No Idols Representing or Replacing God
We worship the eternal God Who saves us temporally (2 Peter 1.2-4; 1 John 3.8b; Acts 10.38; Luke 13.16) and eternally (John 3.16, 6.47, 14.6). We will take off this body of flesh enveloping our spirit-man (James 2.26), put on our new and incorruptible bodies (1 Corinthians 15.42-44, 49), and forever be with the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4.16-17). But, not all mankind will be saved eternally because of the choices they have made not to accept Jesus as Savior and to make Him Lord of their lives (John 3.17-21; Romans 1.18-23; Revelation 21.8). They have chosen to worship idols of various forms, including themselves.
‘Anything or any person (including myself) that claims our primary loyalty has become “another God.”’ Quote of Alistair Begg. (Jones, 2013, Kindle location 3207)
‘Addiction simply a newer euphemism for idolatry.”’ Quote of Michael Horton. (3225)
‘To make anything the object of one’s ultimate affection apart from God is to break the first commandment.’ (3228-3229)
‘Indeed, in the divine economy it is clear that how man worships is just as important as whom he worships.’ (3266-3267; my italics)
‘Idolatry, however, does not just entail the sin of devising a false god to worship; it also includes the attempt to fashion an image of the true God to worship.’ (3296, my underline for emphasis; John 4.24)
Idols in the Bible
Aaron’s golden calf: Exodus 32.8
Jeroboam’s golden calves at Bethel and Dan: 1 Kings 12:28–33
Children sacrificed to idols: Leviticus 20.1-8
Gideon’s ephod: Judges 8.26-27
Micah’s idol: Judges 18.1-31
City of Athens was full of idols: Acts 17.16
City of Ephesus was full of idols: Acts 19.23-41
Philosophies: Colossians 2.8-10
Notice God’s summation by illustration in Isaiah 44.9-20.
Idols in your mind
‘Surely John Calvin was correct in his observation that the human heart is “a perpetual factory of idols.”’ (3221)
Like sports, success, career ambition, ministry, intelligence, academic degrees , sex, family, spouses, children, tradition, reputation, hobbies, financial security, government, political ideologies, moral agendas, numerous everyday things, events, ideals , places, and people. (Jones) What about clubs and fraternal organizations?
‘“Freedom can become a false god, and so too can a concept like world peace. The cult of health and fitness, while good within certain boundaries, can become an idol. Philosophies which promote self-esteem, empowerment, and realization of our potential are also candidates for idols.”’ (Quote of Peter Barnes; 3213-3221)
“In other words, does the second commandment prohibit all physical, religious images , such as depictions of the Lord in sculpture, illustration, and other forms of artwork?” (3312-3317)
“The prohibition of images for worship did not ban artistic expression, nor prevent the production of elegant adornments used in the worship of the Lord such as the cherubim (Exodus 25:18-20). The Lord created people with artistic skills which He intended them to use in representing the beauty of the world He created (e.g., Bezalel, Exodus 31:1-11; 36:1-2).” (The Apologetics Study Bible 2014, Kindle location 70991-70993)
Ultimate Questions and Answers
The default always is the question: how do I know that I do not love this thought, word, deed, or object more than I love God? All default against the First Commandment. God is Supreme!
“To elaborate, the first commandment emphasizes internal love for God, as it identifies the object of worship. The second commandment emphasizes external love for God, as it identifies the manner of worship. The third commandment emphasizes verbal love for God, as it identifies the language of worship. The fourth commandment emphasizes temporal love for God , as it identifies the time of worship.” (3148-3151; my italics)
Ultimately, the question has to be: why worship God?
Paul answered that question in Philippians 2.5-11. He wrote: Jesus “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” (verse 7) Jesus illustrated that all in the image of mankind are servants of God. Like loyal servants, we lovingly worship our Master, God. Psalm 100.1-5!
Another reason is seen in Jesus’ prayer to Father God about us in John 17.24. Jesus wants us, you and me, to be with Him in Heaven! To not be afraid of death (Hebrews 2.14-15), but to anticipate stepping out of our ‘earth suits’ (James 2.26) and be at home in Heaven with Jesus and God (John 3.16).
Wrong answers to these questions have consequences, as mentioned above. Exodus 20.5states that people pass along their wrong answers to future generations, each individual being responsible for their own decisions and sins (Ezekiel 18.20) until someone arrives at the right answer (Acts 17.27)…God!
Consequently, have…No Image Replacing or Representing God!
Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2015. www.sozoclass.com
Jones, David W. (2013-11-01). An Introduction to Biblical Ethics (B&H Studies in Christian Ethics). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Locations in parenthesis.
The Apologetics Study Bible (2014-10-02). (Kindle Locations 70991-70993). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Locations in parenthesis.