Friday, September 12, 2008

Are the Ten Commandments Immutable?


There is a teaching in Adventism that alleges that the Ten Commandments are eternal and unchanging. We were taught, “they are a transcript of God’s character.” And since God never changes this law can never change. Even speaking those words seems to carry with them the weight of cannon truth. The difficulty comes when one tries to find that teaching in the Bible. In fact it teaches just the opposite. It’s hard to wash those words out of your thinking when they were spoken as if from the very mouth of God. But let’s look at the words that we know did come from the mouth of God in the Bible.

“Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.” Ezek 16:60 (NIV) In context the covenant God made with Israel in its youth is the Law of Moses and the everlasting covenant is referring to the New Covenant.

"'The time is coming,' declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant…’”Jer 31:31-32 (NIV) Even the prophets of the Old Testament were told that the Old Covenant was not permanent and that it would be replaced with a covenant that was not like the one they had.





Something added certainly could not have existed from the creation of the world nor would it exist after the Seed had come.

“What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.” Gal 3:19 (NIV) Something added certainly could not have existed from the creation of the world nor would it exist after the Seed had come.

“For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.” Heb 7:12 (NIV) God didn’t change. He never intended the covenant He made on Mount Sinai to be everlasting. It was a temporary measure from the first and was changed to the New Covenant when the Savior had come. When Jesus had the disciples prepare for the Last Supper they went in to celebrate the Passover and left having made the transition into the New Covenant. It was there that Jesus announced the change from the Old to the New figuratively on His way to the cross. Instead of celebrating the Passover, they celebrated the first communion and remembrance sign of the New Covenant.

“Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). “Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second.” Heb 10:8-9 (NIV) He sets it aside, does away with it, replaces it with something better. Don’t let anyone confuse you that the New Covenant is a rehash or renewal of the Old Covenant. That is a trap and a deception that cannot stand against the weight of scripture. The New Covenant is not just a new way to keep the Old Covenant either as alleged by George Knight in his book, Exploring Hebrews.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matt 5:17-18 (NIV)

“It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." Luke 22:37 (NIV)





So, when it was accomplished it would pass away. And when did the shadows of the law become substance?

"After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" John 19:28 (NKJV) Jesus had fulfilled and accomplished all things that the Law foreshadowed. It was finished.

“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves.” Heb 10:1 (NIV) The Sabbath was the shadow; Jesus is the substance. So, continuing to keep the Sabbath is like continuing to participate in a weekly re-enactment of the Civil War but not living in the time of civil rights every day.

“Christ is the end (telos) of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4 (NIV)

The Greek word for “end” is telos. It has these meanings: “1a) termination, the limit at which a thing ceases to be (always of the end of some act or state, but not of the end of a period of time, 1b) the end 1b1) the last in any succession or series, 1b2) eternally terminated, 1c) that by which a thing is finished, its close…1d) the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose” —Strong's Greek & Hebrew Dictionary (Bible Explorer)

The following scriptures show that the apostles understood that after Christ had come, the law came to an end. “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” Gal 3:24-25 (NIV)

The writer of Hebrews says it this way: “By calling this covenant 'new,' he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” Heb 8:13 (NIV) An obsolete computer is virtually useless and is cast off.

“The former regulation is set aside (not re-newed) because it was weak and useless...” Heb 7:18-19 (NIV) These are strong and even insulting words to describe the law if it was a glorious eternal transcript of God’s character.

“For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.” Heb 8:7 (NIV) Again, if the law was to be honored and obeyed for all time, the writer of Hebrews was being very disrespectful to say that there was something wrong with it. He does not suggest that the first covenant was kept and revamped, repackaging it by now writing the “weak and useless” covenant on our hearts.





Summary: Are the Ten Commandments Immutable?

1) The Seventh-day Adventist Church teaches that the Ten Commandments are the “transcript” of God’s character and therefore unchanging.

2) God didn’t change. The Old Covenant was a temporary measure from the beginning for the purpose of pointing forward to Christ.

3) When Christ had come there was no longer any purpose for the shadows. The Son was here.

4) The writers of the Bible both in the Old and New Testaments affirm that the Law came to an end when the New Covenant came into being in Christ.

5) The words used by the New Testament writers (weak, useless, ministry of death, something wrong with it, schoolmaster, a shadow, obsolete) could not be describing an eternal, glorious transcript of the character of God.

The Next Chapter: The Seventh Day in Creation

When one finally understands that the Sabbath is not a salvation issue - praise God when that happens! - then creation becomes the reason for continued Sabbath-keeping. The argument goes something like this: the Sabbath was "created" at the foundation of the Earth. How could it be uncreated? From the very beginning of the world's history there was a weekly Sabbath. Is that true?

13 comments:

George said...

If what you are saying is true then we are no longer bound by the Ten Commandments of god. The same commandments that where written by the finger of god. In This Article you are talking about two different things one being the Jewish economy that was done away with at the Cross that involves the Ceremonial Law, and the other the moral law or the eternal law of God. This is the same law that has always existed even before sin because if it did not exists how then can we now what sin is. The Ten Commandments is like a mirror that allows us to now what sin is.Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Brother or Sister I really pray and suggest that you read to: 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. We are in the faith of Christ and are doing His work are very accountable for leading God's sheep. God will Judge us for the light we have and in how we lead His sheep. God bless
George Gomez
The Bible Truth Network
www.thebibletruthnetwork.com

Hazel said...

George,I believe God’s Word teaches us that under the old covenant, law included all the commands God gave. Both moral and ceremonial aspects of the law are intermingled throughout the whole law, and present even in the Ten Commandments.

Furthermore, I believe that the old covenant law no longer serves as a guideline for Christian living and service anymore because the Law no longer applies to one who has died with Christ (Romans 7:4-6). Does that mean that the moral principles contained within the old covenant law have been done away with? Absolutely not! We can see evidence all around us of a world suffering from disobedience to God’s eternal moral laws.

God wants us to know that the new covenant offers us a much better guide for holy living than the old in that it operates from basic principles. Besides that, under the new covenant the Holy Spirit has come to take the place that the law used to fill in our lives, and He helps us interpret these principles to our specific life situations.

Notice what Paul says, “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter” (Romans 7:6). Isn’t the phrase “oldness of the letter” a clear reference to the Ten Commandments that were part of the old covenant law?

The work of Christ in the new covenant is to free us from the law so that we can have a relationship with Him—a relationship of surpassing value in “knowing Him.” Although God is telling us that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding upon Christians, the principles upon which they are based are, but not in old covenant form.

I love the Old Testament Scriptures because they are such a gold mine of truth. But we must remember to interpret all old covenant statements in the light of the new covenant gospel.

In christ,
Hazel

Gently Broken said...

George, you said: If what you are saying is true then we are no longer bound by the Ten Commandments of god. The same commandments that where written by the finger of god.

Moderator: Yes, George, you are right. Here is how Paul put it: “Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!” 2 Cor 3:7-11 (NIV)

Paul tells us that it was this very law “which was engraved in letters on stone,” which was fading away and in his time had no glory. Hallelujah!

George said: In This Article you are talking about two different things one being the Jewish economy that was done away with at the Cross that involves the Ceremonial Law, and the other the moral law or the eternal law of God.

Moderator: Actually, the Ten Commandments were the very words of the Old Covenant that became obsolete: “He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stones.” Deut 4:13 (NIV).
In fact the housing for the Ten Commandments is called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ten Commandments were the Reader’s Digest condensed version of the covenant as a whole.

George: This is the same law that has always existed even before sin

Moderator: “What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come.” Gal 3:19 (NIV) Throughout his discussion Paul is speaking specifically about the entire law that included the Ten Commandments. The law given to Israel was “added…UNTIL the Seed” came. So, it did not exist before sin, nor was it to exist after Christ had come. “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). “Then he said, ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ He sets aside the first to establish the second.” Heb 10:8-9 (NIV) He sets it aside, does away with it, replaces it with something better.

George: because if it did not exists how then can we now what sin is. The Ten Commandments is like a mirror that allows us to now what sin is.Rom 7:7

Moderator: That’s the best part!! Our covenant says this: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Heb 8:10-11 (NIV) The Holy Spirit, Himself, tells us what sin is – in our hearts. We no longer need the school teacher of the law. He calls those things of Himself that He writes in our hearts “the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2 Thru it “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) Above, we see that the “law of sin and death” is the “ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone” from 2 Cor 3.

George: What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Moderator: The function of the Old Covenant (the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law) was to be a shadow pointing forward to the substance, Jesus Christ. Above, you have used the word “law” to refer to the Ten Commandments. Paul quotes the Ten Commandments in your illustration above, and calls it the “law.” Nowhere does he suggest that he is talking only of one part of the law and not the other. Can you recall anywhere that he does that? That is an artificial separation that is not made in the scriptures.

George: We are in the faith of Christ and are doing His work are very accountable for leading God's sheep. God will Judge us for the light we have and in how we lead His sheep. God bless.

Moderator: Over the years I have watched the struggle of those who hold onto the law. Paul’s words often come to mind: “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman…These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar… Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.” Gal 4:21-31 (NIV)

It has been taught that those who cling to the law are striving for something higher and better, that the offering they bring to God is pleasing to Him. However, the law represents one dollar in ten, one day in seven. The New Covenant encompasses all that we are and all that we have. Jesus told the rich young ruler – sell all that you have – it’s all mine. The New Covenant is not slavery, but freedom to be children and heirs rather than slaves who owe a tax. We are a part of the family business, so we hold all things in common with our Father because our brother made a way. Thankfully, we will be judge on the basis of Christ's life and blood that covers all of our sins "because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Heb 10:14 (NIV) Could it be that simple. Yes, George, a thousand times, YES!

It is not less. It is much, much more. I would invite you to read the whole "Ultimate Rest" study and allow yourself to be enraptured by His free gift. Thank you, George for your blessings. I return blessing to you in Jesus’ name.

patriar said...

George,

Scripture doesn't divide the Mosaic law into ceremonial, civil, and moral pieces, but if it did, then assuming the 10 commandments are the moral piece of it, and it wasn't nailed to the cross, then how do we receive forgiveness of moral sin? Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice on the Cross is the only way to forgiveness. "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Col. 2:13, 14 When we accept Christ, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit forever. "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise," Eph. 1:13, 14 Because Christ through His Holy Spirit indwells us, we are convicted of sin and then freed from the burden of that sin, and allow Him to change us from the inside out, but we were no longer guilty of that sin because of Christ's righteousness. Christ paid the penalty for it. We are no longer sinners. We are righteous IN HIM because of HIS sacrifice. Blessings in Jesus' Name.

Ramone said...

I wrote a response to an Adventist the other day about a similar inquiry to George's above:

"The Fulfillment of the Ten Commandments"

(As of Feb.1st, it's not fully formatted yet but can still be read)

David said...

Dear Moderator, You said in your response to George: “Moderator: That’s the best part!! Our covenant says this: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” Heb 8:10-11 (NIV) The Holy Spirit, Himself, tells us what sin is – in our hearts. We no longer need the school teacher of the law. He calls those things of Himself that He writes in our hearts “the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2 Thru it “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) Above, we see that the “law of sin and death” is the “ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone” from 2 Cor 3.”
The boldness and ignorance is impressive in your statements. Here is why:
1. You used Hebrews 8:10-11 to say that God’s law is no longer valid, yet verse 10 says “I will put My Laws into their hearts.” Here is proof number one that God’s moral law, the 10 commandments, is immutable because He says that not only will we just profess them, but they will be written on our hearts, an integral part of who we are.
2. You used a verse that says “…Because they will all know me…(Heb 8:11)” 1 John 2:3-4 says “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;” So here is proof number two from the text that you presented that obedience to God’s law is still required.
3. You said that the law that will be written on our hearts will be the Law of Christ, implying that that is different from the 10 commandments. In John 8:58 Jesus said “…“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” And in Exodus 3:14 God, who gave Moses the 10 commandments, said: “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Jesus Christ is the one who gave Moses the 10 commandments on mount Sinai. So the Law that was given to Moses on mount Sinai, written by the finger of God, was the Law of Christ. Here is proof number 3 that God’s law is immutable.
4. You referred to the 10 commandments as the Law of sin and death, quoting Romans 8:1-2. Yet Romans 7:7-13 says: “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be!..... and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” When we have sin, the law condemns us to death, but when we are forgiven, we are no longer condemned by the law. We are free/dead to the condemnation of the law when we are saved, it is our punishment that is erased, it is not the law that is done away with, but rather our transgression to it. The law itself is “holy and righteous and good.” Here is proof number 4 that God’s law is immutable.
5. Jesus lived a sinless life, leaving an example for us to follow; near the end of His life on earth He said in John 15:10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” And further in John 14:15 Jesus said: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
God’s law is immutable. In trying to prove that it is not, you have rather presented more evidence that it really is immutable. Why are you so determined to not obey God’s immutable law?

Gently Broken said...

Hi, David,
Thanks so much for taking the time to voice your concerns with such detail. I have just barely returned from a very busy trip to Africa to work with 500 orphans. It was a wonderful experience, but I've come home to a mountain of work and am trying to get my head back above water. I will respond as soon as I have the time.

However, I would love to use your letter to challenge others to respond to your questions, observations and concerns. You know the answers to these things - put your thoughts into words here to respond to these arguments that have long been the Adventist positions for maintaining Sabbath observance. I'd love to read your responses. Fill in for me just for awhile until I can catch up.

David, bless you for your desire to please God and live in accordance with His will.

Best Wishes, Cherry

savedbygrace said...

Hi David,

Thank you for writing out your concerns. We are deeply grateful for people who are willing to dialogue.
You asked this question, "Why are you so determined to not obey God’s immutable law?"

If I may answer a question with a question, could you be more specific as to why you believe the Moderator (and those of us who see the Law differently) are determined to disobey God? Perhaps you would be willing to help us understand further.

If I may, I will share a few thoughts regarding how we view the Law. These thoughts are by no means exhaustive, but more of an opening summary. Please also feel free to respond with any thoughts you may have.

1. Hebrews 8:10-11: The Greek word used for Law is "nomos". It refers to Torah rather than the 10 Commandments. In Torah, there are 613 commands. So, it seems that if we say this passage means it the 10 Commandments are written on our hearts, it does two things: first, it appears to deny the work of the Holy Spirit who Jesus said would convict hearts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (John 16:7-11). Second, it creates a different definition for "nomos" and one that is problematic for us as believers because we know that sacrifices are no longer required for forgiveness of sin.

2, and 3. The Greek word John uses for commandments in 1 John 2 is "entole". In this passage, John describes that while it, the commandment, is like the old, it is also new. We believe if he wanted to refer to Torah, he would have used the more commonly used Greek work, "nomos".

Furthermore, we would take Paul's position regarding disobedience in Romans 6:14, 15:

"For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace."

(I will add more in another message as I have too many characters for one message alone).

savedbygrace said...

Continuing the previous post:

4. Paul speaks of the the Law in such a way that makes us understand that the Old Law was successful and purposeful in condemning those under it. It has no power to save, however.

Romans 3: 19-31:

"Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin."

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

"27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.

31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law."

So, what we understand Paul is saying in this passage is that the Law is established (the authority is "set") by faith not works (obedience, works). When we simply believe that Jesus completed the work of the Law for us, we are in fact, establishing the Law.

At the end of Romans 7, Paul asks a question about who will set him free from this body of flesh (which is passionate about sin?). In Romans 8:1,2, he answers his own question: the law of the Spirit. Throughout the beginning of the letter to the Romans, Paul has already established that the Old Law had the purpose of condemnation and could not provide salvation. Romans 8:1,2 continues to teach us that it is ONLY because Christ's work provided the way of the Holy Spirit that we live free (un-condemned).

5. While we do believe Jesus provided an example of what sinless perfection looks like, we also believe we are incapable of sinlessness on earth. While we desire and seek to be God-pleasers, we understand that Jesus was for us a substitute for our inability to be sinless. He lived a perfect life under the Law so that all could be saved apart from the Law in Him by faith.

Again, thank you for your willingness to dialogue. Your concern is so valued.

Patria

Anonymous said...

Dear Moderator,
First off I need to apologize for my harsh criticism in my previous post where I said “The Boldness and ignorance is impressive in your statements.” I was frustrated after reading your attacks on God’s law, yet that is not an excuse for my words. The word of God is sharper than a two edged sword and pierces the soul; it is the word of God that is to do the piercing, not me. So I apologize for my insult.
As for the replies to my first post…. Savedbygrace said that if we go to the Greek language then we can twist the words for “law” around and come to the conclusion that we don’t need to keep the 10 commandments. I will confess that I don’t know Greek, so I trust that the 100’s of people who translated the versions of the Bible that I use(mostly NASB and KJV) did so correctly.
In general on the topic of God’s law(10 commandments) immutable….
Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” In John 15:10, Jesus said “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” I love my Lord Jesus Christ, and I show it by keeping His commandments. Further, 1 John 2:3-6 says “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” So Jesus kept the 10 commandments, and we are to follow after our leader, Jesus Christ, so we are to obey the 10 commandments too.
Are we justified by keeping the Law(10 commandments)? NO! Galatians 2:16 says: “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the law no flesh will be justified.” EGW said: “It is not the law that sanctifies anyone, nor saves us; the law stands and cries out, repent, that your sins may be blotted out. And then the sinner goes to Jesus, and as the sinner promises that he will obey the requirements of the law, He blots out their guilty stains and sets them free, and gives them power with God.”
1 John 3:4 says”…sin is transgression of the law.” And 1 John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Law has not been changed or altered in any way. We are still commanded to obey it. Yet we are promised that if we mess up and break the law, that if we confess our guilt then Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us and to bring us back into harmony with His Law.
James 2:17 says: “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:24 says: “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” And James 2:26 says: “For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” If we love God and His son Jesus Christ, it will be evident that we have a living faith by our works. Obedience to God’s immutable Law displays the works that testify to a living faith in Christ Jesus, and it is all based on love. Jesus said “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”(John 14:15) Further, Galatians 5:14 says “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.” We keep the Law out of Love to God, and if we love our neighbor we are fulfilling the Law. Jesus said the whole law is based on: 1. Love God, 2. Love your neighbor.(Matthew 22:35-41) This is reinforced in John 14:15 and Galatians 5:14 as I just explained.

Anonymous said...

You said that God’s law is not immutable. I have shown verses that say God’s law was still in effect when the new testament was written, after Jesus died on the cross and ascended to heaven. What about the 2nd coming? Will God’s law still be the standard to live by at that time? Revelation 12:17 says “So the dragon(satan) was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. “ Rev. 14:12 says “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” This tells me that if I want to be among God’s saints when Jesus Christ appears in the clouds in all His glory, I will need to be keeping the commandments of God and have a living faith in Jesus.
God’s Law was the standard of living in the past, and it is to be the standard of living in the future, and there is no indication that it is not the standard of living in-between. Thus I believe that God’s law is immutable. I choose to keep the commandments of God and my faith in Jesus(which is evident by obedience to His commandments) because I have read clear instruction to do so in the Bible.
I caution you, and anyone else, who reasons themselves out of the requirement to obey God’s Law to be ABSOLUTELY certain that you are correct, because the results are eternal. Romans 1:20-25 gives the warning: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what had been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
In my Bible, that is in the English language, I am commanded to keep the 10 commandments out of love to my Creator, and by keeping the commandments, my Creator is honored. If you can go to a Greek Bible and show that you don’t need to keep God’s commandments, then that is your decision, but I cannot follow you in that decision. I must follow what I have seen and read in my Bible so that I may have a clear conscience before my Creator.
Sincerely,
David

Peter Read said...

Are the Ten Commandments binding on Christians? Do we get our moral compass from reading and obeying them? Are we obeying Christ by keeping them?

Paul says no, in fact just the opposite. If we try to keep the law, as shown in the ten, we sin. We die to the law to live in Christ.
WE CANNOT HAVE LAW AND CHRIST AT THE SAME TIME.

Galatians 2:17-21 NLT
[17] But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not!
[18] Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down.

[19] For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law-I stopped trying to meet all its requirements-so that I might live for God. [20] My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. [21] I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

What is the result if we "...rebuild the old system of law..." and "...treat the grace of God as meaningless."

The writer of Hebrews picks up on Paul's definition of sin as rebuilding the old system of law,

Hebrews 10:26-31 NLT
[26] Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.
[27] There is only the terrible expectation of God's judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.
[28] For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
[29] Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to us. [
30] For we know the one who said, "I will take revenge. I will pay them back." He also said, "The LORD will judge his own people."
[31] It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The result - Gods raging consuming fire for those who have insulted the living God.

Note - Please read the preceding chapters in Hebrews. The writer is talking about the old and new covenants and the role of Jesus in these covenants. He also points out that, under Grace, our sins are forgiven once and for all so he couldn't be referring to sin as breaking the law but as reinstating the law.
Hebrews 9:28 NLT
[28] so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

Gently Broken said...

May the grace of God accompany everything that comes from our mouths and hearts.