10 Commandments Revisited
Let me start my theological reflection by saying that the use of the law in the conversion of sinners is necessary for our day. It is the law of God that slays the pride of the human heart and exposes one to the need of the Savior. We live in a world in which the idea of good works, good character, and good intentions seem to rule the day. It is the law of God that will destroy those three categories. As the apostle would say, “sin lies dead until the law comes and revives it.” It is the law that shows men that they are liars, thieves, adulterers, and idolaters. I am thankful for those who have helped us return to the use of the law in the conversion of sinners. We have enough watered-down easy believism in the modern church of America and it is refreshing to know that people are using the law for the right purpose.
Over the years there have been discussions about which part of the Old Testament was still applicable in our day. We understand as we read the Old Testament that we no longer have to bring a bull, turtle dove, or a grain offering to atone for our sins. We agree that if a woman is caught in adultery today we cannot take her to the edge of town and stone her to death. It seems that there has been a consensus that we hold to the moral law (10 commandments), but not the laws that were specifically for the nation of Israel and their government at that time. These things seem clear in the New Testament as well and we can readily see the 10 commandments used and applied by the apostles and by Jesus.
At this point you may be wonder where the word ‘but’ is going to appear. You may be wondering where I am going with this theological reflection. Well here it is. In the use of the 10 commandments it appears that we have erased one of the commandments and many who are using the law in the conversion of sinners should have gospel tracts that refer to the 9 commandments. Let me list the commandments for you:
- You shall have no other gods besides me
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain
- Honor your father and mother
- You shall not murder
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (do not lie)
- You shall not covet
You can read through the list and you can check them in Exodus chapter 20. Do you see that one that is missing? Do you find your favorite command in the list? Which commandments do you use on your children? Which commandment do you use on your lost friends? Which commandments do you use when you preach on the streets (while skipping worship at a local church)? Which commandment do parents use on their children while they casually stroll off to work, shopping, and the ball game on Sunday? Are you catching on yet? There is very little if any talk about commandment number four. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy!
How are we supposed to regard the Sabbath? God says, “Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter . . . why? For in six days the LORD made all creation and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” It would be refreshing to hear some people begin to practice and use the fourth commandment. After all, if the other nine are valid applications for the use of evangelism then what justification does one have to erase number four.
Let us look at the law sir. Let us look at the law madam. Let us look at the law sports fans. Let us look at the law fisherman, hunter, and discount shoppers of America. Have you ever disregarded the Sabbath day in order to live life for yourself? What does that make you? Uh, I am not sure. It makes you a disobedient rebellious Sabbath breaker. The crowd of church skipping street preachers, Sunday working Baptist, and most of religious America says, “Hey, do not judge me! I like the other 9 commandments, but do not use number 4 on me because that was a different time and culture.”
I have been counseling teenagers, wives and husbands for 14 years to not take that job and have just received word that I had one person listen. That one person was my son and I am so proud of him. He moved to Illinois, found a house, and started looking for a job. He was given an interview and practically guaranteed the job. The only problem is that it was a job that included Sunday. The employer was a Catholic businessman and my son looked him in the eye and told him he would work hard, be honest, and show up to work on time, but not on Sunday. What happened? He did not get the job.
However, the Catholic businessman was so impressed that he called the Baptist deacon who owns another business in town and told him he ought to hire my son. Conclusion, my son did not get a part-time job that was on Sunday, but rather he got a full-time job that does not work on Sunday. I am one proud dad today. It is wonderful to see someone who would be obedient to God and see God take care of His own. God can be trusted.
What about you? Are you a disobedient rebellious Sabbath breaker or are you one of those who sets aside the time and place to be with God’s people and worship the living God?