The Big Ten
Over the past 9 weeks we have been studying the Ten Commandments as part of a larger analysis of the three primary areas of Christian Discipleship:
- What we believe – The Apostles Creed
- How we pray – The Lord’s Prayer
- How we live – The Ten Commandments
As we’ve discussed in depth the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses, we’ve learned that they have deeper meaning than the simple statements of “Thou Shalt Not…” may lead us to believe. Fortunately Jesus gave us an example of not only how to be obedient, but the true purpose and meaning behind the commandments. There should be no surprise that mankind has misunderstood, misapplied and misused these commandments because of our sin, separating us from the Lord. Once we better understand the depth of these commandments, we quickly see the struggle every person encounters in trying to be obedient and more importantly, the need for a savior to cover our multitude of infractions. The Ten Commandments were given to us by God for three reasons, first to show us His perfect standards, second to show us our inability to obey God’s law and finally to show us the inherent need all mankind has for God’s abundant, merciful grace in Christ Jesus.
So if its impossible for us to be completely obedient to the commandments and laws of the Lord, should we just give up and continue in our sin? Or, do we need to learn how to gain more will power, or self-discipline? The answer is in the scriptures:
1 John 1: 8-10 – If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Our first step is to admit that we are sinners by confessing our sins to the Lord, in which He has promised to forgive us of all of them, past, present and future.
Ephesians 5:1-4 – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Second, we must repent, avoid and turn away from our sinful behavior, following the example of Christ. As the perfect human and unblemished Lamb of God, Jesus lived a wholly obedient and sinless life. As we live each day in gratitude for God’s forgiveness, we seek to turn from sin and follow Christ in loving obedience.
Romans 12:1-2 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Finally, through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, our minds, will and desires are increasingly transformed and conformed to the character of Jesus Christ. This sanctification process is the power and work of the Holy Spirit, who provides fruit in our lives and gives us gifts to utilize in the work and worship of our Lord and Savior.
As a body of believers, in the church, our joyful worship, faithful teaching, compassionate ministries and loving discipline towards one another provides the caring support each of us needs to continue to grow in the grace of Jesus Christ. So love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love each other, as yourselves.