Sunday, May 30, 2021

God’s Criteria Set In Stone

There are ten simple rules that human beings are required to obey perfectly to be approved by God and have fellowship with Him in the life to come. Known universally as The Ten Commandments, they were written on a stone tablet by God and given to Moses on Mount Sinai long ago.

I am the Lord, your God.The first commandment states that idolatry is not something that God 

will tolerate. This is the fundamental commandment which lays the groundwork for the rest.

You shall bring no false idols before me.The importance of only worshiping God is emphasized in the second commandment (building on the first), specifically saying that no false Gods should be worshiped.

Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.The third commandment further solidifies the importance of not taking one’s faith lightly by frivolous use of God’s name.

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.This refers to the time of resting and prayerfulness which is observed symbolizing the seventh day of rest that God took after creating the world.

Honor your father and and mother. As you should honor God, so should you honor those who brought you into this world.

You shall not murder. Killing in self defense or in defense of another is not against the commandment.

You shall not commit adultery.The seventh commandment states that adulterous relationships go against God’s commands. This commandment specifically deals with the physical aspect of adultery.  

You shall not steal.The eighth commandment is all encompassing to mean that all types of theft is stealing and is a sin.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Fundamentally, the ninth commandment states that one should not lie. The commandment is specific, it is well understood that any kind of lying is considered a sin.

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife or your neighbor’s goods. The tenth commandment expands on the seventh commandment and forbids lusting after another’s spouse or their belongings. Even without a physical component, lust is a sin.

Humanly speaking, this is the means in which a person’s life is measured both by God and by themselves and it is here that we all see how we measure up and begin to understand the scope of our own personal failures. The bible states, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” (Proverbs 16:2) 

Suppose for a moment that you are invited to a dinner held in your honor by a number of your friends.  A large table is set with the finest delicacies along with several delicious roasted chickens stuffed with seasoned rice. As you fill your plate you notice that some of the rice is moving and the scent emanating from the chicken on your plate is rather unpleasant. As you look up you notice that everyone is looking at you expectantly and smiling assuming that you are pleased with the fare. Absurd as this story is, it is analogous to the relationship between Almighty God and ourselves. In the end we cannot stand before an almighty, pure and perfect God and expect to be accepted as we offer up a life of good and virtuous acts interspersed with a few evil acts committed at various times past. The scriptures make it clear that we have to be flawless. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 

(Matthew 5:48)

The problem is an inherited flaw in all human beings that goes back to the creation of the world and is a family trait stemming from Adam and Eve, mankind’s first parents and their disobedience and fall from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden. Much later God made a covenant with mankind on Mount Sinai with Moses, written in stone and to this day is the basis of the civil laws of all nations. God said to Moses, “Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine.” (Exodus 19:5) So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” (Exodus 19: 7-8) Moses went back up on the mountain for another forty days and nights where he received further instructions and ordinances specifically for the Hebrew nation. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it. (Exodus 32: 7-8) This clearly illustrates how naturally corrupt mankind is .“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17: 9)

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. (James 2:10) And again, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10 & 23) 

When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. (Ezekiel 18: 26)

There is good news though, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6: 23) “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6) 

First you must understand that God has vowed to punish sin, but because He hates sin and loves us He offered up his own son to pay the price once and for all time for the sins of all mankind. To receive the gift of salvation and eternal life you have to repent, that is to turn away from all evil and prey to God with a contrite heart. If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” (Romans 10:9-11) 

However be aware that the converse to this is also true, meaning that one who refuses to believe and trust in Jesus will be put to shame, judged solely on the basis of their own self-righteousness and their failure under the ten commandments of God. 

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