CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN
July 2, 2023
Back to the Basics
Do these still apply?
This morning I am going to refer back to some of what we
read last week in Jude. In the 3 rd verse of Jude we read
how he had planned on sending a letter to the church
about their shared salvation. Kind of a letter to pump
them up and help them to keep moving forward. However,
just like John, Jude became away that there were people
distorting the word of God and Jesus’ message about
righteousness and how to achieve true salvation. So Jude
changed his letter to bring the churches back to the
I would like to read again from the commentary to show
what is meant in verse 3 of de as he explains the
importance of this letter. Jude explains the important
relationship between correct doctrine and true faith.
Loving God means obeying Jesus. The truth of the Bible
must not be compromised because it gives us the real
facts about Jesus and salvation. The Bible is inspired by
God and should never be twisted or manipulated. When it
is we can become confused over right and wrong and
lose sight of the only path that leads to eternal life. Before
writing about salvation then, Jude felt he had to set his
readers on the right track, calling them back to the basics
of their faith. Then the way to salvation would be clearer.
The 4 th verse of Jude explains exactly what is happening
in the churches. It says, continuing from verse 3, “I say
this because some ungodly people have wormed their
way into your churches, saying God’s marvelous grace
allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of
such people have denied our only master and Lord,
Jesus Christ." What brought such concern to Jude was
false teachers were teaching that Christians could do
whatever they liked without fear of God’s punishment.
In chapter 6 of Romans Paul voiced the same concerns.
He went as far as to say in the final verse of chapter 6,
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal
life in Christ Jesus, our Lord." Before we go over and look
again at the 10 commandments I would like to share with
you about what Jesus said about the laws and how
important he felt they were.
In Matthew 5, verse 17 and 18 Jesus says this, “Do not
think that I have come to abolish the law and the
prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill
them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth
disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of
the pen, will by any means disappear from the law until
everything is accomplished.”
So, we see not only what Jude was saying about what
Jesus taught and about God’s word, we see Jesus went
as far as to say that until heaven and earth disappear not
the least of what is written will disappear. The law has
always been considered to be contained in the first five
books of the Bible (the Old Testament). So when Jesus
was talking about the law he meant all the things
discussed in the history of those five books, which are
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers.
So, with that setting the stage, let us take another look at
what we call The Ten Commandments. Basically, the first
4 commandments have to do with what God sees as our
relationship, honor and respect for him. The last 6 have to
do with our relationship with one another. All ten taken
together will show how much we love and respect the
Lord, not just by how we treat the first 4 commandments,
but also how we treated the people God has put in our
The first 2 commandments are closely tied together. The
1 st simply states, “You shall have no gods before me.”
There is a very simple message to this commandment.
God knows he is the only true God and there is no point
in believing there is any other God to honor. The 2 nd
commandment warns that in spite of what I just told you
in the first commandment some of you may still be
tempted to make other gods to worship.
At the time Moses was given these laws by God they had
just come out of Egypt. Egypt had many gods including
the Pharoah who himself thought of himself as a god.
God didn’t want his people confused by what they had
lived in and seen for their whole lives in Egypt. Once
again God felt it necessary to bring his people back to the
basics, especially since they would soon be ruling
themselves in the new land God was leading them to.
In the 2 nd commandment God warns about making idols
from things the true creator of all things had created. God
also then warns that he is a jealous God punishing those
who ignore this commandment to the 3 rd and 4 th
generation but blessing those who keep this
commandment to a thousand generations. The 3 rd
commandment being about misusing the name of God.
The King James version warns of taking the Lord’s name
in vain. We should only use God’s name in ways to glorify
him, never carelessly or in ways that do not show respect
The 4 th commandment talks of respect for the Sabbath. At
this time, it meant Saturday, the last day of the week. The
way to remember the Sabbath as God wants us to is to
have a day of rest and reflection on God’s goodness and
mercy. This was to apply to everyone in one’s household,
Once again, these first 4 commandments have to do with
how we relate directly with God. The next 6 have to do
with our relationship with our fellow man or with one
another. The 5 th commandment has to do with our
relationship with our parents; it is also a commandment
with a promise. “Honor your father and mother and I,
God, will grant you a long life in the land I am about to
give you.” The 6th commandment, “Do not commit
murder." Pretty simple and straightforward. What is meant
by murder is an intentional, unjustified taking of another
person’s life. The 7 th commandment has to do with
marriage between a man and a woman. God expects men
and women to be faithful to one another. The 8 th
commandment, “Do not steal.” Once again pretty simple.
God never believes stealing cannot be justified for any
reason. The 9 th commandment, “Do not give false
testimony.” This may have meant in a court type setting,
but basically God is saying it is never good to lie. The 10 th
and final commandment is, “Thou shall not covet.” God
then explains several examples of what he means. God
knows if people are more worried and obsessed with
what others have than being content with what you do
have you will never be happy. And it could lead you to do
things that will cause you to sin against your fellow man
and that is sinning against God.
So, do these apply to us today? Were these given only to
God’s people so they would get on the right track after
leaving Egypt. Over 1,000 years after God gave these to
Moses Jesus stated they were still in effect. After Jesus
ascending back to the Father, John and Jude were
warning the people what Jesus said about God’s word
was still important to apply to your life.
Here we are 2000 years after John and Jude wrote to the
churches, does their warnings still apply to the church
today? These 10 commandments are an overview of what
God gave Moves later in Exodus and in the book of
Leviticus in much more detail. The warnings John and
Jude gave were to the churches, not to unbelievers. They
knew before the church can make a difference n
unbelievers’ lives the church need to honor and respect
God and His word.
Does the church believe the 10 commandments and all
the laws given to Moses by God have purpose and
meaning today? What do you and I believe?
Annual Conference begins Tuesday. What does our
denomination believe about these laws and Jesus’ words
about these laws? Is Satan and this world shaping what
we believe as a church or is the word of God?
Next week we will get into the details a bit more before we
try to come up with that answer.
NO Bible Study this week
Sunday School 9:00
July 4-8 Annual Conference in Cincinnati
July 26 Full Board (note date change)
July 31-Aug 4 VBS at Methodist Church
Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you for
your continued giving!
Donation Box: AC bills
First Sundays: food donations for food banks
Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362
Keep in Your Prayers
Carolyn Fansler; Iva Traughber Brunner; Nora Hanaver; Todd
Henricks; Jonah Martina; Jan Bower; Larry Traxler; Michelle
West; Michelle’s mom; Carolyn Hirsch; Eli Brunner; Nancy
Fansler; Joe Waltz; Doug Larrick; Ron & Kathleen Petersen;
Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea Wood; Tina Wilhelm; Mindy Sawyer;
Carl and Wilma Cable; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline
Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Shawn Cain; Robert
Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Patty Cripe; Stacie Warren;
Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; healthcare workers
and first responders; victims of disasters; victims of shootings;
shut-ins; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
District Prayer Calendar: Pray for Annual Conference and the
work of delegates, officers, and Standing Committee. Also pray
for safe traveling for all who attend.