,]

[Romans 3:3-4 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. ]

[Almighty God, Jehovah God, existed before there was a world or universe.  He existed before mankind existed.  He is the one and only Lord God Almighty and whether you believe in Him or not, He still is and always will be.  Beware of a philosophic god.  God is not God merely because you think He is or believe in Him.  A god is not a god because you believe that he is.]

2.      The God of Popularity (Matt 7.13-14) [– Another trend that is estranging people from God is the idea that if everyone seems to believe something then it must be right.  How could so many people, who are so sincere, and seem to be so confident, be wrong?  This idea is closely linked to our American ideas of democracy and freedom and therefore deeply appeals to us.  Yet the reality is that the majority of people can be, and likely are wrong?  Jesus warned us of this error when he said,] 

[Matthew 7:13-14 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. ]

[There are multitudes of examples where the majority were very wrong and very cruel.  Often these masses are supported by military might and cruelty rather than a proper understanding of right and wrong.  Such was the case in Germany under Hitler’s rule.] 

[The popular god is often closely linked to the philosophic god’s previously discussed.] 

3.      The God of Pragmatism (Prov 30.12; 14.12) [– This is the god of the practical.  Pragmatism declares, “If it works it must be right.”  Hence, the largest Churches and the largest religious systems must be those that are right about god, because what they believe and teach seems to be working.  Folks if this is the case then the Muslim faith, with is oppression, and terrorism must be right, because most statistics stat that Islam is the fastest growing religious system in our world.  Under pragmatism then, it won’t be long and all our women will be wearing Bercas.] 

[The fact is that those things which our culture thinks are working change quickly and regularly.  It wasn’t too long ago that our culture thought that our pollution would bring an ice age upon us, the movie “Day After Tomorrow” depicts this idea.  Now we constantly hear about “Global Warming.”   Those things that our culture thinks are working change almost as quickly as the popularity of our political figures and the headlines on our daily newspapers.] 

[To pragmatists God says,] 

[Proverbs 30:12 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.]

[Proverbs 14:12 12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.]

B.     The Existence of God [– Is there really a Supreme Being or God who is over all things?  In the abounding confusion of our culture we find that many polls have revealed that people are more spiritual now than ever before.  In other words, people want to find God, they just are not sure how to find God.  In discussing the existence of God let us consider, ] 

1.      Conscience and God (Rom 1.19-22) [– It is hard to really be a true atheist.  A true atheist declares that they don’t believe in anything, but they must believe in something because they are often found fighting for something.  Many just declare that there is no God.   Yet, deep down in their mind they know that there really is a God.  Why?   Because God says,] 

[Romans 1:19-22 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, ]

[Deep down inside, we all know that there is a God.  We don’t need any kind of physical evidence, although there is a plethora of evidence available.  You just know it.  Why because God has placed that consciousness of Himself within you.  Why do we find so many false god’s described in Greek mythology, because people know that there is a God, they just wondered about how to really find God.] 

[One of the greatest hindrances to finding God is mankind’s insistence upon controlling God.  If I can develop a god that I can direct and control then I can do whatever I want.  Hence, the multitude of the gods of polytheism, and we are right back to the philosophic ideas of god again.] 

[People know that there is a God, but they need to know clearly how to find and know Almighty God.] 

2.      Science and God [- Someone would likely ask, “Well, preacher, you have just declared, with authority that people just know that there is a God, but what about science?  Doesn’t science prove that there is no God?”  Actually, science has proven just the opposite.  Darwin’s theories of evolution are all but dead in the scientific community today.  Yes, he is taught in many biology and science classes, but the scientist in our culture have all but realized that there must be an intelligent designer that created and established the building blocks of life as we know it today.] 

[Anyone who holds to the antiquated ideas of evolution and creation by random chance should read “The Case For A Creator,” by Lee Strobel.  In this text Lee interviews leading scientist in a number if different fields with the same result in each, they all declare there must be a God.  Men like Johnathan Wells, Stephen Meyer, William Lane Craig, Robin Collins, Jay Wesley Richards, Michael Behe, and J.P. Moreland come together to speak for the best of our scientific community and to clearly declare that there is a God and the discoveries of science in the last 50 to 100 years have proven it beyond any reasonable doubt.] 

[Now, granted the Intelligent Design debate comes short of declaring that the God of the Bible is the great architect of all things.  However, there is a very small step and a preponderance of evidence that links the reality of God with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and manifest Jehovah God as the one true God.] 

C.    The Enthronement of God [– Who is your God?  How does one discover God?  Once you have found the one true God, will you obey Him and His revealed commands?  The one true God commands,] 

[Exodus 20:3 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.]

[It is obvious, that if you can find the one true God and if He makes himself available to you, then you must yield to Him, worship only Him, and yield your allegiance to Him.  So, how do you find Him so you can enthrone Him in your life?]

1.      You Must Seek Him (Luke 11.9; Jer 29.13) [– Jesus said,] 

[Luke 11:9 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.]

[Jeremiah 29:13 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. ]

[If you are not sure about who God is and how to find Him, then you had better search for Him until you find Him.  Do not search for your ideas about God, you had better find the one true God.  Your eternal soul is at stake.]

[How do you even know that God can be found by you?  Since God has put a knowledge of Himself in you, and a desire to know Him in you, then He obviously has made Himself available to you.  Now it is up too you.  You must seek Him out and search for Him diligently.]

2.      You Must Study Him (Deut 29.29; John 5.39; 2 Tim 2.15) [– The Revelation of God – There is only one way for us created beings to know the One True God and that is for Him to reveal Himself to us.  This is what He has done through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Christian Church.  The Bible, declared by God (the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ), to be the written Word of God, reveals God, His will and His commands to us.  The Word of God says,] 

[Deuteronomy 29:29 29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. ]

[Jesus Said,]

[John 5:39 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.]

[Paul wrote,]

[2 Timothy 2:15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ]

[Someone might say, “Well, that is fine preacher, if you really believe the Bible is God’s Word.”  Friend you had best diligently study the veracity of your statement.  I mean you had better dig in and be absolutely sure that you know what you believe is true.  You had better get beyond the philosophies of men, the opinions of peers, and the draw of the crowd.  Because if this Bible really is the Word of God, and it is, then there is a heaven and hell and you will go to hell for all eternity if you reject the Lord Jesus Christ.  You had better be absolutely sure.]

[If you study the reality of God in the Bible, and come to the only reasonable conclusion that you can come to, then you will accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  Then you must study to know Him in all of His fullness.  Because it is an amazing thing that Almighty God has reveal Himself to us and drawn us into a real spiritual relationship with Him.]

[As you study the God of the Bible you will discover that He is a loving, compassionate, merciful, just, and holy God.  You will find Him incredibly amazing in His thoughtfulness and faithfulness.  You will find His commands nurturing and life supporting.  You will find that you must give Him your all and you must yield and surrender yourself to Him.]

3.      You Must Surrender To Him (Exodus 20.1-3; 1 John 5.19-21) 

[Exodus 20:1-3 1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. ]

[The New Testament equivalent of this command is clearly understood in,]

[1 John 5:19-21 19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.]

[What is the essence of this command?  There is one true God, the Lord God almighty.  There is no other God and we must give ourselves wholly to Him.  Our God is Jehovah God, who was manifested among us in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We must surrender ourselves wholly to Him.]

[The Hope That Permeates This Command – This first command is the foundation for every other command in the Bible.  It is also the foundation for hope, joy and fulfillment in life.  By knowing the one true God, all of the confusion that permeates our culture and world disappears.  Through the certain knowledge of God and His revelation, the Word of God,]

         [We know without any doubt right from wrong]

         [We know without any doubt our purpose for being]

         [We know without any doubt what me must do]

         [We know without any doubt what our future will be]

 [Is the Lord God Almighty, Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus Christ your God?] 



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