The Ten Commandments Revisited

Read This: “For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe.” (Romans 3:20-22)

Think: The Ten Commandments weren’t put in place to make us perfect; they were to show us we need a Savior. These aren’t just rules that we have to obey, but a mirror to show us we can’t obey. No matter how hard we try, we can’t keep God’s law perfectly. Maybe we haven’t actually killed someone or stolen anything, but all of us have broken God’s law at some point if not daily.

For those like the Pharisees who look at these commandments and consider themselves pretty good, Jesus revealed a deeper understanding of the law. He taught, “You have heard it said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will subject to judgment” (Mat 5:21-22). In verse 27 he goes on to explain the heart of the law is more than “Do not commit adultery,” because to even look at a woman lustfully is already adultery. God doesn’t just look at our behavior, but at our hearts where sin takes root.

We are all broken sinners. Even our best attempts to be good on our own will always fall short. Isaiah 64:4 says, “We are all like one who is unclean, all our so-called righteous acts are like a menstrual rag in your sight.” Gross, but it certainly drives home the point. Our obedience will never be good enough. For some that might sting a little bit. But when we understand the reality of our sinfulness, nothing is sweeter than the knowledge that we are saved by grace alone through Jesus Christ—not because of who we are or what we do, but who he is and what he has done.

What can wash away my sin
What can make me whole again
For my pardon this I see
For my cleansing this my plea
Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus (Robert Lowry, Nothing But the Blood)

Ask: How would you explain the 10 commandments to a non believer who thinks Christianity is just a list of rules we have to follow?

Pray: Spend some time thanking and praising our Heavenly Father for loving us enough to send Jesus Christ to live a perfect life in our place.