Martin Luther on the Ninth Commandment

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I spoke about the Ninth and Tenth Commandments from Exodus 20:16-17 in a message entitled “The Neighbor.” I came across an interesting quotation from Martin Luther about the Ninth Commandment:

Knowledge of sin does not entail the right to judge it. I may see and hear that my neighbor sins, but to make him the talk of the town is not my business….Those are called backbiters who are not content just to know but rush ahead and judge. Learning a bit of gossip about someone else, they spread it into every corner, relishing and delighting in it like pigs that roll in the mud and root around in it with their snouts. This is nothing else than usurping the judgment and office of God, pronouncing the severest kind of verdict and sentence, for the harshest verdict a judge can pronounce is to declare somebody a thief, a murderer, a traitor, etc. Whoever therefore ventures to accuse his neighbor of such guilt assumes as much authority as the emperor and all magistrates. For though you do not wield the sword, you use your venomous tongue to the disgrace and harm of your neighbor. (quoted in David Hazony, The Ten Commandments, pp. 214-215).

The Neighbor (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “The Neighbor,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, which concluded our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When have you seen a simple lie create a big impact? What happened?
  2. This weekend at Eastbrook we conclude our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments by looking at the final commandments found in Exodus 20:16-17. Read these verses out loud and invite God to speak to you as you study the Scripture.
  3. The context implied in Exodus 20:16 is the courts of law. Why do you think truth telling about others is so important in the law court?
  4. Of course, the implications of this command go beyond the courts of law and into our everyday lives. In Colossians 3:9, Paul writes: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” Why is this important as a reflection of new life in Jesus Christ?
  5. In what ways might you need to live in the truth more? How do you need to watch how you speak about other people?
  6. The next commandment centers on two words “covet,” which is translated from the Hebrew word for desiring, wanting or craving something, and “neighbor’s” as applied to various physical objects. What does this commandment tell us about desire?
  7. Some commentators see coveting – or envy – as the source of all other sins. Why do you think this might be the case?
  8. The final commandment takes us beyond the external actions of the previous commandments and into our hearts. Where do you struggle most with envy of others right now?
  9. 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.

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The Neighbor

Chiseled ThumbWe concluded our series on the Ten Commandments, “Chiseled,” this weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at the ninth and tenth commandments from Exodus 20:16-17.

Many commentators divide the Ten Commandments into two categories: 1) those dealing more with how we relate to God and 2) those dealing more with how we relate to others. Strictly speaking, the final two commandments are the only ones that mention the word ‘neighbor’, drawing into focus the ways in which we treat those around us.

The outline for the message is below. You can view the message online here or listen to it via our audio podcast here. You can now access all the messages from the “Chiseled” series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This series is part three of an occasional series we are doing from Exodus. You can enjoy the first two parts of this extended series on Exodus here:

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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?Read More »

Murder, Adultery and Theft

Chiseled ThumbI continued our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments this weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at the sixth, seventh and eighth commandments from Exodus 20:13-15.

These are the most brief and bluntly worded commandments of the Decalogue. I brought together Jesus’ parallels to these commandments in the Sermon on the Mount in order to talk about two basic truths:

  1. Our hearts are worse than we think
  2. God’s grace is greater than we understand

The outline and presentation slides for the message are below. You can view the message online here or listen to it via our audio podcast here. Access all the messages from the series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This series is part three of an occasional series we are doing from Exodus. You can enjoy the first two parts of this extended series on Exodus here:

Read More »

Set Apart (discussion questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Set Apart,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, which began our new series on the Ten Commandments entitled “Chiseled.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. When you hear the phrase “Ten Commandments” what do you think of? Why?
  2. This weekend at Eastbrook, we continue our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments. This week we focus on the 3rd and 4th commandments found in Exodus 20:7-11. Read these verses out loud and then ask God to speak to you through your study of the Scripture.
  3. In the Ancient Near East – and even today – the name of a person signifies their unique identity. Since this is the case, what is the significance in your mind of “misusing the name of the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:7)?
  4. While this command may include things we immediately think of, like dropping God’s name in a string of profanity, it also includes using God’s identity for purposes that don’t reflect His ways. How have you seen this happen in others or yourself?Read More »

Set Apart

Chiseled ThumbThis weekend at Eastbrook Church, I continued our series, “Chiseled,” on the Ten Commandments by looking at the third and fourth commandments from Exodus 20:7-11.

While we may not immediately see a connection between the command about not misusing God’s name and the command about keeping the Sabbath, they have a lot in common. They are both about keeping something as “set apart,” which is a reflection of God being “set apart,” or holy. So, the message was about having set apart words and set apart time.

The outline for the message is below. You can view the message online here or listen to it via our audio podcast here. Access all the messages from the series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This series is part three of an occasional series we are doing from Exodus. You can enjoy the first two parts of this extended series on Exodus here:

Read More »