About those commandments…
Some people, even some Christians, think the “gospel,” the good news Christianity brings, is that Jesus came to die for the sins of humanity, thus replacing all the Old Testament rules and regulations with simple faith in Christ … i.e. those who believe in Him can now get to heaven.
But there are many subtle yet devastating “kinks” in that statement — more than I can address here today. For example: Jesus did not die for the “sins” of humanity, He died for the sin of humanity: the unbelief and rebellion in the hearts of all mankind, the root of all “sins.” (2 Kings 17:14; Isa. 7:9; Mark 16:17; John 3:18, 36, 5:38, 8:24; 2 Thess. 2:12; Heb. 3:19, 11:6; Rev. 21:8).
Christ did not “replace” the Law, He fulfilled it! He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (V. 5:17-18).
In fact, He even defined the Ten Commandments more stringently:
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17)
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (v. 3).
“You shall not make for yourself an image… not bow down to them or worship them…” (v.4-6).
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God…” (v. 7).
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…” (v.8-11).
“Honor your father and your mother…” (v. 12).
“You shall not murder.” (v. 13).
“You shall not commit adultery.” (v. 14).
“You shall not steal.” (v. 15).
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (v. 16).
“You shall not covet…” (v. 17).
Jesus taught… (Matt. 5:21-48)
On Murder: Do not be angry (v. 21-22).
On Reconciliation: Initiate resolution with the offender before offering to God. (v. 23-24). Settle your own offenses quickly. (v. 25-26).
On Adultery: Do not lust. (v. 27-30)
On Divorce: Do not do it for any reason “except for sexual immorality” (v. 31-32)
On Oaths: “Do not swear an oath at all… say simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’” (v. 33-37)
On ‘Eye for Eye’ Retaliation: “Do not resist an evil person.” Give doubly. (v. 38-42).
On Hating One’s Enemies: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (v. 43-48).
But Jesus also brought us a way to succeed at these; He gifts all who humble themselves – all who admit their sin, and invite His Lordship – with the deposit of the Holy Spirit within.
The Holy Spirit brings the believer a new heart, a new desire. What the most determined self-effort could never do, the Love of God in the believers heart does by nature… new nature. For now “All things have become new!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
It all begins with one’s humble surrender.