You shall have no other gods before Me

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You shall have no other gods before Me/ Area: God

The Bible reveals that there is only one God in the universe (Isaiah 46:10,11; Deuteronomy 6:4,5; 1 Kings 8:60) and that He should be worshiped alone. The first commandment commands that we should always be satisfied with God for who He is (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternally existent in three Persons) and what He stands for and how He revealed Himself in Scripture and general revelation. Jesus said it so beautifully in Matthew 22:37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind.” In Psalm 90:14 Moses prayed to God: “satisfy us early with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” To be satisfied with all that God was, is and will be for us in Christ Jesus through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit is what worshipping God is all about. God doesn’t only require us to sing praises to Him, but that our whole lives be worship unto Him. That is the meaning of Romans 12:1,2. When we give our bodies to God, continually, as living sacrifices, we worship God.

In Psalm 36:7-9 David prayed this after He received revelation from God: “How excellent is your lovingkindness O God, therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fullness of your house, and you make them drink from the river of your pleasures.” Jesus Christ is portrayed as the Fountain of life and Living Waters in John 6:35; John 4:14 and John 7:37-39. When we come to Jesus and believe in Him as the Bible says we are forgiven our sins, and He fills us with the Holy Spirit. Therefore Jesus promised in John 6:35: “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, He who believes in Me shall never thirst.” As John Piper, the theologian said: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” When we come to Jesus to satisfy our deepest desires we are filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:15-18; 5:18) and the love of God. Only when we receive Christ Jesus for who He is can we worship and glorify Him rightly. Only by the Holy Spirit in us can we worship and love and honor God as He should, but even then our worship falls short because we are fallen, sinful human beings, even if we are born of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:14-25).

The Heidelberg Catechism says the following of the first commandment: “That I, as sincerely as I desire the salvation of my own soul, avoid and flee from all idolatry, sorcery, soothsaying, superstition, invocation of saints, or any other creatures, and learn rightly to know the only true God, trust in Him alone, with all humility and patience submit to Him, expect all good things from Him only, love, fear and glorify Him with my whole heart, so that I renounce and forsake all creatures rather than commit even the least thing contrary to His will.” We see by this definition that God must rule supreme in our hearts to obey this command. He must have the supremacy in our souls, in our thinking, speaking, feeling and acting. This is the meaning of Matthew 13:44-46. Jesus must be the pearl of great price in your heart and the treasure you are willing to forsake all to have.

God forbids the following things by this commandment:

Polytheism: the belief and the worship of more than one god. In Hinduism, we find this. The ancient Greeks and Romans also worshiped many gods. Christians worship one God, although He is distinct in three personalities. God is one, in essence, one in will and purpose, but separated in the roles they play in the universe.

Pantheism: the doctrine that God is in everything. We cannot worship God in birds or animals or nature in the sense that God’s Persons is in the creatures He made. God is distinct from what He has made although God’s divine attributes can be seen in nature, like His power or judgment or compassion. God is omnipresent but distinct from what He has made. Isaiah 46:5 states: “To whom shall you liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we may be alike?”

Animism: the belief that all living things have a living soul.

Spiritism: making contact with evil spirits or attempting to make contact with dead people and trusting in them.

Shamanism: Using a spiritist or witch doctor to make contact with the unseen world to prevent bad fortune and secure favor.

Necrolatry: the worship of people who have died. Animism, spiritism shamanism, and necrolatry usually go hand in hand in tribal and African cultures untouched with the gospel of Christ. God clearly forbids these practices in Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

Satanism/Occultism: the worship of Satan also called Lucifer the fallen angel and fascination with the evil-supernatural world.

Humanism: this means making man and his thoughts the measure of all things. Humanism worships man, his abilities, his achievements, whether it be in scientific discovery, scientific or medical inventions, sport, political, artistic or academic achievements and revering and fearing and adoring humanity above God and instead of God (See Romans 1:18-25). The chief sin in humanism is pride.

Atheism: the belief that there is no God. The Bible calls these people fools because what is evident about God can be clearly perceived in what He has made (Psalm 14:1; Romans 1:18-22).

Fortune-telling: a person who claims to foretell future events

Love of money: Jesus said we cannot serve God and Mammon or money at the same time. We will either love the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24). The Bible calls the love of money a root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Money in itself is not wrong but to make an idol of it and centering your life on money and not on God is idolatry.

—If anything in your life becomes more important to you than God, a wife, a husband, a child, children, your job, your career, sex within marriage, food, alcohol or any other legitimate thing it becomes idolatry. God has given many things in our lives to enjoy, but if those things we enjoy, the gifts of God, become the center of our affections then it is a sin and idolatry. God must be the center of our trust. Jesus Christ alone obtained and secured eternal peace and salvation for us who believe. To center our trust on anyone or anything else is idolatry.

Scripture to consider: Jesus said: “He who loves mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me: he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who takes not His cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37,38). Jesus must always have the preeminence (Colossians 1:18) in our lives. Let every idol be dethroned in your life and let Him reign supreme!

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