Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But WE KNOW THAT THE LAW IS GOOD, if a man use it lawfully. I Timothy 1:7-8
The Ten commandments are all reiterated in the New Testament with the exception of keeping the Sabbath. Of course, Jesus summed them all up into two commandments in Matthew 22:37-39. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
The Law is good for us yet today.
- It reveals how God’s people ought to live with one another.
- It reveals aspects of God’s glory and character. Our nation considers them as nothing more than religious rules that need to be torn out of our society. Without realizing it, our society is already feeling the negative effects of doing away with them.
They are a direct reflection of the nature of God Himself, one of the ways God determined that we would know Him. When we obey His Law, we reflect something of the glory of God. This is important since the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
- The law reveals what sin is. By doing away with the Law, man continues in his sin without any thought of the consequences. Paul said that he would not have known what sin is, but by the law (Romans 7:7).
- It can lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).
- The law reveals the ten most significant struggles of human experience, the first four revealing God’s expectations concerning a right relationship with Him and the last six revealing His expectations concerning a right relationship with others.
If we struggle to love God and our neighbor, we will also struggle with allowing God to be God. He desires that we give Him His rightful place in our lives but that will never happen if we disregard His Law.
The Ten Commandments can also be a good tool when witnessing your faith. Romans 3:23 states that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. People will not turn their minds toward Heaven until they begin to recognize that they are in danger of Hell. It is the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin, righteousness and of judgment (John 16:9) and most often He uses the Word of God. “Without thorough conviction of sin, men may seem to come to Jesus and follow Him for a season, but they will soon fall away and return to the world” (J. C. Ryle).
Those who choose to live their lives without Christ will one day be judged on the basis of the Law. In order to get into Heaven, a person would have to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). Since we are born sinners and no person can live perfectly without sin, then we must seek righteousness another way and the only way is through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22).
When people say, “Nobody’s perfect,” they are only pointing to the Law. It is our responsibility as Christians to warn sinners “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28). We must never think of anyone being out of reach with the Gospel. For with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). The things which are impossible with men are possible with God (Luke 18:27).
Sin enslaves people, yet the sinner believes that the Law enslaves him. Actually, the Law sets us free to be what God created us to be and that’s where the blessing of life is. Use the Law as you share Christ with others. Your witness should be both heard from your lips and seen in your life. There is great joy when someone wants to hear your testimony because they have seen the freedom you have in Christ Jesus. What we are and what we do most often speaks louder than what we say. Who is it that you would like to see come to Christ today? Are you living in accordance to God’s Law and experiencing the blessings that come through obedience?
George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.
For other meditations on the Ten Commandments, see Pastor Stiekes’ other posts: