By Jennifer Moreno
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live in a world where there are no rules or laws? The world would probably be pretty chaotic, more than it is now. So it is only logical that we have a government and laws to keep things in order. Laws in place mean we can keep society at check, accountable and it means that there is some sort of justice in place.
The same goes for Christianity and why God gave us laws. It’s not really just a bunch of irrational laws put into place, but God gave us the 10 commandments as a guide to how we should live life according to his will. It is a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship.
God gave the 10 commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai, (see Exodus 20:1–17). This comes at a perfect time since tonight is the celebration of Shavout.
Here is a brief look at what each commandment means:
1. Have no other gods – God has made this clear in both the Old and New Testaments. We shouldn’t worship other gods, if it is not our heavenly father (fyi it’s another god). This also applies to the gods we have in our life, like money and idolizing relationships, etc. God wants us to worship him only.
2. No Idols – You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (During biblical times that was a pretty big problem and it still happens today). Psalms 115:4-8 says – Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. (Why would you worship something that man created? What power does that have?”)
3. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. vs. 7. (We shouldn’t say OMG, or use Jesus Christ as a bad curse word.)
4. Keep the Sabbath Day holy –
(This is the only commandment that God changed when the new laws were put into effect after Jesus died. All the New Testament Christians met on the first day of the week, which is Sunday. The Sabbath was Saturday.) Jesus is now the Sabbath, he is our resting place.
5. Honor father & mother – Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (I think this is pretty clear, even if they get on your nerves, you must honor them no matter what and your life will be longer and blessed).
6. Do not murder (Exodus 20:13)
7. Do not commit adultery – (God tells us that when you pick your spouse (husband or wife), it is for life.)
8. Do not steal – (God said very simply it is wrong to take something that is not yours. If you didn’t buy it, it’s not yours.)
9. Do not lie – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Tell the truth, even if it hurts).
10. Do not covet – You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. (Don’t be jealous at what your friend has, be grateful and satisfied with what you have.)
To wrap this up, God gave these laws for several reasons and Paul speaks about this in his letters in Galatians. Galatians 3:19 says “Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.” (Essentially it was created for us to realize that we are nowhere near perfect like God is, we can never accomplish these laws without failing and for us to understand that we need Jesus in order to be made right with God). Galatians 2:15-16 says “And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
The good news my friends is that Jesus died for our sins on the cross when he came to earth. Galatians 3:13 says “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
What an amazing God, he took that curse upon himself when he didn’t have to, we really don’t deserve it. Our human nature is sinful, but God loves us so much he sacrificed it all for us to have eternal life with him.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”