My challenge: This was the final sermon in a series on the Ten Commandments from Deuteronomy 4-6. I wanted to explain the tenth commandment (5:21) in the context of 6:4-13 as a conclusion to the entire series.
The purpose of the entire series was to show how good and relevant these commandments are for us, since they are spoken to use by the Lord who has saved us out of slavery and is shaping us to be a people distinctly different from the world.
I needed to explain the meaning of "do not covet," which became part 2 of the sermon. I saw 4:4-13 as application, and I identified three distinct applications. These applications became part 3 of the sermon. But I needed to preface all that with the larger context, which also served as something of a conclusion to the entire series, and that became part 1 of the sermon.
One of the subtexts of part 1 was an on-going conversation in our congregation about understanding what it means to live freely within the sovereign grace of Christ. Throughout this series, we were wrestling to connect the dots from "I am the Lord who saved you; have no other gods," to the relational applications of these chapters of Deuteronomy. What does the Lord's character as sole Lord and Savior have to do with the way we relate to each other? I see the warning against coveting at the heart of the issue. In a sense, part 1 of the sermon is exposition of that tenth commandment. My objective was to show the relational relevance before we even got to the definition of "covet" in part 2.
In every sermon, I think through three developmental questions (thanks largely to Haddon Robinson's Biblical Preaching): (1) What does it mean? What do we need to have explained? (2) How can I ...
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