This Sunday, I will finish a two-part message on the Ten Commandments (as part of a larger, biblical theology, sermon series). So, I’m rereading a book I have found insightful in the past, God’s Rules for Holiness, by Peter Masters, pastor Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. In the book’s Prologue, the author explains five qualities of the Ten Commandments. When the commandments are studied with these in mind, they will bring the most value to our growth in holiness.
- The Commandments Reflect God’s Character – The Ten Commandments “flow directly from the eternal character of the holy God, and reflect Him….It is because they reflect God’s perfect character that they are the standard by which the world will be judged, and also the permanent rule of life for redeemed people.
- The Commandments Keep Their Full Authority Today – They are “God’s perpetual rules for worship and holy living.” The ceremonial and sacrificial laws of the Old Testament were fulfilled in the work of Christ. However, since the moral law is rooted in God’s unchanging character, “the Ten Commandments stand above them all as the abiding moral law of God.”
- The Commandments Were Designed for Believers – They were given for a two-fold purpose. “They were obviously intended to be binding upon all mankind, yet at the same time they were designed to be particularly helpful to those who truly know the Lord.”
- Each Commandment Covers a “Family” of Sins – “Each sin named in the Commandments represents an entire species of sin. Each sin named is the chief offence of a whole family of wrong deeds…when a commandment forbids a major sin, all the ‘lesser’ sins in the same family are to be included in the scope of that commandment.”
- The Commandments Include Opposite Positive Virtues – The Commandments “are meant to be handled in a positive, as well as a negative, manner. While couched in negative tones, God means us to strive for the opposite virtue of every sin….If we fail to identify the good behavior implicit in each commandment we miss the point entirely. We must from each one build up a solid appreciation of the kind of people that God wants us to be.”