Part Two of Two Parts:
So, are we as Christians today bound by these “Ten” Commandments? Let me answer it this way; when the Pharisees and religious leaders were trying to trick Jesus into saying something they could use against Him, they asked Him the following question:
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40.
Notice that Jesus didn’t end it with just the Law, but with the Law and the Prophets! Jesus knew what they were doing and one of the things that Israel was known for was disobeying the Words of God as spoken through the Prophets. He was reminding these religious leaders that EVERY Word of God stems from these two commandments.
The expository teaching that I did in 1 John covers our responsibility concerning this as well as John writes in 1 John 1:3, “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” John was not talking about the literal Ten Commandments but rather, the Commandments that fulfilled everything as stated by Christ.
Our whole walk as a Christian is based on the example of Christ. Thus the term, Christian, or one being of Christ or His teachings, disciple or follower. His example is what causes us to stand out from among the world. False, “Christs” or false “Christians” will be easily identifiable by the example they display before men. I am not saying we will know Christians because they are good people and follow the Ten Commandments but what I am saying is that they will demonstrate the Two Great Commandments Jesus gave. This takes in consideration our faults and shortcomings, because, true Christ-like love, covers a multitude of transgressions according to God’s Word. A person who is only “playing” Christian does not have that ability to forgive and love like Christ. They to easily remember faults and offenses. Their selfishness comes out and shows them for what they are. They think they are disguised, but what is in the dark recesses of the heart is sure to come to Light in the Spirit.
The Ten Commandments are still doing today what they were meant to do from the beginning, and that is identifying man’s sin and his inability to justify himself before God. Therein lies the problem with the world as a whole and the displaying of the Ten Commandments. Man who is corrupt by nature and wants to continue to use the darkness for his deeds, is always being confronted by his sinfulness when the Commandments are displayed. When the Commandments are displayed in a government building such as a courthouse it glares at those that would try and hide their deeds behind loop holes and such in the laws of our country.
The Ten Commandments still stand as the conscience of man when they would rather ignore what their heart tells them is true and right. That is why there is so much controversy. The controversy doesn’t come from those who already walk in faith and in the light, but rather from them that would rather keep others in the dark!
Man CAN and often does sear his conscience to the point it is no matter a reliable source of self-control. If he ignores what is right long enough, the Bible says in Romans 1:28-32, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Titus 1:15-16 says this, “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”
The words debased and defiled in the King James Version say reprobate, which means “void of judgment,” or an unapproving mind. Their conscience no longer has sway over them.
As Christians though, we don’t have to rely on our conscience. When we accepted Jesus into our hearts, we invited His Spirit, the Holy Spirit to take up residence and we surrendered our lives and wills to Him. He gives us precise guidance where the leading of the conscience could be tainted. Our spirits have become alive to God and we have that intimate relationship with Him again that we once lost through Adam.
When we see the world want to remove the Ten Commandments from their sight, we have to remind ourselves why. We need to pray that the blinders will be removed from those in authority and that the very thing that shows us our need for a Savior will continue to shine its light forth. Short of that, we need to pray that the Lord will continue to burn into their hearts the very thing they are trying to hide from sight!
So the whole point of this message concerning the Ten Commandments and its relevance for today is this: Where do YOU stand in relation to God. Is He your Father, your Love, your Redeemer, your Guide and Counselor? Or are you still relying upon the law written on tablets of stone or on the tablet of your heart? Does the Ten Commandments still shine a light upon the darkness of your sin, or does it stand as a beacon to the Power and Grace that flows from a merciful and gracious God to a life that gains its strength from Jesus Christ through faith?
For the Christian, the Ten Commandments, the Law and the Prophets, and the words they spoke will remain as a monument to the majesty, love, power and grace of a Father that has ALWAYS looked out for His creation! Are we bound by it? We are bound by the New Law, the Law that is Faith in Christ Jesus, the Glorious Son of God, the Author and Perfecter of our lives and faith! We are bound by the New Covenant of Love that is through Jesus Christ and empowered by His Holy Spirit!