Skip to comments.The Rev. Charlie Camlin: "The Second Commandment"
Posted on 09/16/2006 8:00:32 PM PDT by sionnsar
As noted here before we are blessed to have two different series of sermons on the Ten Commandments currently being done by two of the rectors with whom we keep up. This week, the Rev. Charlie Camlin of Holy Trinity REC in Virginia gives us his thoughts on The Second Commandment, and as usual he has some most profound insights, including these:
Jesus summarized the first Four Commandments by saying that we are to love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul and mind. The first challenge we have with this command is we are constantly putting things before God in our lives. This can be wealth, the pursuit of our career, or an inordinate love for someone else. Calvin said in his Institutes that our hearts are like idol factories. Our first love is to be our LORD.This highlights to a great extent the importance of what Dr. Michael Horton wrote (quoted by Rev. Camlin) about "the First Commandment is about who the correct God is while the Second Commandment is about worshipping the correct God correctly", doesn't it?
The Second Commandment says that we are not to make for ourselves any graven image to worship; positively, this implies that we must worship the LORD properly. God was very specific in the Old Testament in laying out the place and the way in which His people were to worship. Those principles ought to be a guide for our worship. It is not merely a matter of style or preference but what pleases God.
One of the problems that the Israelites had in the Old Testament was that they always wanted to be like their neighbors. Even though God had chosen them out of all of the nations of the earth to be his special and peculiar people, their desire was always to fit in. God had told them how to worship but they always wanted to mix in some of their neighbors practices. This is known as syncretism. I am afraid that some of this spirit has rubbed off on the modern Church. When we begin to conduct worship services based on surveys of what pleases unbelievers and will get them to come to Church, we may have bought into this line of thinking.
The reason why this is so important is because there is a sanctifying aspect to worship. The prophets in the Old Testament recognized this as they poked fun at those who chopped down trees and carved them into statues to bow down before. They argued that we become like what we worship. For those who worshipped idols that had ears but could not hear and eyes but could not see would eventually become like themunable to hear and see. The flip side of this is that when we worship the one true God, we will begin to become like Him. Using the New Testament imagery, we can become like the Lord Jesus who was the image of the invisible God.
Abraham's father was a maker of idols and talismen, and Abraham wrecked them all before setting out on The Call.
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