During a study on marking I started to explore the ten commandments. These commands can't produce life in anyone but they sure expose what a man isn't and what happens in a person who lives incomplete under the law.
The first five commands are mirrored in the second five. Habitual way of thinking or a mindset culminates in action if a person goes down that path. Let's look at them in five separate sets. (These commands are taken from Exodus 20:13-17 ESV)
And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not murder.
If you look at these two the connection is clear. Ignoring, denying or replacing God is one way of removing Him from your thinking. Killing someone removes them from your life. A murderer first dehumanizes his victim in his mind then at some point says, 'My life would be better without this person.' or 'I can not exist if they exist.' Murder is hate brought to it's final conclusion. It starts from a lack of love. The atheist and the killer lie to themselves because neither God or this person is truly removed. People don't have that power.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not commit adultery.
Idolatry and adultery are the clearest of the parallels. Scripture makes this connection often.
"For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, 'I will not serve.' Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore." Jeremiah 2:20 ESV
Idols were often set up in high places under trees.
This is a search for sanctification apart from God and true commitment. It fails... the nature that is separated from God is never satisfied.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
You shall not steal. (The word can also be translated kidnap)
This is an interesting one. It has to do with perception of value. Does God's name have value? Is His nature hidden or revealed? There is something about tossing God's name around in a casual way that acts as a theft from God. The ultimate theft, besides murder, would be to take a child or person away and claim them as your own. All theft is a trespass of some kind but the violation in theft leaves one party lacking and the other one with something that should not belong to them.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Rest. There is so much to say about faith rest. Israel rested because God rested after creation. We rest because Christ sits down on the right hand of the Father in Heaven. Our work is at it's heart a false witness. We lie about who God is and what He has done when we lack rest. Anxiety is a lie the atmosphere projects against the finished work.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.
This one was a difficult one for me to digest. Notice the long list of what might be possible to covet. Relationships, authority and possessions are listed and then 'anything' is tacked onto the end of it.
What is it about an incomplete person that wants to have things in a nagging way? Is it the things themselves or is it something deeper? This suggests a deeper principle is involved. It goes down into our core identity. We sense we are lacking as people and it is a void that demands to be filled... somehow. We want to be someone else. A person with no void.
Often mother and father get the blame for who we are or conversely if we dishonor our parents later when we discovery how much we are naturally like them we begin to hate ourselves. They are linked.
Now that we have gotten our shoes good and dirty surveying That natural landscape let's have them cleaned off again with spiritual water.
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1:17 KJV
"But that is not the way you learned Christ! - assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV
"But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." Colossians 3:8-10 ESV
The Law exposes the old human nature but grace reveals the new nature.
The new man does not ignore God. The love of God is shed abroad in the heart of a new person. Christ becomes the only true image of God and all other false images are discarded as impostors. God character (name) becomes weightier and weightier we don't throw it around lightly or make false claims that bring glory to ourselves. The new man can rest. Not just cease from labor for a day but truly rest every day and every night. Things try to disturb rest but there is way back into it. A believer who rests in a storm gives a true testimony about who God is in the court room of life. Lastly we have honor. Not the honor of outward expression but the honor of intimate thinking. Honor for parents is beautiful to behold. Honor for God as our Father is the root of all satisfaction.
Grace is what makes this possible. The old person can cast a shadow over the new one but grace causes an eclipse where the old nature is hidden and the new one is revealed. The outline of a natural body still shows but the new hidden man of the heart is revealed in a person's thinking and the love they show.
"For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14 ESV
"Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8 ESV
"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." Romans 13:14 ESV
Yes! Putting on Jesus Christ a light shines into the world. One that is filled with people trapped in cycles they can not understand and gives them a person to speak to that has found the way home.
Jesus is the doorway to a new life.