So much of our laws and our society is based off of The Ten Commandments.
It all has to do with how our loving God wants to treat his people and how he wants his people to interact with each other.
God hates Slavery
If you were to read the book of Exodus in the 20th chapter, verse 2, the first thing you will know about the Ten Commandments is God says, “I am the Lord your God who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.”
To be honest, if I was God I would have said, the number one commandment is to recognise ‘I am the Lord your God who created the universe.’
I think that would be helpful, especially when you are creating a just society, but God does not want to be remembered as the creator to his people. He prefers to be known as ‘the God who freed you from slavery.’
Then to remember that he says, “Do not worship any gods besides me”, “Do not make any idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must not worship or bow down to them for I the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god!”
The Ten Commandments are a picture of how God wants to relate to his people. He wants to lavish on his people, and he wants his people to be free.
He came to set the captives free
In saying this, the most important thing to know about the Ten Commandments is being free does not necessarily mean do whatever you want to do.
The children of Israel were now free from captivity and now we are tasked with building a society free to worship God, but also to show just what can be achieved when we live the commandments. Knowing the heart of God is to see his people free to worship and free to love.
Jesus teaches us in Luke chapter 4 that he came to ‘set the captives free and to set the oppressed free.’ (Luke chapter 4 verse 18)
The Apostle Paul teaches us that ‘we were once slaves to sin’ (Romans chapter 6 verse 20).
It is clear that the commandments were created to give us perfect freedom that God desires his people to live in.
Without the Ten Commandments we are merely slaves to sin.
When Jesus said that he came to set the captives free, he was talking about those living under the captivity of sin; those who were living not understanding the perfect freedom that God has given us to worship him.
He talks about how we are to live amongst each other
Once we have settled in our hearts that the heart of God is to bring liberty to his people, to experience the awesome life that is ours in living close to God by following these commandments; he then talks about how we are to worship him wholeheartedly. That we are to rest, to set aside time for God in our weeks, but also how we are to live with one another.
Exodus chapter 20 verses12-17 says we are to ‘honour our parents, not murder, not commit adultery, not steal, not to bear false witness against our neighbour and not to covet our neighbour’s house or possessions.’
Any parents would understand that brings absolute joy to their heart to see their children living well with each other. When your children are not living well with one another, such as fighting, lying and stealing; it would bring any parent grief.
I feel this is the same with God, he wants us to love one another and the way we show love is how we treat each other.
Jesus said people will know you are my disciples “by the love you show for one another.” (John chapter 13 verse 35)
Can you be good without The Ten commandments?
The Bible teaches us that “only God is good” (Mark chapter 10 verse 18).
The Bible teaches us that without God there is no moral reference point.
I have talked to people who say, “I don’t need God, I am a good person.”
The question is, “how do you know you’re a good person? What is your reference point?”
Without God and his commands, there is no reference point.
The Apostle Paul said, “I would not know what sin is if it was not for the Law” (Romans chapter 7 verse 7).
Most times when I ask that question, they put it back to people: “I am sure people would have worked out it is not good to murder.”
The truth is we murder all the time, for most cases convenience, whatever is good for us.
It’s called abortion or even war.
War is a cause of young men sent to kill each other over what is best for their country.
The truth is, without God there is no good. His commands are perfect so let’s take them and apply to our lives and the future of our nation.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.