THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
God gave the design for a Holy Community, set apart from all other nations, part of which were The Ten Commandments. They are a brief statement of God's morals and principles, which reveal His own character. The first four relate to a fellowship between God and his people, the other six commandments are with other people. These guides for living lay a moral foundation of personal relationships for an exclusive people.
All mankind have a basic understanding of these standards of God, which with creation, He intended them for all people.
YOU MAY WORSHIP NO OTHER GOD THAN ME
The first commandment that declares that worship is reserved for the Supreme Living God alone, and is due Him. People are to gladly be in His service and to rely upon Him for every need and to trust in His continuing care. God demands exclusive loyalty. When God no longer has first plae in peoples lives, His uniqueness is diminished. There is a choice to be made.
YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELVES ANY IDOLS; NO IMAGES OF ANIMALS, BIRDS OR FISH. YOU MUST NEVER BOW OR WORSHIP IT IN ANYWAY; FOR I THE LORD YOUR GOD, AM VERY POSSESSIVE. I WILL NOT SHARE YOUR AFFECTION WITH ANY OTHER GOD.
And when I punish people for their sins, the punishment continues upon the children, grandchildren and great granchildren of those who hate me; but I lavish my love upon thousands of those who love me and obey my commandments.
The second command forbids by God, The Creator of All Things, to set up any creature or object as the focus of worship and praise. This is idolatry and it is loathsome to Him. If the rejection of God as The Supreme, Perfect Almighty Deity is taken, it justifies being judged of displaced loyalties and is not to be taken lightly. The believers relationship with God is to be responded to by His Word and Spirit. There is a danger in idolatry; imagination takes the place of revelation.
For those who hate and rebel against God have ramifications and repercussions that pass from each generation. However, those who turn to God and believe in His Son who died for their sins, are also protected from God's anger. Believers personally break any generation curse when they accept Christ as their Lord and Saviour, accepting God's covenantal grace by being covered by The Blood made for Atonement. God shows love, mercy and kindness to those who love and depend upon Him. In todays society people worship 'idols' in their heart, the place that is reserved for God.
YOU SHALL NOT USE THE NAME OF JEHOVAH YOUR GOD IRREVERENTLY, NOR USE IT TO SWEAR TO A FALSEHOOD
The third decree warns of honesty and truthfulness, the seriousness of taking an oath as a witness. Jesus elaborates on oath taking. It also includes blasphemy, cursing, lying and deceiving in The Name of God. This relates to the teaching of false doctrines and words of counterfeit prophets who speak in God's name. This statement also means not to deny the reality of God's presence and power. Character, personality, authority are in God's Name. Christians take the Lord's Name in vain when they claim their activities in His Name, but are actually pleases themselves. There is much more involved than 'swearing and cursing' by taking the Lord's Name in vain.
REMEMBER TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH AS A HOLY DAY
In this commandment, the Hebrew word for Sabbath means rest. The Sabbath Day was the sign following the Old Testament covenant made with the people of Israel at Mt.Sinai. Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath law by doing God's will. Keeping the Sabbath was the sign of the Old Testament Covenant. Each Covenant had a reminder accompanying it. The Sabbath was for humantarian reasons and to show trust in God. Jesus clarified what was meant by keeping the Sabbath. Rest is for benefit of God's people and the honouring of Him. Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath Law by doing God's will. Christians, under The New Testament are not required to observe the Sabbath or any other holy days of the Old Testament. These days were given to the Nation of Israel and the full meaning of their celebration was true of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our rest. We cease from our dead works and rest in the Grace of God. Christians do enter a spiritual rest, which is now no longer just one day. Every day belongs to the Lord in The New Covenant. There are many scriptures in The New Testament regarding the Jewish Sabbaths and Holy Days.
HONOUR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER, THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE A LONG, GOOD LIFE.
This is the only commandment with a promise and the first of them to be addressed about and for people. Parents are to be respected and loved, to be obeyed and to be served by their children with gladness. Parents are God's representatives and children are to especially see to their needs and care for them. Children do not have to obey their parent if the parents force them to sin against God. Despite the modern nuclear family they are unchanging factors that apply. It is of Divine Origin, it is a Divine Order, and it is Divine Opportunity to live in stablitity and forgiveness. Respect and itegrity for the family is for the good of all community, as well as for the minors themselves.
YOU MUST NOT MURDER
This dictate is taken very seriously by God, for man is made in the image of God. Murder comes from hate and vengefulness and vindication is left for God's justice. This does not point to unintentional or accidental killings, but to the purposely thought out cold blooded murders. Morally, this includes abortions and assisted suicides. This mandate has nothing to do with the death penalty of criminal law enforcement, or going to war, if your country has declared war on another country that is doing evil in the eyes of God. War against an evil oppressive nation is not murder. The right to live is protected. Murder challenges Divine Authority.
YOU MUST NOT COMMIT ADULTERY
The value of faithfulness is kept by those who have integrity. Men and women are required by law to love each other unselfishly, to be faithful, to be trustworthy to each other in marriage. God forbids unfaithfulness or desertion and He expects couples to respect each and every human being. God does permit divorce under certain circumstances, but it is not His Will, He allows it because of hard-heartedness, and uncaring self-interest. God forbids all kinds of impurity in thought, word and action, including movies and plays etc., Adultery is not just committed against a partner but against God. Adultery defies God and is a hidden form of rebellion against Him. The result is a destroyed family, undermining faithfulness and degrading people. People who do not revere God's standard are very uncertain about them and if uncertain in one area, they are uncertain in other areas. It shows an undisciplined lifestyle. It is also an opportunity to show forgiveness.
YOU MUST NOT STEAL
God expects honesty in all things, to respect the property of others. The guarding of the community property is honourable in God's eyes. Kidnapping and slave selling helped make theft a serious crime. Many people steal from God by charging others exhorbitant prices, by not tithing and not giving offerings. People who are not obedient in all areas of their life and do not see any reason to conform, turn His house of prayer into one that has no credibility. To rob God is loudly professing one thing, yet living the oppositite; it is deception and deception leads to ruin.
YOU MUST NOT LIE, OR GIVE FALSE TESTIMONY AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOUR
In all things God requires truthfulness and honesty towards others. It is sin to slander by lying, destroying and dishonouring the name of another. This is a temptation for bribery and many other sins that lead to compromising of ones own self-respect and honour. Gossip and false teaching is included in this ninth commandment. An individuals reputation is to be carefully guarded. God is committed to Truth and His people are to follow His righteous example. A lie is of the devil. He oppose the Truth and Justice of God. A hypocrite gives a false testimony.
YOU MUST NOT BE ENVIOUS OF YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S HOUSE OR YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S WIFE OR ANYTHING THAT HE HAS
God's Word teaches to seek the Kingdom of God and all His Righteousness. Envy and jealousy is motivated by evil and ends in harmful action. People are not to set their heart on possessions that another has. Coveting is desiring excessively, illegally, exploitingly and exclusively. Coveteousness leads people away from all the previous moral principles.
Jesus said that all the Law and the sayings of the prophets are summed up into two commandments. "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".
These commands giving meaning to the whole Ten.
All the Laws of the Old Covenant were as a hedge around Israel for 1500 years only, as Scripture states.
Jesus said they were 'until John'.
Only throught the teachings of Jesus do the full meaning of these rules come into focus.
The Ten Commandments reaffirm the sure way to live that God has revealed to humankind, rather than by the rules by people. The world has had ever-changing standards of morality throughout history. No-one at all is righteous, and the Ten Commandments reminds all of sin and the only for people to be free from sin is to change their heart, by allowing Christ to reign in and over their lives.
The Ten Commandments are the basic principles that God expects of His people.
|SCRIPTURES Exodus 20:1-17
QUESTIONS 1] What are people commanded by God to offer to Him by the 1st Commandment? 2] What is the 5th Commandment? 3] Are Christians required to observe The Sabbath or any other Jewish Holy Days? 4] What lies behind the 10th Commandment teaching? 5] Does God encourage believers to keep these Commandments?
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