Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Ten Commandments

It is not what is said but who said it that carries the most weight when it comes to my personal determination of its credibility. For example, many times when I hear people speak on behalf of the Ten Commandments, they will usually quote a prominent historical American figure. Many times I have heard quotes from American forefathers such as John Adams or James Madison. I have heard or read the following quotes on numerous occasions.

From John Adams: "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These laws are essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments lay down."

From James Madison: "We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon . . . the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

While these are great men in American history, I am not nearly as persuaded by their words as I am the words of the risen reigning Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (Matthew 5:17-18).

This Sunday I begin a series on the Ten Commandments. My first message will be on "The God of the Commandments." According to religious polls most American Christians cannot name four out of the ten commandments. So, to remind us, here they are from Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV).
  1. "You shall have no other gods before me."
  2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol."
  3. "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."
  4. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."
  5. "Honor your father and your mother."
  6. "You shall not murder."
  7. "You shall not commit adultery."
  8. "You shall not steal."
  9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
  10. "You shall not covet."

Just a thought!