Gary continues his discussion of the 10 Commandments and whether they are applicable to Christians today.

Since God’s law is a transcript of His personal character, it cannot change, any more than God can change. Jesus makes this point in Matthew 5:17-19: “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill (or, put into force). For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches men, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Yet we know that there has been some change. We no longer sacrifice bulls and sheep, as the epistle to the Hebrews makes clear. If the law has not changed, then what has? It is the circumstances which have changed. Let us consider some examples.

The law of God commands, “Husbands, love your wives” (Eph. 5:25). This law is applicable in all times and in all places. Applicable—that is, able to be applied. If, however, a man is not married, then this law in fact does not apply to him. It is applicable, but because of circumstances it is not applied.

The law of God commands that we are not to have an open pit in our yard (Ex. 21:33f.), and that we are to have a rail around our roof (Dt. 22:8). If a man lives in an apartment, however, he will never have the opportunity to leave an open pit in his yard. As regards the rail around the roof, the houses in ancient Israel had flat roofs, and people frequently spent time on their roofs. In colder climates, snow threatens to cave in a flat roof, so roofs are sloped. This law would then not apply. It would apply, however, to a raised porch or balcony. Again, circumstances make the difference.

The Law of the Covenant

The Law of the Covenant

If we take a man-centered approach to these laws, we might say that the purpose of this legislation is only to ensure human prosperity. Such an approach to the law of God misses the most basic point. These laws show us God's own genuine personal care for His world, and as such these laws cannot be altered by human whim. If we start with God, we will soon see how these laws also improve human life.

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The New Testament is filled with references, both explicit and implicit, to Old Testament law and especially the 10 Commandments. Those who believe that the Law is no longer valid and has been done away with by Jesus, do not live lawlessly. All people, even non-Christians, make laws that they expect others to honor and obey. Law is inescapable. The real question is Whose Law?

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