ARE WE UNDER THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?
MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE that the Ten Commandments compose the law for guidance in religious conduct today. No doubt, you have heard people say: "What we all need to do is return to the Ten Commandments", or "If we keep the Ten Commandments we are sure to be saved."
THESE LAWS WERE the best code of laws ever given to men, prior to the law of Christ. They served admirably in the place and time for which they were designed by Jehovah. The law of God given by God to Moses and called "the law of Moses" (including the Ten Commandments), was not God's final will to man. It was perfect for the purpose for which it was given: "as a school- master " to bring the Jews to Christ (Gal. 3:24). It was temporary in that it was to continue only until Christ made His laws effective (Gal. 3:16,19).
A PERSON TODAY could keep the Ten Commandments to the letter and still not be a Christian. One who does not believe in Christ could keep the moral principles of the Ten Commandments, but certainly, one who does not believe in Christ could not be a Christian.
"FOR THE LAW was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jno. 1:17). The law given by Jehovah through Moses, dealt with the act that was wrong. (It was added because of transgressions until the seed should come. JWS). The truth of God, given through Christ, deals with the wrong thought behind the act that is wrong. The law of Moses pointed out sin but offered no complete forgiveness. The law of Christ points out sin and gives the remedy for absolute remission of sin.
NOTE: The SIXTH COMMANDMENT said: "Thou shalt not kill" (Exo. 20: 13). JESUS SAID: "Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer..." (1 Jno. 3:15). The SEVENTH COMMANDMENT said: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exo. 20:14). JESUS SAID: "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28).
THIS ILLUSTRATES THE FACT that the law of God given by Christ is far above the limitations of the law of God given by Moses. Christ deals with the higher aspects of Godliness in purifying the heart of man.
GOD HAS GIVEN a better covenant through Christ than He gave through Moses. The Book of Hebrews was written almost wholly to show this to be so. The law of God given by Moses, including the Ten Commandments, falls far short of the better law revealed through Jesus Christ.
FOR: THE LAW OF GOD GIVEN THROUGH MOSES (INCLUDING THE
TEN COMMANDMENTS) SAYS NOTHING ABOUT THE FOLLOWING:
(1) Christ as Savior.
(2) The saving blood of Christ shed for remission of sin.
(3) The church and its worship.
(4) The gospel of Jesus Christ, or
(5) The cross of Christ.
CHRIST FULFILLED THE LAW OF MOSES (Matt. 5:17), and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:14). He brought in a "better covenant with better promises" (Heb. 8:6).
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WERE DONE AWAY WITH. Paul wrote that the "ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:" (2 Cor. 3:7). He further states concerning that which was "glorious", which was "written and engraven in stones", that it has been DONE AWAY with. "For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious" (2 Cor. 3:11).
BUT HOW CAN WE KNOW THAT THE THINGS WRITTEN AND ENGRAVEN ON STONES WAS THE TEN COMMANDMENTS? Let us take notice of Exo. 34:1: "And the Lord said unto Moses, hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest." Then again, in Exo. 34:28, "And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS." So, we must conclude that the TEN COMMANDMENTS, which were written on tables of stone, were done away.
IF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED, then are we free to steal, kill, bear false witness, commit adultery, dishonor our parents, bow before other gods, covet or take the name of the Lord in vain? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why? Because these are forbidden in the New Testament, by which we are guided in this dispensation. All these principles set forth in the Ten Commandments are also taught in the New Testament, EXCEPT ONE. This one exception is the command to "keep the Sabbath." In the New Covenant we are not commanded to keep the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week), but we are taught to worship God on the "Lord's Day" (the first day of the week) Acts 20:7. Sabbath keeping was not included in the New Testament law. When I keep those principles which we read about in nine of the Ten Commandments, I keep them because Christ taught them in His New Covenant, and not because Moses taught them to the Jews in the long ago. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jno. 1;17).
IS THE OLD TESTAMENT OF ANY VALUE TODAY? YES! It proves the New Testament. It shows us how God had dealt with man in the past. It helps us to understand the true meaning of faith. Hebrews, chapter eleven, would not mean as much if we could not turn back to the Old Testament and read about Holy men of God as they demonstrated what it means to be faithful to God. Paul wrote: "For whatsoever things were written afore-time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).
By W.R. Jones
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