As I was preparing the series of sermons on the Ten Commandments I came across this poem by Elton Trueblood:
Above all else love God alone; Bow down to neither wood or stone.
God`s name refuse to take in vain; The Sabbath rest with care maintain.
Respect your parents all your days; Hold sacred human life always.
Be loyal to your chosen mate; Steal nothing, neither small nor great.
Report, with truth, your neighbours deed; And rid your mind of selfish greed.
It shows us that we don`t need great books of law to have a right relationship with God and our fellowman. Jesus summed them up in just two: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Mat 22:37-40).”
But it also shows how far short we fall of the standard set by God. Perhaps this is why many people, especially Christians, will say that we`re not bound by the Mosaic Law, because they can`t achieve the standard! That is to misunderstand the law. It was never intended as a pass mark, keep 4 or 5 out of 10, but as a plumb line, showing us a perfect standard, and our need of a Saviour. Today we don`t like to mention sin, so we try and convince people that they need a saviour without first convicting them of sin. Which seems to me like putting the cart before the horse! When scripture says ‘All have sinned’, it means just that, we are each guilty as lawbreakers. As such we deserve only the wrath and punishment of God. It is only when people are convicted of sin that they will see any need of a saviour. It is the law that convicts of sin through the work of the Holy Spirit.
If we are worried about hurting their feelings, let us not forget the alternative, having them spend eternity in Hell, and us saying ‘I wish I had told them’. The responsibility is ours in this generation. Let us fulfill it. Then we will join with the angels in joyful celebration as people come to know Jesus as their Saviour and Lord who fulfilled the commandments perfectly.
Every blessing be yours in Christ Jesus.
John & Hilary