Chapter 1
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The Christian and the Ten Commandments

Our obedience to God's commandments is not, nor ever has been, in order to obtain or to keep salvation. Our obedience is a result of salvation. Adam, Abel, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were all saved the same way we are, not by keeping the law, but by grace. They and we are justified by faith, and that faith is not of ourselves; it is a gift from God. No person has ever succeeded in perfect obedience of the Ten Commandments, much less obtained salvation by it. The law cannot save. If salvation can be obtained by the keeping of law, then there was no need for Jesus to die. Galatians 2:21 says:

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

It is often objected that the Ten Commandments were given to another people for another time and therefore not applicable to us today. It is further objected that if we are obligated to obey the Ten Commandments, then we are also obligated to obey all Jewish law and to enforce it with the same penalties prescribed in the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments, as given to Moses, are a summation and statement of principles of God’s law for all man-kind, for all time. A careful investigation of the Bible reveals that each of those ten commandments were as relevant to Adam and Eve, and are as relevant to you and me, as they were to Moses.

It is easy to emphasize some of the commandments that are less troublesome to one’s self, yet try to minimize or ignore others. James 2:10 says:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

The liar or the covetous is as guilty as the adulterer or the murderer. There is a distinction between committing a sin and living in a sin. The difference is in repentance and turning from the sin, rather than excusing and continuing in the sin.

In John 14:21 Jesus said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." In verses 23 and 24 Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." In John 10:27 Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."

Are the Ten Commandments part of Jesus’ "words" and "commandments" which those who love Him "will keep"? In John 10:30 Jesus said, "I and my Father are one." Genesis 1:26 says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: . . ." John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." Verse 10 says, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him. . . ." Verse 14 says, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . . ." Was not Jesus, the Son of God, the "Word" of God, involved when "God spake" (Exodus 20:1) the Ten Commandments to Moses, just as He was in the creation?

In Matthew 5:14 Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world . . ." and in verses 16-17, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." In verse 19 He said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." We are to "do and teach" the commandments of our Lord.

Chapter 2