Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Nine Commandments?

Religious leaders in Israel, before and during the time of Jesus, had a tendency to add and/or subtract from the Law of God. I believe that we have a tendency to do the same thing as well. An example of this is the Sabbath. God gave us ten commandments. All of these ommandments involved loving God and loving our neighbor. For example, when we look at the Sabbath, the people of Israel not only showed their love for God by keeping the Sabbath holy, but also showed love for their neighbor by giving their neighbor the day off. Even animals were given the day off!

Today, we somehow do not need to show our love for our neighbors by giving them the day off. If we own a business, we stay open on the Sabbath. If we want to eat on the Sabbath, we eat out and encourage the business to stay open and continue to have their workers work on the Sabbath. And if the workers refuse to work on the Sabbath, they might just lose their jobs.

So by not keeping the Sabbath, we put others to work, encourage businesses to stay open on the Sabbath, encourage businesses to have their workers work on the Sabbath, and help people lose their jobs. Does this sound like loving our neighbor? No, it sounds a lot more like hating our neighbor.

1. "That was the Old Covenant."

2. "The Sabbath is not for today."

3. "Keeping the Sabbath is legalistic."

These are some of the responses that Christians who try to love God and love their neighbor by keeping the Sabbath can hear today.

1. "That was the Old Covenant."

Yes, and what of it? The New Covenant is an expansion and improvement upon the Old Covenant. God showed his love for Israel by giving them the day off. They in turn were to show their love for their neighbor and their God by keeping the Sabbath holy and by giving their neigbors the day off. Even a donkey got the day off.

How would doing away with the Sabbath in the New Covenant improve upon the Old Covenant?
If the New Covenant does away with the Sabbath, it would mean that God's people of Israel would be expected to show more love for a donkey than what we would be expected to show today to our neigbor. Some improvement! Love your neigbor in the Old Covenant. Give him the day off. Hate your neighbor in the New Covenant. Encourage him to work. Make him work. And maybe even help your neighbor to be fired from his job for not working on the Sabbath. Donkeys in the Old Covenant have it much better and are shown a lot more love than people are in the New Covenant under the Nine Commandment theory.

2. "The Sabbath is not for today."

Read Matthew 5:17-21. Heaven and earth have not passed. Jesus did not do away with the Sabbath, but it is OK for us to do away with it? Please read verse 5:19 twice.

Teachers during the time of Jesus added to and subtracted from the law of God. This is seen later on in Matthew 5. Today people add to and subtract from the law of God. Man has taken the Ten Commandments and given us the Nine Commandments.

3. "Keeping the Sabbath is legalistic."

If I break the Sabbath, I am being godly, and if I try to keep it, I am being ungodly? If I am tempted to commit adultery or rob a bank, I should go ahead and do it, since trying to keep the law of God is legalistic?

"But I am free from the law." This is another of the great ignore the context examples. Christians are free from the ultimate curse of the law. As far as keeping the law in order to earn salvation is concerned, all Christians are free from that. But all Christians are to be law keepers and covenant keepers, not law breakers and covenant breakers. Keeping the law never has and never will earn salvation. But the one who ignores the law and breaks the law may just be showing that he or she was never saved to begin with. If Jesus did not do away with any of the Ten Commandments, then why do you have the right to do away with the Sabbath or any other commandment?

In Matthew chapter five, Jesus makes it very clear the the law of God still stands and will stand until heaven and earth pass. Jesus goes on to show how religious teachings of his time did not measure up to the original intent of the law. People in the church take these sayings of Jesus and twist and turn them out of their contexts, and make it look like Jesus was changing the law of God. No, time and time again, Jesus gives the original intent of the law.

Tomorrow at Covenant Family Fellowship, we are scheduled to look at Matthew 5:33-37. Is Jesus telling us that we should never swear an oath?


Post a Comment

<< Home