A young couple was eagerly searching for a piece of land on which to build a house. In their search, they found two pieces of property. One was beautifully landscaped with rich, fertile soil and many fruit trees. The second piece of land was pitifully barren, filled with rocks and hard, dry soil. The only good part about the barren property was that it was cheap. The young couple worked hard to save money to purchase the attractive property. But by the time they had enough for the down payment, a wealthy landowner had purchased it for cash. Dejected, they bought the barren piece.
One afternoon, as the young man was digging to build the foundation for their new house, he heard a loud, clanging noise. Thinking it was just another rock, he continued digging around the object. Suddenly, he discovered a metal box. Prying open its rusted top, he found it filled with pieces of unpolished gold, rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and other precious gems. He rushed to his wife. “Come look at the wonderful treasure I found buried under our barren land! It must be worth a fortune! We were upset and discouraged when we had to buy this desolate place, but now we’re more blessed than ever.”
Often, the Ten Commandments appear like that dry, barren land. We see all the “Thou shalt nots” and feel restricted or discouraged, not realizing that they hold special blessings for our good. Not until children grow up and begin their own families do they fully appreciate their parents’ restrictions. And not until we are spiritually minded do we comprehend the goodness behind God’s restrictions.
Unfortunately, many experience the curse of transgressing God’s Law before they understand the wisdom of obedience. A promiscuous individual who contracts AIDS may once have thought that the Law restricted pleasure. How much better to accept by faith the joy of believing God and His Word: “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” Psalm 34:8.
1. What was seen in Heaven when the temple of God was opened?Revelation 11:19
2. What was contained in the ark of the testament on Earth? Deuteronomy 10:3–5
Read the Ten Commandments as spoken by God in Exodus 20:1–17. God wrote these Commandments with His own finger. Why did He do this? Perhaps it was because these Commandments were so very important that no man could be trusted to write them. The Ten Commandments depict God’s power, character, and authority. We know to take them seriously because God wrote them personally.
1. What is one way in which we dishonor God? Romans 2:23
2. Why does the psalmist urge God to take action on Earth? Psalm 119:126
3. In what way can we show Jesus that we love Him? John 14:15; 1 John 5:2, 3
1. According to Jesus, who will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven? Matthew 5:19
2. What is the evidence that we know God? 1 John 2:3, 4
3. What was Jesus’ purpose regarding the Law? Matthew 5:17, 18
4. What did Isaiah prophesy that Jesus would do with the law? Isaiah 42:21
5. How did Jesus magnify the sixth and seventh commandments? Matthew 5:21, 22, 27, 28
1. What law did Christ abolish? Ephesians 2:15
2. What was the Passover called? Exodus 12:43
3. What did Christ blot out and nail to the cross? Colossians 2:14
In Old Testament times, God’s people performed ceremonial ordinances involving burnt offerings and the sprinkling of blood. Ezekiel 43:18. While the blood of bulls and goats didn’t take away their sins, such ordinances were a means of demonstrating their faith in Christ and His righteousness. Hebrews 11:4, 28. Since they served only as a foreshadowing of Christ, those provisional laws were no longer needed after His death on the cross of Calvary.
1. In what ways did God communicate His Ten Commandments? Deuteronomy 9:10; Exodus 20:1
2. What will God not alter? Psalm 89:34
3. Which law has real significance for the Christian? 1 Corinthians 7:19
4. How did Paul describe God’s Commandments? Romans 7:12
We must not confuse the ceremonial law with the moral Law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments. As God does not change, neither do His Commandments. God’s Ten Commandments represent His righteousness that He places within us when He justifies us. Psalm 119:172; Romans 3:22; Hebrews 10:16, 17.
1. How does the Bible define sin? 1 John 3:4
2. What is one way that we can know that the moral Law still exists? Romans 4:15
3. To what does James compare the Law? James 1:23–25
4. When we examine the Law, what does it show us? Romans 3:20
5. Would we know what sin is if there were no Law? Romans 7:7
1. To what else are God’s Commandments compared? Proverbs 6:23
2. How does the Law of God help us? Psalm 19:7
3. What can the Law not do for us? Romans 3:20
4. Does faith do away with the Law? Romans 3:31
If the Law could have been abolished, Jesus then could have eliminated sin without having to suffer and die. All He needed to do was change the Law and there would be no more violation, no need for anyone to pay the penalty. The fact that Christ died is the strongest proof that God could not change His Law. For “it is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17
5. Where does God promise to write His Ten Commandments, and what does He call this promise? Jeremiah 31:31–33 and Hebrews 8:6–11
6. How long will God’s Commandments stand? Psalm 111:7, 8; Matthew 5:18; Mark 13:31
“The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul,... rejoicing the heart,... enlightening the eyes.... enduring forever.” Psalm 19:7–9. God’s Law never changes. It stands forever and cannot be done away with. Those who keep it receive a great reward. Verse 11.
I understand that the Ten Commandments, the Law of God, is His supreme moral standard, and I choose to let Him write this Law in my heart and, by His grace, to obey it.
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