Ten Commandments

Dear Brethren,

Why did God give us the Ten Commandments?  What is their purpose?  Are they to be kept today?  Some people have been wrongly taught that the Ten Commandments are a heavy burden – restricting our right to happiness.  Politicians and lawmakers want the Ten Commandments removed from our schools, courthouses, and public buildings because they do not want to recognize and yield to God's supreme Laws.  They will not admit that God gave the Ten Commandments for the very purpose of bringing prosperity, peace and order into our lives.

The Ten Commandments define the correct relationship between God and men.  The keeping of God's Ten Commandments is necessary if a person is to inherit eternal life.  A man came to Jesus and asked Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why do you call me good?" there is none good but One, that is, God: But if thou wilt enter into [eternal] life, keep the Commandments." (Matthew 19:16-17)

The Kingdom of God on earth is going to work in perfect harmony and accord because the inhabitants will know and keep the perfect Law of God – the Ten Commandments.  God the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).  How can we go about finding out how to worship God in spirit and in truth?  God's Law is the Truth (Psalm 119:142). The Ten Commandments delineate how a right relationship with God is accomplished.  "Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore." (Psalm 86:11-12)

God's Law is spiritual and applies in every situation from everlasting to everlasting (Romans 7:14).  His law permeates the universe.  Therefore, when we live according to God's Law, we are beneficiaries of His good graces, but when we violate His Law, we incur the penalties that come with broken law (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).

The Ten Commandments define God's basic Law of Love.  Godly Love is a concept that evades the great majority of mankind.  God has provided the perfect means of our becoming full members of His Family.  We find the Ten Commandments listed in codified form in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. "Wherefore the Law is holy, and the Commandment holy, and just, and good." (Romans 7:12)

The Law of the Ten Commandments involves the two greatest principles: love of God, and love of neighbor.  The first four Commandments show us how to hold God in reverence, while the last six Commandments show us how to relate to our fellow man in a Godly way.  The Scribes of Jesus' day sought to be righteous according to the minimum letter of the Law.  They asked Jesus:

"Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered them, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:28-31)

Letter of the law righteousness is not righteousness at all.  Jesus said, I say unto you, that unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."  (Matthew 5:20)  We, like the scribes, and Pharisees, are not able to live perfectly according to God's law by our own strength.  We must have Godly Love, and that comes only by God's Holy Spirit.  "Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." (Psalm 25:4-5)

It is not enough to say to God, "I love you."  God expects much more from us than lip service and mere sentiments.  God is our Maker.  He has shown His love to us by creating us and sending His Son, Jesus Christ, that we might have salvation and eternal life.  In return, we are obligated to show our love to Him.  How can we prove our love to God Almighty?

We prove our love to God by the things we do, just like we confirm our love to our family and close friends.  Jesus said it so clearly: "You shall love the Lord your God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and Great Commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)

We have heard and been taught that the term "Law" is harsh and that law denies us our liberties to enjoy life and become masters of our destinies.  Society today is eager to have every last vestige of God's Ten Commandments removed from our social order, because it believes the Ten Commandments inhibit the free expression of our will and desires.

The world does not realize that God's Law is the only lifeline to survival of the human species.  "Sin is the breaking of God's Law" (1 John 3:4).  Like Solomon, men believe that they are wise enough to avoid the natural penalties that accompany broken Law. They are wrong.  God is not mocked – no one sins with impunity (Galatians 6:7).

We must believe God, and not man.  The Law is not a restraint, but freedom to live in peace, fulfillment and happiness forever more.  Without God's Law of Love, every life ends in misery, pain, death and hopelessness.  That is because God's Law defines how we are to live in accordance with God's created order of things.  God's Ten Commandments provide the only way for us to achieve happiness and our full potential.  "This is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3) The intent of God's Ten Commandments is the making of orderly lives, families, society, and nations, but most of all, the creation of Godly character in those being called at this time to be in the Family of God.

"Pay diligent heed to do the Commandment and the Law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep His Commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Joshua 22:5)

Through His Spirit, God has to call and open the mind of each convert to belief and understanding – no living person is able to choose God's way on His own.  We demonstrate our love and faith by living God's Way with all our heart and soul, and by the might of God's Spirit in us.

"Beloved, if our heart condemns us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His Commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us Commandment. And he that keeps His Commandments dwells in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us. " (1 John 3:21-24)

God's calling gives a person the opportunity to choose whether he will follow God's Law of Love, or follow the dictates of his own mind; it is the exact same choice that Adam and Eve had, and the same choice that Jesus had when He came to this earth. Jesus said, "If ye keep my Commandments, ye shall abide in my love ; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love." (John 15:10)

Mankind lacks the wisdom and the character to chart his own course through a world of choices and decisions.  The Ten Commandments are the road-map that is able to guide and shield us from spiritual harm.  "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)  The primary way that God leads us on the right path is by way of His law and commandments.

The Ten Commandments emphasize the importance of our relationships now, so that we will be trained for rulership with Jesus Christ in the Millennium.  We will not be in the Kingdom of God until we learn to interface with each other according to God's perfect law of love.  When we love our fellowman, we love Jesus Christ and Our Father.

"Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keeps not His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him… He that saith he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no occasion for stumbling in Him." (1 John 2:3-4, 9-10)

Jesus' principles and teachings develop the full spiritual intent of the Ten Commandments for us.  For example, He taught that not only are we not to kill, we are also not to hate or be angry without a cause (Matthew 5:22).  And, not only do we not commit adultery, we also do not yearn to do so. Jesus' teachings intensified the Ten Commandments in their application. The Ten Commandments are the rules of the Kingdom of God!  We must each endeavor to rid our nature of its inordinate desire to violate God's perfect instruction for living.

With God's Holy Spirit, we are able to keep the Ten Commandments. The people of this world, like Old Testament Israel, are totally unable to live according to God's way of life.  We, the people of New Covenant Israel, are able to live our Christianity. "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." (Hebrews 8:10)


Sermon:  "Ten Commandments