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The Ten Commandments - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2024 12:00 am

The Ten Commandments - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 21, 2024 12:00 am

Get a closer look at what inspired each commandment.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, May 21st. The display of the Ten Commandments can spark controversy, but is the real issue where they reside? Today's podcast gives us an understanding about the law of God and the Ten Commandments. When God gives us His commands in the scripture, He does not give these commands for debate or consideration.

He gives them in order that you and I would be obedient to them. And the law that God has given us in His Word that is so crystal clear, the one that's probably the most familiar about all the rest is the law that we call the Ten Commandments. The subject of this message is simply that, the Ten Commandments. And I want you to turn, if you will, to that passage in Exodus, chapter 20. And I want us to look at this passage, I want to explain what the Ten Commandments really are.

But first of all, I want to say that there is certainly confusion about the Ten Commandments. There was a time in the life of this nation when this was, without a question, the acceptable law. That we all recognize this law as to regulate our conduct in society.

But there's come a time when we no longer see it that way. We want to vote on it, we want to regulate it, where you can place the Ten Commandments, where you cannot place them, what you're supposed to believe about them. So what I want to do is I want to clear up, what is this?

What is this all about? And I think once we understand what it is, and what God says about the Ten Commandments, then we've got a very clear understanding of how absolutely essential it is, that we recognize it for what it is. Now there are three possible views that people have, one of them is this. That the Ten Commandments were given specifically to the nation of Israel for them, and has no real relationship to those of us today.

Whether you be Gentile, as they would have said in those days, or whether we be Christian today. Secondly, some people see it as a means of salvation. That by keeping the Ten Commandments, you're saved.

And then there is a third, and that's this. That the Ten Commandments are God's unchanging moral standard for regulating man's conduct, and therefore we are bound by it. That is, it's God's unchanging moral standard for regulating our conduct.

That's exactly what it is. And so when you look at it that way, all of a sudden it isn't just something that's given to the nation of Israel, but also it is not for salvation. It is God's unchanging moral standard for regulating the conduct of all mankind, every individual and of course for society. Now when you look at the New Testament, you'll find three things here. First of all, you find the reference to the law of God, which usually refers to the Ten Commandments. Then you find the reference to the law of Moses.

What's the difference? The law of Moses involved all of those, all of that legislation, that judicial, all the ceremonies, and all the sacrificial laws that they had that God gave them during the days they were wandering in the wilderness. Something totally different than just the moral law, the Ten Commandments. Though the moral law, the Ten Commandments, was incorporated into the law of Moses, but it's different from. And then thirdly, there's the law of Christ.

Somebody says, well, what's the difference? The law of Christ is simply this, and Paul speaks of this in 1 Corinthians. The law of Christ is not only that which we read in the Sermon on the Mount and the rest of the Gospels, but here's what it is.

It's the law of God interpreted by Jesus, expanded by Jesus, and applied to every single one of His followers. And an example of that is this, in the Old Testament the Bible says, Thou shall not commit adultery. Jesus in the New Testament said the same thing. But then He expanded to say, if you look with lust, you've committed adultery.

Or if you marry someone who has divorced their wife and they're still living, you've committed adultery. So Jesus expanded upon the Ten Commandments. And so when we talk about the law of Christ, we're talking about not only what He said in reference to the Ten Commandments and the many things He said in the Sermon on the Mount, for example, and other passages, but it's all the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so Paul spoke of the law of Christ. He spoke also of the law of Moses. And he spoke also of the law of God, the moral law of God.

So when somebody asks what is the difference, there is the distinction. Now, here is the distinction between the law of God and the Mosaic law. That the Ten Commandments, the moral law of God, was given by the voice of God to Moses for all people. Secondly, when you look at that, you recognize that it was not only given to Him, but the Scripture says in Exodus that He penned it, He wrote it with the finger.

That is the finger of God, wrote it upon tablets of stone. Not only that, it was the moral law of God that was placed in the Ark of the Covenant. There is where God placed that law in the Holy of Holies, in the Tabernacle, and in the Temple. It was God's way of saying, this is the way I will rule and reign in the nation of Israel.

This is my standard of conduct over this nation. Now, God not only gave it to them, but He gave it for all nations. Because if you read the Ten Commandments, there's not a single one of them.

If we eliminate them in some fashion or the other, that we will not ultimately end up in chaos in this nation. And so we do have a very clear moral standard for our nation and every nation of the world. That is exactly what God intended for it to be. And that is what the Ten Commandments are. God's moral standard for regulating the conduct of all men. His moral standard, not man's moral standard. We'd like to bring the standard down. We'd like to change it. And by lifestyle, many people have tried to do so.

By law, many people have tried to do so. But no matter what a Supreme Court or any other court ever decides, this is, forever will be, God's moral standard for regulating the conduct of all people, period. It is the mind of Almighty God. Now with that in mind, let's think about where this came from and again what it's all about. And that is, first of all, the inspiration of this.

Where did this come from? This came by the voice of God. Speaking to His servant Moses, He raised him up for the purpose of leading the nation of Israel. And He gave him, this is the mind of God, not only in voice but in print, on stone and now in print. This is the way God thinks. When you have the mind of God, you have what He thinks.

And think about this. Man could not have written the Ten Commandments, even if he would. He would never have thought this up.

Secondly, listen, he would never, even if he could, he wouldn't. For the simple reason it's very condemning. It tells man what he's prohibited from doing. And not only, listen, he could not, if he would have, and he would not, if he could, because it's condemning and besides, man's not so wise.

Think about this. In ten words, God gave us His moral standard for regulating society. It is from God and only from God.

And in the very beginning, what does it do? He says, Thou shall have no other gods before Me. He establishes in the very beginning of the Ten Commandments His absolute sovereignty over all mankind. He says in the Scriptures, He's established His throne in the heavens. His sovereignty rules over all. He has the right as deity. He has the right as God to give us the regulations by which we should live our life. And while exposing our sinfulness and while showing us by these commandments our areas of weakness in our life, He also establishes His own holiness and His own righteousness. So what we have here, we have the mind of God. Paul says it clearly in Romans chapter one, that God has implanted in the heart, in the minds of all people, these particular laws. Now, they don't see them the way we see them in particular.

They maybe, some cultures have never had these words. But the truth is, everybody knows that it's not right to steal. It's not right to commit adultery.

It's not right to lie. In other words, it's not right to bow down before idols. It's written on the tablets of men's hearts. And so, it's there because it's the mind of God for regulating our conduct in this life. The second thing I want you to notice about that and this, what's God's intention? God's intention by giving us the Ten Commandments is simply this.

First of all, to enable us to see that God is a righteous, holy God. Thou shalt not. Now, isn't it interesting that we read thou shalt not or you shall not? And yet, we go right along and try to sort of manipulate, massage that. And the question is, what's so hard about understanding you shall not?

It's very simple. You shall not means what? You shall not. And no matter what you say about it and how you try to massage it, it still means you shall not. And so, His intention is to reveal His righteousness and at the same time to reveal our sinfulness of how inadequate we are and how sinful we are. There's not a single one of us who has not violated these commandments in some fashion or some form.

Not a one. No one can say, well, I've kept the Ten Commandments. Only Jesus can say that. Not only was that His intention, but listen carefully. His intention was to give us these laws for our own protection. And you can take each one of the commandments and see very simply how it is for our protection.

It is certainly for protection for our life, for our liberty, for our families, for our property. Think for just a moment. Every single aspect of our life, it is given for our good. And when people say, well, you know, I don't believe in that, that cramps my style. My friend, it may cramp your style, but your style is a style of self-destruction if you ignore, listen, God's standard of conduct. You cannot ignore the standard of conduct of God and get away with it.

Whatever man sows, he reports he sows, more than he sows, later than he sows. God will judge those who violate His laws and those who attempt to in some way interpret them in such a fashion as to degrade the meaning of the Ten Commandments. Those who pass laws that send the message that it doesn't matter any longer whether we acknowledge this as God's laws or not. Take the Ten Commandments out of the classroom. Ignore the Ten Commandments.

Make the statement they do not apply to our society. I tell you, you will be judged by Almighty God. Don't forget it. This is the law of God. Which leads me to simply say this, that on the other hand, it's very inadequate. You say, well, why do you want to hang it up? Well, listen carefully.

It's very inadequate. First of all, you cannot be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments because there's nothing here about forgiveness. You cannot be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments because that's not what their purpose was. And Paul says the Ten Commandments is, listen, he says the Ten Commandments were given as our tutor, as our teacher.

What does that mean? Simply this, that it's by the Ten Commandments we understand our sinfulness. We understand how vile and sinful and wicked and ungodly we can act. It is by the Ten Commandments we recognize we need the grace of God. We need the mercy of God. We need forgiveness of God. Look, if you will, in Galatians chapter two for a moment.

And here again, Paul makes it very, very clear. And if you'll notice what he says in verse sixteen. First of all, nevertheless knowing that a man or a woman is not justified, not saved by the works of the law that is trying to keep the Ten Commandments. But through 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.

That is not a single verse in the Scripture anywhere to imply in any fashion that you can be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments. That wasn't God's intention. So it can't save us and it can't liberate us from the power of sin.

That's not what the purpose is. And there's no forgiveness talked about here. And there's nothing about inheriting eternal life. God did not give the Ten Commandments as a means of salvation. He gave it, listen, to instruct us that we are sinful, that we are weak, that we are unable, that we are incapable, that we need the goodness and the mercy and the grace of God provided for us through the death of Jesus Christ, period.

Then there's the indestructibility of it. Think about this. God gave, spoke to Moses thousands of years ago. Think about how many people have tried to destroy the Word of God. They've burned it, they've cut it up, they've denied it, they've rationalized it.

They've written volumes about how it's untrue and it's on the speaking of man and the works of man thousands of years ago. You know what? Let me tell you something. It still reigns.

How? It reigns as God's unchangeable moral standard for the conduct of mankind, period. Absolutely indestructible. Somebody says, well, what about Moses? Did he not throw the tablets down when he came down and heard of all the idolatry going on?

Sure he did. Remember what he broke. He broke the stone tablets. He did not break the law. He did not destroy the law, only the tablets upon which they were written and God gave them again.

Here's what I want you to remember. You can't break the Ten Commandments either. You say, well, I think I've broken some. No, you by your conduct have violated the unchangeable eternal law of God. You broke something about yourself when you chose to disobey God.

You broke something within you, in your heart, in your mind, in your spirit, in your soul. You chose to violate specifically and clearly a part of God's law. You did not in any way diminish the law of God. No vote can do it. No conduct can do it. No reasoning can do it. No writing can do it.

No singing can do it. No philosopher can do it. It is the unchangeable law of the living God to regulate society and to regulate our conduct.

Indestructible. Look around you at the people who violate the Ten Commandments, who ignore them, who rebel against them, who try to reason against them. And all the philosophers in the world and all the words ever penned, you cannot diminish this unchangeable eternal law of God given to regulate the conduct of mankind.

You cannot change it under any condition, not one single eye odor of it. Jesus said, I didn't come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. And He did fulfill it. And neither can we abolish it. We can't change it. You can break your life over the Ten Commandments. You can violate every single one of them.

You don't change anything in this book. All you do is self-destruct. And everywhere you turn, you find people who are self-destructing. They have money.

They have prestige, prominence, power and all the rest. But you know what? Under the law of God, they will crumble into nothingness because you cannot change the mind of God. Listen, God didn't make any mistakes. He knew how sinful we'd be.

He knew what society would be like if there were not a set, listen, of unchanging moral standards by which man must be governed. And so in His love, He gave it to us. And therefore, we must acknowledge it for what it is and realize that it is absolutely indestructible. The living Word of God, this book is the most precious thing that exists on the face of this earth.

Because it is the mind of God given in such a fashion and so translated that we can know His mind and live by it. These Ten Commandments are God's unchanging moral standard for all mankind, for you and for me. If I'm willing through the help of the Holy Spirit, the strength of the Holy Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit, if I'm willing to live a godly life, He is living within every single one of us believers to enable us, listen, to enable us to live naturally by the Spirit, to do the things that are right in each and every one of these areas. When we, in a moment of weakness or whatever, fail, what do we do? We immediately ask Him to forgive us. We immediately repent of that and ask God for His forgiveness and thanksgiving and His strength to move above and beyond that sin and keep moving.

If you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, don't start with trying to keep the Ten Commandments. Start, listen, by confessing your sinfulness and acknowledging that His Son Jesus went to the cross and paid your sin debt in full. Asking Him for your forgiveness, trusting the Holy Spirit to come into your life and to enable you to live above all of this and to live a godly life. He'll always be there to enable you to do just that. And when you sin against Him in moments of weakness, you ask Him to forgive you. You repent of that sin. You acknowledge His sovereign right to control your life and to experience the awesome love of living God. Thank you for listening to the Ten Commandments. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-21 02:41:22 / 2024-05-21 02:49:06 / 8

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