Romans 3:23, ESV

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...


EXODUS 20:3-11, NIrV

3 “Do not put any other gods in place of me.

4 “Do not make for yourself statues of gods that look like anything in the sky. They may not look like anything on the earth or in the waters either. 5 Do not bow down to them or worship them. I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. I cause the sins of the parents to affect their children. I will cause the sins of those who hate me to affect even their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 6 But for all time to come I show love to all those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will find guilty anyone who misuses his name.

8 “Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. 9 Do all your work in six days. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to honor the Lord your God. Do not do any work on that day. The same command applies to your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and your animals. It also applies to any outsiders who live in your towns. 11 In six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea and everything in them. But he rested on the seventh day. So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


From atop Mt. Sinai, God spoke ten commands to his people. The first four taught the Israelites how to worship him. God didn't want his chosen people to serve him like the other nations served their gods. Why? Because Israel’s God was real and those other gods were pretend! The other nations served bunches of gods. To make their pretend gods visible, they carved statues. But the Lord wasn't going to be one of Israel's many gods; he was their only God. And making a statue of him? Forbidden! No carved piece of stone or wood would come within a million miles of matching his majesty!

+ What was the third commandment God spoke? (vs. 7)

+ What did God tell the people to do on the Sabbath, the last day of their week? (vs. 8)


EXODUS 20:12-17, NIrV

12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “Do not murder.

14 “Do not commit adultery.

15 “Do not steal.

16 “Do not be a false witness against your neighbor.

17 “Do not want to have anything your neighbor owns. Do not want to have your neighbor’s house, wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey.”


God's first four commandments taught the Israelites how to love him. With the last six, God taught his people how to love each other. These rules covered a whole bunch of different topics, but all six commands pointed back to one big idea: every Israelite should treat others like they would want to be treated. Would they like it if someone lied to their face, stole their stuff, or even killed them? Of course not! Nobody in their right mind would! If the Israelites would not want these terrible things done to them, then they shouldn’t even think about doing them to the people around them.

+ What big idea do all these six commandments point back to?

+ What did God tell the people to do in the fifth commandment? (vs. 12)


EXODUS 24:3-8, NIrV

3 Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and laws. They answered with one voice. They said, “We will do everything the Lord has told us to do.” 4 Then Moses wrote down everything the Lord had said.

Moses got up early the next morning. He built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He set up 12 stone pillars. They stood for the 12 tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men to sacrifice burnt offerings. They also sacrificed young bulls as friendship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses put half of the blood in bowls. He splashed the other half against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They answered, “We will do everything the Lord has told us to do. We will obey him.”

8 Then Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people. He said, “This is the blood that puts the covenant into effect. The Lord has made this covenant with you in keeping with all these words.”


By meeting with his people on Mount Sinai, God was making a covenant. In a covenant, two sides make special, unbreakable promises to each other. A marriage is an example of a covenant. Breaking a covenant promise brought huge consequences, sometimes even death! God promised Israel, "Follow my laws, and you’ll be my special treasure." After Moses told these laws to the people, they promised, "We'll obey!" To prove their covenant promises were deadly serious, the people met for a special ceremony. There, Moses read God’s laws and sprinkled the blood of animals on his people.

+ So he didn’t forget, what did Moses do with all that God said to him? (vs. 4)

+ What book did Moses read to the people at the covenant ceremony? (vs. 7)


EXODUS 24:9-11, NIRV

9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the 70 elders of Israel went up. 10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a street made out of lapis lazuli. It was as bright blue as the sky itself. 11 But God didn’t destroy those Israelite leaders when they saw him. They ate and drank.


Our sun is so bright, looking at it for a single second makes our eyes hurt. But it’s not even close to being the most dangerous thing to look at. Exodus 33:20 tells us that just one glance at God and a human being is toast! However, a few times in the Bible, God allowed his people to catch a tiny glimpse at his glory in a way that kept them from dropping dead. That’s what he did for Moses, Aaron and his sons, and 70 of Israel’s leaders. What did God look like? The Bible doesn’t say! The only thing it describes is the ground beneath him: God was standing on blue gemstones as clear as the sky!

+ How many men went up the mountain to see God? (vs. 9)

+ While they saw God on the mountain, what did Moses and the men do? (vs. 11)


EXODUS 24:12-18, NIRV

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay here. I will give you the stone tablets. They contain the law and commandments I have written to teach the people.”

13 Then Moses and Joshua, his helper, started out. Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the elders, “Wait for us here until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you. Anyone who has a problem can go to them.”

15 Moses went up on the mountain. Then the cloud covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. The cloud covered the mountain for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called out to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 The people of Israel saw the glory of the Lord. It looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. 18 Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights.


As God called Moses to climb higher up the mountain, he put on quite a show of power for all the Israelites watching down at the bottom. For six days straight, his glory wrapped around the entire mountain, blanketing all of Mount Sinai with a bright cloud. On the seventh, that glory cloud burst into bright flame! God’s fire burned so intensely, the mountain looked as if it might melt like a candle! Now, imagine what it would be like to be Moses midway up the mountain that amazing day. From the middle of that fiery blaze of glory, you hear God's voice calling you to walk straight into it!

+ What did God say he was going to give to Moses on the mountain? (vs. 12)

+ How long did Moses stay on the mountain with God? (vs. 18)



34 The Pharisees heard that the Sadducees weren’t able to answer Jesus. So the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them was an authority on the law. So he tested Jesus with a question. 36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) 40 Everything that is written in the Law and the Prophets is based on these two commandments.”


God gave Moses over 600 commandments on Mount Sinai. About 1,500 years later, someone asked Jesus, “Of all God's laws, which one is the most important?” Though they’d only asked for one, Jesus answered with two: “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We call these two laws the “Great Commandments.” What makes them so great? Because if you follow these two commands, you’ll end up following all of the other 600 commands! All the other commands are simply different ways to love God with all our hearts or to love people like we love ourselves.

+ What did Jesus say about these two commandments? (vs. 40)


23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...


As God gave his laws to Moses, he showed the people his glory. But in the Bible, the word “glory” describes more than just a cloud that blankets a mountain or a flame that shines bright. The word “glory” is also used to talk about the fact that the Lord God of Israel is perfect in every single way. He never does anything wrong... ever!

Paul, the writer of the book of Romans, has some bad news. Every single one of us has sinned. We’ve broken God’s commands. We’ve failed to love him with all our heart. And we’ve failed to love others like we love ourselves. When we compare our glory to God's, we don’t measure up. In fact, we fall a zillion miles short!

God’s ten commandments teach us how to love him and how to love other people. But they also teach us something about ourselves. Like looking in a mirror after playing in mud reveals your messy face, reading God’s commands reveals how sinful we are. When we read “Do not lie” or “do not steal,” our minds can’t help but remember the times we’ve broken those commands. God’s law shows us that we are lawbreakers!

But there’s good news: our glorious God sent his Son to rescue lawbreakers like you and me! Since Jesus was totally God and totally human, he was glorious. He never disobeyed God’s law – not even once! Because Jesus was 100% sin-free, he earned the right to be the one to save us. 

To finish his rescue mission, Jesus had to die. When he was nailed to a cross, Jesus paid the price for our lawbreaking. And since he was the same God who shook Mount Sinai, he used his mighty power to raise himself from the dead! God's promise is this: anyone who trusts in Jesus to be their rescuer will spend forever with God in his good kingdom, where each day will be like standing in God’s glory on the mountain!

+ Who was the only human who never sinned? (Hint: he wasn’t only a human!)

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