Moral and Religious Laws
1The Lord told Moses 2 to say to the community of Israel:
I am the Lord your God. I am holy, and you must be holy too! 3-4 Respect your father and your mother, honor the Sabbath, and don't make idols or images. I am the Lord your God.
5When you offer a sacrifice to ask my blessing, be sure to follow my instructions. 6You may eat the meat either on the day of the sacrifice or on the next day, but you must burn anything left over on the third day. 7If you eat any of it on the third day, the sacrifice will be disgusting to me, and I will reject it. 8In fact, you will be punished for not respecting what I say is holy, and you will no longer belong to the community of Israel.
9 When you harvest your grain, always leave some of it standing along the edges of your fields and don't pick up what falls on the ground. 10Don't strip your grapevines clean or gather the grapes that fall off the vines. Leave them for the poor and for those foreigners who live among you. I am the Lord your God.
11 Do not steal or tell lies or cheat others.
12 Do not misuse my name by making promises you don't intend to keep. I am the Lord your God.
13 Do not steal anything or cheat anyone, and don't fail to pay your workers at the end of each day.
14 I am the Lord your God, and I command you not to make fun of the deaf or to cause a blind person to stumble.
15 Be fair, no matter who is on trial—don't favor either the poor or the rich.
16Don't be a gossip, but never hesitate to speak up in court, especially if your testimony can save someone's life.
17 Don't hold grudges. On the other hand, it's wrong not to correct someone who needs correcting. 18 Don't be angry or try to take revenge. I am the Lord, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself.
The law came with Moses. Grace and truth came with the Messiah. Yet Jesus himself not only brought grace and truth, he was the fulfillment of the law. He did not abolish it, he completed it.
We are not damned for our inability to keep the commandments in the Old Testament. We are saved by Christ who embodies those commandments. We are saved by Christ who makes the commandments true for us by placing them in our hearts by his Spirit. We keep the commandments by believing in Jesus who fulfills them in our lives through his love. They are the commandments of the love of God and can only be followed by following Christ himself and loving as he loved. For each commandment is an act of grace and truth and the only law they are part of is the law of love.
To be holy as God is holy is to love God. To honor your parents is to love your parents and God. To honor the Sabbath rests of God is to love the God who gifted us with such rests of the body and spirit.
To refuse to make or worship an idol is to love the true God who is the only God.
Whatever you offer up to the Lord is done because you love him and want to honor him.
When you make sure the poor have their share you do so for love of them and the love of God.
When you do not steal or lie or bear false witness or cheat your neighbor or pervert justice or slander or endanger others or hate or seek revenge you love your neighbor as you love yourself and you also love the God who made you both.
The commandments of God are the laws of love and they can only be lived when the love of Jesus thrives in your heart.
Lord, help me to live the love of the Ten Commandments not by any desire to serve the law but by a desire to love and serve you and all the people of the earth who you made in your image. In Christ’s name, Amen.