The Ten Commandments and the Gospel

There is a great deal of controversy about the Ten Commandments in the news today. It seems people don’t want them posted in public places or read in our schools. Strenuous efforts in political and educational realms are being made to have them erased or removed.

Did you know that whether you have ever thought about them or not, or whatever your views of the Ten Commandments may be, that one day every single person (that includes you!), will have to face up to each one of them? Maybe you have heard about the Ten Commandments, but you have never actually read them. So before I go any further, here they are just as God gave them:

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (no “idols” in our lives)
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. Thou shalt not covet.

God gave us these 10 commandments. They reveal the holy nature and will of God, and are His standard for righteous living. In fact, the Bible says, Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. - 1 John 3:4.

God says anything that breaks the law of God is sin. So let me ask you, have you ever broken God’s law? Do you know that the Bible says we are all sinners? God says, For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23.

I am sure that some who are reading this will be thinking, “Hey, I’ve never broken the 10 commandments. I mean, I’ve never killed anybody. I’ve never stolen anything. I’m an honest person. I try my best to be a good person and even help people.”

What does God say to that kind of argument. He says, “There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that doeth good, no, not one” – Romans 3:10,12. You read that correctly. NONE. Nobody. There is not one single person who is good in God’s sight according to God’s standard of goodness.

Maybe you wouldn’t go so far as to say you’ve never lied or stolen or cheated (cheating is a form of stealing). Perhaps you might be thinking, “O.K. I admit that I’ve only done a couple of little things that weren’t very nice or what you would call ‘good’. But I’m not as bad as a lot of people I hear about and some I even know! I think I’m good enough to go to heaven.” Really?

Let me ask you this: how many times would you have to steal to be a thief? Three times, five times, ten times? Did you know if you stole once, you are guilty of stealing? (And it doesn’t matter what the thing is or how much it’s worth ether!) The Bible says, For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. – James 2:10,11.

You see it is not how often you might have broken the law, or which of the ten laws of God you break, God says that if you break one law, one time, you become a lawbreaker. And what does God call a lawbreaker? A sinner. You see that’s what sin is. It is breaking the law. He defines it in those very terms, “sin is the transgression of the law” – 1 John 3:4.

And what is the penalty for breaking God’s law? The Bible says it is death. The soul that sinneth, it shall die – Ezekiel 18:4. The wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23. Every single person in the world is guilty of breaking the law, and so we are all under that terrible curse. It is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. - Galatians 3:10.

But the Bible is also a book of Good News. It is called the Gospel. What is the gospel? It is simply this; that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down to this earth to save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) That was why Joseph was told to name Him Jesus. It means “Jehovah is salvation”. He lived a perfect life; never once did He break any of God’s law. And then, having lived an absolutely perfect and sinless life, He willingly took the punishment and paid the penalty of sin (death) for every single person who would ever put their trust in Him! In other words, He paid the penalty for people who broke God’s law! The Bible says, that “He (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21.

So yes, the Ten Commandments are important. Exceedingly important. But what is even more important is what you will do with God’s remedy for breaking them. The Bible is very clear on this point. You must believe that you are a sinner because you have broken God’s law. You must believe that as a sinner you deserve the penalty for breaking His law. You must also believe that you can never be good enough to make up for all your past failures and sins. And you must believe that it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” – Titus 3:5. Finally, you must believe that God sent His Son Jesus as your Substitute and that He paid the penalty for your sin when He suffered and died on the cross of Calvary.

Having believed these things, then you must act upon them. To believe like this is what the Bible calls faith, and faith is belief in action. Let me illustrate. You walk into a room and I invite you to sit down in a chair. You look at it with doubt written on your face and so I assure you that it’s alright, the chair will hold you. But you hesitate. You say that you believe me but you continue to stay standing rather than sit in the chair. Maybe it looks too small or too fragile, but you don’t sit in it. When do you show that you believe in the chair’s ability to hold you? I’ll tell you when. It is when you actually take a step of faith and sit in the chair putting all your weight on its legs. Now that is faith! That is really believing my word about the chair and trusting the chair itself regarding its ability to hold you.

So it is with Christ. Believing in Him means you will take God’s Word about your sins, your need of Christ, and His ability to save you, and you actually receive His salvation as a free gift and put yourself into God’s care.

One final thought. Some people are concerned about this matter of faith. You may be one of them. You think that you may not have this kind of faith that will save you, and so you hesitate. Here is yet another wonderful thing about the gospel. The faith that saves you comes to you as a gift from God. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8,9.

Go to God in prayer right now in faith and repentance and hear the words of Christ, "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37)

2 thoughts on “The Ten Commandments and the Gospel

  1. The North American Church today has perhaps, spent too much time emphasising the liberty of the Christian under the (so-called) " dispensation of grace " to the neglect of the law by which Paul declares is "...the knowledge of sin." Sometimes the defence of Christian liberty may actually work to precipitate the licencing of sin among believers. That is a predictable result if pastors/teachers fail to hold up the Decalogue as a key guideline for holy living.

    Holy living is all about love : about keeping The Great Commandment of Mark 12: 29-31 (cf. Deut. 6:5 ; Lev. 19:18b ; 1 John 4:21; John 14:15 ). The Ten Commandments are but an expanded summary of this Great Commandment to love : love for our Creator and for our fellow man. For it is by the first four commandments of the Decalogue that we are directed to love God Almighty; and it is by the final six that we are directed to love each other.

    But the chief purpose of The Ten Commandments under the New Testament, is to awaken sinners to their condemnation because in mankind's fallen state in corruption, we have all failed to keep them. That's because in our unregenerate condition, we have no capacity to love according to God's standard of righteousness, not having the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (as per Rom. 5:5). Thus the moral law to love as exemplified in the Decalogue is never rendered obsolete by the NT. The Ten Commandments serve to expose sin, that in the grace of God, will produce anguish of the soul as the light of truth causes the sinner to see his horrible state, prompting him to sorrow over said sins and to cry out to God for mercy. The late Keith Green said it well when he remarked, "...the purpose of the law is to flush the sinner out of the bushes."

    There is a pervasive, new-styled evangelism that encourages the sinner to come to Christ because God is desirous to give him new life, to break his bad habits/addictions, and to heal his relationships. Such changes for the good are predictable following conversion, but those promises do not reflect the gospel! Christ never preached any such message. The gospel is the good news that man may escape the wrath in judgment to come by exercising repentance toward God and placing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only hope to deliver us from the power and penalty of sin.

    In pointing lost souls to Jesus Christ, we are wise to first introduce them to The Ten Commandments that they may be convinced of their guilt and recognize their lost condition. For why would people want to be saved if they didn't first fully understand that they were actually lost and heading along the broad road to destruction i.e. eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (as per Rev. 20: 12-15)?

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  2. singular

    I am more of an abrasive and intolerant person than most, and stand by that conduct as proper. I do NOT tolerate rapists, murderers, terrorists, sex traffickers, and many other things which are of course violations of the Holy Bible and sins against humanity and God.

    I often argue with academics who scream from their unholy creed that there must be separation of church and state. I once had a client, a professor of the arts, who stated his position forcefully that there must be church and state separation.

    While I tire of such idiocy and ignorance, I surprised him by saying that I agree and will henceforth deal with him based on his wishes and position. I then told him the Ten Commandments formed the basis of Canadian law but I would now eliminate their influence on me in my dealings with him.

    So I asked him how he would like it if I broke the order to not lie, and charge him twice what I had quoted for this work. I asked him if he would like it if I violated the order not to steal by taking his new lawn mower sitting outside his garden shed. I finally in my boldness asked him if he like it if I further embraced his screed by violating the order to not commit adultery and run away with his wife who was close by and who I had noticed was very entertained by this discussion.

    He interrupted and in a foolish attempt to salvage his pride offered the comment that "the problem is what do we replace the Bible with?"

    My final comment was there is nothing that can replace the Holy Bible unless he agreed with using Aesop Fables. He went inside at that comment.

    This demonstrates the arrogant idiocy of the anti God left and as you all may agree, I have no use for. Can there be anything as daft as a leftist, a liberal, a politically correct loon whose religion is dialectic secular humanism pushed and taught in academia, thus violating their own hypocritical hooliganism about not having any religion taught in schools?

    THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD. Written centuries ago, the Author knew these words would be a living repeating narrative of those who opposed God.

    One qualifier. I have an atheist client who I admire/love, a principled, intelligent woman who is a highly skilled MD, and is so generous and true that she hires me to do work for her neighbor who is elderly and cannot afford it. This gal puts all religionists and many so called professing Christians to shame, by her fruits compared to their lack of walking the walk instead spouting hypocritical words that mean nothing.

    This seems to be the problem with the "church" today and I am seeing it right in my own sphere of influence where three relatives whose father was a Free Methodist minister have embraced mammon, denied the faith, and chosen to violate several of the Ten Commandments, and instruction by Jesus, rather than do the right thing, but instead being complicit in fraud, theft, dishonesty, and criminality.

    When it comes to money, even such people bail. Sad state of affairs but it has always been this way. Disgusting.

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