Are the Ten Commandment important? Does God really want us to keep them?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by ambassador, May 12, 2005.

  1. ambassador

    ambassador New Member

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    It is probable that the great majority of church members in America today carry few convictions against breaking at least one of the Ten Commandments. A very insidious doctrine has been developed in both Catholic and Protestant theology which has tended to minimize the authority of God's great moral law. It has led many to look lightly upon transgression and has made sin to appear unobjectionable. In fact, sin has lost its horror for multitudes and has become an acceptable mode of life for both youth and adults. Witness the current trends in lifestyle which support this view. Is loving God just enough? If so why, what has God said in his word? Is grace sufficient?
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I seem to recall a passage where Jesus states that there are only two commandments - love God and your neighbour.
     
  3. ambassador

    ambassador New Member

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    It is certainly true that Jesus laid down two great laws of love as a summary of all the law, but did He give the idea that these were new in point of time? The fact is that He was quoting directly from the Old Testament when He gave those new commandments. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:5. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Leviticus 19:18. Certainly, those penetrating spiritual principles had been forgotten by the legalists of Christ's day, and they were new to them in relation to their life and practice. But they were not intended by Jesus to take the place of the Ten Commandments.
     
  4. ambassador

    ambassador New Member

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    When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law, he received the answer: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40. Notice that these two love commandments simply summed up "all the law and the prophets." They all hang upon these two principles of love. Christ was saying that love is the fulfilling of the law just as Paul repeated it later in Romans 13:10. If one loves Christ supremely with heart, soul, and mind, he will obey the first four commandments that have to do with our duty to God. He will not take God's name in vain, worship other gods, etc. If one loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the last six commandments which relate to our duty to our fellow men. He will not be able to steal from his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to obeying or fulfilling all the law.
     
  5. shepard

    shepard New Member

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    One of the strongest texts in the Bible on this subject is found in 1 John 2:4. "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." The beloved John summed it up in these words: "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:3.
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    ...And the two commandments that Jesus gave simply encompass the original ten (or the original 7 noahidic Laws plus three). If one can keep the two that Jesus gave, then one keeps all the commandments. But Jesus' commandments also imply things that are not commandments, but just as important...like forgiveness, faith, and hope, because He knew it would be impossible for us to keep the actual commandments, so in trying to keep the rest, we apply balm to the wounds we cause or are caused.

    Ah, what a smart man, that Jesus...;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  7. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Right, Q. I guess I've come to think of keeping the commandments as part of the fruit of the Spirit. They are an outflowing, rather than a box to confine us or a gallows to hang us.

    lunamoth
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Yes, that is their purpose exactly. It's good to think outside the "box" ;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. Paultoo

    Paultoo New Member

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    Nothing, absolutely nothing! that God has ever,will ever tell us humans to do that is "box confining or a "gallows to hang us".

    All of God's commandments, which is every and all commands from God to humanity, including the ten commandments; including dietary laws; including health laws; including social laws; including civil laws; including salvation laws eg; "You must believe on Jesus to be saved"; eg; "no man can go directly to Jesus Father, God except first going through Jesus"; eg;"he that believeth and is baptized..only such humans will be saved"; because "he that believeth not will be damned"; eg; "if you love me you must keep all my commandments";eg;"come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest"; eg other commandments; "take my yoke upon you and learn of me"...other commandments include "you must love the Lord with all your heart"; "you must love your neighbor as you love yourself".

    God completes it all by saying "My Commandments are not grevious" 1 John 5:3.




    Paultoo
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Why didn't you say so in the first place? ;)

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Sadly, sadly, this is not the impression I would get reading the Christian forums lately. I've seen a huge emphasis on judgement, condemnation, sin and death for those who fail to "believe" in a certain way. Seems like we keep forgetting that God wants us in a loving relationship with Him and with each other.

    In a way, the commandments are a blueprint for that loving relationship.

    peace,
    lunamoth
     
  12. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I love that, lunamoth. This is how I think as well. We must remember that, in its Jewish roots, the Law was:

    1. Not the ten commandments. It was the 613 rules. We Christians seem to forget that all the time, and I don't know a Christian that has yet to follow these 613 rules as the Jews try to.

    2. Not a condemnation of people. The Jewish God is both forgiving and just. Perfection was not required, but righteousness. There is a difference, and there were righteous and good people before Jesus, and so presumably there are some of these folks now.

    3. For the Jews. I am a Gentile, so I was only bound by the 7 rules for my people.

    Just my 2 c.
     
  13. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Great points path of one. And God's justice is not in opposition to His forgiveness; it is in opposition to man's injustice.

    lunamoth
     
  14. Dor

    Dor Bible Thumper

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    Yes Jesus did say there 2 commandments above all.
    Matthew 22:
    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    But did he also said in Mark 10
    19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

    And in Matthew 5
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    And he expounded on a couple of them also in Matthew 5
    21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, F10 shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
    27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart

    The question about if we are under the law or should follow the 10 commandments is both no/yes. No to being under the law and yes to following the commandments.

    Luke16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
    Hebrews8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
    Galatians3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made;
    John1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
    Galatians5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
    So we can see we are not under the law.
    Romans6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    John14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    So it seems to me that while we are not under the laws because of the grace of the Lord, he does wish for us to keep all of the commandments not just the 10.
     
  15. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    lunas post brought this verse to my mind.

    2 Peter 1:5-9 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

    So it starts with faith - virtue - knowledge - self control - perserverance - godliness - brotherly kindness - LOVE

    Thank you luna.. :)
     
  16. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Dear Paultoo,

    Why are you always yelling?

    Love,
    lunamoth
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    hee hee Luna:D . I think that is why we need the gift of Holy Ghost, so we don't yell at each other too much.

    For the promise is unto you and to your children and to all those who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.



    In case anyone is wondering, there are over 900 commandments when we put the OT & NT together.
     
  18. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Dear Paultoo/Precept,

    Well, it's not the scripture you quote that I was refering to. I meant why are you always using bolds and underlines so much that it hurts my head to read the posts? Online it really does make it feel like you are shouting.

    But now that you mention it, you do tend to pick the harsher scripture to quote, kind of fire and brimstone, eh?

    Best wishes,
    lunamoth

    added in edit: BTW, I have found that punishing my children does not work, but loving them does. Regardless of how others judge me.
     
  19. mynameisstephen

    mynameisstephen New Member

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    I apologies for the length of this post but when I saw this topic I just had to put my comments in

    The Ten Commandments are very important espically in Evangelism

    I try to get out on the streets at least twice a week to share the Gospel, I record some of these encounters and then post them on my site (you can listen to them at my website if you like - the address is at the bottom of this post)

    what you are about to read is how I present the Gospel to someone by using the Law first to show a sinner what sin is before giving the good news of the Gospel. you may not agree so I welcome your thoughts and opinions- thanks

    p.s before you start shouting legalism please read the whole post


    Of all the questions you will ask yourself in life, probably the most important is, Am I good enough to go to Heaven? The way to find this out is to ask yourself if you have obeyed the Ten Commandments. Most would answer the question, "Well, I've broken one or two, but nothing too serious, like murder, etc." So, let's go through them and see how you do:

    1. "You shall have no other gods before Me."

    Is God first in your life? Do you love God above all else? Many years ago, I purchased a T.V. for our children, but the first evening we had it, I arrived home from work and found that they didn't even bother to greet me. They were too busy watching television. I turned it off and explained to them that if they ignored me because they preferred to watch T.V. they were setting their love on the gift rather then the giver, a wrong order of affections. In the same way, if we love anything—husband, wife, children or even our own lives—more than we love God, we are setting our affection on the gift rather than the Giver, which is a transgression of the First Commandment. In fact, the Bible says that we should so love God that our love for Mum and Dad and brother and sister should seem like hatred compared to the love we have for the God who gave those loved ones to us.

    We are also commanded to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves. Jesus spoke of a Samaritan who found an injured stranger, bathed his wounds, carried him to an inn, gave money for his care and told the inn-keeper that he would pay for his expenses. We call him the good Samaritan, but in reality he wasn't "good" at all, he merely obeyed the basic command to love his neighbor as himself. That is a picture of how God expects us to love our fellow human beings. We should love them as much as we love ourselves...whether they be friend or foe.

    Have you loved God with all your heart? Have you loved humanity as much as you love yourself? You be the judge. Will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day of breaking that Commandment? I'm not judging you—I'm asking you to judge yourself before the Day of Judgment. The sentence for breaking this Commandment is death.

    2. "You shall not make for yourself any graven image."

    This means that we shouldn't make a god to suit ourselves, either with our hands or our mind. I was guilty of this. I made a god to suit myself. My god didn't mind a "white" lie or a fib here and there—in fact, he didn't exist. He was a figment of my imagination, an "image" which I shaped to suit myself. Is your God the One revealed in Holy Scripture? If not, then you have made your own god to suit yourself—you have committed the oldest sin in the Book. Scripture warns that no idolater will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

    3. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain."

    Have you ever taken God's name in vain—instead of using a four-letter word to express disgust, you've used His name? Hitler's name wasn't despised enough to use as a curse word. If you have used His holy name in that manner, you are a blasphemer and will not enter the Kingdom of God.

    4. "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy."

    I ignored this command for 22 years. Even though God gave me the gift of life, never once did I ask what He required of me. I was guilty of breaking this Commandment.

    5. "Honor your father and your mother."

    Have you always honored your parents in a way that's pleasing in the sight of God? Ask Him to remind you of the sins of your youth. You may have forgotten them, but God hasn't.

    6. "You shall not murder."

    Jesus warned that if we get angry without cause we are in danger of judgment. If we hate our brother, God calls us a murderer. We can violate God's Law by attitude and intent.

    7. "You shall not commit adultery."

    Who of us can say that we are pure of heart? Jesus warned, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Remember that God has seen every thought you have had and every sin you have ever committed. The day will come when you have to face His Law, and we are told that the impure, fornicators (those who have sex before marriage) and adulterers will not enter the Kingdom of God. Punishment for transgression of this Commandment is the death penalty.

    8. "You shall not steal."

    Have you ever taken something that belonged to someone else (irrespective of its value)? Then you are a thief—you cannot enter God's Kingdom.

    9. "You shall not bear false witness."

    Have you ever told a lie? Then you are a liar. How many lies do you have to tell to be a liar? Just one. The Bible warns that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire. You may not think deceitfulness is a serious sin. God does!

    10. "You shall not covet."

    That means we shouldn't desire anything that belongs to another person. The covetous will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    Who of us can say we are not guilty of breaking these Commandments? All of us have sinned, and just as with civil law, you don't have to break ten laws to be a lawbreaker, so the Bible warns, "For whoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."

    A little girl was once watching a sheep eat grass and thought how white it looked against the green background. But when it began to snow she thought, "That sheep now looks dirty against the white snow!" It was the same sheep, but with a different background. When we compare ourselves to man's standard we look pretty clean, but when we compare ourselves to the pure snow-white righteousness of God's standard—His Law, we can see ourselves in truth, that we are unclean in His sight. That Law is the holy standard by which humanity will be judged on Judgment Day.

    This may sound strange, but the worst thing you could do at this point of time is to try and clean up your lifestyle—you realize that you have sinned, so from now on you will keep the Ten Commandments, do good deeds, say the right things and think only pure thoughts. But should a judge let a murderer go because he says he will now live a good life? No, he's in debt to justice and therefore must be punished.

    The Law of God is merely like a mirror—all a mirror does is show you the truth. If you see egg on your face, you don't try and wash yourself with the mirror, it's purpose should be to send you to water for cleansing. Neither should you try and wash yourself with the mirror of God's Law...that's not its purpose.

    The sight in the mirror is not a pretty one, but if you don't face it and acknowledge that you are unclean, then all that "dirt" will be presented on Judgment Day as evidence of your guilt, and then it will be too late to be cleansed.

    Perhaps you think that God is good and will therefore overlook your sins. But if you were guilty of terrible crimes in a civil court and said to the judge, "Judge, I am guilty but I believe that you are a good man and will therefore overlook my crimes," the judge would probably respond by saying, "You are right about one thing; I am a good man, and it's because of my goodness that I am going to see that justice is done, that you are punished for your crimes." The very thing that many are hoping will save them on Judgment Day, God's "goodness," will be the very thing that will condemn them. If God is good, He should punish murderers. liars, thieves, etc., and Hell will be their dreadful fate.

    What a terrible place Hell must be. If you read in the newspaper that a man received a £5 fine for a crime, you could conclude that his crime was insignificant. But if a man received multiple life sentences, you could conclude that his crime was heinous. In the same way, we can catch a glimpse of how terrible sin must be in the sight of God by looking to the punishment given for it—eternal punishment. Ungrateful humanity never bothers to thank God for His wonderful blessings of color, light, food, joy, beauty, love, and laughter, so He will take those blessings away from them. Instead of proving their gratitude by obedience to His will, they use His name to curse. Their punishment will be just but severe to the uttermost. Take the time to read what Jesus said Hell was like in Mark 9:43-48. I am afraid for you...please, look honestly into the mirror of the Law, then seek the "water" that cleanses every sin. If you don't believe what I am saying about the reality of Hell, it means you think God is corrupt (that He hasn't the moral backbone to seek justice), that Jesus was a liar, that the Apostles were false witnesses, that God's promises are nothing but prefabricated lies, and there is no greater insult to God than to call Him a liar. By doing so, you are adding to your transgressions. Imagine if you reject the Savior, die in your sins and find that what I have told is the Gospel truth? Then it will be too late, you will be judged for you sins. If that happens, and your eyes meet my eyes on the Day of Judgment, I'm free from your blood. I have told you the truth, but if you choose to ignore it your blood will be upon your own head...you will have no one to blame but yourself.

    Can you see your predicament? You are guilty of sinning against God Himself, and, because you have a conscience, you have sinned "with knowledge." Isn't it true that every time you lied, stole, lusted, etc., you did it with knowledge that it was wrong?

    Does the fact that you have sinned against God scare you? It should. You have actually angered Him by your sin. The Bible says His wrath abides on you, that you are an "enemy of God in your mind through wicked works." But let fear work for your good in the same way that a fear of jumping out of a plane at a great height would make you put on a parachute. Let your will to live open your heart to the Gospel of salvation.

    I am not the only one who doesn't want you to end up in Hell. God Himself is not willing that you perish. To make clear what an incredible thing He has done for you in the Gospel, let's look again to civil law: You are standing in front of a judge, guilty of very serious crimes. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt about your guilt. The fine for your crime is £250,000 or imprisonment, but you haven't two pennies to rub together. The judge is about to pass sentence...he lifts his gavel, when someone you don't even know steps in and pays the fine for you. The moment you accept that payment, you are free to go. Justice has been served, the law has been satisfied, and what's more, the stranger who paid your fine showed how much he cares for you. His payment was evidence of his love.

    That's what God did for you, in the person of Jesus Christ. you are guilty, He paid the fine 2,000 years ago. It is that simple. The Bible puts it this way: "he was bruised for our iniquities . . . Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law being made a curse for us...God commended His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

    It was no small thing for Jesus to die for us. The only thing that would satisfy the demands of Eternal Law was the suffering death of the sinless Son of God. What love God must have for you! He suffered unspeakable agony, so that you wouldn't have to be punished for your sins. His sacrificial death and resurrection mean that you need no longer be in debt to the Law, and God can now grant you everlasting life if you obey Him -- death no longer has a legal hold upon those who belong to Jesus Christ.

    Two men were offered a parachute while seated in a plane. The first man was told it would improve his flight, but the second man was informed he had to make a 25,000 foot jump. when the flight struck severe turbulence the first man took his parachute off because as far as he was concerned it didn't improve the flight. but during the same violent turbulence, the second man clung tighter to his parachute. Each man's motive for putting the parachute on determined whether or not they would keep it on. In the same way, the reason you should "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" shouldn't be to find peace, joy, true happiness, to have your marriage healed or your problems fixed, etc. (to have your flight improved), but it should be to escape the jump to come—because of the fact that you have to pass through the door of death. Then, when the flight gets bumpy (when problems come) you won't fall away from the faith.

    What should you then do? Simply repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Don't put it off until tomorrow.

    Would you sell an eye for a million pounds? How about both for £20 million? No one in his right mind would. Your eyes are priceless to you, yet they are merely the windows of your soul. Your life (your soul) is of such value, Jesus said that you should despise the value of your eye compared to it. He said that if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is better to enter Heaven blind than to go to Hell seeing. In other words, of all the things you should prioritize in your life, it's not your health, your vocation, etc., it's your eternal salvation.

    Think of a man who has committed adultery. His faithful wife is more than willing to take him back, so what is the attitude in which he should approach her? It should be one of tremendous humility, asking for forgiveness, and determining in his heart never to even think of committing adultery again.

    That's how you should approach God. If you are not sure how to pray, read Psalm 51 and make it your prayer. Then put your faith in Jesus Christ in the same way you would put your faith in a parachute. You don't just "believe" it will benefit you, you actually trust yourself to it by putting it on. Then, once you have made peace with God, read the Bible daily and obey what you read.


    your brother in Christ
    Stephen
     
  20. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant New Member

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    beautiful post Stephen thank you.. great website also I am now listening to the discussions.
     

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