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Art by Ann Niou

DECEMBER 10

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:1-22; 7:14-10:29 & Deuteronomy 5:15 & Romans 7:4-6

Advent is about anticipation.

It’s about remembering and reliving what God’s people felt as they waited to see a promise fulfilled. The people ached for a Savior who would set them free not just from the penalty of sin, but from slavery to sin. Hallelujah, He has come!

Ask God to show you if you are living inside that great gift of freedom. Circle all of the following words that describe how you feel when you think about your fight against sin:

hopeless, indifferent, defeated, apathetic, guilty, content, ashamed, enslaved, overwhelmed, peaceful, apathetic

All of these words are symptoms of misunderstanding the truth of Christmas. Either we feel defeated, unconvinced that we can win, or we are OK with our sin. We have forgotten that God is with us. He is all-powerful, able to overcome anything, and fully holy, unwilling to make peace with our sin.

Read Exodus 20:1-22

What is the foundation for the commandments, the first thing God says before beginning them?

Read Deuteronomy 5:15

Why does God give the first commandment?

Before God asks the people to be faithful, He reminds them that He is faithful.

Read Exodus 7:14-10:29

What does Moses say over and over again about why he wants Pharaoh to let the people go?

When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, they couldn’t obey God’s commands. They couldn’t worship the way they wanted or offer sacrifices or keep the Sabbath. Their master wouldn’t allow it. Then God delivered them. Why? So that they could serve God. He set them free so that they could obey.

Read Romans 7:4-6

Why did you die to the law? How did you die to the law? What is the point of belonging to another? What does verse 6 say you have died to? Why?

God has set us free from slavery to sin and death. How? Jesus bought us from our old master by dying in our place so that we could have Him with us and dwelling in us.

Now, because you have been set free, you have God with you. When you don’t feel able to fight against your sin, His Spirit tells you, “I am the God who raised Jesus from the dead. I can overcome this.” When you don’t care to fight, He tells you, “I am the Spirit of holiness. I will wage war on sin.”

2,000 years ago, Jesus came bursting into the world so that He could fight for us when we had neither the ability nor desire to overcome our sin. And 2,000 years later, God is still doing this for His people. He bursts into their hearts and fights for them by giving His strength and His conviction.

How could the truth that God is with you change your feelings about your battle with sin?