The following article is a continuation of the study began last week. Whether we admit it or not we are not free to violate the Law of God as born again believers. We do however have the freedom in Christ Jesus to do as He did, and that was fulfill it through Him.
A REQUIRED HEART OF DEVOTION
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Ex 20:1-3 (KJV)
How does the Ten Commandments, the New Testament and modern man fit together? Does modern man fit with the ten commandments at all? In some people’s minds we live in a civilized society that is better than any need for these “archaic” laws. Do these Commandments fit with the New Testament? Let’s see what Jesus said.
Jesus puts them into just two commandments; 1) Our relationship with God, and 2) Our relationship with our fellowman. “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 (KJV). The apostle Paul teaches that the law is a “School master” to bring us to Jesus, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:21-26 (KJV)“.
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law according to Romans 10:4. Since Jesus Christ fulfilled the law is it ended? No man except Jesus obeyed the law, but in Christ all can be saved.
If we are “free from the law” does that mean we can break the Ten Commandments? Jesus answers that in the gospel of Matthew “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 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. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 5:17-20 (KJV)“.
These commandments show us that we are always coming short of the glory of God. Complete obedience to these laws is required if one is to get into fellowship with holy God. Where does modern man fit into this?
It is quite apparent that much of modern man cares nothing for the law of God, and since caring nothing for the law of God, cares even less for the laws of men. With church burnings, vandalisms, and thefts of church property that shows there is no fear of God in the heart. With the lack of honor toward parents, teachers, and authority of any kind, and an increase in murders, adultery, stealing, lying, and desiring others property so badly they would do “anything” to get it shows there is no respect for our fellowman, or the things of our fellowman.
Seeing the above things, let’s look at this first commandment.
I. GOD IS GOD WHO SPEAKS – HE EXPECTS US TO HEAR.
Because He is the promise keeping God He is worthy of our obedience and trust. He speaks words of life. We are to have no other gods in our life at all. In truth there really are no other gods. Only One.
He speaks words of prevention and protection. Preventative maintenance on an automobile, or any mechanical thing; when it is needed; can prevent unexpected breakdown. God’s laws are prevention from breakdown – sin – when obeyed.
The modern individual would do well to hear the law of God, realize it is hopeless for salvation, then turn to the Holy One – Jesus Christ – and trust Him and His finished work of the cross for salvation.
II. GOD IS GOD WHO LEADS – HE EXPECTS US TO FOLLOW.
Israel had to follow God’s leadership out of Egypt. God not lonly led them out, but He led them out with much bounty from the people of Egypt. They came to the Israelites begging them and paying them to leave.
When you follow God’s leadership you will prosper, though it may not always be with material possessions.
When we follow His leadership He does give all spiritual blessings in Christ (Read Ephesians 1).
III. GOD IS GOD WHO DELIVERS – HE EXPECTS US TO TRUST HIM.
To trust is to place the utmost confidence in something or someone. Trust can be established by words and actions being complimentary of the other. It is also established by a proven record of reliability. God certainly has a proven record of reliability.
God’s words and actions are one, and the same. What ever God says He will do He does. All that is was established by His Word.
You can trust Him concerning salvation. You can trust Him concerning your health. You can trust Him concerning your material needs. You can trust Him with all your worries and fears. He has it all well in hand.
IV. GOD IS GOD WHO DESERVES WORSHIP – WORSHIP HIM AND NO OTHER.
If you worship many gods you do not worship the one true God. To worship is to give complete devotion and allegiance to that one, and no other. There is no room around God’s throne for the worship of more than Him. A man cannot love his wife as “Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:23), if he has other women in his heart and life – he, in fact, is of a divided heart, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8. Someone “double-minded” is in fact committing an act of adultery, by having divided loyalties. The Lord likens a divided heart to Him as adultery. That is what the nation of Israel, in fact, was charged with by God through the prophet Hosea.
In Jesus’s temptation satan tempted Jesus to worship, but Jesus refused, saying, “Get thee hence satan: for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). Satan was actually tempting Jesus to commit an act of adultery against God. Adultery is actually an act of betrayal; the giving of something you have, but do not own, to another. Worship belongs solely to God, and no other. Worship belongs to God. To give it to anyone other than the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is an act of spiritual adultery, and far more damaging than the physical act of adultery. No one who is truly worshipping God would commit the physical act of adultery.
To worship God is to be wholly devoted, and committed to Him alone.
V. GOD IS GOD OF GLORY – BE LIKE HIM.
“Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:9-13.Moses spent time in the presence of God and his face radiated with the glory of God when he came out before the people (Exodus 34:29-35). He covered his face with a veil because it frightened the people. He also covered it so they could not see the glory fading; “And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:” 2 Cor. 2:13. The law was a frightening and condemning thing. It also would be fulfilled and lose its effect of condemnation and guilt by the precious blood of Jesus; whose blood, the blood sacrifices of the law represented.
The glory of God is His Son Jesus Christ. By faith in Him we rightly worship only one God. By that faith we are free from the fear, condemnation, and guilt of the law. By that faith we radiate the glory of God without a veil.
In conclusion, THE PEOPLE OF GOD MUST SET THE STANDARD AND LISTEN TO GOD WHEN HE SPEAKS. Secondly, WE MUST FOLLOW HIM WHEREVER HE MAY LEAD – it is better to be in a pit in the will of God, than in a mansion out of God’s will. Another thing, YOU CAN TRUST GOD TO DELIVER, but it may not always be like you think it should be. A fourth thing, WE MUST WORSHIP GOD ALONE – HE IS WORTHY, and there is no other. Finally, WE RADIATE HIS GLORY BY BEING LIKE HIM; He is holy, righteous, pure, and He tells us to be holy. “Be ye holy, for I am holy…”
In this way we show the HEART OF DEVOTION