God’s Commandment – ever relevant
God has put His Commandments in our hearts and minds, so as believers we are already obeying them. We need not fear of forgetting them as long as we keep the faith so that Satan has no power to distract us from observing them. It would be remiss of me to think the Ten Commandments have been done away with like the Statutes and Ordinances that govern the sacrifices and new moons and wheat and sheaf offerings, the festivals and feast days. These laws were to stand until the Messiah, one who would be like Moses, came. (Deuteronomy 18: 18 & 19) “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put my words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will requite it of him.”
Deuteronomy 16. ”And the Lord said to Moses: and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners ......and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 24. So it was when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a book........that Moses commanded the Levites .......saying “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there as a witness against you.” This is the Mosaic Law that God instructed Moses to write and put in the side of the Ark, as distinct from the Ten Commandments which God wrote with His own finger and gave to Moses to put in the front of the Ark.
This is the same Law, the Ten Commandments, that Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law until all is fulfilled.” (Matt.5:17&18). Heaven and earth are still here with us, so why then do we think that Paul, whose writing even Peter found difficult to understand (Peter 3:16), had the authority to get rid of the Law? Why would Paul’s word supersede the word of Jesus who gave us the gospel, the very gospel that Paul is trying to encourage the Jews to accept, or the instructions of Peter, James and John who were with Jesus when He preached the gospel. Peter 1:24,25 says “but the word of the Lord abides for ever. That word is the good news which was preached to you.”
Paul, an unmarried man, chose as his examples two of the Ten Commandments the Jews would find least objection to: adultery and covetousness (Romans 7:1-12). Had he used any of the other eight, He knew he would have greatly offended the Jews, he being one and a Pharisee, who persecuted the followers of Christ, having Him crucified. Therefore, he felt it necessary to placate the Jews by showing them that they would not be offending God by accepting the gospel of Christ. He referred to himself as the least of the apostles. (1Cor.15:9).
Neither of the two of the three disciples, Peter and John, who were chosen by Jesus to be with Him when He wanted to be alone talked about doing away with the Ten Commandments. Peter 2:21 says “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.” James, the half-brother of Jesus, in his epistle said that “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10. John, who was close to Christ reminded us to obey the Commandments for they are not burdensome. (1 John 2:3). “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” Revelation, that last book of the New Testament and of the Bible, that so many find difficult to understand, verse 14 in Chapter 22, the very last Chapter in the Bible says “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates of the city.”
Jesus, just before His Ascension commanded the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. The gospel is what Christ came to preach to change the lives of the Jews who crucified Him, and the Gentiles whom He called upon Paul to preach to. Nowhere did He give Paul instructions to alter the gospel, or any of the disciples to replace His word. Because Jesus forgave us on the Cross does not mean that we don’t have to feel sorry for having wronged someone and feel no need to repent (as some would have us believe). It offers us a stronger reason to forgive those who trespass against us. Christ himself in the Gospel (The Lord’s Prayer) advised us to do this, the very Gospel He asked us to spread.
Romans3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
D. We must beware of Antinomianism; that is, of supposing that, because Christ has been obedient unto death, there is no necessity for our obedience to his righteous commandments. If this were so, the grace of Christ would tend to the destruction of the law, and not to its establishment. He alone is saved from his sins who has the law of God written in his heart; and he alone has the law written in his heart who lives an innocent, holy, and useful life. Wherever Christ lives, he works; and his work of righteousness will appear to his servants, and its effect will be quietness and assurance forever. The life of God in the soul of man is the principle which saves and preserves eternally.
(from Adam Clarke commentary)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
The apostle, having proved that salvation, both to Jew and Gentile, must come through the Messiah, and be received by faith only, proceeds in this chapter to show the obligations under which both were laid to live a holy life, and the means and advantages they enjoyed for that purpose. This he does, not only as a thing highly and indispensably necessary in itself-- for without holiness none can see the Lord -- but to confute a calumny which appears to have been gaining considerable ground even at that time, namely, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, through the grace of Christ Jesus, rendered obedience to the moral law useless; and that the more evil a man did, the more the grace of God would abound to him, in his redemption from that evil. That this calumny was then propagated we learn from ; and the apostle defends himself against it in the 31st verse of the same, by asserting, that his doctrine, far from making void the law, served to establish it. But in this and the two following chapters he takes up the subject in a regular, formal manner; and shows both Jews and Gentiles that the principles of the Christian religion absolutely require a holy heart and a holy life, and make the amplest provisions for both.
[Shall we continue in sin] It is very likely that these were the words of a believing Gentile, who-- having as yet received but little instruction, for he is but just brought out of his pagan state to believe in Christ Jesus-- might imagine, from the manner in which God had magnified His mercy, in blotting out his sin upon his simply believing on Christ, that, supposing he even gave way to the evil propensities of his own heart, his transgressions could do him no hurt now that he was in the favour of God. And we need not wonder that a Gentile, just emerging from the deepest darkness, might entertain such thoughts as these; when we find that eighteen centuries after this, persons have appeared in the most Christian countries of Europe, not merely asking such a question, but defending the doctrine with all their might; and asserting in the most unqualified manner, "that believers were under no obligation to keep the moral law of God; that Christ had kept it for them; that his keeping it was imputed to them; and that God, who had exacted it from him, who was their surety and representative, would not exact it from them; forasmuch as it would be injustice to require two payments for one debt." These are the Antinomians who once flourished in this land, and whose race is not yet utterly extinct.
(from Adam Clarke Commentary)