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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Commandments

by Ron Scurfield

22 February 2023

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16, NIV

What are we to make of the Ten Commandments? Some people say they are of the Old Testament and have been superseded by the New. Some say they are no longer relevant and are out of date.

The truth is that times change, thoughts and values change, but the word of God never changes. The Old Testament is as relevant today as it has always been. The Old Testament and the New Testament are knit inseparably together. The Old prepares the ground for the New, and the New stands on the foundation of the Old.

Romans 6:14 tells us that ‘sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace’ (Romans 6:14). So, does that mean we are free to do whatever we like? No. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament the consequence of sin is still death. However, the Apostle Paul tells us ’The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 6:23).

 How does this work? Well, Jesus paid the price for our sin so that we could live again through Him. ‘He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them’ (2 Corinthians 5:15). So, we have a choice. We can live for ourselves, ignoring Christ and all He did for us, which means we will still be under the condemnation of the law. Or we can live through Christ, who paid the price required by the law and set us free.

But we can still sin. Therefore, we must continue to acknowledge our faults and failings before God, come before Him in repentance, and receive His forgiveness. ‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.. and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God’ (Ephesians 2:8). ‘Through Christ Jesus the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death ... in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’ (Romans 8:2 & 4).

So, what are we to make of the Ten Commandments? Well, we see that Christ did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17). He paid the penalty for the inherent sin of mankind since the time of Adam, so that we could be set free. He died for us so that we could have life through Him. ‘In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 6:11).  So, yes, the Commandments still stand.

 But we can take our lead from the Apostle Paul: “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.

 

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