| Essential Morality
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
:: A SUMMARY STATEMENT OF THE SINAI COVENANT OF ISRAEL — BUT APPLICABLE TO ALL HUMANKIND, EVERYWHERE, ALWAYS ::
– for it is based on general human welfare – that which is best for us; but is NOT the way of salvation –
IT IS DESCRIBED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AS THE "MINISTRY OF CONDEMNATION" WHICH CANNOT SAVE
(for in our self-centred lives our awareness of it simply causes our guilt. Romans 7:9)
For all born-again Christians it was superceded by the moral nature of God planted within through the resurrection of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:9.
from the earth but God-breathed so as to be the 'image of God' in God's universe, all humanity is designed to represent God to all, in its moral character and therefore to exercise authority on His behalf, and is accountable to the Judicial Court of God accordingly.
|Genesis 1 and 2.|
Everything created, that exists, is a witness to the sovereignty and wisdom of God (Romans 1:20), but it is uniquely humanity that is gifted with choice so as to express or represent the moral nature and character of the Creator and therefore –
His intention/purpose in all things.
|Adam & his wife||
Hence, the exercise of Eden concerned saying 'no' to themselves in trust toward God's instructions, in direct contrast to the instinct-bound natural state of all other forms of biological life. Every other creature functions within a balance of instincts and environmental influences, as also does humanity, except that humanity has the intrinsic ability – to choose to defy its feelings and do that which is better.
the Christ of God hung the whole duty of humanity, summarized in the Ten Commandments, on the following two elements. Drawing on Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, Jesus said:
But this is not enough!
within Christ's perspective then that we are to properly understand the essential covenant law which God instituted with the nation Israel at Mount Sinai, as being His basic or minimum requirement, and also the symbol of their national relationship to Him carried on stone tablets in the Ark of Testimony, as the central symbol of their national identity before God.
This is not the Christian ethic even in Christ's summary of it above, for true Christianity goes far beyond this, as instructed in John.15:12 and 1 John.3:16.
reminds us also that the essence of what God requires of all human behaviour (the Ten Commandments) did not therefore belong exclusively to the Jews –
truth is demonstrated in the much quoted words of that ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius (Kongfuzi, 551-479 BC) –"What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others", or, as the Lord Jesus Himself put it –
following Ten Commandments are not God's eternal Law, as some mistakenly claim. God's eternal law did not begin at Mount Sinai when the Ten Commandments were given. The Ten Commandments, which represented God's conditional Covenant with the nation of Israel, written on stone tablets and carried/stored in Israel's Ark, simply expressed a required standard of behaviour. In vivid contrast to this, what Jesus called the New Covenant is the enactment of God's promise given in the very beginning of humanity, as recorded for us in the words of God Himself to Satan's intrusion –
Therefore, the New Testament records for us that the covenant of God with Israel, represented in theses following Ten, are a ministry of death for they only present a standard from which all have already come short and so they are a pointer to our rightful condemnation by God. God has given us in Christ –
|2 Corinthians 3:6-11 ESV.|
Commandments therefore are simply a summary of minimum moral duty applicable to all, at all times, everywhere, for God is the Creator of all that exists.
God has called those who know Him, the heirs of Christ's New Covenant, to more, much more than this!
|1.||God and nothing but God is to be worshipped|
|"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me."||Exodus 20:2-3|
|"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me."||Deuteronomy 5:6-7|
|2.||You shall not represent God by any object|
|"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments."||Exodus 20:4-6|
|"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments."||Deuteronomy 5:8-10|
|3.||You shall not disrespect or misrepresent God|
|"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."||Exodus 20:7|
|"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."||Deuteronomy 5:11|
This simply states that any reference to God must be true to the nature and character of God Most High or it is false, a misrepresentation, and the root of blasphemy.
This command has absolutely no reference at all to not pronouncing the term 'Yahweh', as medieval Jewry imagined; nor that avoiding using the full spelling of the word 'God' by writing it as G-d avoids this sin, as many in modern Judaism today seem to think.
This view is simply ridiculous, and worse – it subverts this holy command of God!.
|4.||Separate the seventh day from all other days as a day of total rest|
|"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."||Exodus 20:8-11|
|"Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day."||Deuteronomy 5:12-15|
|Jesus||refuted criticism concerning His observance of this day in terms of its purpose:|
|"The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath.
Therefore the son of man [human] is lord of the Sabbath" [simply because Jesus is human, as God intended all to be].
|5.||Respect your parents and provide for them|
|"Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you."||Exodus 20:12|
|"Honour your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you."||Deuteronomy 5:16|
Lord Jesus publicly rebuked Jewish leaders of His time as hypocrites for exonerating people from providing for their parents if the money was given to the temple instead, thereby violating this command.
|"He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honour your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honour his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "'This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'."||Matthew 15:3-9|
|6.||Do not murder|
|"You shall not murder."||Exodus 20:13|
|"You shall not murder."||Deuteronomy 5:17|
|In||showing that intention is equivalent to the deed, the Lord Jesus said:|
|"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire."||Matthew 5:21-22|
|7.||Do not commit adultery|
|"You shall not commit adultery."||Exodus 20:14|
|"And you shall not commit adultery."||Deuteronomy 5:18|
|The||Lord Jesus Christ said:|
|"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart."||Matthew 5:27-28|
|8.||Do not steal|
|"You shall not steal."||Exodus 20:15|
|"And you shall not steal."||Deuteronomy 5:19|
|9.||Do not lie|
|"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour."||Exodus 20:16|
|"And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbour."||Deuteronomy 5:20|
|10.||Do not envy|
|"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."||Exodus 20:17|
|"And you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."||Deuteronomy 5:21|
|So, the apostle of God said:
and it is written for our sakes
|"Or do you not know, brothers – for I am speaking to those who know the Law [10-Commandments] --
that the Law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? Thus a married woman is bound by Law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the Law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that Law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the Law [10-Commandments] through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God."
• It is important here to also note that Christians do not represent Christ to this world.
Individual Christians represent the Saviour to the repentant within the relationships of the redeemed, not to the world. Christians do not represent the Saviour to this world! Because...
• Christians collectively are Christ, the Body of Christ, for they are equipped by the Sprit to be the continuance of Christ's life and ministry in this world.
Therefore as such, just as Jesus Himself represented God the Father during His ministry on earth, so also Christians represent the One upon the Throne – God the Father.
Therein alone is their authority by the Holy Spirit!
|Christians are to represent the Most High in terms of His authority and His character, on the same terms as our perfect Example, the man Jesus Christ Himself!|
Copyright © Lloyd Thomas 2007-2016. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Feel free to copy, as long as this full copyright notice is included.
FOR A ROUGH TRANSLATION SIMPLY CHOOSE A LANGUAGE