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17th November 2013
Can we know if God exists? If so, can we know what God is like? And can we know God? The Bible claims to have the answers to these questions, telling us we can both know about God and know Him personally.
Exodus 20:1-19 may sound like a list of rules to you, but actually it tells us a great deal about God. He wants us to know Him: He speaks to us (v1) through creation, through lives He's transformed, through the Bible, even sometimes directly to people. God rescues (v2), is the true God (v3) and is holy and different to anything in creation (vv4-6).
We also find in these verses that God cares about our relationships with each other: He cares about family (v12), which was His plan all along; marriage is to be protected as He designed it to be the most intimate of relationships – one man and one woman for life (v14); human life is sacred, to be nurtured and protected (v13).
Another important aspect of God's design for life we can learn through these verses is that people are more important than stuff! Contentment with what we have is great gain (v17). We're not to steal, but more than that, God wants us to be caring, compassionate and generous (v15). We also find that God cares about people, priorities and rest (vv8-11). We find that our words are powerful and God loves the truth, hates what is false (v16) and cares about how we speak (v7).
The Ten Commandments weren't a contract nor a negotiation. They are a revelation of who God is, showing us what He is like and how He has designed humanity to flourish. But we can have an even clearer picture of who God is and what He is like – by looking to Jesus! The Bible tells us that Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:1-3) – in the same way that when you look in a mirror, the exact image of you looks back, so Jesus is the exact image of God and so when we can look at Jesus we find out exactly what God is like.
But Jesus didn't just come to show us what God is like; He also came to restore our broken relationship with God. The Ten Commandments reveal what God is like, but they also reveal how far we have wandered from HIm, and how helpless we are to restore that relationship ourselves. Jesus died for us, taking all of our sin on Himself, so that we could be restored to God. Those who were baptised today have encountered this Jesus and found that they can know God. How about you?
To download the sermon or the life application questions, click here.
Posted by Paul Mann