The First Commandment: “You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me”

The First Commandment: “You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me”

Preacher Huijun - 29 January 2023

The First Commandment: "You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me"

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<Ex 20> 1 And God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

 

 

2 questions:

(1) What does this commandment teach me about God?

(2) What does this commandment teach me about our Christian response and duty?

 

“First” commandment: Most important >>> Foundation to other commands

 

First commandment: The object of our faith; are we worshipping the right God?

 

“What does the Lord require in the first commandment?”

  • HEIDELBERG CATECHISM: “What does the Lord require in the first commandment?” [Q&A 94]
    • That I, not wanting to endanger my own salvation, avoid and shun all idolatry, sorcery, superstitious rites, and prayer to saints or to other creatures. That I rightly know the only true God, trust Him alone, and look to God for every good thing humbly and patiently, and love, fear, and honor God with all my heart. In short, that I give up anything rather than go against God’s will in any way.
  • Challenges faced today in obeying this first commandment: Pluralism, relativism and liberalism
  • “No other gods before me” may sound like God just wants to be the Number 1 God among many other ‘gods’, but no!
  • “Before me”: Besides me, to my face, in my presence

 

Idolatry is a BIG problem for mankind

  • Idolatry is the Number 1 enemy of our relationship with God
  • It’s so hard for the human heart to stay single-hearted
  • HEIDELBERG CATECHISM: “What is idolatry?” [Q&A 95]
    • Idolatry is having or inventing something in which one trusts in place of or alongside of the only true God, who has revealed Himself in the Word.
  • 2 tests:
    • (1) What do you love most?
    • (2) What do you trust most? 

 

Exclusive devotion

  • “Forsaking all others”
  • Similar to exclusive relationship in marriage
  • Problem: We may not reject God altogether, but we also want other ‘gods’
  • God is a jealous God <Ex 20:5>
  • We are called to worship God with our everything <cf. Lk 10:27>
  • Though salvation is God’s free gift, following Jesus will cost us everything <cf. <Lk 14:25-33; Mt 16:24-26>

 

 Reflection

  1. Share about your struggles with idolatry. What are your idols? How can you set them in their right places (e.g. let money really be a ‘tool’ instead of ‘master’), and not let them usurp God’s place in your heart? How can you test whether you have succeeded in so doing?
  2. How have the pluralism, relativism and liberalism of our times challenged your obedience to the First Commandment? How can you restore the exclusive and singlehearted devotion to God? Are you willing to exclusively worship God even if it costs you everything?
Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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