The Ten Commandments

Have you ever wondered what is the core of this universe? Now, I am not speaking about black holes or the geophysical center of the earth, or astronomical dimensions. I would like to address the very core of this universe from a moral point of view. And for that, we need to consider what the Creator reveals in His Word, the Bible.

For the core moral issue, I will use the word “epicenter:”

  1. The epicenter of the universe is the Earth (Psalm 115:16; Isaiah 45:18)
  2. The epicenter of the Earth is Israel (Deut.32:8)
  3. The epicenter of Israel is Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48:15)
  4. The epicenter of Jerusalem is the Temple (Eze. 48:8, 10; Ps.116:19)
  5. The epicenter of the Temple is the Holy of Holies (Ezekiel 48:21)
  6. The epicenter of the Holy of Holies is the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25)
  7. So, when we finally come into the Holy of Holies, we will find the Ark of the Covenant with its contents, especially the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 10:3-5; and Hebrews. 9:3-4)! 

In other words, we can see that the moral center of this entire universe is the Ten Commandments! It is universal in scope – – for it is the foundation for all human rule and life. It reflects the very essence and character of God’s relationship to mankind (the 1st 4 commands), and man’s relationship to mankind (the last 6 commands).  

Our study through some major portions of the Book of Exodus leads us to the 10 Commandments: found in Exodus 20 (and repeated in Deuteronomy 5).

For today, I do not want to go into detail regarding the 613 commands found in the OT. As a little side-note – – our Jewish friends say that there are 248 mandatory commands (the number of limbs in a human body), and 365 commands of prohibition (the amount of days in a solar year). We just want to stick with the Ten Commandments for now – – it’s impossible just to keep these 10, much less is it possible to keep the 613!

[By the way, we need to remind ourselves that these are commands, and not suggestions]! If you’ve broken just one of these Commandments, you have broken them all, because it is a system, together representing the holiness of God (James 2:10-12) …

Now, the background to the giving of these Ten Commandments is found in Exodus 19. The children of Israel have departed from Egypt and they would need God’s laws to guide them to the Promised Land and for the rest of their lives!  We do not have the time to spend on the preliminary requirements God had set forth in Exodus 19 prior to the giving of these Commandments. That is a worthy study in and by itself!

But let’s just get a comprehensive view of these 10 together – – a synopsis, if you please:

  1. Other gods (20:1-3)…
  2. Images (20:4-6)…
  3. Taking God’s name in vain (20:7)…
  4. The Sabbath (20:8-11)…
  5. Honoring parents (20:12)…
  6. Murder (20:13)…
  7. Adultery (20:14)…
  8. Stealing (20:15)…
  9. Being a false witness (20:16)…
  10. Covetousness (20:17)…

We must keep in mind that these Ten Commandments were a part of the Mosaic system for the children of Israel. We need to understand that:

  1. Christians of the Church age are no longer under the Law of Moses.
  2. We are no longer under that system (Romans 6:14; 7:6; 8:2; Ga. 5:18).
  3. Paul makes it very clear in the Book of Galatians that we are not under the Law, but under a new system called “Grace” (Galatians 5)!
  4. You see, the Law was incredibly important – – it was a school-master (Galatians 3:24-25), but believers are no longer under that tutor…!
  5. The Law could show our sinfulness, but it could NOT actually save us. Only the grace of God did that through One who came to fulfill the Law – – Jesus Christ Himself! 

Having said that, one may ask, “Well, since then we are no longer under the Law, do we no longer need to keep the Law?” That almost sounds like we, as Believers today, could become Law-breakers. But that is not so. Although we are not under the Law, we remember that the Law is a reflection of God’s holiness. It is the moral Law of the universe. For example, “Thou shalt not murder,” does not mean that we can now go and murder, since we are “free” from the Law. It means that we honor the Law but recognize its limitations. Because we are under grace, we do those things that are pleasing to the Lord and honor His holiness; not because we have to, but because God’s grace leads us to do so.

In this regard, one of the most difficult Commandments for us to understand is the 4th one dealing with the Sabbath. Should Christians keep the Sabbath = (our Saturday)? Personally, I believe that the Saturday worship was changed to a Sunday worship by the early Church, after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. You can study it out for yourself (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2) … The most important point that I would like to make and conclude with today is very simple – – there is a moral Law in this universe and it is the very heart and core of our relationship to God and to one another. It is universal! Now can we understand why almost all evil is leveled against God’s commands?!

 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

(John 13:34-35)

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