The Ten Commandments under analysis
The Ten Commandments are a good foundation for conduct. By following them, crime and most of the problems will remove from society
- (Luke 18:20,21) You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and your mother.
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
This text goes over human acts and thoughts. Special attention will be given to the more important commandments, like the Ten Commandments, and how the will of God is neglected in society. The aim is to find out how the law of God, i.e. commandments, can speak to us these days and show us the right path. In addition, we are going to discuss the consequences we have to face if we choose to reject His guidance.
1. You shall have no other gods before me. When inspecting the Ten Commandments, the first thing mentioned is that we should not have any other Gods beside the one and only God. It means that we should not turn to other gods and forces or pray for them, because they are false gods. They cannot grant us forgiveness or eternal life, which can only be given by the almighty God.
Turning to these elementary things is abandonment of the heavenly God. We should only pray for Him, search for His will, and love Him more than anything. This attitude comes apparent in the double commandment of love, in which Jesus teaches the correct way to approach God and our neighbors. How many of us has followed this commandment always in their life? If not, you have broken against the Greatest Commandment. It means being guilty of the greatest sin. These verses illustrate our imperfect nature:
- (Matt 22:36-40) Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Loving God is not often actualized in the everyday life. Although it is not blatant idolatry, how typical is it that other things are more important to us than God? We have time for our television, videos, and computer, but no time for God. Or we have time for novels, for fun, and hobbies, but we neglect the most important: our relationship with God and searching for Him. This shows, given that we are attached to the former things, that we value the wrong things. Other things have become too important to us, because they come before our relationship to God. That is why we need to make a choice on what we really want to serve and follow.
The Lord looked at me in a way that emitted both friendliness and forgiveness, but at the same time I felt the severity of the warning I had been given.
“My Spirit walks with you and shows you your tendency to drift away from me. Despite that, you must follow my Spirit. Not even torchbearers are forced to follow me. All those who love sin and wickedness more than me, will fall. Everyone who love human praise more than the truth, will fall. If you love me and my truth more than those false gods that this world is worshipping, you will not fall. This is your everyday choice: you can either follow me or serve false gods who can easily overshadow the love you feel for me.” (1)
2. You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. The second Commandment urges us to refrain from making images of God and worshiping them. This advice is especially helpful in those cultures where having idols, statues, and paintings, and relying on them, is common. But the same Commandment can also mean that images made to represent the Father God are also wrong. It is because no one knows what He looks like, because He is said to be a Spirit (2 Cor 3:17: Now the Lord is that Spirit…). An attempt at a painting or a statue of Him will always be a wrongful depiction of Him. The result is an image of the created, not of the Creator.
Not going further into material images of God, it is possible that society and some congregations have the wrong impression of God. It normally means that God is only considered to represent love, as if He is this nice gentle fellow, but not as a righteous judge, who condemns unrepentant people. This is also another kind of false image of God. He is considered to only be loving, good and full of mercy, but not a judge at all. Or, some often talk about the strict and destructive God of the Old Testament, who is balanced by the nice and pleasant God of the New Testament, who looks away from anything that is bad. The consequence of having this perception of God is that people will not talk about sin and its serious consequences to unrepentant people. People are silent about it, as they do not believe it. This doctrine that believes everyone will have a happy ending is also called universalism.
Sin can be openly practiced in some congregations these days, but it should not be condemned or judged. We should only show love, because God is love. Rubbish! No wonder the world despises the congregation, which is almost as accepting of everything as the world. We cannot reprimand the people of the world for not joining us, when we have the same issues they are looking answers to. We have abandoned requirements and we have become religious – not spiritual. A prophet of the Old Testament announced that the Holy Spirit was above him, so that he could announce Israel its sins, and not the love of God (Isaiah 58:1). Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment – not love. When His light shows our sins, the path to God’s love will open. (2)
What is the real teaching about God’s essence? What is the Bible teaching?
The answer is that He has both sides. He is both holy and perfect (1 John 1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.), as well as love. He has both hate for sin and injustice, as well as love for people. The latter is mentioned in the following verses, e.g.:
- (1 John 4:8-10,16) He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.
- (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
R.A. Torrey preached this a little over a hundred years ago. He said that God loves people, regardless of their sins. This applies to all people.
Is there a thief here tonight? God loves you. Is there a fallen woman? God loves you. Is there an egoist here tonight? God loves you. Is there someone who uses foul language? God loves you. I want to show you something you cannot find in all of Birmingham. You will not find any woman or man in Birmingham who is not loved by God. (3)
What about God’s hate for sin? Some want to deny it, but we can see it several times in the Old testament, as well as in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, we see it in how Sodom and Gomorrah, the society during Noah’s time, the Canaanites, and Israel and Judah were doomed because of their sins. These examples show us that God is not indifferent towards wrongdoings and sin.
What about the New Testament? Some people want to distinguish between the God depicted in the Old Testament and the one in the New Testament, as if the first one was only strict and destructive, while the latter is only a representation of love. This doctrine falls short in one aspect, however: Jesus’ teaching about hell. Jesus, who is generally considered loving and good, and who was the image of Father God and one with the Father, spoke more about hell than anyone else. He said that He had come from the heavens (John 8:23 And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world) and that is why His teachings about the afterlife should not be overlooked. He must know the afterlife, heaven and hell better than anyone in the modern society. He, e.g., said the following to unrepentant Pharisees.
- (Matt 23:29-33) Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Why you be witnesses to yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill you up then the measure of your fathers.
33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?
The Romans clearly bring forth the same, God’s wrath. It shows how God hates wrongdoings and it will never change. If He did not take the side of good against evil, how could He be any good? That cannot be expected of Him. An indifferent guy sitting on a cloud who does not react to anything, an image many have of Him today; He could never be that.
- (Rom 1:18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
As a conclusive thought, we can teach that God has loved every human. There are no exceptions. “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus died for all our sins, so that no one would have to go to hell.
However, the Bible clearly teaches that if we do not repent but think that God’s “lifeboat” in Jesus Christ is cheap, we cannot be saved. That is, God has prepared everything for us; salvation, mercy and love is there for us, but we can reject it all with our own attitude. Paul wrote about this. He talked about people who walk unrepentant and as enemies of the Christ’s cross. Are you one of them?
- (Phil 3:17-19) Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.
18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain. The third commandment is a warning to refrain from saying God’s name in vain. It is also said that whoever does so, will not go unpunished.
What does this commandment really mean? Usually, people explain it as being related to vain oaths in the name of God, or to blasphemy, and it could be so. The first one, however, is rare in Western countries, and people rarely speak like that about God, but blasphemy does occur. It has been committed by atheists, and many others, and according to this Bible verse they are to be punished. They can be forgiven, of course, if they so ask in their heart, as Jesus said: Truly I say to you, All sins shall be forgiven to the sons of men, and blasphemies with which soever they shall blaspheme (Mark 3:28:).
Wrongful use of God’s name can also be associated with false doctrines in His name. It can be materialized in the following ways:
• Theologians who get paid to criticize the Bible. Nominally, they represent Jesus and the disciples, but in reality, reject many fundamentals taught by Jesus and the disciples: the virgin birth, miracles, judgment, hell, sin, divinity of Jesus, and numerous other teachings.
• Lawful doctrine that does not properly bring forth grace and what Jesus did for us. This kind of false doctrine was spread among the Galatians. Paul had to say to them (Gal 3:1): O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
• Teaching that unrepentant people will be saved. This doctrine uses God’s grace and name wrongfully. It also misleads other people to hell, because they are not being warned about the consequences of unrepentance. These wrongful focuses probably come from people’s misconceived understanding of God that we talked about earlier. We can find a description of such teachers in the Epistle of Jude (Jude 1:4): For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work… For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. The fourth commandment urges us to keep the day of rest holy. It relates to God originally creating everything in six days and resting on the seventh, ending His work (Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.). He laid the model of rest for us humans too.
Interestingly, seven-day-week, which heavily implies to the creation by God, is universal across the globe. The following quotation demonstrates how it must originate from the shared ancestors of mankind – a fact confirmed by the Genesis and Exodus:
We can find information about the seven-day week from very ancient times to be in the knowledge of all nations – including Ethiopians, Arabs, Native Americans – all nations in the East have at all times used this seven-day week which is difficult to explain without admitting that this information has been received from the common ancestors of mankind. (4)
How can we then keep the day of rest holy? If we first reflect it on our society, we see that it is not held in such high regard. We see that in shops which stay open for everyday of the week. This is common, although it would not be necessary.
In private life, keeping the day of rest holy seems to be beneficial. It is about taking a break from everyday work, but also about having time to study spiritual matters. It can mean prayer, reading the Word or anything to do with searching God. The problem is that we often do not follow His suggestion, and instead use our time doing something else. It is so typical to see people have time for television shows and hobbies, but not for what is most important.
We are going to look at a quotation from Yonggi Cho, where he speaks about prayer, which is especially neglected in Western congregations. We need a similar model that teaches us to use our free time more beneficially:
Only through prayer can you touch your neighbours and friends. (...) I usually notice that people do not know how to pray for longer than an hour to reach their goal. I ask the members of my congregation to pray more than an hour a day. I call such praying “Gethsemane praying”. In Gethsemane, Jesus scolded His disciples because they were not able to pray even for an hour. If you started to pray for more than an hour a day, something would surely happen in your life. People have all kinds of excuses. They have to be here or there. Jesus accepted no excuses. I have 746 full-time assistant reverends working under me. They have their hands full in taking care of 700,000 souls but I still encourage them to spend at least three hours in prayer each day. I tell this even though they feel that they cannot give advice to people: they must spend three hours praying before going to the people in need of salvation.
Many of them have heard what God has done in our congregation for the prayer life of those who believe. They are powerful in the company of God and also amongst people. (5)
5. Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you. The fifth commandment begins to deal with human relationships. The first four commandments were concerned with one’s private life and God-relationship, but the last ones concern relationships between humans. The first one urges us to respect our fathers and mothers. There is a promise of success and long worldly life here on earth for following this commandment (Eph 6:2,3).
How to respect one’s parents then? It is important to realize about this commandment that it is not about how well the parents have succeeded (perfect parents and perfect childhood do not exist). It is true that many parents have made crucial mistakes and are guilty of mistreatment, but despite everything, we have been urged to respect them. Disrespectful speaking and judgmental attitude will only cause us harm. We cannot expect God to bless us if we do not have the right attitude in this important relationship. It would be disobedience and rebellion against God.
We are going to look at a quotation closely related to this. It is about the root of judgment and accusatory attitude towards the other parent. Carol Arnott tells in her husband’s (John Arnott) book how she in the light of God saw her sins and repented:
When I became a Christian, I understood that there was plenty of unforgiveness in my heart, and that I had to be freed of it. I worked on it, but it didn’t seem to change my feelings towards my mother. I understood that something was wrong. I tried again and again to forgive, but the feelings in my heart didn’t change a bit. Only after Paula and John Sanford taught me about judging arising from bitterness did I understand what was going on.
The Scriptures advise us to respect our father and mother only if they are good Christians and do everything right. Or does it actually say so? No! The Bible doesn't teach this, even though we might hope so. (...)
In those areas of life where you despise your parents, nothing goes well. Of course, we don’t blame them for everything, but usually we judge them in those areas of our life where we have been hurt or neglected.
I thought to myself, "God, I don't understand this. I have forgiven her. What does this mean exactly?” He said, "You have loathed her. You have sinned when you have not respected your mother.” God started to show me the two sides of the issue. We must forgive. But we also need to repent our own sin, our intolerant attitude.
On one hand, I had to forgive her, and so I did. However, I still didn’t respect her in my heart. I hated her and I judged her.
The problem was my sin, not hers. My reaction towards my mother was a sin, and this is what I understand at first. Satan, who is extremely law-minded, went to God and said, "God, Carol has sinned. She has not repented the fact that she judged her mother in her mind. I have the legal right to bring forth the law of sowing and reaping into Carol’s life.” (6)
Grumbling and pay claims
- (Jude 1:16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
- (1 Cor 10:10) Neither murmur you, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
- (Numb 14:2) And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said to them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
Another thing that can be discussed in this context concern grumbling and pay claims. It means that we are not content with what we have, and keep demanding for more, although we can manage by with what we have just fine. (The Bible says, Hebr 13:5: ”be content with such things as you have”. On the other hand, it is true that in some countries, workers are not paid enough. Such is the case in many developing countries. The following words from the Bible are fitting, James 5:1,4: Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come on you… Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.) It can manifest itself in senseless strikes and demands, because we have the “right” to get what we want. We covet for more, despite not having the need. We fail to keep in mind the following advice from John the Baptist that he gave to the people who came to him. The advice is still timely even today:
- (Luke 3:10-14) And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answers and said to them, He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise.
12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said to him, Master, what shall we do?
13 And he said to them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
What is the consequence of endless pay claims? Where does it lead if we keep demanding for more?
The answer is clear and comes apparent in three ways. Those are:
• It reduces employment because labor costs become immoderate.
• It often increases the workload for employees who stay
• It increases taxes, because unemployment grows, and costs go up
The following quotation stays on the subject. Endless demands cannot bring blessing on society on the long run. The things listed above will follow. It will cause more problems than it removes.
People of our time have considered work a curse that needs to be managed with the least amount of effort, in the least amount of time, with the highest possible compensation. The path to achieving these goals goes through demands. Then, the economic and functional blessings will be unattained We don’t know how to be thankful. We do not grow with our work, but instead, regress in our development because of bitterness and dissatisfaction.
What will happen to us when workplaces cease to exist? We do so little yet want so much that no one can hire us. Even foreigners cannot buy our expensive things. How will we resolve the issue? We would never regret our pride in front of the Lord, ask for mercy or be thankful for what we get. Instead, we demand. We demand politicians to arrange work for us – it is their duty, after all. (7)
6. You shall not kill. When it comes to the sixth commandment, we see diminished respect towards it within the last decades, especially concerning the very beginning of life and the end. In other words, we are talking about abortion and euthanasia, to which the public opinion has become all the more accepting. The former one, abortion, has already been approved by the law in most Western countries. We are going to look at these two phenomena.
Abortion breaks the sixth commandment. It is murder, although some might claim otherwise, because human life begins at conception, and not at any later stage. Moreover, we know that during the 7-8-week stage of development, when most abortions are carried out, the fetuses have exactly the same features as grown humans: hands, feet, eyes, mouth, nose, ears… They are only smaller than newborn babies, teenagers or adults, which makes them a human individual in progress. It is wrong to refer to them as some sort of a tissue lump, because he or she is a human being in the mother’s womb.
This issue has been argued, e.g., with problems caused by illegal abortions and rapes (small percentage of abortions are caused by rapes), and it is true that we cannot diminish the severity of these issues. That does not change the fact that abortions destroy a unique individual. For instance, Finland’s population would be larger by half a million, had people refrained from abortions. Now these people are no longer with us.
The following news article refers to issues caused by abortion. India has only 914 women for every thousand man. Since technology has enabled us to check the sex of the baby early on, it has led to the abortion of millions of unborn girls.
More girls are now aborted in India than in past decades
STT-AFP: According to recent population statistics, the number of women in relation to the number of men has reached a record low in India. The relative number of women in the country has never been so low since 1947: there are 914 women per 1,000 men in India.
Abortions based on the gender of the foetus are illegal in India but many mothers still abort their unborn girls. Indian families rely on boys to support them better than girls. Some families consider girls to be a financial burden.
Gender imbalance is a major problem in many Asian countries. According to the UN, millions of girls are missing from the population of the Asian countries.
The census shows that there are now 1.21 billion inhabitants in India, compared to 1.02 billion a decade ago. 2.5 million local authorities participated in the census that took a little less than a year. (Newspaper Etelä-Suomen Sanomat, 1 April 2011)
Euthanasia is another activity that breaks the sixth commandment. It is connected with the last part of human life. It is probable that this activity, too, will become common, just as those reasons used to justify euthanasia may become more and more diverse. All this is a consequence of our not generally believing in the judgment of God and that our acts have consequences. It is not believed that murderers and unrepentant wrongdoers will be left outside the kingdom of God. They have to go Hell:
- (Rev 21:6-8) And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Euthanasia is connected with society’s many tendencies to abandon God. It is not a separate matter but is associated with the changing of the world picture that has happened in people’s mind. Feminism, sexual revolution (they began in the 1960’s) and replacing the creation view with the evolution theory are a part of that big process through which people’s range of thoughts have changed.
Destroying people in abortions or, in this case, by euthanasia is not a new matter, however. In Germany before Hitler gained power, euthanasia was in favour. Hitler was not the first to express these thoughts; they arose from the minds of philosophers and intellectuals, from which they spread to society. Later, the teaching of racial doctrine and social Darwinism came along and Hitler adopted these thoughts.
Genocide of people in Germany did not begin from Nazis and Hitler. Already in the 1920’s psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and jurist Karl Binding wrote a book about finishing unviable life. It told about valueless people, and about life that is not worth living; and that the ending of life should be entitled by legislation. It was also discussed much about economical costs caused by taking care of patents like these. Both writers were leading intellectuals. A certain kind of spirit of the times was born (Fredrik Wertham ym. Inte bara Hitler, Provita Uppsala, p. 47)
One of the writers of Inte bara Hitler-book Per Landgren draws the following conclusion: “The fact that Hoche and Binding were valued academicians is also a clear example that the ideologies of German people were not at all temporarily being blinded. Nazism did not change science and medicine. Western science and medicine had already been corrupted and gave an inspiration for Nazism.” (p. 97) Probably, this kind of spirit of the times was caused by many factors like social Darwinism, liberal theology, abandoning the authority of the Bible and secularization generally. Already from the 1800th century philosophies had prepared the way for this kind of collapse of human value. The views of God and man had changed. It was not believed that the life of man would have unconditional and absolute value, which is based on the fact that God created man in his own image.
Especially in Germany it was desired to give a picture that the killing of the insane and handicapped was caused only by some mad Nazis. The reality is different. Wide circles knew what happened in hospitals. People elected Hitler and Nazis in democratic elections. Killing started with the insane, handicapped and incurably ill already before the rise of Hitler. Later it extended to destroying whole nations. The purpose was to breed a better race. (8)
Other sectors. Most people may say in their mind that at least they have never broken against the sixth commandment. They think it only applies to bigger criminals who have committed this sin. They think it has nothing to do with them.
In light of the Bible, we see it is not quite so, however. According to it our hate – whether its towards refugees, foreigners or other groups – is also breaking against this commandment. According to Jesus, merely calling another crazy will have earned us the flames of hell. Also, it has been written that if we hate our neighbor, we are equal to murderers. How many of us can in the light of these verses say that they have never broken against this commandment? No one can hardly say so.
- (Matt 5:20-22) For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
- (1 John 3:15) Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
What about violence in TV shows? Each night we consume dozens of acts of violence and murders, which may instill wrong ideas into people’s minds. Although violence takes place in virtual reality, like in videogames, it is still breaking the sixth commandment (You shall not kill!). Such material must have an effect on people’s inner thoughts. Violence and sexual entertainment will numb one’s mind. Many assaults these days have become more violent, which can partly be blamed on influences coming from the TV.
The following comments explain further. Doctor Leonard D. Efron, who studied the behavior of over 400 viewers for 22 years, has stated the causation between television material and behavior. Arnold Kahn, from the American Psychology Association, has stated the same (the second comment). The third source also refers to the same:
No more can there be any doubt about the fact that extensive predisposition to violence on television is one reason for aggressive behavior, criminality, and violence in society (9)
Controversy over the effects of violence in television is the same as controversy over the connection of smoking and cancer. (10)
Numerous studies have proven that people who recurrently watch TV shows or movies with exiting or strong violence or sex become numb towards violence. In two surveys on young convicts who had committed violent crimes (murder, rape, assault), 22–30% of the respondents stated that they had intentionally copied criminal techniques they had learned when watching TV. The Hollywood entertainment industry is desperately dependent on the profits it gets from TV shows and movies containing sex and violence. (11)
7. You shall not commit adultery. The seventh commandment concerns human sexuality, which in the right frame is a good thing. Nowhere in the Bible can we find that it would be wrong between a married husband and a wife. On the contrary, the following passages bring forth how the physical connection is part of marriage. Both are bound to take care of their spouse’s physical needs. Not doing so is deviating from the will of God:
- (Gen 2:18) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
- (1 Cor 7:1-5) Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render to the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife to the husband.
4 The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
- (Prov 5:18,19) Let your fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and be you ravished always with her love.
Whereas, adultery and fornication, which the seventh commandment is about, are sexual distortions, similar to how food can be misused (overeating). Usually, rape, incest, and children’s sexual abuse are considered as sexual distortion, but it includes all sexual affairs outside of marriage and porn (Jesus said, Matt 5:28: But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.). That is, if someone gloats over porn, a woman revealing herself to someone other than her husband, or a man looking for sex from someone else than his wife, are wrong, no matter how much people say the opposite. It would be foolish not to act according to God’s advice in this area, and it is foolish to brag about things that are wrong (like alcoholism and obesity). Many love to gloat more than they love God, as Paul wrote:
- (2 Tim 3:1-5) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Pay attention to the following verses. They give a direct warning of the fate of an adulterous and unrepentant person: they are doomed to eternal hell with no way out. When God says: “You shall not commit adultery!”, He also means it, which is why it would be foolish not to listen to His warning. It is like warning someone about thin ice: “Do not go on thin ice! You might fall in and drown.”
- (Hebr 13:4) Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
- (2 Cor 12:21) And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
- (Rev 22:15) For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
8. You shall not steal. The eight commandment tells us not to steal, that is, we are not allowed to take anything that belongs to our neighbor. It entails theft from shops, misrepresentation of accounts and tax return distortion, black market, and anything that involves taking something that belongs to someone else. Doing so will make us guilty of theft. We cannot expect to be saved, because unrepentance in this regard and in other areas will leave us outside the gates of heaven:
- (1 Cor 6:9,10) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
This commandment, like many others, makes us hope that others will obey it. Who would want to be a victim of theft, have someone commit adultery with their spouse, be victim to violence, or be misrepresented by others? On the contrary, it is natural for us to wish that no one would ever do such things to us. We hope that others obey all God’s commandments. It is as Jesus said in the following verse, which talks about the core of law and correct behavior.
- (Matt 7:12) Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
What if one receives salvation and converts to God? Change should come after; one will no longer live in the sins they used to live in, in the ideal situation, at least. It is putting repentance into practice, as Jesus urged us (Matt 4:17): From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Similarly, it is one of those things that belongs to the rudiments of the Christ’s teachings (Hebr 6:1): Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
Zacchaeus serves as a great example of the right attitude. We see in the Bible how this man changed. He was the head of publicans and rich but had gained parts of his wealth by fraud. Once he met Jesus, he completely changed the way he took care of his businesses. Half of it he gave to the poor and compensated the money he had earned through fraud. This shows that God had truly impacted his life:
- (Luke 19:1-10) And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at your house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said to him, This day is salvation come to this house, as much as he also is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. The ninth commandment is: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. It concerns our words: do we speak the truth, and do we speak respectfully, or do we give in to idle talk and calumny. We can do either good or bad with our mouth; calumny is always the latter. In it one attempts to discredit their neighbor or incite hate, as people treated Jesus this way (Mark 14:55-59). It is an attempt to diminish one’s dignity in front of others. Bullying in schools and at workplaces act as nasty examples of this. Bullies bear false witness against their neighbor and aim to ridicule their victims. They take God’s place as the judge, breaking against the ninth commandment. Jacob wrote about such people:
- (James 4:11,12) Speak not evil one of another, brothers. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judge another?
Or, someone might enjoy spreading rumors and lies without much consideration that one day he or she will have to account for their words. When Jesus said that by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned (Matt 12:37), it includes rumors and gossip. People do not realize that if they purposefully spread lies and enjoy doing it without repentance, they will end up in flames. Hell is the place where all liars and unrepentant people go. Everyone will be held accountable for their words and acts. This shows the importance of the words we speak. They act one criterion at judgement:
- (Eph 5: 6) Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.
- (Rev 22:14,15) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.
- (Rev 21:8) But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
These days you also hear a lot of discussion on hate speech. Hate speech is especially common in Internet forums, where people swear and slander each other. They do not respect people who have differing opinions, and instead stigmatize them negatively. This phenomenon has become all the more common, since such forums have become widely accessible to everyone. The same attitude can be seen in politics and in journalism also, as respect towards others seems to also fade away in those fields. The Bible talks about such behavior and speech in the following verse, e.g.:
- (Matt 5:21,22) You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
- (Rom 3:13,14) Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
- (James 3:14-17) But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
- (Col 4:6) Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.
- (1 Peter 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbor's. The last commandment is a little different to the others. Where the first commandments concern acts and words, the last commandment is about our inner life: our mind, thoughts and desires. It is an area where our imperfectness becomes more visible. There is not a single perfect or sinless person in terms of this commandment. When the Bible says “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23), it is true in light of these verses. For instance, Paul saw his sins best through this exact commandment, as he wrote:
- (Rom 7:7) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, You shall not covet.
The cause behind our desires and bad thoughts is in ourselves. According to Jesus, they come from our heart, which is a depiction of the human soul. We often try to find a reason for hate, e.g., from the outside (“He made me lose my temper and that is why I got mad”), but it, like other sins and bad thoughts, come from ourselves. We are the main culprits (Mark 7:21-23): For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
When these thoughts and desires exist in our heads, they can later lead to actions, making desires the seed of action. That is why they can be harmful if harbored and kept in our mind for a long time. Most acts are not done in spur of the moment, as they are usually carefully thought out, even for months or years. James wrote about this:
- (James 1:13-15) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.
Desires can also lead to slavery. Jesus said (John 8:34): ”Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin”, which is true in many people’s lives. It means compulsion, in which a person cannot stop thinking about the object of their desire. It can manifest itself in distorted lust for eating, sexual fantasies, money -and power hungriness, game addiction, alcohol -and drug addiction or homosexual behavior. These are all things that can make us their slaves, and often on the long run, they will become a great burden. One might not think that at first, as it might feel like freedom, but this often changes after years and decades.
Good news is that Jesus can deliver us from any enslavement and bondages. It is what He promised when He said (John 8:36): ” If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed”. We can confidently have faith in this promise.
Finally, we are going to look at some quotations addressing the topic. The first one concerns drug addiction and the latter one deliverance from homosexuality. Many have considered the latter an impossibility, since homosexuality is often regarded to be an innate trait, but why would Jesus not be able to deliver from this condition the way He delivers from other conditions? Nothing is impossible to Him, because He is God. It is no use for us to say what He can and cannot do. He answers for Himself:
Harvey had been called the stutterer on the street because he had such a severe speech impediment that no one could understand half of what he said. But now, Harvey did not stutter. In fact, he was becoming increasingly more eloquent.
One day Harvey walked up to me saying: - Sonny, I would like to go back home to tell the other Jews about Jesus.
Teen Challenge had all the equipment needed for street gatherings. We got the green light from Dave to pack them in the car and travel to our former neighborhood to hold a gathering.
As we were setting up the gear people started to flow on the scene from every direction. Harvey stepped behind the microphone and began to speak.
- You might remember me. he said. Of course, everyone remembered him. – I am the same guy who used to steal and shoplift around here.
People murmured in surprise and pushed each other. – Look at Harvey. Something has happened to that Jewish boy. Harvey continued: - I am no longer a drug addict. I have met the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He has come into my life. He healed my mind and saved me from sin. He is the Messiah who you have your whole lives waited for. Welcome Him and let Him restore you.
Tears ran through my face. I knew I had not been able to help Harvey. Jesus Christ had changed the boy right in front of me through the Holy Spirit. When none of my words were able to go through to Harvey’s dark mind, the Holy Spirit did it all… Drugs had damaged Harvey’s mind, but God had restored everything. I felt excitement growing inside me. There was hope, not only for addicts loitering on the streets, but also for many who had gone insane or had been committed to a mental hospital. (12)
David Seamands: My registry is filled with card letters I receive from people seeking help in sexual problems. They have wished to become free from their sexual experiences that have left them with deep scars, in a way that they have not been able to naturally and normally react when dating, or during marriage in a close intimate relationship. Those letters also contain the most joyous and enthusiastic messages about purifying and healing. A woman who had become free from the tight bondages of a lesbian relationship wrote the following:
At this moment, I only wait and see where God leads me. It felt like a bad tumor had been removed from inside me, and now I am very peaceful and calm. At the same time, I have this excited feeling of expectancy. Like Jesus was reaching to my soul and carefully pulled out parts of me, so that I could see, what is inside me… I know a few things I have given to Him to handle. Somethings have gotten better, and where I used to feel sick, I now feel complete. He teaches me what I can be in Him. (13)
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house (Acts 16:31).
- (Rom 3:19,20) Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
- (1 John 1:8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Above, we went through some of the most important commandments and the law of God. They prove us one thing: sin and imperfectness. Perhaps, our imperfect nature is best seen in the double commandment of love. When Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God and our neighbor with all our hearts, that is, with every waking moment (Matt 22:36-40), we have not obeyed Him. If being honest, one must admit in light of this commandment that they have not obeyed the will of God, and how they are not accepted but guilty before God. One has broken the law and do not in their own merits deserve salvation.
Most importantly, you should not compare yourself to others to recognize your sinfulness. It means having to face the law of God. What is the law of God? Do not kill, do not steal? “I have never done those things; therefore, I am not sinful.” – My friend, this is not the entirety of God’s law. What is it then? It is a twofold commandment: "The first of all the commandments is:,,… you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, You shall love your neighbor as yourself...” (Mark 12:29-31). Forget alcoholics and the likes, forget news about crimes you read about in the papers. This is the real test: Do you love God with all your being? If you don’t, you are sinful. ”All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).” (14)
If you have recognized your true state before God – your lost state, how you cannot save yourself, and that you need forgiveness from God – the following segments are for you.
The solution to the above is found in what Jesus has done for us. He Himself, the Son of God, came under the law and fulfilled the law, doing what we couldn’t do. He was acceptable before God, and in the end died for our sins, removing the obstacles that exist between God and man. Through Jesus we can now enter the kingdom of God.
- (Matt 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
Älkää luulko, että minä olen tullut lakia tai profeettoja kumoamaan; en minä ole tullut kumoamaan, vaan täyttämään.
- (Gal 4:4,5) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
- (Eph 3:11,12) According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Turn to Jesus! Since eternal life is in Jesus Christ, it is natural that we must in our heart turn to Him and put our faith in Him. Sheer theoretical knowledge about His work and that He is the way to heaven, is no good for us if we do not want to turn to Him and receive life. In your heart, turn to Jesus Christ and surrender yourself to Him, in order to be a part of all His goodness. The following passages are fitting:
- (Matt 11:28-30) Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
- (Acts 16:30,31) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
So, if you have turned to Jesus Christ and received Him in your life, you are a child of God and have eternal life. You have the eternal life regardless of what you feel right now. Do not base your assurance of salvation on your ever-changing emotions, but rest in the word of the Bible and on Jesus Christ, just like the anchor of a ship is never thrown inside the ship but always outside.
- (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
- (1 John 5:11-13) And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
13 These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.
THE PRAYER OF SALVATION: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
1. Rick Joyner: Soihtu ja miekka (The Torch and the Sword), p. 34
2. Denis Clark: Herkkäuskoisten harharetket, p. 45
3. R.A. Torrey: Joh 3:16
4. Tri John Kitto kirjassa Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature, II, hakusana "Sabbath", p. 655
5. David Yonggi Cho: Kokemuksiani rukouksesta (DR. CHO’S PATTERNS OF PRAYER), p. 39-41
6. John Arnott: Mitä meidän tulisi tietää anteeksiannosta, p. 30,31
7. Sven Reichmann: Vapauteen kutsutut (Kallad till frihet), p. 103,104
8. V.R.: monisteita
9. Tiedot kirjasta: Hal Lindsey: 1948 Vuosi, jolloin loppu alkoi
10. Tiedot kirjasta: Hal Lindsey: 1948 Vuosi, jolloin loppu alkoi
11. Dada Maheshvarananda: Kapitalismin jälkeen, Proutin näkemys uudenlaisesta yhteiskunnasta (After Capitalism – Prout’s Vision for a New World), p. 154
12. Sonny Arguinzoni: Narkkarin stoori (God’s Junkie and the Addict Church), p. 92,93
13. David Seamands: Kasva aikuiseksi (Putting Away Childish Things), p. 161
14. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Terve usko, Raamatun apu masennukseen (Spiritual Depression. Its Causes and Cure), p. 30
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!