The Ten Commandments: too tough?

Inherent in the Ten Commandments is the gospel. The first commandment has been edited by most but if we read the entire passage of scripture, we can readily see that God is not commanding us to do the impossible. The Ten Commandments begin:
Exodus 20:2 ” I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.You shall have no other gods before Me.”

In this small portion of the scripture is found the key to understanding our relationship to God’s laws, and how to find the power to obey them. Here is the gospel.
You may be thinking, “Hey, that first part isn’t a part of the law, because it doesn’t tell us something we must do or not do! Instead, it tells us of something God has done!!!”
Yes, exactly! And that’s the point. The entire Ten Commandments start with something God has done, and not with something we must do. “I am the Lord thy God who has….” God did not give us His law and then say, ” Okay, if you manage to obey, then heaven is yours”, knowing that we would fail. He knows us well, that we are but dust, morally corrupt, and totally incapable in and of ourselves to render any righteousness that meets God’s requirements. That is why He starts His law with what He has done for us, and not what we are to do for Him.
God has delivered us from bondage. The deliverance God refers to is a direct reference to the Passover. To the blood of the Lamb. A deliverance only He has accomplished, all by Himself, and without any assistance from us. The Passover was symbolic of Calvary. The shed blood of the lamb pointed forward to the crucifixion. ( John 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7)
So when God gave His law, He pointed first back to the Passover, which itself points to the future, the cross. And there you have the gospel embedded within the law, and far from being distinct from one another, the law and gospel compliment one another perfectly.
Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
Notice that the part we play in redemption comes after God plays His part. “Come to Me, for I have redeemed thee”. And notice also that Israel’s salvation and redemption and final entrance into Canaan was a process, not a one off act. First, the blood of the lamb brought deliverance from bondage, then came Sinai and the giving of the law, with the power to obey established already on the already accomplished work of God whilst they were yet in bondage. 

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Our obedience doesn’t activate God’s grace, as many charge us with. It is God’s saving grace that activates our law-keeping. The power for all true obedience is present in our realization of what God has already done for us in Christ by virtue of His ‘unearnable’ grace.

We are simply called upon to come alive to and walk in the victory and the freedom from bondage that Christ has won for us.

Without Christ as the center of the law, without Christ not only as the law-giver but also the empowering agent behind the law, the Ten Commandments degenerate into a mere idealistic code of ethics, a kind of religious “wish-list”. The same goes for all those who look at the law as an impossibly attainable goal; they leave Christ out of the equation, even claiming that it is theologically acceptable to believe that Christ’s death annuls the law.
God loves us out of sin, and God loves us into obedience.

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Justified by Christ’s death, and sanctified by His life. Delivered from bondage by His blood, empowered to remain free by His Spirit.
And rather than impossible commands, with the love of Jesus motivating and empowering us, the precepts of the Ten Commandments become promises.

Exodus 20:2 ” I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s