The Irrelevant Commandments
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The Irrelevant Commandments
While some think God’s laws have no purpose today, the Ten Commandments are in fact, vitally important for everyone.
[Steve Myers] How do you feel about God's law? Is it good? Ooh, is it restrictive? Bad, doesn't apply to me. Well, are the 10 Commandments of God irrelevant today?
Imagine if you chose not to follow a simple regulation. For example, what would happen if you decided you didn't have to obey the road signs? Now, if you thought normal rush hour traffic was bad imagine what ignoring the traffic laws would bring. And is this rule of law really that important? Of course when we speak of the rule of law that's a principle that holds all people whether they're individuals, institutions, entities everybody's accountable. So the laws are supposed to apply equally to everyone whether you're rich or poor, powerful even government leaders.
But what happens when there's no rule of law, what happens when people choose to do whatever they want? Now suppose you decided that a particular law wasn't that important or necessary, you know that particular government rule, that regulation. That's irrelevant. That doesn't apply to me. I shouldn't have to follow that. In fact, I don't like that requirement. That's a hindrance to my freedom. Of course where would that mindset lead? Well what would the world be like without law? I think we get the picture.
The world would be a pretty difficult place to live a place without law. Of course it may be true that not all man's laws are so good or helpful, but what about God's laws? How do you feel about God's law? Is it good, or is it restrictive, bad? Doesn't apply to me. Well I think it's irrelevant. Well how do you feel?
There was a 2018 study that was done that can help us to understand how most people feel. This particular survey asked, regardless of whether you're religious or not, which of the 10 Commandments from the Bible do you believe are still important principles to live by. Now if we went by this survey there would be only three commandments. That's right, only three of the 10 Commandments were approved of by at least nine out of 10 people. Which three? Well do not murder, 94% of the people agreed. Don't steal, another 94%. Don't lie or bear false witness, 91%. So you could say the public feels that these three should remain fundamental standards of societal behavior. So the vast majority say well, I guess God got those ones right. Those three laws definitely are ones we should live by.
But what about the rest? Well most think they're not really that important. So we really have to ask ourselves then are the 10 Commandments of God irrelevant today. Many think there are at least seven commandments that aren't that significant. So what about you? You may not feel that way. You may think that you should obey the commandments. Well stay tuned because I'm going to discuss a perspective that will surprise you. I mean, after all, did God give you laws to keep? Absolutely, yes, He did. The 10 Commandments. They should be the foundation of God's law for your life but why did God give us law? Now some think that's just to take all our fun away. I mean, after all what's so bad? What's so bad about drinking just a little too much once in a while? I mean, what's so bad if I tell a little white lie? And then there's the infamous "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." I mean, are God's commands just irrelevant restrictions.
Well, here's what the Bible has to say about it. When we asked that question why? Deuteronomy 10:12 Deuteronomy 10:12And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
American King James Version×, tells us why. And it begins, "What does the Lord your God require of you, "but to fear the Lord." That's what we're supposed to do. We're to walk in His ways and love Him to serve Him course that's summarizing the commandments, "Serve the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul." And it goes on to say, "And to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes, which I command you today." And a couple of important words. "For your good, for your good." You see, this is for your own wellbeing. One translation even says that God's giving them to you today for your benefit. Now Jesus Christ said much the same thing. He said, "I've come that they may have life and that they may have it abundantly." And so Christ was saying right now, right here as well as often to the future.
So we find that our Creator gave us the best way to live. And the 10 Commandments show that way. How do you have a fulfilling life by keeping God's commandments? Now if you don't know them, don't dismiss them. In fact, you're in a lot of company because most people don't know them. A while back a survey asked 200 Anglican priest to name all 10 Commandments. Now you would think that these are religious people. Of course they would know the Bible. They would understand and be able to name the commandments. But according to the poll, only 68 out of 200 priests were able to name all 10 Commandments. Now that's only 34%.
Well some would say, well no wonder they can't name them. It's because they're irrelevant. They don't matter today. They were given thousands of years ago and they really don't have any meaning for my life today. Could that be true? No, like the laws of the road those signs on the highway they're there to protect you. They're there to keep you safe and keeping the law of God and developing a relationship with Him. It's really the only way. It's the only way to long-term happiness for everyone. So when we asked the question, why? Why did God give us His law over and over and over again? He says He gave it for your benefit. He gave it to benefit people and bring great blessings upon them. And of course there's plenty of evidence in His word immediately after giving the 10 Commandments Deuteronomy 5:29 Deuteronomy 5:29O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
American King James Version×, it records what God has to say, and notice this. He says this, "Oh, that they would have such a heart in them that they would fear me and always keep all my commandments." Why? Well He says, "That it might be well with them and with their children forever."
And so what we find is God's telling us His commands are valuable. They're beneficial. They're in your best interest. Yet today mankind's decided to reject God's commandments and some say well, who needs more than three but where does that lead us? Are things really going well in our world today? What about our nation? Is it going well in your own personal life? I mean, has it really helped us to discard God's standard? You see, that's why you need to understand what the 10 Commandments are all about because there's so much to learn about God's law and how it applies to your life. And I'd like to help you understand. So call us at the number on your screen and we'll send you a free copy of our Bible study aid, "The Ten Commandments." Now this guide will really help you understand what the commandments are all about and why they're so important to you. Do you really know them? Do you know the meaning of the 10 Commandments? What's God's intent? Is it really necessary to live by them?
Go to our website at, beyondtoday.tv you can read this for yourself immediately. It will help you to grasp the real truth about the law of God and our amazing father and why He wants a relationship with you. Now unfortunately too many people today see the 10 Commandments as just a set of restrictions. It's a listing of thou shalt nots. And somehow it keeps us from doing everything we want to do like being happy as we really want to be. And some see God has a harsh judge and He wants to keep people bound by these repressive narrow parameters. But you know, our Creator knows what's good and He knows what's bad for us.
When I think back to my childhood as a little grade schooler, oftentimes living in the city of Chicago we'd end up in our little neighborhood sometimes playing out in the street. And my mom, she'd say, "Get out of the street. You shouldn't be running out there." But my little buddy Alan and I, we loved to play and we'd play in the yard for a while. But every once in a while, we'd get out by the cars on the street. And mom would say, "Get back in the yard." And say, "Is that really a big deal?" I mean, I liked it, it was fun. We'd run between the cars and my mom sometimes she'd have to yell at us but those rules seem pretty restricted to this little kid. Aren't they just kind of dumb rules and we didn't always listen.
Alan and I would kind of hide and play tag in and out between parked cars until one day, Alan ran out between two parked cars and it was a terrible tragedy. I lost my friend and it was an awful way to learn a hard lesson. Mom wanted to safe. She was trying to protect us and like the commands in the Bible they're there to save us from the heartache and the suffering that wrong choices bring and humanity as a whole has tried to figure out right and wrong by trial and error. And it's led to sorrow. It's led to pain and you know God's commands show us that He loves us and He cares about us and He wants to protect us.
In fact, love is what the commands are all about. It's not about taking our fun away and yet mankind's overall reaction is don't tell me what to do. In fact there's evidence of that very thought. Another poll that was conducted in Britain found that only two of the 10 Commandments are supported by 90% or more of the people in Britain. And imagine this only stealing and murder had that kind of support and still important principles to live by today. We're down to just two commandments. I mean, is that the proper way to view God's 10 Commandments?
Now unfortunately too many feel that the commandments are kind of like a buffet. You know, you go through the food line and you pick and you choose what you want and you can take it or you can leave it. Well should we just pick the commandments that we think are relevant and then get rid of the rest? Well remember we have a loving Father. We have a wonderful caring Creator who wants the best for you. And there's proof of that. When we look what He says in the Psalms in Psalms 37:3 Psalms 37:3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.
American King James Version×, it says, "Trust in the Lord and do good." He goes on and says, "Feed on His faithfulness delight yourself also in the Lord. And he shall give you the desires of your heart." You see, it really comes down to who's the authority in your life.
I mean do you really know that God knows best? Because when we consider the commandment behind every commandment is a principle and behind every principle is a purpose. And if you find the purpose you're going to find a guide for living because after all God's commands are there to help us to choose the right lifestyle the right way to live, because it's really a matter of the heart. God goes straight to our hearts. And if we tried to come up with our own laws I think there'd be a few things most people could totally agree on. I mean, human sex trafficking, it's awful, it's wrong, it's evil. We could all agree on that, but God goes beyond the action and He wants us to get rid of lust. I mean, we could probably agree like most of these surveys murder is wrong but God wants us to deal with our anger. And rather than just deal with actions only God's commands they go right to our heart. They go to our mind, to our motivation. And so then the challenge is to really understand the spiritual significance of God's commands. And that's why you need to order our study aid. "The Ten Commandments."
This is quite an eye opening booklet and you need to understand those spiritual aspect that spiritual standard of God as He's revealed it to us. I mean what, what is the meaning for you today? Call us at the number on your screen. We'll send you a free copy right to your door or you can go online to beyondtoday.tv and read it there for yourself because you'll want to understand why Jesus taught the importance of His commandments. So don't assume you already know. I think you'll be surprised by what you'll learn. So request your free copy of "The Ten Commandments." And ultimately you'll find that God gave His law to mankind thousands of years ago. He told His people here's what's best for you. The way they live their lives would then signify whether or not they really were His people, their obedience to God's law would show them that they were His people and the results would be they'd be blessed.
Can you imagine if that were to happen today? If we obeyed, I mean visualize a totally different world for a moment. One that's very different from the one that we live in right now. What if no one ever lied to you or failed to keep their word instead they showed you real love and care and concern, they wanted what was best for others? What kind of world would that be like? What if no one ever cheated on their spouse or walked out on their kids but instead honored marriage and valued family. And what if there wasn't any stealing? No need for locks on our doors no keys for our houses, no keys for our cars. Security, who needs it. Firewalls, virus protection none of that. You see just as God promised even observing just one of the 10 Commandments would have a monumental effect on the world for good.
Now you may think, well, I've obeyed God's commandments but there is one that most Christians overlook. In fact in the survey it was the one that was considered least important, which one? The Sabbath. That fourth commandment, the fourth commandment says "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath. The seventh day is what the Bible says is the Sabbath of the Lord your God and the command to keep the Sabbath well in the survey it was considered least important. 73% considered it insignificant. Sabbath, not a priority, pretty worthless. In fact most said, "Ah we can live without that commandment "to keep the Sabbath holy."
Now remember though the commandments are not a buffet line. Some dismiss it though. They think, ah, that was for Israel. Wasn't that just for the Jews? I think that was done away, right. No longer necessary. I think that's legalism. Wait, is that true? Well, if we look to our savior Jesus Christ set the example of Sabbath worship. Should we just disregard the way that Jesus Christ Himself worshiped? I mean, sadly, too many churches do just that, too many ministers teach that today. And yet Jesus never once told His disciples to ignore His example. He never once said the church has the authority to change or alter the Sabbath to make it Sunday worship. In fact, He taught just the opposite. He said, if anyone serves me, let him follow me. And He emphasized that point by saying something remarkable in Mark 2:28 Mark 2:28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
American King James Version×Jesus said He is Lord of the Sabbath.
Now what day is the Lord's day? Well, according to Jesus Christ, the Lord's day, the day over which Lord is the seventh day Sabbath. Jesus, He clearly tells us that He is Lord of the Sabbath day. His day of worship is the Sabbath. So if we claim to be followers of Jesus Christ we too should observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. In fact, Christ emphasized the importance of obeying in Luke 18. There was a young man who came to Christ and he asked Him, "What shall I do to obtain eternal life." Now what did Jesus tell him? Well read Luke 18. Christ didn't say, well don't worry about it because I've done it all for you. He didn't say that. Did He say, oh, don't worry about it? Obedience, not a problem. Commands ah, they're irrelevant. Okay He didn't say any of those things. What did He say? He told him, obey the commandments. Keep them. Then He actually goes on and quotes some of the 10 Commandments.
Now, some people can think that, well I can love Jesus. I can know God without having to be tied to those commandments. Is that true? Notice this shocking statement right out of your Bible? It's found over in 1 John 2:3 1 John 2:3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
American King James Version×. It says very clearly here. "Now by this we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments." Not only that, it goes on and it says, "He who says I know Him and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him." So if you don't keep the commandments a relationship with Jesus Christ will not, in fact a relationship with Jesus Christ cannot, exist. You can't know Jesus without keeping, without obeying without following and observing His commandments. And that's why it's so critical.
That's why you should order our Bible study aid "The 10 Commandments" because you want a right relationship with God. You need a right relationship. So order your copy today, by calling us at the number on your screen, it will certainly help you strengthen your relationship and understanding of God's character and really identifying His nature and understanding His commandments. You can go to our website at beyondtoday.tv and you can read a copy right there online or download it to your tablet or your smartphone. Read it later because you'll definitely want to know what God is all about. And this will certainly help you.
Now, when you begin to think about that we can understand that Christ emphasized obeying the commandments. In fact He took those 10 amazing laws and He summarized them. And what you might say were two soundbites. In Matthew 22, Christ said the first sound bite was to love God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind. And that summarizes those first four commandments. And then He said that second soundbite was to love your neighbor as yourself. And that's a summary of the last six. In fact if you summarize the commandments what would you say they are? Restrictions, limitations, legalistic things control old covenant. You see it's none of those things. None of those, in the New Testament.
1 John 5:3 1 John 5:3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
American King James Version×says this. "This is the love of God that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome." So love defines God's nature. And the commandments define love. His commandments teach us about our greatest priority in life because they show us the way to love God. They show us how to love people. And so if you're ready for a new perspective for a completely new view now is the time, it's the right time to really truly understand God's commandments.
It's time to discover a right relationship with God. And when we do this we can really understand why God gave His commandments. They're not restrictions, they're to help us and to protect us, to keep us from hurting ourselves. And so, as we consider God's law remember how Christ emphasized His law over and over. Do you really love God? God says, keep my commandments, keep my commandments. Then we can begin to have a truly close relationship with God because we're demonstrating our love to Him. So be sure you learn about His way. Show your love for Him. Put it into practice and live His kind of love by observing the commandments of God.
[Announcer] Please call for the booklet offered on today's program, "The 10 Commandments." This free study aid will show you how God's law can transform your life. You can have the life you've always desired with a heart and mind free from fear, joyful and purposeful. This booklet outlines each of the 10 commandments in an easy to understand style that reveals the deep truths that God wants you to know so that you can live an authentic fulfilling life that benefits and inspires others. Order now, call toll free 1-888-886-8632, or write to the address shown on your screen. Don't wait any longer, start aligning your life with God's plan for you by requesting your free copy of "The 10 Commandments."
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[Gary Petty] In today's world of confusion, disorder and suffering, fellow shipping with others and learning the truth from God's word is more important than ever. Hi, I'm Gary Petty, a pastor with United Church of God. If you're looking for a church that encourages living with the word of God really teaches you found the right place. We're a community of believers dedicated to seeking the truth and preaching the Good News of the coming kingdom of God. We'd like to welcome you to come and join us on this spiritual journey. We have hundreds of congregations around the United States and across the world. Visit ucg.org to find a church near you. We're looking forward to meeting you soon.