Religious Traps: The Ten Commandments
It’s a sad state of affairs when much of the corporate church universe has been so misinformed about the most basic and foundational elements of the gospel … and the infinite differences between law and grace. Having been duped and deceived for many years myself, my passion for the past 25 years has been to help people begin to experience a greater knowledge of the truth by exposing much of the hypocrisy within what I call the Bible blender. This is where the “Christian religion” ruthlessly mixes a combination of the Old Covenant law with New Covenant grace.
The slippery slope often begins with what we refer to as The Ten Commandments. Religion tells us that although the law can’t save us, “some of it” is still in effect for people to try to live by for spiritual and moral health and to reduce their sin count in order to bring a progressive sanctification (setting apart, holiness). They’ll reason since those commands were carved in stone, they were never meant to be erased or tossed aside. And we’ll hear all kinds of “verses” out of context that will suck people into this vacuum as though the cross never happened. Like salvation, sanctification is also a gift received by what Jesus did for us, we have nothing to boast within ourselves. And don’t let others fool you into thinking the TEN were separate from the rest of the law. They were called the tablets of the covenant … and Scripture is clear it’s not talking about the New Covenant.
Oh, by the way, you might have missed the news that the entire law was written in stone … not just the TEN. Yes, God engraved the TEN at Mt. Sinai, and Moses took down the rest of the law, but God would later require the Israelites to write the entire law on large stone tablets, which He provided for them before they entered the promised land (see Deuteronomy 27). That’s every jot and tittle that would be engraved or written upon stone tablets. Let’s point out just a few of the glaring inconsistencies about the church’s approach to this law and commandments controversy.
The law was part of something called the first covenant or the Old Covenant. The TEN were part of a package which included 603 other laws, commands, rules and statutes from that covenant that Israel agreed to abide by … it was not forced upon them after they were delivered from Egypt. They could’ve declined the offer by saying the demands were too difficult and impossible (because they were). But pride and arrogance took center stage when they declared they would do it—all of it—and that it would result in righteousness and sanctification for them (but it didn’t). This was a covenant exclusive to Israel. The other 99% of the Gentile world had no such covenant with God … we non-Jewish people were never brought into this covenant—we were outsiders who weren’t even looking in.
God declared this package of rules from the law—including the TEN—were never to be broken up. Nobody could ever add or take away from this law package. Contrary to what you’ve heard, the law wasn’t broken up and separated into different categories. The package was not known as the laws, but the law—it was all together in the same bundle. The problem or the curse of this law was that if you broke one (1) single statute, you were guilty of having broken the entire package … because the laws within the law were very interconnected and there was a domino effect when sin occurred. This resulted in everyone falling short and a doer of the law has never been found, thereby leaving the people in a place of hopelessness and despair, in a need of a Savior who could deliver them from such a bondage.
Today, church incorporated has been cherry-picking a few of the commands from the Old package—while leaving most of it off the to-do list—exposing their hypocrisy when God said it had to be all or nothing. They’ll even argue that Jesus said the law will not pass away until heaven and earth passes away (Matthew 5:17-19). Actually, a closer look will show that what Jesus said to these Jewish people who were still under the curse of that law … was that not one dot or stroke of the law will pass away until all is fulfilled. The takeaway from this passage is that if you want to apply any Old law or command, you would be required to implement every single one of them—bloody sacrificial statutes included … not to mention, you would have to do it perfectly (Matthew 5:48). But Jesus did fulfill the law on our behalf (Romans 8:1-4). He became “the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4).
Legalistic, hyper-works folks will sound the heresy alarm that we’re giving the green light to go ahead and sin and that it doesn’t matter. That’s simply the result of filtering grace through a self-righteous, works-based mindset which exposes the myths and fables they have been indoctrinated with and hasn’t rightly divided the Word of truth. We now live by the Spirit, not the letter from a written code which caused sin to increase. There isn’t a single law or command from the Old way which could bring life or righteousness—not one. The law is indeed holy, righteous and good but it was against us and contrary to us with its perfect standard that was powerless to provide what we needed.
We have no relationship with the law. It is not what is written on our hearts but instead, we’ve been given a new law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus which is based upon faith in Him, in what He has already done, and in Him living through us. Christ in you, that’s our hope of glory. It’s His grace that teaches us to deny ungodliness.
In Christ, we now abide in a New Covenant that is far better than the Old Covenant. Here are a few references below about the law (including the TEN) and what you may have missed in Sunday school class:
- The law was a yoke of bondage the Jews were unable to bear, and the church in Jerusalem agreed with the apostles not to thrust it upon the Gentiles (Acts 15:10).
- We are justified and made righteous by faith, apart from the law (Romans 3:21, 28).
- The law came not to reduce sin, but to increase sin (Romans 5:20).
- We are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
- We are dead to the law and freed from the law (Romans 7:4, 6).
- Sinful passions are aroused by the law and will bear fruit for death (Romans 7:5).
- The commandment resulted in more sinning, not less. But apart from the law sin is dead (Romans 7: 7-10).
- Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death to serve in the newness of the Spirit (Romans 7:6, 8:2).
- Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe (Romans 10:4).
- The power or strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
- The law, including the TEN written on stone, is described as the ministry of death and condemnation … and no longer has glory at all (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).
- Pursuing the law of works is walking in the flesh (Galatians 3:3).
- The law is not based upon faith (Galatians 3:12).
- Christ came to redeem from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:10-13).
- No law is able to provide us with life or righteousness (Galatians 3:21-22).
- The law was a tutor to point people to a Savior, but now that faith has come, we are no longer under the tutor (Galatians 3:24-25).
- The TEN given on Mt. Sinai gave birth to bondage or slavery (Galatians 3:24).
- Abiding by any of the law leads to falling from grace (Galatians 5:3-4).
- If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law (Galatians 5:18).
- The law does not produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Christ broke down the dividing wall—the law of commandments (Ephesians 2:14-16).
- The law was nailed to the cross (Colossians 3:13-14).
- The law is not made for the righteous in Christ (1 Timothy 1:5-9).
- If the old law is still in place, Jesus is not a legitimate High Priest (Hebrews 7:12-14).
- The former commandment (law) was set aside (annulled, abolished) because it was weak and useless (Hebrews 7:18-19).
- Because it’s a package deal, whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it (Galatians 5:3; James 2:10).
For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage inside of a new and better covenant, and also gaining a better understanding of the teachings of Jesus, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee.
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