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What Are Your Ground Rules?    Exo. 20:1-17    April 18, 2010


       When we establish rules we may not cover all the bases. If we set ground rules for our life and family they need to be rules God established and we have adopted. I hope when you are asked, What Are Your Ground Rules, You can answer the rules and commands God established.

1.   The . . Basis Of God’s Ground Rules. 20:1-2

       A.   The Basis Of . . Authority In Making Ground Rules. 20:1

              1 Then God spoke all these words:


       B.   The Basis Of . . Accountability In Making Ground Rules. 20:2

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

When God speaks everyone needs to listen; especially His children. He comprises the authority to make ground rules. We are all accountable to Him for the way we keep His rules. In the text God reminds the people of what He did for them as He brought them out of bondage. Today perhaps Christians need to be remind of how the Lord saved us and gave us a new life in Christ. Recently I asked a waitress who wore a large cross, “why are you wearing a cross,” she gave a good answer and I said ,”well I am glad you know why you are wearing a cross.” She said, “You’re not as glad as I am.”


2.   The . . Beginning Of God’s Ground Rules. 20:3-11

       A.   Beginning With . .Command One. 20:3

3 Do not have other gods besides Me.


       B    Continuing With . .Command Two. 20:4-6

4 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the

              earth below or in the waters under the earth.

              5 You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,

              punishing the children for the fathers' sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6

              but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.


       C.   Continuing With . .Command Three. 20:7

              7 Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will punish anyone who

              misuses His name.


       D    Continuing With . .Command Four. 20:8-11

8 Remember to dedicate the Sabbath day: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates.

              11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He

              rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.

       To begin a proper set of rules we must begin with God. He alone must be the center of our worship. God tells us not to let people or things become idols, where in reality we worship them. I have seen a man actually make an idol of His car. The name of God needs our reverence and respect. How can people say they know and love the Lord and misuse His name? The fourth rule tells us to remember God’s day and keep it holy. At many recreation facilities guess what day is the busiest? If you said Sunday you guessed correctly. Everyone deserves some days off, but not every Sunday.


3.   The . . Broadening Of God’s Ground Rules. 20:12-17

       A    Broadening As God Continued With . .Command Five. 20:12

12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.


       B    Broadening As God Continued With . .Command Six. 20:13

              13 Do not murder.


       C.   Broadening As God Continued With . .Command Seven. 20:14

              14 Do not commit adultery.


       D    Broadening As God Continued With . .Command Eight. 20:15

              15 Do not steal.

       E    Broadening As God Continued With . .Command Nine. 20:16

              16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.


       F    Broadening As God Continued With . .Command Ten. 20:17

17 Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, his male or female

              slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

       The rules given by the Lord to Moses were received on two tablets. The first four relate man to God the next six direct man to man relationships. If we do a good job of relating well to God we will respect the next six. Parents are to be honored. We have a problem with parents not being honorable or even around; many children live in a one parent home. But I love to see children honor their parents. Of course we should not murder and that includes the unborn child.. Adultery is forbidden by the Lord and our society needs to incorporate this rule and Christians need to set an example. Respect for another’s property helps a society; so do not steal. Honesty with a lack of covetousness rounds out the ten rules.


4.   The . . Bottom Line Of God’s Ground Rules. 20:18-20

       A.   The Bottom Line Of . . Reverence For God And His Ground Rules. 20:18

              18 All the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain

              surrounded by smoke. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance.


       B.   The Bottom Line Of . . Respect For God’s Minister And His Ground Rules. 20:19

              19 "You speak to us, and we will listen," they said to Moses, "but don't let God speak to us, or

              we will die."


       C.   The Bottom Line Of . . Response For God’s Minister And His Ground Rules. 20:20

20 Moses responded to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will

              fear Him and will not sin." HCSB

       Reverence for God builds respect for His ministers and a proper response to all of His rules and any proper man made rules. So when you are asked, What Are Your Ground Rules, You can answer the rules and commands of The Lord! Amen? Amen!