Christian Church of God - Grand Junction, Colorado

We Believe that the 10 Commandments are in effect today as a set of instructions and God’s Code of Conduct.

A general dismissal of the relevance of the Ten Commandments is a common approach among many Christian denominations of the modern age. Such a regard is presented as “New Covenant” theology, now that the “Old Covenant” is done away. It is posed that “the Law came in with the Old Covenant and went out with the Old Covenant”: that Old Testament Law carries no continuing obligation on those who have come “under grace”. Now, this isn’t usually posed regarding murder, theft, idolatry or adultery, etc., but is quick to come to the fore when the subject happens to be the fourth commandment. (Covered under statement #6.)

Their Pre-Mosaic origin: First, we should consider the validity of the premise that the Ten Commandments are one-and-the-same as the “Old Covenant”. Second, that they originated at Mount Sinai in the Arabian Desert in the time of Moses. It is ironic that the commandment having the most disregard is the one presented first as a commemoration of the completion of Creation (Gen. 2:1-2). We see that murder was a sin long before Moses (Gen. 4:8 & 6:5). We have the testimony that Abram kept all of God’s Laws and Statutes (Gen. 26:5). Would he have disregarded the Sabbath?

Which Commandments: Another premise with wide acceptance is the idea that Christ’s Laws superseded those of Moses. Christ is reported to have presented a whole new set of Laws commensurate with the New Covenant. The perception among casual church goers is that the harsh old Ten Commandments were the Father’s Laws, but Christ’s were less severe and are based on the principle of Love. After all, didn’t Christ say, “a new commandment I give you, that you love one another”?

Who was the Commandment Giver: This point of view operates under the impression that it was “the Father” who dealt with Moses and gave Israel the Commandments from Mount Sinai. In fact, the Being who did so was the same who later became Christ! Christ stated unequivocally that mankind never heard His Father’s voice or saw His image at any time (John 5:37), so it had to have been the second Person who appeared to Abraham, Moses and the Patriarchs of old.

Realizing this, we are forced to consider WHY Christ would “do away with” the Laws He had originally given to the Nation when making the First Covenant with them, and then why just one Commandment in particular?

Commandments Define Love toward God and neighbor: In a pointed discourse with a lawyer, Christ was asked which was the ‘greatest commandment of the Law.’ That conversation begins in Matthew 22:35. His answer repeated what is written in Deuteronomy 6:5, so this idea is not a ‘new’ thing! “You shall love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” But then He reveals something not obvious to all, “on these two (principles) hang all the Law and Prophets”. In other words, the Law -- and it means the same Law that Deuteronomy did -- explains HOW to Love God and love neighbor. The first four Commandments tell us how we are to love God, the last six, how to love our neighbor. It’s impossible to exhibit the kind of Love that Christ ‘added’ as a new component to the New Covenant without also keeping the Law that defines how to do so! Love must be expressed within that code of conduct that has been God’s nature and has defined His Character from the very beginning.

There was NO intent to void the Commandments: In a direct statement, Christ instructed His disciples, as well as all of humanity, how to think with regard to ‘the Law and the Prophets’. (A term referring to the body of the “Old Testament” not just the legal requirements.) In Matthew 5:17, He says that we are not to think that He came to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but that He came to fulfill them! Yet, most think that He came to do away with them! They define ‘fulfill’ to mean He did them ‘for us’, therefore we need not. That can get complicated when it comes to the issues of murder, theft, idolatry, and adultery; but humanity, even religious humanity, (and might we say, especially evangelical humanity), finds their faulty premise satisfactory for their purpose. They think, precisely, what Christ told us NOT to think! We are told that “sin is the transgression of the law” (1st John 3:4) and that where there is no law, there is no transgression (Rom. 4:15). It’s difficult to explain how a person could accumulate guilt (sin), worthy of eternal death, if there is no applicable law to violate!

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