2 COR 3:6-11
INTRO: The ten commandments are well known among most people of the western world. So well known are they that a great many folks pin their eternal prospects on them! Their sentiment might go something like this. I believe that if I keep the ten commandments and live a good life I will go to heaven when I die. I have no doubt of the sincerity of such sentiments. I have heard them many, many times in the course of over forty years of Biblical conversations with people. But is the sentiment accurate? Do the ten commandments have an active place in the lives of Christian people?
I THE TEN COMMANDMENTS...
A. Ex 20:1-17
1. Ex 31:18 - two tables of stone written with the finger of God
2. Deut 4:13 - represented the covenant they were to perform
B. For whom, with whom was this covenant?
1. Ex 20:2 - question: whom did the Lord bring out of Egypt?
2. Deut 5:1-6 - clearly, the ten commandments and the covenant to which Moses referred were with Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham
C. The ten commandments did call for high spiritual/moral standards
1. but the ten commandments represented the covenant made with Israel
2. the ten commandments are only part of the larger law of Moses - the old (or, first) covenant
II WHAT THE NEW TESTAMENT TELLS US?
A. Rom 7:4-6 - ...ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ...
1. note at it is important for us to establish exactly what law Paul meant
2. so, v. 6 that Christians are delivered from the law
3. it is important for us to establish exactly what law Paul meant
4. so, v. 7 identifies exactly that to which he referred ... that law which included thou shalt not covet - the ten commandments
B. 2 Cor 3:6-11 - For if that which is done away was glorious...
1. of what is he speaking? what was glorious?
2. v. 7 identifies explicitly ... that which was engraved in stones
3. furthermore, he calls the ten commandments the ministration of death
4. v. 7 also tell us of the 10 commandments: which glory was to be done away ... fact, the 10 commandments and the covenant made with Israel was never intended by God to be a permanent law, or covenant
C. When Jesus was asked, Master, which is the great commandment...
1. Mt 22:34-36 - what was His answer? which commandment did He cite?
2. Deut 6:5 - And thou shalt love the Lord thy God...
3. Lev 19:18b - ...but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself...
4. Jesus chose not to elevate one of the ten commandments as the great commandment ... rather, He went to the very basis of righteousness of both the Mosaic and Christian periods
III ARE WE LEFT LAWLESS WITHOUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?
A. Answer? Of course not!
1. 1 Thes 4:2 - For ye know what commandments we gave you...
2. 1 Cor 14:37 - ...things that I write unto you are the commandments...
3. 1 Jno 2:3-5 - ...if we keep his commandments...
4. Gal 6:2 - ...and so fulfill the law of Christ
B. You and I are subject to the new (or, better) covenant!
1. Heb 8:1,6,7 - Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant...
2. Heb 8:8,9 - the new covenant is not the one made with Israel!
3. it is worth our noting that except for the 4th commandment, the specifications of the other 9 commandments find expression in the law of Christ
4. but Jesus strongly emphasizes under girding truth ... for example, Mt 5:21,27
C. If you keep the ten commandments and live a good life...
1. I do not doubt that you will be a fine moral person
2. but eternity is not secured by keeping the ten commandments!
3. you and I must turn to the New Testament for the information we need to take us safely to heaven
4. we must put on Christ in baptism and live our lives in keeping with His word - Gal 3:26,27 & Col 3:16
CLOSE: I have the highest regard and respect for the Old Testament. There is much that is beneficial to learn there. However, I am subject to the law of Jesus Christ. It is the new covenant within which I live.
Cecil A. Hutson
09 August 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)