August 4 Reflections

As a child I can remember hearing sermons on the 10 Commandments. The point it seemed to me at a young age was that I better shape up or God was going to squash me. Or bad things would happen to me if I was not a good boy and follow the commands. I don’t recall hearing a lot of grace connected to the commands, which I find interesting, because I grew up in a Reformed Church that taught the Heidelberg Catechism faithfully. The writers of the Heidelberg Catechism place the 10 Commandments squarely in the section on gratitude which follows grace. The 10 Commandments are born in grace as we see in Exodus 20:1-2, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” God’s irresistible grace first…then the commands.
I never tire preaching/teaching about grace. That is how I am going to approach the series on the 10 Commandments. God releases us from the prison of sin and death and sets us free to live in love with him and with others. This is a powerful truth. It is life changing. It is literally a Copernican Revolution, where your viewpoint of faith and life is radically changed. Let me explain. Copernicus lived in the 1500’s. The scientific community believed that the earth was the center of the universe which meant that everything revolved around the earth. Copernicus proved that the sun was the center and that everything including the earth revolved around the sun. Imagine the change in thinking that this required. Some resisted; others gradually came to accept this truth.
I believe grace is a “Copernican Revolution.” For too long we have been led down a path where we think and believe that we must be good enough (follow the 10 Commandments perfectly) and then maybe God will love us, and we can get into heaven. This is the religion of human pride and arrogance. The Scriptures teach a whole new way. God loves us first. God accepts us first. We cannot earn his love. It is gift. We receive it and want to shape our lives around his love not to earn anything, but to live in gratitude for the gift. We are going to think about this in the coming weeks as we reflectively go through the 10 Commandments. Some possible passages to read for the introduction this week: Exodus 3:1-10; Exodus 20:1-3; John 8:31-36 Romans 13:8-10.
Grace upon Grace,
Pastor Verlyn