As Christians, we should follow God’s law because we already have a relationship with Him.
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. Matthew 5: 17
Questions often arise as to the laws given in the Bible, and how they relate to us today. It’s interesting that the Ten Commandments were given to the people as recorded in chapter twenty of Exodus. By the time the Ten Commandments were given, a large amount of Hebrew history had already taken place. We are halfway through the second book of the Bible! The Ten Commandments were not given so the people could have a relationship with God. They already had a relationship with God. The Ten Commandments were never intended as a means for salvation, but rather a guideline for living in a way pleasing to God. In fact, Jesus will point out that using this law as a means for salvation would be futile. “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven…” (Matthew 5: 19) James adds to this; “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 1: 10)
Obedience to the law is the fruit and proof of the God you already know. “And if we are careful and obey all the law before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” (Deuteronomy 6: 25) In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus gives us details on proper Christian behavior. However, before He does this, He gives us a portrait of the happiness that comes from a character oriented toward God. (the Beatitudes, Matt. 5: 3-12) Some want to argue that we should obey the laws out of fear for the alternative. That’s just the fear of getting caught. Even bank robbers and murderers have that fear. Imagine telling your significant other that you had the opportunity to cheat on them, but you didn’t do it because you were afraid of getting caught. Do you think they would be proud of you? Jesus never said, ‘do what I say or else’, but He did say, “If you love Me you will obey what I command.” (John 14: 15)
As Christians, we should follow God’s law because we already have a relationship with Him. We follow God’s law because we are grateful for Him. “This is love; not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4: 10) We follow God’s law because we love Him. “And this is love; that we walk in obedience to His commands…” (II John 6) We follow God’s law because we know God gave us these laws, not to be restrictive, but to provide the conditions where life can be humane and beneficial for us. “…I love your law. Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous laws. Great peace have they who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for Your salvation, O Lord, and I follow Your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey Your precepts and Your statutes, for all my ways are known to You.” (Psalms 119: 163-168).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.