4. Scripturally Balanced Worship Exodus 20:8-11

Text: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, or thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor they stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

Exodus 20:8-11.
Good morning, Scripturally balanced Christian!  If God’s inspired Word makes sense, you and I do not seek to make it a nonsense.  You do well, dear Bible-believing friend, you do very well – for the Lord has a continual blessing stored up for such Scripturally balanced believers.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)
Scripturally balanced Christians seek to ‘rightly divide the Word of truth...’, according to God’s Word given to us through the apostle Paul quoted above.  We desire at all times, and to the best of our abilities in Christ, to get a sound balance on what we are learning from God’s Word contained in our KJV Bibles, as we earnestly try to apply God’s rightly balanced truths to every aspect of our daily lives for Christ in daily practice and in His service.  (James 1:22)
Therefore, when we read God’s fourth Commandment concerning the keeping of ‘...the Sabbath day...’, we need to have a correct balance on what we know of both ‘the Ceremonial Law of God’ and ‘The Moral Law of God’ contained in the Ten Commandments of God which we are currently studying.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, or thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor they stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”  (Exodus 20:8-11)
Following God’s great Creation of the world and our progenitors – Adam and Eve – He ‘rested on the seventh day...’; ‘blessed the Sabbath day (one day in seven)’; ‘...and hallowed (or sanctified, set apart) it.’
The Lord God did this for a purpose – to set us, His Created beings, an example of how we should henceforth live our lives in obedience to His ordained Moral Law and Commandments.  However, He did not constitute this great principle in order to set up a ritualistic religious practice, but to show His pattern for us, His creatures, to willingly follow.
Apart from works of ‘necessity and mercy’: i.e. nursing the sick; taking care of the elderly; tending the injured; taking care of other vulnerable, disabled, challenged, people; and caring for the needs of domestic animals in ones care – no manual labour was to be carried out for paid wages on that special day; no commercial trading and marketing was to be carried out.  The day was to be set apart exclusively for the balanced, faithful, worship of the Lord God.
C.H. Spurgeon’s Catechism on this subject: 
41 Q What is the sum of the ten commandments?

A The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind; and our neighbour as ourselves. (Mathew 22:37-40). 

49 Q Which is the fourth commandment?

A The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor they cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

50 Q What is required in the fourth commandment?

A The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself. (Leviticus 19:30) ( Deuteronomy 5:12)

51 Q How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

A The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days (Leviticus 23:3), and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship (Psalm 92:1-2) (Isaiah 58:13-14), except so much as is taken up in the works of necessity and mercy. (Mathew 12:11-12)” (1 Corinthians 6:12) (Romans 6:14-15)  (
Spurgeon’s Catechism)
 Faithfully observing ‘The Lord’s Day’, or ‘the Sabbath’, one in seven days, seeks to put the Lord God first in all things; to worship Him; to study His Word; to seek close fellowship with Him in prayer and, if possible, in church fellowship.  We put the Lord God first, for He is our First Love; our Saviour; and our Holy Friend.  Praise His altogether lovely Name! The problem for many appears when the Scriptural balance on God’s Commandments are lost.
I personally believe, that once we have indeed put the Lord first in the earnest motivations of our hearts, on ‘the Lord’s Day’ – we are NOT then trammelled by legalistic rules as to whether or not we can go out and enjoy a good walk; relax with our families at home; or engage in activities that are healthy, wholesome, and relaxing for our bodies and minds.  We seek to get the correct balance on our activities each Lord’s Day, yet always putting the Lord first in all we do and say, and enjoying the wonders of His Sovereign grace in Christ Jesus.
Thought: Christ Jesus fulfilled all the Law for ‘His people’ – let us be free to enjoy His Day.  “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

3. The Sanctity of God's Name! Exodus 20:7

Text: “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.”                                                   
Exodus 20:7.

Good morning, God-sanctifying Christian!  The very thought of the Living Lord God Jehovah – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons One Lord God Almighty – causes you to sanctify His Name at all times.  You do well, beloved in Christ, you do very well.
The very thought of our inherent sinfulness, the ‘old man’ within each of us even after we are redeemed by Christ’s Blood – should cause us to reel back in humble submission in the light of God’s Holiness and wrath against all sin!  We should immediately fall at His feet in submission to His Holy will, and offer up our hearts in worship at the wonder of His amazing grace toward Hell-deserving sinners such as we!
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth forever.”  (Psalm 111:10)
Recognition of the high and Holy sanctity of God, and of His Holy Name, should be the foremost characteristic of anyone professing to be a ‘born again’, Spiritually regenerate, Christian believer.  Anything short of the complete and personal sanctification of God’s Being and His Name dishonours the entire concept of true Christianity and leaves those falling short of this sacred recognition reprobate, fooling themselves that they are indeed the genuine article Christian!
Dictionary Definition: 
Sanctity – (noun) the quality of being sacred or Holy; purity; godliness; inviolability; saintship; (in plural) holy feelings, obligations... (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1460)
Sanctify – (Verb transitive) to make, declare, consider or show to be, sacred or holy; to set apart for sacred use; to free from sin or evil; to consecrate, bless; to invest with sacredness, blessedness or holiness; to sanction (set apart). (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1459-1460)
The Word of God instructs us: “ But as He which hath called you is Holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (entire lifestyle); because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Too often today, in this increasingly apostate, humanistic, atheistic world, we find the mouths of puny sinners uttering flagrant disobedience to God’s Ten Commandments, by profaning the Name of God; swearing oaths by the Name of God; using the Holy Name of God as an expletive, or coupling the Holy Name of God with the most filthy and offensive curses and gross language!  They utter from their mouths what their father, Satan, has placed deep within their sin-darkened hearts.  By doing so, they reveal themselves to be LOST!
“Jesus said unto them (the unbelieving Jews/Gentiles of the time), Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh (speaks and continues to speak) of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe it not.”  (John 8:44-45)
Unbelieving Church-men:  What hope is there for the unsaved of today’s 21st Century world, when those professing to be an integral part of the Body of Christ, the Church, lead the way in ‘...taking God’s Name in vain...’? 
The word ‘Reverend’ is used only one time in the entire body of Holy Scriptures, it is mentioned in Psalm 111, verse 9 – “He (the Lord God) sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His Covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is His Name.” 
So-called ‘church-leaders’ today not only break this Third Commandment publicly and continually by taking on the title of ‘Reverend’ – they then go further into sin and proud disobedience by promoting themselves and each other to be 'THE (definite article) Reverend'; then deeper into proud, disobedient, sin by calling themselves, ‘The Very Reverend’; 'The Very Very Reverend’; ‘The Most Reverend’; ‘The Most Holy Reverend’; ‘Father’, and ‘The Holy Father’!  What gross sin and disobedience to the Third Commandment of God!
“And call no man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father (capitol F!), which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 23:9)
The Third Commandment teaches:  “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.”
Swearing in the Name of God: Earthly judges and legal magistrates in today’s modern societies reveal themselves to be the biggest hypocrites in personal standard of Christian belief.  They not only compel Court witnesses to ‘Swear by Almighty God’ to tell the truth; but compound their hypocrisy and unbelief by making these witnesses place their hand on a copy of the Bible, God’s inspired Word and truth to mankind!
“But I (Jesus Christ) say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by Heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.  But let your communication be Yea, yea: Nay, nay (Yes or No): for whatsoever is more than these (in swearing to tell the truth) cometh of evil.”  (Matthew 5:33-37)
The Third Commandment teaches:  “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.”
Blaspheming God’s Name:  Modern day blasphemers of God and of His Name can be heard uttering the following vile insults to the Lord God: “For Christ’s sake!”; “Jesus Christ!" (uttered as an angry expletive); “Oh my God!” (uttered, or written it phone-texts, by crass people, for crass reasons); “God-damn it!”; “God Almighty!” exclaimed in anger or surprise.
The black hearts of those uttering these common examples of every day practice, are anti-Christian, humanistic, and their atheistic minds are revealed by the evidence from their mouths when they speak, and their pens/key-boards when they write such blasphemy into TV soap-operas, dramas, and Hollywood movie screen-plays.

Please serious Christian!  Turn this anti-Christian TV content OFF!  You are paying a T.V. Licence to permit opposition to the very faith you believe and seek to practice!
The Third Commandment teaches:  “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain.”
Thought: God is not mocked!  Beware! His wrath is on its way!  Repent, blasphemers!

2. No 'Graven Image' Worship! Exodus 20:4-6

Text:  “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (idols, holy statues), or any likeness (so-called holy pictures, images, etc.) of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord (Jehovah) thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My Commandments.”
                                                                                                                  Exodus 20:4-6.
Good morning, true worshipper of Christ!  On the full authority of God’s own Spirit-inspired Word, you and I are well taught that we cannot create, sculpt, paint, set up, or establish visual images of the Living Lord God Jehovah; of His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ; nor of any other aspect of the Heavenly Being.  There are no exceptions to this Commandment of God.
To begin to create, make, paint, set up such ‘graven images’ – in church-buildings or in private dwellings - is to call down the wrath of the Lord God upon ourselves and upon the congregations of professing Christian believers with whom we join in public and private fellowship. (Deuteronomy 4:14-20)
We cannot disobey the 2nd Commandment of God and seek to please Him with our worship at the same time!  The Lord places obedience above any envisaged ‘sacrifice’.
“...Behold (look and understand), to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou (king Saul) hast rejected the Word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.”  (1 Samuel 15:22-23)
Throughout the history of ‘the church’ – which I define as all those who are Spiritually regenerated, ‘born again’of the Spirit of God; from all nations and containing members of every colour of skin and station in life – there has been a repeated tendency to create statues, paint pictures, engrave imagined ‘likenesses’ of the Lord God, and of Biblical characters on wood, and canvas, and in stone.  The world’s cities are littered with such examples of mankind’s utter folly and disobedience to God’s Commandment. 
Then, after placing such creations of fallen humanity’s imagination in positions where worshippers frequent – it is not too long before history has found people worshipping the images/ pictures that were created!  Some foolish religionists have often been found bowing at the feet of statues depicting ‘Mary, the mother of Jesus’, weeping and imploring the piece of wood or stone to hear and answer their prayer!  Such utter deception and disobedience!
The Devil seems to have used, and continues to use, fallen mankind’s inherent need to worship the Creator Lord as a ploy to divert mankind’s attentions away from the true and Living Lord God and worship of Him, to pathetic creations of fallen mankind’s own imagination.  It is time for all serious and genuine Christian believers to divorce ourselves from such open disobedience to God’s own 2nd Commandment!
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
Let us now read what the great J.C. Ryle’s view of this vital subject was in his day:
“Let us beware of despising the Old Testament under any pretence whatever. Let us never listen to those who bid us throw it aside as an obsolete, antiquated, useless book. The religion of the Old Testament is the germ of Christianity. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the bud. The New Testament is the Gospel in full flower.  The Old Testament is the Gospel in the blade. The New Testament is the Gospel in full ear.  The saints in the Old Testament saw many things through a glass darkly. But they all looked by faith to the same Saviour, and were led by the same Spirit as ourselves. These are no light matters. Much infidelity begins with an ignorant contempt of the Old Testament
 “Let us, for another thing, beware of despising the law of the Ten Commandments. Let us not suppose for a moment that it is set aside by the Gospel, or that Christians have nothing to do with it. The coming of Christ did not alter the position of the Ten Commandments one hair’s breadth. If anything, it exalted and raised their authority. (Romans 3: 31) 
“The law of the Ten Commandments is God’s eternal measure of right and wrong. By it is the knowledge of sin. By it the Spirit shows men their need of Christ, and drives them to Him. To it Christ refers His people as their rule and guide for holy living. 
“In its right place it is just as important as ” the glorious Gospel.” It cannot save us. We cannot be justified by it. But never, never let us despise it. It is a symptom of an ignorant and unhealthy state of religion, when the law is lightly esteemed. The true Christian “delights in the law of God.” (Romans 3:19-22) (Bishop J. C. Ryle. Expository thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew 5:13-20”
Exodus 20:4a: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Art, sculpture, creative design and architectural beauty are not, in general, placed under the prohibition of the 2nd Commandment of God.  However, if the artist, sculptor, creative designer, or architect creates a figure, picture, etc. purporting to depict the Lord God, or the Lord Jesus Christ, or any aspect of God the Holy Spirit – then the 2nd Commandment of God forbids this act, and defines such an act, strictly, as an act of open disobedience to His Commandment.
Exodus 20:4b: “…Thou shalt not make unto thee…any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven Above.  Creating ‘likenesses’ of Heavenly Beings, which after all, are merely the imaginations of the fallen human creator’s mind, are forbidden exclusively by the 2nd Commandment of God.  No one has ever seen God’s face; the face of the Lord Jesus Christ was never painted, nor photographed during His human ministry.  Therefore, you and I today have no idea what the features of God the Father, or God the Son look like; and God the Holy Spirit is invisible Spirit form, so our pathetic fallen, puny human minds can never dare to conceive what the face of Almighty God even looks like – never mind paint, or sculpt it!
Exodus 20:5. “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.  Bowing in the presence of an idol, painting, imagined ‘likeness’ of God, is a sin against His 2nd Commandment!  Let all true Christian believers revisit His Word – and try to keep it! 
 Thought: 46Q: What is forbidden in the 2nd Commandment? A. The Second Commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images (Deut. 4:15-16; Or any other way not appointed in His Word. (Col 2:18)  (From Spurgeon’s Puritan Catechism)