Renaming the Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments. The Ten Laws, Statutes, Kill Joys. Whatever you want to call them, they are the principles that all Christians should try to follow.
The word “commandment” is sort of daunting if you ask me. The Old Testament is filled with rules, the Ten Commandments being the core of the “shall nots” and best behaviors. No one likes being given a bunch of rules– it just goes against our fleshly nature. And a lot of Christians use the grace of their salvation as an excuse to hold on to their sins.
Almost all of us are guilty of this. It’s as if we are re-writing the Ten Commandments with our own stipulations that fulfill our wants. We have premarital sex, cuss, or lie, and say that we’re forgiven because of grace– only there’s no attempt to change. The grace God gives us through salvation is not an excuse to sin more; it is the only way we can break free from the chains of sin.
If we are so full of God’s grace and mercy, then the desire to sin should start to repulse us. We should try to please God just because of our love for Him. Love is the most powerful force that God has given us. In fact, love fulfills the law.
When the Pharisees got together to try and trick Jesus, they asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus’ reply was simply this: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
And then Jesus says something so profound, but often we don’t even realize it. “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV).
All the Law. That means Every. Single. Commandment. Jesus said, “‘Do not think that I have came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them'” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus fulfills the Law and we all say that Jesus is love; therefore love fulfills the Law– All the Law.
So how does love keep us from sinning? The answer is actually quite simple. If you love God with all of your heart and everything in you, then you will want to do His will. The Holy Spirit inside of you (that was given upon salvation) will convict you of sin and you will not desire it. After all, why would you want to do something that displeases God if you love Him so much?
And if you love everyone around you (no, you can’t pick and choose your neighbor) then you obviously can’t hate them. You also won’t want to lie to them or gossip about them either. Love fulfills the Law.
God did not give us these commandments because He wants to ruin our fun. He loves us, and knows what’s best for us. So about that name… The Ten Commandments. Wouldn’t a better name be “The Law of Love?” or “The Commandment of Love?”
It sounds a little silly maybe, but it helps to remind me that I will screw up on my own if I try to adhere to a bunch of rules. Only God and His love through the salvation of Jesus Christ can fulfill me and give me the power to love with abandon– the kind of love God’s Law commands.
Love, Emily <3