Strength in Scripture

Applying the 10 Commandments in my life

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After studying into the broad meaning of each commandment, I think we can conclude that it’s impossible to keep them in our own strength. 

The apostle Paul in Romans 7:14 depicts a similar dilemma, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Seems pretty hopeless. 

But what I love is that Paul doesn’t finish the story there. He continues in chapter 8, verse 1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And verse 4, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Yes, it is possible to obey the law—not in our strength, not by ourselves, not in our own power. It’s only possible by being “in Christ Jesus.” The verse said that those who are in Christ no longer live according to the carnal, sinful flesh, but rather have the Spirit giving them power to fulfill (or obey) the righteous law of God. Can you imagine? This is wonderful news.

Christ’s death, resurrection, and ministration in Heaven has the purpose, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26, 27).

The same God who created us the first time is willing to recreate us spiritually, with new thoughts and desires. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). He promises us a new heart—a heart to keep His law.

Perhaps, you might wonder how is this transformation possible. Well, we read in Colossians 1:27, 28: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

Christ in you is the only hope. But it is a mystery. 1 Corinthians 2:5 says, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” We may not understand completely how God works, but we must place our faith in the power of God. This is the Gospel. Romans 1:16 emphasizes the importance of believing: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” This power is a transforming power.

This work is a process, though. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6). 

And this process requires diligence on our part. 2 Peter 1:10 appeals to us: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” If we desire to keep the commandments, we need to be diligent. 

How? Philippians 2:12, 13 explains: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We have a part to play. But it’s really God who’s doing the work. We must be willing and cooperative, though.

James 1:25 says we have to continue in the process: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

As we obey God’s law, we will be freed from a guilty conscience. 1 John 3:21, 22 says:

“Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

If we are abiding in Christ, keeping the Commandments will not be grievous. Rather than being simply 10 Commands, to us they will seem like 10 Promises. 1 John 5:3, 4 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

Matthew 22:37–40 summarizes the two key principles behind each of the commandments. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Keeping the 10 Commandments is a requirement in our salvation. In fact, James 2:12 says, “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” Our lives will be compared against the Law—not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law, like we’ve been studying during this whole season. 

There are two verses in Revelation that show that the keeping of God’s commandments will be a characteristic of those who are saved.

Revelation 14:12 introduces the faithful — “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Revelation 22:14 reiterates commandment-keeping as a prerequisite to entering the city of God—“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.”

Keeping the commandments shows our love and loyalty to God. Jesus told us in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

In a world where evil abounds, where sin and suffering is the norm, God is inviting us to something higher, something better, something more noble—a life where we will find true joy and fulfillment. Romans 12:21 says: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” By allowing Christ into our life, we can add some good to the world.

We can be so glad that He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own—He’s willing to give us all the resources necessary to be victorious.

We’ll conclude this season by reading 1 Corinthians 15:57: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen!