Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Ten(der) Commandments

(title taken from Ron Mehl, The Ten(der) Commandments, Multnomah, 1998)

Amy Chua, a.k.a. “The Tiger Mom” has been popularized in recent days because of her book chronicling her strict parenting style to make the her daughters the best they can be.  Whether you agree or disagree with her rules, she does love her girls and uses her rules to shape them.

God gives us His rules and commandments because He loves us and wants us to love Him. Love is governed by rules – fidelity, trust, sacrifice. One who cheats on a spouse or a significant other breaks the rules of the love relationship. The Holy God gave Israel His law so that He would be worshipped in a holy way and loved in a way specific to Him.

The 10 Commandments are summed up in loving God and loving man. The first four govern how we love God and the next six govern how we love man.

Matthew 22:37-40 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

John Saddington shares:  If God Text Messaged the 10 Commandments

1.             no1 b4 me. srsly.
2.             dnt wrshp pix/idols
3.             no omg's
4.             no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5.             pos ok - ur m&d r cool
6.             dnt kill ppl
7.             :-X only w/ m8
8.             dnt steal
9.             dnt lie re: bf
10.         dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.
M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl
ttyl, JHWH.

The moral climate we live in winks at the law, avoids duty and repels obligations. God’s 10 Commandments are thus relegated to an antiquated code clouded by a smoky haze of relativism. Without a moral compass, we will be morally lost.

Yet God gave us a moral compass, a roadmap of righteousness, a G.P.S. of divine guidance. Similar to when we use a Global Positioning System, God’s laws are concise, guiding and timely. But how many of us think that the G.P.S. is not always accurate. We take a detour and here the reminding drones of “recalculating.”

Bible.org:  “Though the Law is an indivisible unit—there are three parts or elements:
  •  Codex I = The Commandments: The moral law governing the moral life guiding man (Israel) in principles of right and wrong in relation to God and with man (Exodus 20:1-17).
  •  Codex II = The Judgments: The social law governing Israel in her secular, social, political and economic life (Exodus 21:1–23:13).
  • Codex III = The Ordinances: The religious law which guided and provided for Israel in her spiritual relationship and fellowship with God. It included the priesthood, tabernacle and sacrifices (Exodus 25:31: Leviticus).
“Christ, the Fulfillment of the Law
  • Christ fulfilled Codex I by living a perfect and sinless life. Thus, when man trusts in Christ, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to that individual so we have justification. We have Christ’s righteousness so the Law can’t condemn us (Rom. 8:1; 7:1-6; Rom. 5:1; 4:4-8).
  • Christ fulfilled Codex III, the spiritual ordinances, by dying on the cross for us and in our place. This showed that God was also perfect justice and sin must be judged, but God provided a Lamb. The penalty which the Law exercised was paid. Again there is no condemnation because the believer is in Christ (Col. 2:14; Rom. 3:24-25).
  • Christ also fulfills Codex II, the social law. He replaces it with a new way of life fitting to our new salvation. He gives provision for the inner man—the Holy Spirit who makes one spiritual and enables him to produce the righteousness of the Law (Rom. 8:2-4). a. Believers are not under Law but under grace (Rom. 6:143. b. Believers are under a new law, the grace provision of a new law, the principle of the Spirit Controlled Walk which provides the power and energy to produce the righteousness of the Law. c. Now our obligation is to walk by the Holy Spirit. To think, do, and say by His power so we can produce the righteousness of the Law. This gives victory, or better appropriates Christ’s victory and resurrection life over the power of the sin nature and the law of sin and death with the Holy Spirit inside, controlling.”

Alistair Begg states what happens in contemporary evangelicalism when we no longer value God’s law:
  • “An absence of a true and realistic understanding of the seriousness of sin 
  • Superficial preaching that appeals to man’s felt needs and affection 
  • A general listlessness and lawlessness in the lives of professing Christians 
  • An absence of the fear of God in public worship and private living 
  • A wholesale capitulation to the culture on the matter of the Lord’s Day 
  • Churches relying on strategies borrowed from business and psychology 
  • A growing confidence in ourselves and an accompanying loss of confidence in God and His Word”
          (Pathway To Freedom: How God’s Laws Guide Our Lives, Moody Publishers, 2003, pp. 21-22)

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