Last week, we discussed what God’s law requires of us (see “God’s Law”). But I would be remiss if we didn’t do a quick review of what God’s law actually says. God gave His law in the ten commandments recorded in the book of Exodus (Exodus 20:1-17). These are not old and irrelevant. The death and resurrection of Jesus did not nullify the law.
In fact, Jesus explained He didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Only Christ has lived a life that perfectly followed the laws of God. By obeying, He set the example of how we all should live. Psalm 1:1-3 tells us those who meditate on the law of the Lord are happy, peaceful, and unshakeable. Don’t you want a life like that?
Perhaps you memorized the ten commandments when you were younger. Perhaps you haven’t thought much about them since. Most people can name a few, but few can name all the commands of God. The first commandment is we must not have any gods other than God. The second is like it, telling us to not worship any idols. We are commanded to worship God and Him alone. Idols are not only little statues; they can be anything we give our attention to. If you choose selfish pursuits over spending time with God, those selfish pursuits are an idol. If we are putting anything before God, we are living in rebellion and disobedience.
The next three commandments are all about living a life of humility and respect. God commands us to not take His name in vain. Any time we speak of God, it should be done with great reverence and awe. We must recognize who He is. Keeping His Sabbath is one way to show our recognition of His authority in our lives, and understanding the pattern of rest He ordained for us is for our good. The fifth commandment telling us to honor our parents helps us remember the gift of life God has given to us and that we should always care for those who brought us into this world. It is not dependent on how they treat us. Our responsibility before God is to honor and obey them in all ways that do not contradict God’s Word.
The final five commandments are a bit more rapid-fire, but we shouldn’t read them too quickly. God commanded us not to murder, but Jesus explained that includes even thinking hateful thoughts against someone (Matthew 5:21-22). Jesus also explained to obey the command to not commit adultery means not even lusting after another who is not our spouse (Matthew 5:27-30). The final three commandments instruct us not to steal, lie, or desire what someone else has. Remembering how Jesus expanded the definition of the previous two commands should inform how we view these three as well. Thinking about doing these things makes us just as guilty as doing them.
None of us has kept all ten commandments in our life. I’m confident most of us haven’t even kept them for the last week or day. We are guilty. Except for the blood of Jesus, we would die in our sin and rebellion. Please understand how important it is to accept the beautiful gift of salvation found only in Christ. Without it, you are destined for God’s judgment and an eternity in Hell. For those who have accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus, live your life in the manner God expects. Don’t ignore His ten commandments. They are the roadmap for a life lived well and in honor of God. Give Him the obedience and worship He deserves.