Murder, Adultery and Theft (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Murder, Adultery and Theft,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, from our series on the Ten Commandments entitled “Chiseled.”

Discussion Questions:

1. In what sort of settings or situations do you think rules are helpful? In what settings are situations do you think that rules are a hindrance?

2. This weekend at Eastbrook we continue our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments by looking at the three commandments found in Exodus 20:13-15. Read these verses out loud and invite God to speak to you as you study the Scripture.

3. Exodus 20:13 instructs us, “You shall not murder.” Why do you think that God needed to instruct His people with these words?

4. The next commandment is “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). In His teaching on this commandment in Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus pushes the instruction beyond mere external actions and into the desires of our hearts. Read these words and then reflect on what this says to be both men and women today.

5. “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15) obviously refers to people’s physical property. Alongside of this, how else might we steal from people? How do you struggle with stealing from people around you?

6. One biblical scholar says that a strict translation of the original Hebrew of Exodus 20:13-15 would say: “Never murder. Never commit adultery. Never steal.” The language in these verses is brief and blunt in comparison with other commandments. Why do you think that is the case?

7. Do you think these three commandments are relevant to our world today? Why or why not?

8. In another place, Jesus indicates that actions like murder, adultery, and theft come from disordered or corrupted hearts. Read Matthew 15:16-20. What do you think makes the difference between a disordered and ordered heart, or a corrupted or purified heart?

9. All of these commandments directly relate to how we value others. Jesus says that all of the instruction of God’s law can be summarized by loving God with all of who we are and loving our neighbor as ourselves (see Mark 12:29-31). How would you rate your love for others these days? Why?

10. What is one thing God is speaking to you through this study? If you are alone, write it down. If you are with a small group, discuss these things with one another.

[Next week we begin our annual Missions Fest on Tuesday, April 1, and have a special guest, Victor Hashweh, for our weekend services. Find more info at www.eastbrook.org/move.]

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