What parts of the Old Law are still applicable? Why are the 10 Commandments so important but other laws aren’t? How do we apply these laws to our life?
These are tough questions for Christians and skeptics alike.
Where It All Began
When I first started my blog, it was based on a conversation I was having with some friends of mine who just happened to be what I would call “post-Christian” Atheists. These men all shared the commonality that they had been raised in the Christian faith and now practice atheism for one reason or another. One of these men asked me a question that at the time I did not have a solid answer. After much time and thought I am putting together an answer that I am hoping shows itself through the next few blogs.
His question was one that many Christians have a hard time dealing with and one that some just brush off. Here is the thing though, if this topic is one that may cause someone to struggle with their faith then we owe it the time it takes to dig in and find the right answer whether that answer supports our position or not. Through my own faith journey, I have learned that we cannot pick our position and then seek out Scripture that supports it. We must look at Scripture and pick our position based on it.
As I have said before, I believe every adult believer must take the time to ask themselves the tough question of “Why do I believe what I believe?”
We cannot continue to live with a faith that is only there because we were raised that way or because our parents told us to or because all our friends were doing it. We must live a faith that is existent because of the relationship we have with Jesus Christ and the experience we have had with Him in our lives.
“Why do Christians stand so firm on defending the 10 Commandments and not the rest of the “law” in the Old Testament.
Understanding The Question
To answer this question, we must first dive into what it is that is being asked. As an atheist my friend struggles with why Christians hold onto one part of the Old Testament while not living up to other parts of it such as not mixing two types of fabric or the dress codes and dietary restrictions listed in the Old Testament. For him, this is just an example of Christians picking and choosing what they want to believe when it is convenient for them.
I think we must first look at what Scripture says and then base our position there.
Straight to the Source
In today’s world many of those outside the church continue to ask why Christians hold so tight to the 10 Commandments but not to other laws from that same time period.
Christians have a bunch of answers to this question, but I think we should turn to Jesus and see what He had to say about it.
“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.”
Much time is spent on the first part of this statement; Do not think I have come to abolish the law. The thought here is that if Jesus was not here to abolish the law then the entire law is still valid. If this was the only part of this statement then that would be well and fine, but it isn’t. In Jesus’ own words He came to fulfill the law. He was the completion of the law and prophecy that had came before. I am not a scholar, but I can use google. If you look at the original Greek word that is translated into the word fulfill here, you can see that Christ came to “complete” the law.
So, if Christ came to complete “that” law then what should we be following?
First Things First
In order to answer that I think we need to look at the 1st Commandment and what Jesus said about it.
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
This was Commandment number 1. No other gods before Me.
I have to say that as much as I would love to sit here and say that I am great at keeping this commandment I must be honest and say that I am not. Too often, things just creep in and keep me from serving God to the fullest of my ability.
I could also, just sit back and say ‘well that is the old law and Jesus fulfilled that law’ so I am all good. As long as I am doing good and giving God just enough then I will be okay.
Well Jesus Said…
Well, let’s see what Jesus has to say:
John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
This was Jesus praying to His Father and recognizing Him as the only true God.
For me that is pretty cut and dry. If Jesus fulfilled the law, and still considered God His Father to be the ONLY true God then that is good enough for me.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Putting It All Together
So, when we begin to piece it all together, we see that Jesus knew that God was the only true God and that the only way to Him was through Jesus.
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
So, the Old Law said that we should no other Gods; the new law (Jesus) tells us that God is the one true God and the only way to Him is through Jesus. If that is not enough, He also teaches us that serving any other God would be the same as despising God. The Old Law says do not serve other Gods and Jesus says not only don’t do it but if you do you are despising the ONLY TRUE God.
Okay so we can see that no matter what we feel about the Old Testament and its validity for our lives the first Commandment is supported by and strengthened by the teachings of Jesus. This Commandment is the basis for the Commandments that follow.
The question remains on why we are so tied to the 10 Commandments and how we should feel about them. We can see through Scripture how Jesus felt about the first one and as we continue, we will look to Scripture to see how he felt about others. Click the link below to subscribe so you can stay connected and get alerted when the next blog arrives.