We want to present to you new light regarding the 10 Commandments, which are the Law of God. You probably haven’t heard what we are going to present to you before, so listen up, and check our references and reasoning to see if it is indeed new light and new truth.
We have been taught that the only purpose of the 10 Commandments are to point out sin and lead us to Christ, and that we must look outside of the Law if we want to be righteous. Galatians 3:23-26. Is this really true? Let’s find out!
Let’s examine the beginning of the 10 Commandments to discover what it teaches:
For this we will start with Exodus 20:1. Yes we know most Christians start the 10 Commandments with Exodus 20:3, but we are intentionally starting with verse one, where the Jews start it.
Let’s see now how the meaning of the 10 Commandments is greatly expanded by starting with verse 1, instead of verse 3:
“Then 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.’” Exodus 20:1-3 NASB.
What does God say here? ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.’ What does He say next? ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’ What came first, the children of Israel keeping the Commandments? Or God rescuing His people from slavery in Egypt? If you take the text as it reads, there is only one conclusion.
Now what happened to the children of Israel in Egypt and how did they get to Mount Sinai, when God spoke the 10 Commandments?
If you read all of the chapters in Exodus prior to chapter 20, you will see that something remarkable happened. God through His servant Moses, brought the children out of the land of Egypt with mighty power and many wonderful miracles. He fed them the bread of Heaven, manna, and He sent quail to them to eat. He brought forth water from rocks when they were thirsty. Their clothing and sandals apparently did not wear out during their wondering in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses wrote: “Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.” Deuteronomy 8:4 NASB. But when they got to the Promised Land, God stopped sending them the bread of Heaven, which they called manna. Exodus 15:35; Joshua 5:12. The children of Israel were slaves in the land of Egypt and had no way of saving themselves. They had lost a lot of the truth God had given to Abraham that needed to be re-learned. But God took them as they were (like He will take you just as you are), and He led them step-by-step to Sinai and then to the Promised Land, as they obeyed and believed Him. And God will do the same for you if you let Him!
God was saving the children of Israel when they were still slaves, before He ever spoke the 10 Commandments.
Before God uttered the first commandment He said, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of slavery.’ Before He spoke the 10 Commandments, He had already been saving them! And because He was saving them, He wanted them to obey and worship Him in return – “You shall have no other gods before Me.” From all of this it is clear that salvation precedes the 10 Commandments.
The work of the 10 Commandments is connected to and cannot be separated from salvation.
Have you ever heard this before? We think not. Many people are so used to hearing that the 10 Commandments cannot save them, that they do not see the wonderful truth that is contained right there in the 10 Commandments! Many people have tried hard to be good, and have failed. They have been told that they have been saved by grace and are not under the Law; therefore they conclude that they only need to be concerned with grace. Many believe that the 10 Commandments have little value to the Christian who is ‘under grace.’ They do not realize that the Law is bound up with grace and cannot be separated from it! In the same manner as you a Christian are saved by grace, the Israelites were too! Nothing has changed. We know there are many who are teaching that the children of Israel were saved by keeping the law, but Christians are saved by grace. What rubbish! The children of Israel were also saved by grace! No human being has ever lived, who hasn’t been in need of being saved by God’s grace! If people would only read the Bible with understanding and a desire to love God and get His help, then there would not be this confusion and error. It’s always been about grace, and it always will be. Do not let anyone tell you that the Israelites were saved by keeping the Law and Christians are saved by grace. It aint so! It is ONLY by grace that anyone has ever been saved or that anyone ever will be! In the same manner as God was saving His people from slavery in Egypt, before He spoke the 10 Commandments, God must be saving you too, before you will be able to obey Him. If you allow God to save you, you will finally be able to obey Him.
In the first Commandment, the reason you are to obey and worship Him only, placing Him first, is because He is saving you!
Have you ever heard that Law and Grace don’t mix?
It sounds catchy, but it’s not true! Because grace was involved in the very beginning of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. -- Grace was involved from the very get-go, before God ever uttered the 10 Commandments. – Grace was there when God delivered His people from their slavery in Egypt. –And Grace was there when God spoke the 10 commandments! Jesus was the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world. He agreed with God’s plan to die for man’s sins should they fall, before mankind was ever created. Revelation 13:8. So grace was there before the foundation of the world!
The Law and Faith:
Now A. T. Jones stated in his Lessons on Faith Part 9, that ‘there can be no faith without the word of God.’ What is the word of God here? ‘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 god’s before Me.’ God declared His will here.
* A. T. Jones stated in Lessons on Faith Part 9, “Faith is complete dependence upon the word of God only, for the accomplishment of what that word says. This being so, it must never for a moment be forgotten that where there is no word of God, there can not be any faith. This is shown also in the truth that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. Since faith thus comes indeed by the very word of God itself, it is perfectly plain that where there is no word of God, there can be no faith.” Lessons on Faith Part 9. Review and Herald Feb. 21, 1899.
Now what is Mr. Jones talking about here? - If you have faith in God, you trust all of the word of God the Bible 100%. Because there can be no faith without the word of God. God is the only one you can trust. The faith described in the Bible is faith in the word of God and in the power of God to save and help you. What happens when you have faith in God and believe in His mighty power to save you? You get saved. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. Why are we bringing faith and the Law up here? Because we are showing the connection to God’s Law, salvation and faith. Unfortunately not everyone is teaching this connection. But we want to show and promote it. We read: “And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and he [God] counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6 KJV. And from Paul: “Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” Romans 4:9 KJV. So to keep the Law you must have faith that God can help you be righteous and save you, bad as you are.
Salvation is ONLY by Faith in the Word of God:
Now since there can be no faith without the word of God, and because He literally spoke His 10 C<ommandments in Exodus 20, which means they are the word of God, then there can be no faith without the 10 Commandments! WOA! So what are those really teaching who say the 10 Commandments were done away with? Salvation without faith! But wait a minute, this contradicts Paul in what He taught regarding righteousness by faith. That’s a lie. Salvation is only by faith. And with our added meaning that there can be no faith without the word of God, then salvation is only by faith in the word of God! (Which includes the 10 Commandments, the literal spoken word of God.) Wow! Thus to have true faith, you must believe in His 10 Commandments. You must stake your faith on them – since they are the Word of God literally. The righteousness which comes by faith (Romans 1:17; 3:22; 9:30; Galatians 5:5) must be staked on the word of God, including the 10 Commandments. This shows the eternal connection between the 10 Commandments, faith and salvation, since no one can be saved who doubts the word of God. John 3:16; Hebrews 3:12-19; Revelation 21:8. And whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23 KJV. The Law is also connected with conversion and thus salvation by David: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7 KJV. And as our text by Paul in Galatians 3:24 says - the law is a tutor to lead us to Christ. From this we see that the Law helps convert our soul and leads us to Christ and that it is necessary to believe in the 10 Commandments as God’s rules for us to live by, since they are literally the Words of God. Because God’s Law expresses His salvation to save His people, then the 10 Commandments are of salvation too.
Obeying God Brings Blessings:
What blessing did God pronounce upon those who would obey His voice?
Right before the 10 Commandments were spoken by God, He declared to Moses:
“Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."” Exodus 19:3-6 NASB.
God carried His people on eagle’s wings when He brought them out of the land of Egypt to Himself. Here is salvation again! (As in Exodus 20:1-2 - part of the 10 Commandments). What did God promise to do if His people listened to His voice? Make them His possession among all the people of the earth and to make them a kingdom of priests. Is that a blessing? You bet it is! It is a blessing of love and protection from God! Do you want God’s blessings like this too? ‘But I am not a Jew’, you may say. If you are a believer in Jesus you become a spiritual son or daughter of Israel. What did Paul declare? “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29 KJV.
Do you still believe that Law and Grace don’t mix? You may say that God spoke His promise to them in Exodus 19 of being a kingdom of Priests if they obeyed His voice, and that He spoke the 10 Commandments to them in Exodus 20. But you need to connect Exodus 19 and 20 together! They are part of the same event for the Old Covenant. Read all of Exodus 19 and 20 back-to-back. After Moses delivered these words to the children of Israel from God, what did the children of Israel say? “All the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do!" And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.” Exodus 19:8 NASB. This was their covenant with God, after God wanted to make a Covenant with them. What happened shortly after this? God spoke the 10 Commandments from Mount Sinai to the children of Israel. So what did the children of Israel promise to God they would do? Everything He said, including the 10 Commandments. The 10 Commandments cover the whole duty of man. The first four commandments are what is due to God, and the last six are what is due to mankind.
So there you have it: Salvation, the Law, and Faith come together and mix.
The next time you hear a preacher or someone say that Law and Grace don’t mix, tell them it aint so!
Grace and Law Mix:
We see that new light is shining forth from the Law! Salvation was there before the Law was spoken, and salvation was there when God spoke His Law. And salvation helps you to keep Gods Law! Salvation is there from beginning to the end and everywhere in between! It makes perfect sense.
After studying righteousness by Faith, we have come to the conclusion that the Ten Commandments contain the power to keep them. Why? Because God declared: “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void [or empty], but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 KJV. And what could be more than the word of God than the 10 Commandments, which He spoke to His people? There can be no words of God more powerful than when He spoke the 10 Commandments to His people – His 10 rules to live by. Many of the other “words of God” in the Bible were revealed to His prophets and leaders, but the 10 Commandments were literally spoken by God to His people and they heard it!
When God declares something - it is as good as done. When God spoke the 10 Commandments they would not return unto Him empty or void without accomplishing all that He desired. When He spoke ‘the word’ of the 10 Commandments, these words contained the power to accomplish them. It is the word of God! He is all powerful, and will give you the power to obey Him! The word of God is always accompanied with His power - to all who believe. This is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16. Therefore the 10 Commandments come with the power to keep them – to the one who believes.
Since the 10 Commandments were spoken directly by God - then the power to keep them is contained in them
- in ‘His word’ which spoke them. They are ‘the word of God’. God didn't expect His people to keep His law when they were slaves in Egypt and didn't know any better, and had no ability of keeping it. After He started to lead them out of Egypt they still didn't know all of the truth. But when He was speaking the 10 Commandments to them, and the other truths in Exodus and on throughout the whole Bible, they were being helped by God to know the truth and keep it. His word is power, and His power helps you to obey!
Law and Grace, the 10 Commandments and Salvation do mix! “Surely his [God’s] salvation is nigh them that fear him [God]; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:9-10 KJV. So there you have it: law and grace, mercy and truth, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
The Most Important Commandment:
Always start with the first commandment: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:1-3 KJV. This one commandment, the first commandment, is the one that gives you the power to keep the other nine. It's the same for us as well as the Israelites at Sinai: God has asked us to keep His Commandments based on the fact that He is saving us. This dovetails with righteousness by faith. In fact we can't see any separation from it. No one can keep God’s commandments unless they let Him save them. If you will just trust in His mighty power to save you – this is how you start to keep the first commandment! You must also learn to love Him, if you wish to keep the first commandment and the other 9. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38 KJV. Read where Jesus quoted this from Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Then God promises to give you the power to keep the other nine! For it is impossible to keep God's Commandments, unless you yield yourself completely to Him and believe. “Thus says the LORD, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.’” Jeremiah 17:5 NASB. This is what it means to have faith and this is the faith which is required in order to obey the first commandment. You must believe and love God if you want to keep His commandments.
To sum it all up:
There's an incredible power, if you will just read the first Commandment in Exodus 20 verses 1-3 and believe it as it reads, because God provides salvation for those who allow Him to save them! It is all done by Him, you simply desire to put Him first in your life and yield yourself completely to Him and believe in His love to save you.
Christians should still obey Jesus and God’s voice. Jesus declared, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14 KJV. And: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21 NASB. 1 John 2:4. The fact that we are living under the New Covenant now in no way changes that. God still wants us to obey Him!
In Exodus God showed His wonderful salvation in a very mighty way, many times before He ever spoke the Ten Commandments. But when He spoke the 10 Commandments, salvation was there as well! So there is New Light within the Law, if you start with verse one. We learned that if you want to be righteous, that salvation is right there in the 10 Commandments. – God wants to save you, and if you let Him, He will help you to keep His Law and live a righteous life for Him. So no, you don’t have to look outside of the 10 Commandments if you want to live a righteous life. – God’s power to help you live a righteous life is contained right there in the 10 Commandments, His word which He spoke to His people. Truly David was right when He wrote, ‘The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:’ Psalm 19:7 KJV.
This is quite powerful! We hope that this article has been a blessing to you.
May the grace of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all - as you want to obey God's voice and believe His word! Amen.
For more on the New Covenant, please read our book: A New Understanding of the New Covenant”, found on Smashwords.com, Amazon.com, Apple IStore, BarnesAndNoble.com and in other places.
By , John Foll, written between 7/5/2019, 1/22/2022, 1/29/2022, 2/4/2022, 2/5/2022.
© Copyright 2019 John Foll
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