It’s Monday Grace!
I want to pause our look at each of the Ten Commandments and give a brief summary of what we have seen so far. My contention is that these commandments come out of the same heart and mind that sent Jesus to the cross for us. In other words, the ministry and message of grace from the heart of God is just as much in the Ten Commandments as in Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
Recently, again, I read a meme from a grace teacher that boldly proclaimed that the Ten Commandments were written and meant for the people under the Law and not for us. Apparently, we are free to ignore them. The problem with that lies in the application of the next five commandments. Under grace, are we free to kill, to steal, to lie, to cheat on our spouses, to covet what others have? No one would suggest that. Yet, we are free to dismiss these commands, according to some. There is a disconnect in this somewhere.
The problem is not in the list, nor in the items on the list. The problem is in the interpretation and application. The Ten Commandments are Scripture, important words given by the Lord to His people. They are not ceremonial law. They are not cleanliness rules. They are not rules of property or family. They are not governmental rules. They are the desires of God for the good of His people.
So, let me ask a couple of questions. First, what will happen if a person breaks one of these commandments? We have heard the answer from the time we started going to church. “The soul that sins shall die!” Death is the result of sin, and sin is defined as disobeying the will (or the command) of God. It is true that those who sin will die, both physically and spiritually. That’s hard to avoid if you believe the Bible.
Second, who dies? To whom is this judgment applied? Well, again, this is hard to avoid. Anyone who sins will die. There is no exemption for the Jews or for the Gentiles. There is no special privilege given to the priests or the prophets or the little old grandmothers. Paul makes it clear in Romans that all have sinned and all die.
However (!), those who belong to Jesus have already died. We died with Him on the cross. He carried away our sins and the stain of our sins. The death that comes from breaking the commandments, whether one or all, has already been applied to us in the death of Christ. So, in that way, the commandment no longer has power over us. It no longer condemns us or binds us to death. We have been set free from the consequence of sin.
The power of the Law was to bring condemnation and death, never salvation and life. By doing that, the Law leads us to a Savior. So, even the Ten Commandments cannot bring death or condemnation to those who already belong to Jesus. That is the only appropriate way to say that the commandments are no longer “for” us.
Those who belong to Jesus still have only one God. We still should never worship the things of our own hands or works. We still can only be rightly called Christians because of a real relationship with Jesus. We still must remember that all we have and need comes as a gift from Him, rather than our own work. We still should thank God for those He has used in our lives. All of these things are still true for us.
If we understand the commandments, we see that they are still a part of our lives. No condemnation, no death, comes from them. Just reminders of who we are in Jesus.