Monday, March 4, 2013

The Ten Commandments

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Saved by Grace

Linda and I watched the History Channel presentation of The Bible, and we commented to each other that it is superior to many previous Bible presentations, as it actually got a lot of the story right, and did not attempt  to discredit everything as we have come to expect from modern treatment of Bible stories. 

Of course much was abbreviated, so as to be able to cover the story in a short time. They did not show Aaron and the golden calf worship at Mt. Sinai, but simply showed Moses coming down from the mountain with two tablets of stone in his hands. Those two tablets, which would be stored in the Ark of the Covenant, had on them, written with the hand of God, ten commandments. This covenant was given to Israel, God's people.

Ex 20:1-17—Then God spoke all these words, saying, "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
"You shall have no other gods before Me.
"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”  
"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
"You shall not murder.
"You shall not commit adultery.
"You shall not steal.  
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." NASU

The Ten Commandments, written on tablets of stone by the hand of God, are the basis for ethical relationships between mankind and God, and between people. This ethical structure has blessed all who have obeyed it, and cursed all who have rejected it.

God has made a new covenant with his people through Jesus Christ, Jer 31:31-33--"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD.
"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  NASU

The covenant we enjoy as Christians is a relationship covenant, where we receive new life in Jesus Christ by the new birth of water and the Spirit. God’s Spirit, living within His people, encourages us to keep the commandments of God, from the heart, because we love God and want to please Him.

The principles of the Ten Commandments are still our ethical standards today. They apply to us as standards for moral conduct, but we are not justified by keeping the law, because we have all violated the Law and come under condemnation. But the problem is not the Law, which is holy, righteous, and good, Rom 7:12. The problem is that sinners cannot be saved by law keeping.  Sinners must be saved by grace through faith, coming to Jesus for salvation. 

As Paul taught, Rom 8:1-4--Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  NASU

No condemnation! What a beautiful though. I love belonging to Jesus, being a Child of God.

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