The Ten Commandments
by : Rev. Gwendolyn Payton
With the understanding that we are saved by Grace and not our works that any man should boast, have we totally tossed aside God's commandments? Although Christ died for our sins and paid the penalty of sins, do we still acknowledge God's laws? Are they Relevant?
One could argue that they (the laws) are relevent. Paul tells us repeatedly in the epsistles to "present our bodies as a living sacrafice, holy and acceptable to God, this is our reasonable service". So if presenting our bodies as a living sacrafice is reasonable, then why is it that when we make sacrafices that we fill that we are dong something great? When we attempt to live better and not give inot selfish-the old Adams nature, then we feel "Holier than Thou'. Saints, a reasonable sacrafice only gets you a "C" average. This is expected of you. It appears that the message of sonship is more than a message to evangelize through words but through lifestyle as well. Yes, we are saved, santified and set free. We are not under the bondage of the law. However, God also says that if we love Him then we should keep His commandements. I will acknowledge that it is definetely a Christ driven task to help us find a balance with keeping God's commandments and not living as thou we are under the penalties of the law or the burden of the law-which Chirst has paid the debt for in full. Hallelujah!!!!! "As Paul so strongly expressed, "when I would do good, evil is always present". Thank God for Jesus!!
Next, how does one come to terms with all of this and why is this important? We know that they laws are relevant (Ten commandments) because we are told that God is just and faithful to forgive us if we confess our sins. Confession is often defined as agreeing with God. We must confess our sins because we have to agree with God that we have violated His commandments. Sin-a violation of God's commandments if you will- disrupts our fellowship (sonship and daughtership) with God.
One may ask, why is this talk of the Ten Commandments relevant? God initially gave man one commandment-not to eat of the forbidden fruit. I find it very interesting that from Adam to Moses, God later created more commandments. If one takes a quick look at what happended from Adam to Moses, one will discover that man had done many displeasing things agianast God and his brother. For example, Cain killed Able-the first human murder; Jacob lied and deceived his brother out of the birth right; the people began worshipping idols. The Ten Commandments are very relevant becuse not only are they spiritual (becasue God gave them) but they are social. The ten commandments are about relationships (our relationship with our God, our family and our brothers). They tell us how to treat our God, our family and our brothers. All of the Ten Commandments involve another person-if you will. They involve at least two people. For example,You cannot steal unless you are taking something from someone else without the intention of returning it to them. In essence, you cannot by definition steal from yourself. In my discussions with many Christians, I find that many do not know all of the Ten commanadments. Neither have they taken time to understand what they mean and how they should apply them.
In conclusion, one could argue that God gave the Ten Commandments to better aid us with our relationship with Him, our family and our brothers. This can be further supported by the fact that Jesus said' I give you a new commandment, love thy neighbor as thy self". This sums up the bulk of the commandments. Many Christians are not actively making an effort to follow the Ten Commandments. Even if we fall short, and Christ has paid the price, we should not establish our own righteousness and use them a a basis not burden to sprituality and social conduct. Many will argue the contrary. However, my question to the saints is, if God's commandments are not the basis for social conduct, then what is? Is it the opinion of evey man who is elected into office every four years? Is it the opinion of the newest Rock Star or Rap Star? Or, is it the opinion of our own selfish desires that determine our code of conduct as a Christian? I would argue to the contrary, God is our authority and the Only Authroity of the Universe. He is El Shaddai! The Almighty God!!! Knowing that, I can confidently say that, society will never become better regarding morals, values, crime, etc. until the churches take a stronger role in reminding us of The Ten Commandments, thier basis and importance for helping us establish spiritual and social guidance. Yes, Christ died for our sins. However, if we are to follow Him, He followed His Father. He fulfilled the commandments. Yes, we will fall short; however, we should use them as a radar to stay on track with how God wants us to treat our brothers and sisters. Think on this, we know that even after you take a bath that you cannot totally clean your entire body. You will not be able to completely rid yourself of the dirt that is on you. However, does that mean that you should stop batheing? No, it simply means that you continue to bathe, clean away as much dirt as you can and keep repeating the process to keep yourself as clean as possible. This is what the Holy Spirit does for us. So, we embrace the The Ten commandments to help us treat our God, Our Brothers and Ourselves better. Christ has fulfilled the Spiritual piece for us. It's time that we work on the Social piece and treat eachother as God would have us. The Golden Rule encompasses all the Commandments. The Golden Rule is God's Rule'. Let's Remember That!!!