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Evangelism Part 18: The Ten Commandments Series

Evangelism Part 18- Ten Commandments is God’s decree for everyone.

Why did God give the Ten Commandments?

First, God gave the Ten Commandments for the personal well-being of His people. In Exodus 20:2, God said, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” God had already redeemed His people and brought them out of slavery, but they went on their own when they were freed. God gave them the rules that would govern their lives. Remember this: never is there any hint that keeping the law would result in their redemption. Nowhere in the Bible is the idea that we can earn God’s approval by keeping the law. The Israelites had already been redeemed at this point. The law was given for their well-being.

Many Christians believe the Old Testament teaches that the law saves us, and the New Testament teaches we are saved by grace. That is not precisely true because, in the New Testament, we will find God’s law and His grace. When we become¬† Christians, it doesn’t mean we have no law; we serve under the new law God gives. In the Old Testament, keeping the law did not save people. That was impossible. No man could be saved by keeping the law because no man could keep the law. We will find grace in the pages of the Old Testament. We will find God’s grace in Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve sinned when God killed an animal, took the skin, and covered the first couple. You see grace and faith in Genesis 15:6 when Abraham “believed in the LORD, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” We’re saved the same way in the Old or New Testament. Every person is saved by grace, which is appropriated through faith. God gave the law to save His people and teach them how to live.

Second, the law was given to serve as a foundation for the nation of Israel. There are three essentials for any nation. First, a nation has to have a familiar people, a common land, and a common law or constitution. God had already given the Israelites a familiar people when he called Abraham out of the Ur of the Chaldeans. They were headed to their common land, Canaan, but they needed a constitution and law to bind them together. We will find that at the beginning of  Exodus 20.

And finally, God gave the law to remind the people of their sinfulness. Did God believe the Israelites were going to keep the law? Of course not. That’s why God instituted a sacrificial system with the understanding that they would need forgiveness. The book of James says the law is like a mirror that shows us how dirty our lives are. In the book of Galatians, Paul refutes the Judaizers, who thought the law was what saved them. Paul said no. He explained, “The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). A tutor in Paul’s day was an enslaved person who would walk the child to school. And Paul says the law is like a tutor, an attendant who leads us to Jesus Christ.

The law doesn’t save us. Instead, it reminds us how much we need God’s forgiveness for salvation.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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