SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Wednesday July 31, 1996

Exod. 20:1-17

On the first table of the Ten Commandments are four laws that govern our relationship with God. The second table records six laws that instruct us in our relationships with our fellow human beings.

Briefly summarize the first four commandments. Exod. 20:3-11.

Basic to Bible religion is the simple principle that there is only one God. (See Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:28, 29.) Jesus did not claim to be another god; He claimed to be One with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Our one triune God is Creator and Redeemer. Jesus explained this mysterious truth as simply as possible: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. . . . Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?" (John 14:9, 10, NIV).

The remaining nine commandments emerge logically from the first. Because we are to revere the one true God, idolatry and blasphemy are ruled out. Because we love God, we respond to His appeal for us to remember the Sabbath day as a memorial of His creative and redemptive work.

Briefly summarize the last six commandments. Exod. 20:12-17.

Showing honor for father and mother is a reflection of our honor for God, our heavenly Father. Entering into the spirit of the first commandment enables us to love our earthly parents, unselfishly forgiving their human weaknesses. If we accept Christ, we are delivered from the unholy impulses that result in murder, adultery, theft, lying, and covetousness. Our fellowship with God, in response to the full meaning of the first commandment, directs all our relationships.

"There is not a commandment of the law that is not for the good and happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come. In obedience to God's law, man is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil. He who breaks down this divinely erected barrier at one point has destroyed its power to protect him; for he has opened a way by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin."--Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 52.

Considering your own Christian experience, when your relationship with God changes, do changes occur in your relationship with other people? Explain.