By Grant Phillips
In Exodus 20:1-17 God provides what we call The Ten Commandments to Israel. These commandments should be adhered to by not just Israel, but all mankind.
It seems our country has decided that we have outgrown the commandments of God however, and we are more than capable of doing it “our way.” By the way, these are not suggestions. They are God’s commands to all of us.
First of all I want to reiterate that the Church (true Christians) is not under the Law (Romans 10:4). We are under grace and our model of living is Jesus Christ. We are under the law of Christ and Jesus states it very simply when He said,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”” (Mark 12:30-31)
This is the greatest summation of the Ten Commandments we’ll ever hear and the solution for a fallen world. It is also where every child of God should strive to be in their respective life.
Christians have satisfied the Law, not in their own righteousness, but through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Law has no power over those who are in Christ, because He has kept the Law on our behalf. We are now under His grace because of His work.
Now, let’s look at these ten commands of God briefly. What if everyone honored the Law, in particular the Ten Commandments?
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Would that mean that everyone would worship God and God only? I guess it would.
Then there would be no Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Paganism, Mysticism, Gnosticism, Mormonism, Islamism, and all the other ‘isms” would there? Every people and nation would worship God and Him only.
The one true God demands no other gods before Him. Obviously, we haven’t been paying attention.
2. Thou shalt have no idols.
Of course if God is our only God, we would certainly not worship any idols of any kind now would we? There would be no substitutes for us, only the one real God.
The world’s religious followers can come up with many false idols to bow to, so what would ours be in these United States?
Naming just one, the first thing that comes to mind is the grand TV, the bigger the better. Is it a sin to own a television set? No. The sin comes in what we allow to come from it and placing what comes out of it before God. The sin comes in letting it control our lives instead of God.
Anything we place before God in importance is an idol.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
All frivolous usage of God’s name, such as cursing, in any form would not be heard. His name would be revered above all else.
Nothing should set our nerves on edge more than hearing the name of God, such as ‘Jesus’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ taken in vain as a curse expression. Yet, this sacrilege of His holy name occurs all the time.
Another way to take God’s name in vain is to misrepresent Him, for example; perverting the Gospel.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros – different) gospel, which is not another (allos – same); but there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
For the Church, Sunday would always be a special day we set aside just for God, remembering all He has done for us.
I am always reminded of the churches that cancel their services so everyone can watch the Super Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. Some, instead of canceling their service, have a big Super Bowl party right in the church building.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
That would sure eliminate ‘back-talk’ or ‘sassing.’
I have never seen so much disrespect shown by so many children toward their parents as I have in these days we live in. I’m also referring to adult children.
Who is to blame for this? The parents are to blame for allowing it to start in the first place and then allowing it to continue.
6. Thou shalt not murder.
My goodness, what would the homicide division of the police departments do with themselves?
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Now that’s a novel thought for marriage.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
Wait a minute! The police department isn’t going to have anyone left if we keep this up.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
So much for gossip. We can’t even talk over the backyard fence anymore?
10.Thou shalt not covet.
You mean be satisfied with what we have?
What if this is how people throughout the world lived? During the Millennium, this is exactly how it will be. Now that’s something to look forward to!
Our world is falling apart at the seams. Just in this country alone, we can look at these Ten Commandments and see that we have really made a mess of things. There isn’t one area in our society that isn’t affected by the violation of one or more of these commandments.
Yet, we think we know more than God. In addition to that, people actually think that politicians will solve all our problems. Wake up people! They have caused most of them! The real culprit though is a hard heart. Jesus said:
“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27)
If this were actually practiced by all of us who claim Jesus as our Savior and Lord, it could make a huge impact on our society. What if we just listened to God for once and did it His way?
What if God were the only one we serve? He is a loving God, and we would reflect His love.
What if we placed nothing before Him? God would always come first and foremost in our lives?
What if we never defamed His holy name in any way whatsoever? It sure were eliminate a lot of vile talk and misrepresentation of the Gospel.
What if we faithfully honored one day and set it aside just to worship Him? We could truly rest and be spiritually rejuvenated.
What if we always honored our father and mother? We would have children who grow to be adults with character.
What if we never murdered? Think of the millions of lives that would be shown the ultimate respect of living.
What if we never committed adultery? Wow! There would be many more happy families, and no STDs.
What if we never stole? None of us would have to lock our doors at night.
What if we never spoke negatively of another person? A lot of folks wouldn’t have anything to say.
What if we would not covet? Is it possible to be satisfied with what I have?
The day will come when all of the ‘what ifs’ will come true, but it isn’t today unfortunately. Beware though, for the day of the Lord is coming. Afterwards, we will know what it is like to live as God intends us to live. In the meantime, even though we often fail, we should let Jesus live through us. Only He can and did fulfill all Ten of the Commandments.