The Essentials

Series: Exodus: Out of My Bondage, Into Thy Freedom
July 26, 2020
Exodus 20:22-26
George Robertson

Regardless of what we cease doing or start doing, we will not depart from these essentials—discipleship, outreach, and worship. On the threshold of this long list of laws for the newly formed nation of Israel, God mandates these three essential duties for the people of God. Discipleship, outreach and worship apply the essence of the law to love God and neighbor. 

I. Discipleship (v. 22)
Knowing: The way God revealed his word to Moses on Mt. Sinai set the standard for how every other book of Scripture would be included. By visible, felt and audible signs God confirmed to thousands of witnesses the word he was giving to Moses to write down was his own.

Being: As if the revelation through Moses as God’s intermediary were not enough, we have the even greater confirmation of Jesus Christ. God not only spoke from the heavens, he came down from heaven, took on a body, spoke his word for life and salvation in person, died to atone for our sins, and was raised to life to make it ours.

Doing: Jesus’ great commission to us was not to make converts, but disciples. “All authority on heaven and earth” was given to him by his Father in order to commission us to “go and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” To be the Church of Jesus Christ requires us not only to explain what the Scriptures say but hold one another accountable to do what it says. How can you be involved in the work of discipleship in your life?

II. Outreach (v. 24)
Knowing: Let’s start with the clearest part of the verse, “I will bless you.” As disciples live Christ-like lives, God blesses them. This does not mean that God rewards us for being obedient, as if we can earn his blessing. The Scriptures are clear this would not be grace, but an obligation by God to pay us for serving him (Gal. 2:21).

Being: So our text says, God must “come” to us in order to bless us. Jesus had to come to us in order to save us and make us pleasing to the Lord. The new life of obedience we live is only explained by our union with Christ and his Spirit living out his life in us (Ga. 2:20).

Doing: We are to imitate this love by loving others sacrificially. Jesus said, “They will know you are Christians by the way you love one another.” What will it look like for you to love your neighbors sacrificially?

III. Worship (vv. 23, 26)
Knowing: There is nothing more important than worship. It is the reason the world exists, to “declare the glory of God.”

Being: Worship is the “primary purpose” of every human being, “to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

Doing: This passage shows us 6 things about the importance of worship.

  1. Here - we are people of place
  2. How - worship is regulated by God’s Word
  3. Humble - we are creatures who must come humbly before God
  4. Holy - we must enter worship with the desire to be made holy as God is holy
  5. Him - worship must be Christ-centered.
  6. Humanitarian - only true worship of God leads to loving service of others.

How can you be committed to worship?

For further study:
For the article mentioned at the beginning of the sermon, see Andy Crouch, “Leading Beyond the Blizzard: Why Every Organization is Now a Startup,” 

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