The first four commandments expose our attitude toward God, his worship, and his right to tell us when to take a break from our work. Have you missed the mark, fallen short on any of these four? One purpose of the Moral Law is to throw us back on the mercy of God. Will you need a Savior on Judgment Day or will trying hard be enough?
Thinking about this will cause you to enjoy this Christmas season even more. The LORD has come. Rejoice! The Savior was born that night in Bethlehem. The law met the gospel. There is now no condemnation on those who trust in Christ Jesus.
JUSTIFICATION AND IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS
Jesus kept every aspect of these four commandments perfectly. He never once violated the Sabbath in spite of accusations made against him. That righteousness is transferred to you if you trust in Jesus as your Savior. You are declared righteous in spite of missing the mark. It is a free gift of righteousness. Imagine opening that on Christmas morning! Now that is something to rejoice about, especially after being made conscious of our sins during this study of the Ten Commandments.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19).
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:3-4).
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,” declares the LORD: ” I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds.” Then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” (Hebrews 10:16-17).
Once we are conscious of our sins and then rejoicing in our justification, we need to know about grace in order to avoid becoming an antinomian. (When some see how hard it is to keep the law, they just focus on Jesus as their Savior and don’t worry whether they are missing the mark.) Grace and power to obey from the Holy Spirit is better than that:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth….For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:14-17).
Don’t let these doctrines lull you into thinking there is no use attempting obedience to the Ten Commandments since you will surely fall short and God will forgive you anyway. God has, in his mercy, provided a way out of this kind of slavery to sin. He teaches us; he guides us into more truth. Then he gives us grace to obey and grow. Power to hit the mark. Our Lord Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth. He is God with us. “The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
I hope your Christmas celebrations will be blessed as you ponder these things.
Here is a picture of my dog and I looking over one of our favorite beaches. Merry Christmas!