God and God Alone

Bible Book: Exodus  20 : 03
Subject: God, Sovereignity of; Monotheism; Ten Commandments
Series: Ten Commandments - God's Way, The Right Way

God and God Alone - Commandment 1

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com

Exodus 20:3

Today we begin a sermon series entitled, "God's Way, The Right Way." This series of ten sermons is taken from Exodus 20 and will concern one of the Ten Commandments each week over the next ten weeks. The series is designed to help us do things God's Way, The Right Way.

Someone might well ask, "Why do we need to study the Law when we are living in an age of grace?" That is a good question. The Ten Commandments identify the three major problems we have as sinful human beings.

  • First, we have a problem with our relationship to the Creator.
  • Second, we have a problem with our relationships to other human beings.
  • Third, we have a problem relating properly to self.

The Ten Commandments deal with all three of these issues. One could well say that these commandments represent "God's Way, The Right Way," to live in this world. God's way is not just a good way, God's way is not just the best way, God's way is the only way to live the right way! Our society has scoffed at, scorned, and spurned these commandments as being out of touch with man's modern needs. Yet we have watched as our so-called modern society has grown more and more dangerous, destructive and deadly.

In this so-called modern age, children are having babies. Children are killing other children. Criminals are becoming younger and younger in our society. Moral erosion continues in America, according to James Patterson and Peter Kim. They report that 74 percent of Americans will steal from those who won't miss it, and 64 percent will lie for convenience as long as no one is hurt. Most Americans (93 percent) say they alone decide moral issues, basing their decisions on their own experience or whims. Eighty-four percent say they would break the rules of their own religion. And 81 percent have violated a law they felt to be inappropriate. Only 30 percent say they would be willing to die for their religious beliefs or for God. These facts were reported in "The Day America Told the Truth" (Prentice Hall, 1991). I expect that some of these stats would be even worse if people were asked the same questions in the Twentyfirst Century.

A new study by the CIA states that we are in greater danger right now of a massive attack upon American cities by secret groups of foreign enemies than ever in our history. Soon they tell us that suitcase sized nuclear weapons will enter the United States. Chemicals may be released into our water, or the air inside of major buildings. Why is our society so cruel? Why are we still killing each other? Why are we no better off in our attitudes toward each other in this world even though we are so advanced in science, medicine, education, technology, etc? The answer is simple. Our problem is spiritual - we need to get right with God. We need to know God's will and do it. We need a revival of realization that there is a God and all of us will one day meet Him in judgment. As we look at these Ten Commandments, it is my prayer that we will experience a new awareness of our need of God, our responsibilities to Him and to each other.

Someone will no doubt say that the Ten Commandments cannot save anyone. You are right in saying they cannot save us, but they can cause us to see our need of the only Savior the world has - Jesus Christ. That is what we are told in Galatians 3:24, "So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith." According to Romans 7:12ff, the Law of God is holy, spiritual and good. In fact, Jesus said, as recorded in Matt 5:17-20, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." So we see that the Law leads us to Christ, and once we have trusted Him, it causes us to go beyond the legal nature of the Law to understand the purpose of God's promises, purity and power.

For the Christian, the Law can serve as a reminder of the holiness of God. Remember that He said we should be holy even as He is holy (1 Peter 1). The Law reminds us that God will not play second fiddle in the orchestra of the human heart. The Law shows us how amazing God's love really is, for all of us have broken the Law; yet, by God's grace, every person who comes to place faith and trust in Jesus Christ is redeemed from the curse of the Law.

Perhaps there are those who would say that we all know the Ten Commandments and what else can be said about them. You would think that religious people know the Commandments but that is not necessarily true. Newsweek magazine once reported some time ago that only 49% of all Protestants and 44% of all Roman Catholics could name even four of the Ten Commandments correctly. Even in the church, there are those who are biblically illiterate. Besides, knowing something and doing it are two different things.

Finally, we need to study the Law because it helps us to know God. The Law reveals the character and nature of God. The better we know Him, the better we will live and serve Him. Let us consider the First Commandment. The title of the message today is God, and God alone. First, note that ....

I. God Alone Is Divine

I read somewhere that there is a place near Colorado Springs, Colorado where some unusual rock formations have been given a unique name. These rocks are knows as The Garden of the Gods. What a strange name. But that name could well represent the nature of man in this world. In fact, the great theologian John Calvin once said that the human heart is an idol factory. Within the heart man seeks to set up rival gods to the One God of the universe. The human heart is at the heart of the matter concerning who will be god in your life! We used to ask, "Is there a God?" Now most people are asking, "Which god works best for me?" In essence, what most people seek is a convenient god, a god who does not change them but simply makes them feel better.

The comedian W.C. Fields was once caught reading a bible in his dressing room. Known for his vulgar behavior and constant drinking, he was not a spiritual man at all. The person who came upon him while he was reading the Bible said, "Hey, W.C., why are you reading the bible?" W.C. Fields responded, "Looking for loopholes, just looking for loopholes." So are a lot of people. It has been reported that someone asked the late actor Jackie Gleason if he was religious. Gleason responded, "Actually, I'm still looking for a religion that will let me do anything I want to do and still promise me I will go to heaven." That is the god most people are looking for, but that is not the real God, the true God, the only living God!

The God of the Bible is the only true and living God. He is God and God alone!

A man who owned a fishing boat was out on the water one day and had a nearly hired helper with him. They had been fishing for hours and the boat owner became tired. Evening had set in, so the owner decided to take a nap. He told the helper, "See that bright star up there? That is the North Star. I want you go in the direction of that star. If you keep that course, you will be fine." So the owner went down into the boat and quickly fell asleep. After a while the helper woke him up. The helper was excited and nervous. The owner stirred himself from his slumber and said, "What's the matter?" The helper replied, "Please come up top quickly. You know that North Star you told me to follow? I done sailed plumb past it!"

Friend, you can't sail past the North Star. But that is what some people think they can do with God. They think can just deny Him and He will go away. He is God, and God alone! He reigns forever on His throne! He will not abandon, relinquish or abdicate His throne.

Deuteronomy 4:34 states that God alone is Lord and beside Him there is no other!. In Isaiah 44:8 we read, "Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

Yet, people worship many gods. Even in our modern society, so-called modern, intellectual men and women bow down to other gods. "What gods?", you may ask. The god of sex is one. A recent Christian leader stated that 80% of American men are involved in pornography, many of them through the Internet. Sex has become a god to many people, even some in our churches. Money is another modern god. Many people cheat on their taxes, fudge financial reports in their business, lie to clients, or steal from their workplace. Many people who live in nice homes, drive newer cars and wear clothes from the local mall claim they don't have enough money to tithe. They have put money over the one, true God. Then there are sports, fashion, pleasure, and leisure. And we have not even talked about mysticism, horoscopes, and a host of false religions, which have begun to make inroads into our society.

There is only one true God! He is God, and God alone. To worship any other is to turn your back on Him. We can know He is God, and God alone in four ways.

A. Scripture Says This Is True

The Scripture clearly tells us that He is God. This Book was written across a period of 1,500 years by at least 40 different writers, most of who never knew each other. Yet, it is consistent in every way. It does not contradict itself. It is one continuous record of God's dealing with man. How has this Book lasted so long when most books have a life of less than 7 months? Even the great classics remain popular for only a couple generations. But this Book has endured every attempt to destroy it. How? Because it is divinely inspired. God has written through His servants. He has protected His Word through history. He has placed it in your hand so you can know that He is truly God, and God alone.

B. Science Says This Is True

Science? Yes, science. Natural laws are consistent in the Universe. If there were other gods, the Universe would be a place of inconsistent and conflicting laws. The various gods would compete to have their way, the same way all human powers compete for control of this earth, its thrones and its money. Yet, the Universe is one great consistent place of science. These unchanging laws were set up by God Himself. They reflect one Creator. They reflect one Ruler. They reflect God, and God alone. Aristotle once said, "The beauty, the order, the harmony, of the Universe is but an expression of the will of God." Friends, it is not the laws of science but the Lord of science that makes this true!

C. Sin Says This Is True

Sin? Yes, sin points to one God. How? Because sin reveals that some actions, thoughts, words and deeds are wrong and others are right. If there is no God, then how can anyone say that something is right or wrong? Why do you feel guilty when you do wrong things or think wrong thoughts? Because you are transgressing a standard outside of yourself. You are sinning against a higher authority. You are confessing in your guilty heart that there is a God, and He is God alone.

II. God Alone Can Deliver

In our passage today we see that God speaks of delivering the Hebrew people from bondage to the Pharaoh. We need to know that God, and God alone can deliver us. This is the story of the Bible, God is a delivering God. In fact, God came down in human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ to do one thing - to deliver us. The Scripture states in John 3:17, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." So, what did Jesus come to deliver us from?

A. From A Meaningless Life

The bondage experienced in Egypt by the Hebrews was symbolic of the bondage of sin known by all of humanity. Clearly the Word tells us, There is none righteous, no not one. When the people left Egypt, the blood of a lamb was placed on the doorposts so that the death angel might pass over them. This, too, was symbolic of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, shedding His blood to deliver His people from their sins.

But the Lord meant to do more than just bring us out of the bondage to sin. In the redemption He provides is the promise of a life of meaning. Jesus said, I came to bring you life, and that more abundant. A life in fellowship with God is a life restored to the original purpose. Adam and Eve had fellowship with God. Sin broke that fellowship. Jesus came to bring us back into a right relationship to our Maker. In Him we a life filled with purpose and meaning. If your life lacks purpose and meaning, it is because you are either unsaved or you have drifted away from your close fellowship to Him.

B. From A Morbid Death

It is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. Death is an interloper. Death is the black camel that kneels at every tent. How horrible is death without God. How morbid to slip down into the abyss without God's hand to hold you! Pity the man, the woman, the young person who goes through the passageway of death without being able to say, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Only He can give you peace in valley!

C. From A Merciless Eternity

Most sad of all is the thought of going out into the vastness of eternity with no hope of knowing joy, peace, or gladness again. Only God can deliver us from that fate. Certainly it is not His desire for us to perish. The Scripture states, "Turn ye, turn ye, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." God would have everyone to turn to Him in repentance.

Can money, sex, pleasure, power, material things, friends, family, position, fame, or a hundred other earthly things deliver you from eternity apart from God? No, not one of these; in fact, all of these put together cannot give you one good day in eternity if you are without God. God, and God alone can give you a meaningful life, a peaceful death, and a glorious eternity. God, and God alone!

III. God Alone Is Deserving

Let me finish by stating without equivocation that God, and God alone is deserving of your devotion, your adoration, your affection. So many of us know this one true God through His Son Jesus Christ, but how deep is devotion? We sometimes live as if everything depends on our job, our health, our position, our family, etc. Today would be a good day to tell Him that He, and He alone, is our source, our strength, our lasting joy. But more than that, we need to make a commitment to obey this commandment. To worship God alone means three distinct things. They need no commentary - listen to what they are!

A. No Other Gods INSTEAD Of Him - We Must Not Substitute Anything Else For God
B. No Other Gods IN FRONT Of Him - We Must Not Snub God.
C. No Other Gods IN ADDITION To Him - We Must Not Smother God In Of Our Lives

A revival was held in a town some years ago and one night a football star from the high school got saved. The next night, two more young people were saved. The next night six students were saved. The following night others were saved. The minister was amazed and began to ask the youth what was going on. The following story unfolded.

The pastor learned that only a week or so before the revival a high school senior was put in charge of a Sunday night youth meeting at her church. She prayed and worked hard to put together the right program. Then, just one week before her big program, some friends came and said they had been given the use of a place at the beach for the coming weekend. They asked her to go with them. She was torn by the choice, but decided to stay and do what she had prepared so hard to do. Her friends told her that no one would come to the service because such a great group of them were going to the beach. They told her she was foolish for missing the opportunity. That Friday and Saturday she wondered if she had done the right thing. Her friends were at the beach and she knew her program would be a flop. Still, she stuck to her convictions; she would do this for the Lord. Sunday morning came and went with many of the senior youth group not present. But then that night she walked into the prepared room and there were her friends. All of them that asked her to go the beach were there. They ran to hug her. They said, "Oh, Alice, we are so sorry. We went to the beach but we were miserable. We knew you were doing the right thing. We got up this morning and decided to come home." The youth meeting that night was nothing spectacular, but the seeds were planted. When the revival was held a few days later, the floodgates opened. It all started with one high school that said, "God, and God alone is deserving of my best devotion and dedication."

Has it ever occurred to you that we may not being seeing as many people saved as we could because you and I are not placing God in the place He belongs in our hearts and minds? He is the only true God, sovereign Lord, mighty God, everlasting God. Someone here today needs to come to Him now. Receive Him now. Acknowledge Him now! He is God, and God alone!

He is everything, we are nothing. It is true that most of the things in this world are made up of nothing. Everything is made of atoms. Atoms contain enormous areas of empty space. By comparison, there is more empty space in every atom of your body that the empty space between the stars in heaven, and those stars are separated by millions of light years. Someone has said, "If all the nothing that is in all the human bodies could be squeezed out, you could put all there is of all of us in one milk pail."

We are mostly nothing, but He makes us something! He loves you! He cares for you! He sent His Son to die for you and for me!. What a mighty God He is. He is God, and God alone.