Rethinking the Ten Commandments?
Will you be able to read all ten?
1 You shall have no other gods before Me, and that includes your job, your money, your fame, your video games, TV shows, TV & movie stars, or anything else that causes you to forget Me or ignore Me.
2 Do you have little Buddhas or statuettes of other gods (idols) in your home? How about Ouija boards? No? That’s good. But how about posters or pictures of those who hate Me? Pentagram symbols? Artwork that depicts other gods? Astrological (horoscope) symbols? How about upward facing horseshoes or four-leaf clover symbols? Did you know that things that represent “luck” are also evil in my sight? You shall not have any of these things.
3 You’ve heard it said that damn is not My last name. You don’t say it? Fine. Do you just say “God” as a means of expression? Yeah … that means you’ve used My name in vain. I’m telling you, commanding you, not to do this! This is serious, and you are not guiltless if you do it!
4 A day of rest may sound like a good idea, but I command you to take it! I worked for six days to give you the planet you live upon and all the life that exists on it. I did not create a six-day week, but a seven-day week, for a reason. I want your focus — your attention — to be on Me. Are you working a regular job Monday through Friday, then picking up some additional hours on Saturday & Sunday? Nope. Not what I want. I want an entire day with you.
5 So, your mother and/or father didn’t treat you right. You think this gives you a good reason to abuse them, mock them, talk about them with hate behind their backs, don’t you? I command you to honor their position in your life, not what they did to you. If need be, I’ll take care of the judgment. Honor them!
6 Do not murder anyone. Do you hear Me? Murder NO ONE! I am not talking self-defense here. I’m talking about hate. You say that you didn’t pull a trigger or stab with a knife or poison anyone resulting in someone’s death? That’s all well and good, but did you hate anyone? I mean, really hate? Yes, hating another human being is murder without the physical act. And, yes, I command you to never do this!
7 Do not ever cheat on your wife or husband! You tell me that you have never crossed the line. But where is that line? At the bedroom door? The doorway into the other person’s home? You say you have never had sex with anyone outside of your marriage. But, what about mentally? I command you to never have a lustful thought for anyone other than your spouse! Not even a hit of lust outside of the bonds marriage!
8 Do not steal. Yes, that includes the paperclip or ballpoint pen that your company supplies to all of its employees. Yes, that includes those times in which you justify taking a little bit “extra” of something because you feel as though you’ve been overcharged. That includes that little item, even though “they’ll never know it’s missing.” Do not take what’s not yours!
9 Don’t lie about someone else! You say that you don’t? Do you gossip? Do you ever exaggerate a story about someone to make it sound a little bit more juicy? Do you ever make allusions about a co-worker’s performance to make yourself look better in your boss’ eyes? Do you ever play one-upsmanship because you don’t want someone else to look better than yourself? Then you are doing things to another of My creations to make him or her look bad. I command you not to do this!
10 “Jealous much?” Do you sit and look at what your neighbor or friend or acquaintance has and grumble because you don’t have it, as well? Are you upset that his or hers is better than your own? Do you wish you had your friend’s spouse? How about that car your co-worker drives? That house? That vase? That chromed widget? That item is not yours! I forbid you to spend time yearning for what belongs to another!
If you are anything like me, you read this list of don’ts & dos and have come to realize that you’ve blown your fair share. That may not seem like a big thing. You may say, “Yeah, well, I committed less than half” or “I’m only guilty of one or two.” Maybe you’ve gone through the list and said, “I’ve only faintly broken one of the ten.”
So what, though? What if you’ve broken all ten? Some people have almost made it a competition to see if they can crush all ten before dying.
How about the flip side? What if you’ve spent your life trying your hardest to avoid breaking them? You haven’t been successful … not completely … but at least you’ve tried!
Here is a little-known fact about that list of Ten Don’ts and Dos: Break one, break them all.
It doesn’t matter one iota how few you have violated. According to God you are completely guilty of breaking the Law. His Law. Even if you didn’t know about the Law, your consciences dictates to you the right and wrong of an action before you even do it. If you end up looking at the list list of Dos and Don’ts for the very first time, after you’ve violated your conscience, you realize you are without excuse.
Scripture puts it this way: “All have sinned and have fallen short of God’s standard of righteousness” and “There is not one good person. No, not one.”
Again … so what?
Consider this: If there is a God, there is a place where there exists only a state of holiness; purity. There is no imperfection in, or around, God. And no imperfection will ever be permitted in, or around, God. His dwelling place is only for those beings that are perfect, without sin. And, yeah, sin is what it’s called when one of those ten commands is violated. Sorry, but you and I both are guilty of <queue dramatic music> … SIN. And unfortunately for us, that means that we do not qualify to go to Heaven; neither the Heaven up there nor the New Earth that’s to come. We cannot get in.
And … where there is sin, it must be judged and punished.
You and I have violated, disregarded, deliberately disobeyed without regard to the consequences. Yep. It’s on us. Only those without guilt are not judged. After all, there’s no reason to bring a righteous person before a judge. And, no, unlike our own justice systems here on Earth, the Righteous Judge does not make any mistakes in His determinations. If you are judged, there will be Hell to pay. Quite literally.
It kinda begs a question, doesn’t it? “How do I fix this?!”
The answer? You don’t. You can’t.
You cannot un-break a commandment. You cannot do enough good things to become un-guilty. (I’m fully aware these aren’t words. I’m breaking some writing commandments right now!)
You may ask, “Are you telling me I’m lost? I’m a lost cause?”
Yes, to your first question. No, to your second.
You do need to be rescued. But you are not incapable of being rescued.
Jesus Christ, in Scripture, is called “The Advocate.” Yep. Defense attorney. Someone to speak on your behalf. But … you cannot earn His services. They have to be accepted.
Name for me a religion in which you do not have to do some something in order to graduate up the scale toward Nirvana or gain right-standing before some “deity.” Hinduism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness-ism, Islam (Muhammad-ism), etc. In every case, one must do better, gain approval, or reach for some higher level. It’s all on you. That’s why they are called religions. They are man-made attempts to get oneself right.
And … they’re all lies.
We humans are incapable of undoing what we’ve done wrong. But by accepting a gift—a VERY EXPENSIVE gift—that was paid for out of love on our behalves, we can be GIVEN a position of righteousness. You see, without the blood of an innocent being shed, sin cannot be removed. Jesus, some 2,000 years ago, was that innocent. He died deliberately for you and me. He did it because He is passionately in love with us. Yes … with you!
The only work that you have to do to be given this gift is to humble yourself enough to say something like:
“I need it. Jesus, thank You for what you did for me. Thank You for deliberately letting Your blood be spilled on my behalf. I accept the gift that You want to give to me. I accept You as my Savior and as the Lord of my life. Forgive me of all of my sins, including those ahead of me. I will do my best to love You and live for You for the remainder of my days. Help me to be strong, and give me a heart filled with Your love for other people so that I can share with them what You’ve just done for me. In Your name I pray, Jesus. Amen.”
Is it really that simple? Yep. A life filled with breaking those ten commands, made right by two acts of humility: The humility of Jesus leaving His position in Heaven to live here on Earth in order to rescue you and me, and the humility of you and I acknowledging, “I can’t do it on my own.”
Now, about those Ten Commands. Jesus came to Earth and was the only one to fulfill them — the Law; the only one to not violate a single one. He closed that chapter—the Old Covenant—the Old Testament. He gave us two commands to replace the Ten: 1) Love the Lord your God with all of your mind, soul, and strength and 2) love those around you the same way that you want to be loved yourself.
Don’t worry about blowing it, though. Inevitably you will. But that’s already covered. Covered because of the blood of Jesus.
Galations 5:1 says: “Stand firm in the liberty that Christ gave you, that made you free, and do not become entangled again by the Law.”
Yep. “He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.”
Enjoy the freedom bought and paid for by our Hero, God the Son: Jesus Christ.