The Law of Life and Love

The Law of Life and Love

Date: 11/04/2017 
If we're going to understand salvation, we must understand something about sin and how it is defined - the laws of life and love.
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Thank you for coming and joining us for our Foundations of Faith seminar. This special revival series is designed to talk about what some of the issues might be if we expect the reformation to continue. The Bible tells us, in Psalms 11:3, that "if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" And the devil is doing all he can to undermine and destroy the foundations of God's work and God's church - his people. And we're going to talk about one of the foundational teachings in our presentation tonight, but I like to always start with an amazing fact. I think most of you, there would recognize this icon that you find over there in pisa, italy, better known as the 'leaning tower of pisa'.

I've been there - I used to always call it the 'leaning tower of pizza,' when I was growing up (laughter) you know, but it's actually p-i-s-a. And it's an interesting story, in 1173 they began building this bell tower - it's about 180 feet high - and they, kind of, halted construction after they, you know, got up about 40-50 feet. They noticed that it was tilting slightly, but they were determined to finish it. It still took them 200 years, because of various wars and financial setbacks, to actually complete the tower, but the list - the lean - continued to increase and architects and engineers realized that they had built it with sandy ground. It just did not have a well-thought foundation for all of the weight that was going to rest upon it.

So, over the years, the tower gradually began to lean more, and more, and more. Finally, by 1990, it was leaning 15 feet off center and they realized that, eventually, there was going to be a catastrophic failure - and they have occasional earthquakes in italy, so they had to close it to the public. I went, before they closed it, and we were able to go up when I was a kid. And - closed it for ten years - it only took 40 million dollars for engineers to figure out a way to hydraulically pump things underneath it and reinforce the foundation and try to bring it back. So, now, it's still leaning, but it's only leaning about half of what it was before and in 2000 they opened it back up to the public.

If you don't have a good foundation, everything else gets destroyed. In our presentation tonight, we're going to be talking about a foundational truth - and if you don't get the foundation right - if it's not square - everything else in the building will suffer. Now, in particular, our study tonight is going to be on the law of God and how Christians are supposed to relate to that. If we're going to understand salvation, we must understand something about sin and how do you define that, so we're talking about the laws of life and love. You know, one of the first things the Lord did, when he saved the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, is he brought them through the red sea - and he didn't take them directly from Egypt to the promised land.

He actually had them turn south, brought them into the wilderness to Mount Sinai and, there, he did something he's never done since - he had never done before - where God audibly spoke in the hearing of an entire nation, with his own voice. Would you have liked to have heard that? Amen. Are you sure? They were terrified. They told Moses, 'don't let God speak to us anymore.' (Laughter) 'you talk us - he talks to you, you talk to us.' By the way, that's called being a mediator. Moses, like Christ, became a mediator.

And God spoke audibly and there were the thunders and the lightnings and he said if even a beast touches the mountain, it was to be killed. And then he wrote with his own finger, this beautiful expression of his will, better known as the Ten Commandments. You can read about this in Deuteronomy 4:13. And it says, 'so he declared to you his covenant which he commanded you to perform" - commanded you to do what? Think about? Observe? - Even - "the Ten Commandments;" - God did not say, 'I'm going to give you my ten suggestions.' He did not say, 'these are ten recommendations.' God didn't tell the nation, 'I have ten really good ideas, let me know what you think.' He is God - we are the creature; he is the creator. He says, 'these are my commandments.

' They're not open to discussion. It's not multiple choice. We're not supposed to get a discount. And the reason I say that is many Christians do not understand that. Now, the great reformation brought people out of terrible darkness into marvelous light.

But it didn't bring them all the way out, because the darkness that they were in was so deep, and one of the areas where we still need a great reform among God's people is to rightly understand the foundation of God's government, which is his law. Even martin luther had tremendous respect for the Ten Commandments. Martin luther emphasized grace so much that people think that he, you know, had something against the Ten Commandments, and that's not true. Martin luther actually wrote songs about the ten commandments, he had a catechism - he said we should pray our way through the Ten Commandments. But even he didn't completely understand it.

If you look at martin luther's catechism, he left out the second commandment that talks about idolatry. They thought that was sort of rolled into the first commandment. Idol worship was so predominant back then that they just didn't really know what they were doing. And he misunderstood something about the fourth, but he said, you know, 'this is God's moral law. We need it.

It helps us recognize our need of God.' And so, the Ten Commandments are something that we must really know and appreciate. So then, God not only spoke it with his voice, he then wrote it with his finger and then Moses brought the law down to the people and they said, 'all the Lord has said, we will do.' So they agreed to this covenant. And so, we're going to be going through some of these principles that deal with the law of God, tonight, and I've got a lot to cover, so you pray for me as we share. First of all - using question/answer format - as we enter the last days, I want you to notice who does the devil especially hate? You can read in Revelation 12:17, "the dragon was wroth with the woman, and he went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Now, you know right away if you're making the devil mad, you're doing the right thing. Amen.

And something that the devil especially hates is the law of God - and his whole objective is to get people to break God's law because the law defines what sin is. Can God's moral law - or the Ten Commandments - be changed? You might be wondering, why would you even ask that question in a church revival setting? God spoke it with his voice, he wrote it with his finger, he wrote it in stone to represent how unchanging it is. But, I asked that question because there are even Christian ministers who say once you accept Jesus, you no longer need to keep the Ten Commandments - that we're not under the law now, we're under grace. And it's true, we are under grace. I'll explain that a little later.

But they think that means that the Ten Commandments were just for the Jewish nation - he knew they couldn't keep it - he gave them the law to prove they couldn't keep it. Would God command us to do something we couldn't do? But now we're under a new dispensation - and now we're under a dispensation of grace, which, I guess, they think is lawless, and that is one of the false teachings that - where we need reform in Christianity. God's law is just and holy and good. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The law does not need changing.

The purpose for the gospel is so that we might be transformed. It's not to delete the law. The Bible says where there's no law, there's no sin. Is there still sin in the world today? Then there must be law. I was doing a debate on television - matter of fact, John lomacang was with me, years ago, we were in concord, California on channel 42, John and I and two or three other ministers, and the subject was on the commandments, for this particular debate.

And one of the opposing friends said, 'we can't keep the law. God proved that, you know, with the children of Israel. They broke it. He just wanted us to know we can't keep it.' And I said, 'well, do you believe the devil can tempt us to sin?' 'Well, yeah.' 'Do you believe God can keep us from sin?' 'No, we're all - it's human nature - we're all fall - we can't' - I said, 'so you're telling me that your devil is bigger than your God, but my Bible says, 'greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.' Now, am I alone or have you heard these things before? Even throughout Christendom, you hear people say, 'well, that's the old law. That's - we can't keep that.

' The purpose of the plan of salvation is to transform us so we become new creatures and old things are passed away and all things are made new. And he helps us to not only be hearers, but what? Doers. Doers of the word. Can you say amen? Amen. Can God's moral law be changed or repealed? What did Jesus say? You can read in Luke 16, verse 17, "and it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

" A tittle is just - it's like a small - what would be the equivalent of a dash or the crossing of a 't'. It was the smallest character. Jesus said, 'heaven and earth needs to pass away.' Why? You can read in Psalms 119, verse 89, "forever, o lord, your word is settled" - where? In heaven. It's in heaven. And you read in Revelation, it tells about the ark of God being opened in heaven and there was - the heavens being opened - the temple of God - and there's the ark.

Now what's in the ark? Ten Commandments. The ark was a golden box that held the rocks, and on the rocks were the Ten Commandments. It's the foundation. You know, Jesus said he is the rock. Amen.

It's a rock that was used to bring down Goliath. It's a rock that brings down that image in Daniel chapter 2. And God wrote His Word - his law - on stone to represent its eternal nature. That's what makes me shudder when I hear Christians say, 'oh, we don't need to keep the Ten Commandments anymore.' Christians didn't used to say that. Pastors didn't used to say that, but I'll talk more about that this week.

Again, Psalms 89, verse 34, "my covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips." - The Ten Commandments was called 'the covenant.' He said, 'I'm not going to break my covenant.' Does God break his covenants? No. If there's anything that's clear in the Bible - hundreds of years go by - thousands of years go by after God makes a covenant - he keeps it. He does not forget. In fact, the reason Jesus had to come is because God's Word doesn't change. ".

..all of his commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever..." Can you say 'amen'? That's psalm 111, verses 7 and 8. And, again, Malachi 3:6, he says, "for I am the Lord, I do not change." Now, one reason we know that God's law does not change - and we've really got to start with this understanding or the whole building's going to be crooked - if Christianity does not understand what to do with the Ten Commandments, everything else gets tweaked. It's because, when you seek to alter the law of God, you're trying to change the character of God, because the law of God is an expression of who God is. Consider, for a moment, what the Bible says about the personality and character of God, it also says about the law of God.

The Bible says God is good; it says the law is good - Romans 7:12. It says God is holy, God is just, God is perfect, God is love - there are references on your screen - it says the law is those things as well. And there's more: the Bible says that God is righteous -his law is righteous; he is truth - his law is truth; he is pure - his law is pure; he is spiritual, he is unchangeable, he is eternal - and so is his law. So, when you attempt to delete or alter or change the law of God, it's really an affront to who he is. Christ is the word.

Amen. The law was the most perfect Revelation of God's Word. It was the most awesome demonstration of God speaking to humanity. They heard him. They felt that the ground shook.

They got a written transcript of the meeting. And to say, 'well, he didn't really mean that' or 'he's changed part of that' - if there was any point in the Bible where you could put your finger and say, 'this is the part that would never change,' that would be the spot, and that's the spot the devil has attacked. God's law is actually being attacked by people even within the church, in the name of God. Why? Because the law identifies sin and, if you get rid of sin, you don't need a Savior from sin. According to the Bible, what is sin? I've got several verses - well, you're going to all quote that one, but there's actually several definitions in the Bible.

For instance, it says in Romans 3:20, "...by the law is the knowledge of sin." So, it's through the law we know what sin is. You can also read in Romans 14, verse 23, "...for whatever is not from faith is sin." God wants us to live by faith and, you know, sometimes your conscience says, 'you know, I don't feel right about that' - and it's kind of like the - the irish wife told her husband, when he held his shirt up to a window and sniffed it to see if he could wear it another day - she said, 'if it's doubtful, it's dirty.' (Laughter) and so, if it's not of faith, it's probably not good. Sin is the transgression of the law. Now, that's the one that we typically remember, and that's sort of like a dictionary definition. So, clearly, if you're breaking God's law, that's a sin.

Well, you know, there's been an increase in crime in North America in the last generation. And I think it's interesting, between 1963 and 1980 the courts began to do more and more to delete a moral influence from our culture. And I've got to be careful what I say, because I agree with roger williams, who said, 'for a government you need to divide the Ten Commandments' - where you've got the first four commandments deal with man's relationship to God. No government should ever tell you what his name is or what he looks like or when to worship him or how to worship him, but no government could survive if it deletes the last six. And they, basically, in 1980, said that the Ten Commandments are unconstitutional.

Am I the only one that remembers when we had the ten commandments in a public school? I went to public school. I still remember they had it on like this gold foil on the wall and they had a thing that said, 'the golden rules'. It was public school in California, of all places - southern California, even. (Laughter) and I still remember that. And, by the time I was in school in New York, you began to see it less and less and, finally, it was taken out of the schools.

This is a little dated - it's a 2010 fbi crime clock statistics - a violent crime occurs every 25.3 seconds, a murder every 35.6 minutes in North America, rape every 6.2 minutes, robbery every 1.4 minutes - and it goes on. You know what the sordid details are - it just - do you know that there are more young men killed every day in North America in gangs than soldiers overseas? Why? Was it - devon moore, who became so absorbed in a video game called grand theft auto, in Alabama, that talked about killing police and stealing cars, he ended up killing three police and stealing their cars. And then he began to quote the video game. You don't think that what young people are taking in - and the values and the morals they're hearing are having an impact on what's going on in our culture? If they have no moral guidance - they say, 'there's no God, you're just a biological accident, then nothing is right or wrong and it's survival of the fittest and if you have to murder somebody to survive, well, it's too bad for them.' The character who just shot - what, 50 people in las vegas? Well, he shot hundreds - and everyone's trying to figure out why. Well, if you continue to live in a society where you don't say 'some things are right and some things are wrong, and you must respect human life, God says so, and you'll pay for it if you don't.

' But if you think that you just die and you turn into dust and you say, 'hey, I want to make my name in history.' Everyone's trying to figure out why he did it. I think that's why he did it. He wanted to go out with a bang because he felt his life was meaningless. To what law is the Bible referring when it says 'sin is the transgression of the law' - 1 John 3:4? Paul said, 'I had not known sin but for the law; for I had not known lust except the law said, 'thou shall not covet.' Now where do you find the law 'thou shall not covet'? What group of laws? Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments.

You realize there are a number of different laws? Sometimes the word 'law' is used sort of in a general sense in the Bible and it's talking - you've got health laws, there's civil laws, there's ceremonial laws, but we're talking, tonight, about the great moral law, the Ten Commandments. You know, it even says in the Bible - you read in James 1:23, it says the law of God is something like a mirror - whoever looks into the law and he goes his way, not being a doer, just a looker - just a hearer, but he doesn't do, he's like a man who looks in a mirror and forgets what kind of person he is. Now, when I get to this point in the message, I often like to do an illustration, just to help people understand this. So, you know, I did my best to take care of sanitation and make-up before I came, but suppose that I should miss something - I didn't look in a mirror before I got here, and I get here and I've got a Mark on my head. Would it be distracting to you? (Laughter) if I had come out when John introduced me and 'good - glad to see everybody.

We're so glad' - and you're thinking, 'does he know?' (Laughter) well, I want to tell you something, you may not know. I don't see anything. How am I going to see there's anything wrong. Ah, how convenient. Alright, so this would be - borrowed from the hope channel make-up room (raucous laughter) oh man, look at that, that's what's going on here.

Now I see - trying to make it worse. So this rep - what does this represent? The law of God. The law of God, okay. So I feel fine, I don't see anything wrong, but then I look here and I say, 'oh, it's pretty clear that there's something that is not right - something out of place - something that needs correction. And so, since I felt okay until I looked at this object here, the problem clearly is in the mirror, right? I felt okay until I looked at this and so I've got to get rid of this and I'll be okay.

(Laughter) this is the attitude that some Christians have about the law. 'I don't like looking at the law.' 'Why not?' 'Makes me feel bad.' (Laughter) 'I look at the law, I get convicted. God wants me to feel good.' That's not true. God does not want you to feel good about doing bad. Amen.

The Bible says you should be afraid if you disobey. There's a certain fearful looking forward to of judgment. And so, you're problem is not solved by saying, 'well, just, you know, ignorance is bliss. I won't look at the law and I'm okay.' You haven't taken care of your problem. Jesus came not to save us in our sin, but from our sin.

Amen. So, does the law, then - it shows me my problem, clearly it must save me, too, right? No. When I look at this - I felt okay until I saw this, so maybe this is supposed to, somehow, take it off. That's not its function. Its function is to show me I've got a problem.

So where do I go for a solution? Jesus. Not to the law, it's the grace of the blood of Jesus. Now I asked them to see if they could find me a red cloth, before the program, and the best they could do (raucous laughter) was - I didn't have time to go to the store. And now I'm wondering if I can actually do it. So what would this represent? Blood of Jesus.

The blood of Christ. And so, (laughter) whew, I was afraid it wasn't going to work. So this, then, takes away the problem, but how do I know it worked? Do I still need this even after this has taken care of the problem? I say, 'oh, praise the Lord.' The Bible says, 'let every man examine himself whether he be in the faith.' 2 Corinthians. And so, we always need the law to show us what is sin and what is God's will, amen? Amen. So, it's amazing, to me, that God was able to summarize his word in Ten Commandments - to explain - do you know the Ten Commandments are comprehensive - they cover almost everything.

Another little amazing fact, for our friends watching, we're not too far away from Washington d.c., Where you've got the biggest library in the world. I think I've got a few notes here about the library of congress that I thought was fascinating. The library has got 151 million items in it. First built in 1800, it's not now, just in the picture you see, it's actually housed in three separate buildings - 838 miles of book corridors, 34 million books - I told you they 151 million items, they're not all books - 3.3 million recordings, 13.4 million photographs, 5.4 million maps, 6.5 million pieces of sheet music, and it's growing exponentially every day. You know, Solomon said, 'of making many books there is no end.

' 'Much study is a weariness to the flesh.' And yet, God was able to summarize his law in 325 words. Isn't that incredible? And it's comprehensive and it's something any child can memorize. I hope that you have memorized the Ten Commandments. Amen. It's - it's a beautiful reflection of God's will for all of us.

Now, ultimately, a Christian is what? A follower of Christ. Did Jesus keep the Ten Commandments? Yes. What was his pattern? Let's look at some verses. John 15, verse 10, Christ said very clearly, "...i have kept my father's commandments..." - Certainly that would include the ten, right? And you read in 1 Peter 2, verse 22, "who committed no sin," - how much sin? What is sin? Transgression of the law. Jesus committed no sin.

I've heard people before point to where the jews accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath and 'it says he broke the Sabbath' - it doesn't say that, it says they accused him of that. Jesus did not sin, because if he did sin and he's our Savior, we're in trouble, because God needed a perfect sacrifice. He kept his father's commandments. And he said, 'well that's 'cause he did what we could not do.' Well there's some truth to that, but the Bible tells us that he gave us an example that we should walk even as he walked. Amen.

That's a pretty high standard, you're right, it is. And all of us, we've all sinned, right? But you can't say that God's standard is less than Jesus. We're already pretty good at lowering the standard. So how many have sinned? All. That's our next question.

I think you already know that. Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." In the old testament, Isaiah says, in chapter 53, verse 6, "all we like sheep have gone astray." Everybody has sinned. We've got this selfish dna that we inherited, but what the plan of salvation does is God gives you a new heart. And when you fall in love with the Lord, instead of being motivated by selfishness, you're now motivated by love. Now, we know the transgression of the law is sin, and we have all sinned, what is the penalty for sin? Death.

The wages for sin is death. That's pretty serious. So we need to understand what the law's all about because the Bible says that the penalty for breaking the law is death. That's about as serious as it gets. So to deny that there is a law isn't going to help you.

I don't want to go to the doctor and have him say, 'well, you know, that looks a little bit like poison ivy' - and then have him whisper to his nurse, 'it's actually melanoma - he's doomed, but I don't want to make him nervous.' (Laughter) I'd rather know the hard truth and have him say, 'you've got something serious and we need to treat it.' Sin is serious. It is contagious, and it's deadly. If you doubt that it's deadly, what did it do to Jesus? He had to die for our law breaking. Am I right? Some say the Ten Commandments are not binding for new testament Christians. What did Jesus say? I'm going to stick mostly with new testament now for friends who might be thinking, 'well, but that was old testament.

' So you can't just quote the Ten Commandments. They think, 'well, that was old law.' Jesus said, very clearly, in Matthew 19:17, "...if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." Can that be understood? And, you know, when he talked to the rich young ruler, he said, 'which?' Jesus began to quote from the Ten Commandments before the young man interrupted him and said, 'oh, yeah, I know that, I've kept those all my life.' He really hadn't, but Jesus said, 'keep the commandments.' Again, John 14:15, he said, "if you love me" - do what? Keep my commandments. "Keep my commandments." Then, if you go to the last book in the Bible - in Revelation 22:14, "blessed" - now, is 'blessed' good or bad? Good. Does 'blessed' mean you'll be happy or sad? Happy. "Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

" The Bible says his commandments are not grievous. When you've got a new heart and you love the Lord, you want to do those things that are pleasing to him. Amen? So, if you're struggling with obedience, what's the solution? Now last night we talked about the importance of personal devotions. The better you know God, the more you will love God. The more you love God - Jesus said, 'if you love me, keep my commandments' - the more you'll want to please him.

And so, if you're struggling with your obedience, the solution is: get to know the Lord better, amen? Amen. Boy, that would bring a revival. Another one, Revelation 14:12, "here is the patience of the saints;" - and, by the way, this was just before the second coming is pictured in Revelation 14, "here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." God identifies his people in the last days as a commandment-keeping people. Not to be saved, but because they love the Lord and they are saved. They have a high regard for the law.

You know, what I'm sharing with you, a hundred years ago people probably would have gone to sleep and said, 'oh, yeah, we've known that.' But there's been a change in Christianity and, with this - there was a while where, you know, things got so legalistic that the pendulum started swinging towards grace - and you can even see that in the Bible. A lot of what Paul wrote, he was writing to pharisees who had accepted Jesus and they were telling all of the gentile converts to Christ, 'you've got to keep all these ceremonial laws' - and Paul had to explain to them we're not saved by law keeping, we're saved by grace. So Paul really emphasized that. James was dealing with another group that were saying, 'hey, we're under grace, we don't need to keep the law.' And he said, 'look, if you're being a hearer and not a doer, you don't understand.' You even see a little bit of that tension in the Bible where there are two extremes. And I'm always worried, when I talk about the law, people are going to go away thinking, 'Pastor Doug, are you saying that we're saved by keeping the law?' No, we're saved by what? Grace.

We're saved by grace. But, when you are saved by grace, you're going to have a great love for what God loves. You're going to prioritize what God prioritizes. God made a big deal about giving his law to his people as a foundational document before any of the other laws. He brought them to the mountain before they built a sanctuary - before they became a nation, he gave them his law.

Now, did the Ten Commandments begin at Mount Sinai? No. Or are they eternal? Was adultery a sin before Mount Sinai? Yes. You remember what Joseph said to potiphar's wife? 'How can I do this terrible thing and sin against God?' You remember what God said to cain, before he murdered his brother? 'Sin lies at your door.' So murder was a sin. And then God says, 'Abraham kept my laws, my statutes, and my commandments' - long before the Ten Commandments - so when people tell you, 'well, the Ten Commandments were for the jews' - nonsense. God's moral code of right and wrong is an expression of who he is.

It didn't just begin at Mount Sinai, it was codified there at Mount Sinai. There was a statement - a quote from billy graham I sometimes like to share - at the time this broadcast, he's still alive. I think he's about 98 years old. And he used to do this question and answer article in the paper. Question: does God still expect us to keep the Ten Commandments? You'll be happy to know he said, 'yes.

' 'The Ten Commandments are just as valid today as when God gave them to Moses over 3,000 years ago.' Jesus said, 'I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the law.' Can you say 'amen'? Amen. All the pastors used to know that. And you could have gone to just about any church and the kids were memorizing the Ten Commandments. But I watched it change. I know a pastor that he came into his district and he saw that the kids had the Ten Commandments on the wall in their Sunday school, and he went and took them down.

The teacher said, 'what are you doing?' He said, 'we're teaching them legalism.' That's the truth. And, if you start with that generation - that happened about 40 years ago - what do you end up with? Anything goes. But are people saved by keeping the law? Absolutely not. The only thing that saves us - what can wash away my sin? The blood of Jesus. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Ephesians 2, verses 8 and 9 - and this is the point that martin luther wanted to especially emphasize. It's not through works that we do, it's through grace, 'for by grace you are saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.' Nobody gets the credit saying, 'I worked my way to heaven. Anybody that's in the Kingdom is going to be there because of the grace of the Lord. And doesn't living under grace by faith make keeping God's law non-essential? No, no. And Paul was afraid that people were going to misunderstand his statements.

Romans 6:15 - he said, "what then? Shall we sin" - what is sin? Breaking God's law - "shall we sin" - break God's law - "because we are not under law but under grace? God forbid!" And, again, he says in Romans 3:31, "do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yeah, we establish the law." And he says, again, in Romans 2:13, "it's not the hearers of the law that are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified. But they're doing it because they love the Lord. Now, you are saved by grace, but what are you judged by? You're going to have to take it up with Jesus, I didn't say it. But Jesus said, 'every man is going to be judged according to his works.' That sounds like a contradiction, Pastor Doug, you're telling us we're saved by grace but we're judge by our works.' It's really easy, your works are going to demonstrate whether or not you are saved. Amen.

That's why Jesus said, 'not everyone who says unto me, 'lord, lord, is going to be in the Kingdom, but' - what? - "He that does the will of my Father in Heaven.' And so, it's not just the hearers but it's the doers. So he wants us to do His Word. Number 10: how is it possible to keep the Ten Commandments? The Bible says God sending his own son 'in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.' God's righteousness will be lived out in our lives. Amen. There'll be a transformation.

Like I said, you become a new creature. I'm very passionate about this because, I mean, I was - you could have thrown the book at me, as far as the Ten Commandments, when you first met me. And, through the grace of God, I fell in love with the Lord, he convicted me of my sins, he began to transform me, and I am so different now. Amen. I've got a friend that recently passed away.

I won't say his name. We were at the same place in our lives many years ago, and I took the Christian path, he took another path. And he, basically, self-destroyed through sin - killed him. He'd still be alive now if he had taken the Christian path. The wages of sin is death.

And it just breaks my heart when you think about people you know and they say 'no' to Jesus and you cannot mock God; what you sow, you're going to reap. He wants to save us and he often intervenes and saves us from ourselves, but you - even the thief on the cross, who was saved by grace, did not suddenly come off the cross. So there are consequences to breaking the Ten Commandments. Again, you read in Philippians 1:6, "...he that has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." He'll finish what he starts in your life. God is the author and the what? Finisher.

The finisher of our faith. Now, you've probably heard pastors say before, 'I may not be what I'm supposed to be, but I praise God that I'm not what I used to be.' And, you know, as I stand before you, let me just pause here and issue a disclaimer, and I talk about the importance of the Ten Commandments and the importance of obedience. Does everyone here know that I am not declaring myself as exhibit a of obedience? Jesus is exhibit a of obedience. Amen. And he is the goal - he is the ideal that we are all striving for.

And when I fall and I fail, I do not get discouraged. I repent, because you shouldn't feel good about doing bad, I confess, I embrace and believe in the blood of Jesus that washes away my sin, I get up, and by his grace I don't make that same mistake again. And whenever I get in trouble, I always say, 'lord, please teach me whatever you're trying to teach me through this so I don't have to take this class again. Amen. Can you say 'amen'? Amen.

So you want to make progress because, otherwise, you're going to keep having the same problems over and over again. You're not going to be able to blame everybody else - but he's doing a work in you. You come to Jesus just like you are and you are justified - you continue walking - and he teaches you. You're sanctified. He saved the children of Israel from Egypt.

Were they saved because they kept the Ten Commandments, or were they saved by the blood of the lamb? Blood of the lamb. They sacrificed a lamb and they began a journey to the promised land. They were saved by the lamb, but before they got to the promised land, they got to the law at Mount Sinai. They were not saved because of the law, but they did not go to heaven - or the promised land - deliberately breaking it. Is that true? Amen.

That's the plan of salvation, in a nutshell, right there. Saved, justified by the lamb, then they learned sanctification in the wilderness. And they had their ups and downs, but that generation that trusted God, they made it into the promised land. Amen. How much can we do through the Lord? All things.

'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' That's why I have no patience for people that give more credit to the devil than God. We're always making excuses for sin. Why don't we make some good excuses for obedience? Amen. Because Jesus can help us. I've just seen so many people.

I've got a friend, he was just a desperate alcoholic - for 20 years - he found the Lord and he hasn't had a drink in 20 years. And he goes into prisons and he tells everyone about Jesus and he is just as excited now as he was 20 years ago, because he loves the Lord. And so, I don't have patience when you tell me about 'oh, well, you know, we just can't change.' Yes you can! Amen. God is in the power of changing hearts. Amen.

And whatever it is you're struggling with - and you think, 'oh, I've fallen so many times.' You're in good company. Amen. Mary magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast seven devils. A righteous man may fall seven times but he gets up again. And you will end up making progress in your walk.

So I want to clarify something. What is the old covenant and why did it fail? The old covenant you read about in Deuteronomy 4:13 - we started with this one - "and he declared unto you his covenant, which you commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." Why two? First four commandments deal with our love for God, the last six commandments deal with our love for our fellow man. I heard someone say, once, that when God made adam, adam had to concentrate on the first four commandments, because it was a God-man relationship. When God made eve, that included the horizontal relationship. (Laughter) isn't that right? And then you've got the other commandments.

I mean, now he couldn't have a father or mother without eve, and he couldn't have the seventh commandment without eve, right? And it goes on and says all the people heard him declare the covenant - the Ten Commandments - and they said, in Exodus 19:8 - notice this - "...all the Lord has said we will do." Now a covenant is based on an agreement, and God said, 'here's my law.' They said, 'we will do it.' But did they? No. Before Moses even came down the mountain with a written transcript, they made a golden calf and they were breaking all the commandments. Notice, God does not say the problem with the old covenant was the law; the problem was with their promise. He said, 'I'm going to make a new covenant on better promises.' Instead of the promise of the people - 'we will' - God says, 'I will write my law' - finding fault with them, not the law - with them, the people. ''I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of judah, for this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,' saith the Lord, 'I'll put my law in their minds and write them in their hearts.

'" Amen. And when you love the - he's not getting rid of the law - that's why Paul says, 'love is the fulfilling of the law.' When we love the Lord, we don't defile his name, we don't insult him with graven images - when we love our neighbor we don't lie to him, we don't kill him - and so when I hear people say, 'well, nobody can rally keep the law' - you heard it - I'd like to hear a guy on his wedding day, as he stands before the pastor and the pastor says, 'do you promise to forsake all others, keeping her solely unto yourself as long' - and he says, 'well, you know, nobody can really keep the law.' (Raucous laughter) how do you think that marriage is going to do? You're expecting perfect obedience, aren't you - on your wedding day? You're making a commitment forsaking all others. And can you keep that commandment? Yes you can. People can be faithful to each other - and you can be faithful to God. Amen.

So let's believe that, with the Lord, all things are possible. Now, are there some old testament laws that are no longer binding on new testament Christians? The Bible's pretty clear that when Jesus died, the high priest tore his garments because we have a new priesthood now, 'you are a royal priesthood' the Bible tells us. The Bible tells us the veil in the temple was torn because we have a new temple - we are a living temple - you are the temple of God - your body is the temple of God. And so, the old system of sacrifices and circumcision and a lot of the ceremonial laws, that was nailed to the cross. They were written on paper.

They were not in the ark, they were in a pocket on the outside of the ark. It's different. The Bible says, in Ephesians 2:15, "having abolished...the law of commandments contained in ordinances..." - Taking it out of the way and nailing it to the cross. And you can find a number of those yearly feasts - these are not like the weekly Sabbath, part of the Ten Commandments, these were annual feasts. That's why Paul says in Romans, 'look, if one man regards one day unto the Lord, another man regards every day alike.

' If you're going to keep these Jewish feasts, you know, it said don't require everyone else to do it, because this is different. He said, but the Ten Commandments - whole different category. So, it's a distinction between the moral law of the ten commandments - just look at it - one is written on paper, one is written on stone. One is by the hand of Moses, one is by the finger of God. One is put in the ark, one is outside the ark.

One is of an eternal nature - God spoke one with his voice, the other is spoken by Moses. Did God make a distinction? Then we shouldn't be worried about making the same distinction. The Ten Commandments stand completely apart and by their own. And, by the way, you can't carve up the Ten Commandments and say, 'well, we're only going to keep this one or that one.' It's a package deal, amen? Amen. So, what motivates a person to keep God's law? We touched on this - that four-letter word - what is it? Love.

Love. It's kind of like, I've got one head and that one head tells my two arms what to do, and at the end of those two arms I've got ten fingers. And it's like you've got - I know this doesn't work mathematically, because you've got four on one hand and six on the other, but you've got the first four commandments that deal with my love for God; the last six commandments deal with my love for my fellow man. Salvation is summed up in: love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. It's this love relationship and it's this love relationship.

Now, I always feel like the pope when I do that. You've got the vertical love relationship and you've got - it's a cross, is what it is - and it's all summed up in love and Jesus was the perfect expression because he connected God with man. He showed us what The Father is like and then he showed us how to love each other. He is the essence of the cross. "Therefore" - Paul says in Romans 13:10 - "love is the fulfilling of the law.

" And, again, Matthew 22, verse 37, he said "you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." And if you love the Lord like that are you going to keep those commandments? Yes. 1 John 5:3, "for this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not grievous." So can I be a real Christian without keeping his commandments? Here's an area where we need some reformation and the foundation needs to be restored. There's been a breech. 'Hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

And, again, 1 John 2, verses 3 and 4, he says, "he who says, 'I know him,' and does not keep his commandments, is a" - what? Liar. "A liar, and the truth is not in him." So, whenever you're in doubt, do the safe thing. If you're thinking, 'well, lord, you know, should I keep the ten commandments or not?' I mean, if you should ever get to that point where you're really not sure, what would the answer be? Keep them just in case, because I can promise you, when you get to heaven God's not going to fold his arms and say, 'i'd like to let you in, but I can't.' 'Why not, lord?' 'You kept my Ten Commandments.' (Laughter) you're not going to get in trouble for that. Am I right? 'You were too faithful to your spouse.' 'You didn't steal enough.' 'You should have told more lies.' Do you see how absurd it is? And yet, pastors are telling people you don't need to keep the Ten Commandments. That's called a doctrine of devils.

It's an area where the church needs to experience repentance and reformation. If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do? What are some of the glorious rewards of keeping God's law? There's great benefit. John 15:11, Jesus said, "these things I have spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full." He doesn't want it to be a burden, he wants it to be what? Blessing. Amen? Proverbs 29:18, "but happy is he who keeps the law." Deuteronomy 5 - I love this one - Deuteronomy 5:29 - God - you can hear him pleading - he says, "oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear me and always keep all my commandments, that it might be well with them and their children forever!" He wants it to be well with us. Keep how many commandments? All.

And, again, Isaiah 48:18 - another promise, "oh, that you had heeded my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea." Which goes along with psalm 119, verse 165, "great peace have they who love your law, and nothing will offend them." Would you like that peace? I heard a story, years ago, about a man that was driving between two cities and he had to go cross country, and it began to rain. He was taking this back highway and it began to rain where you've got to turn the wipers on full speed. And, shortly after going through this little town where all he saw was a saloon light on - bar - he looked way up the road and he could see what looked like a drunk man staggering in the road wearing a black jacket - he looked like he had just gotten out of a bar fight - and he's right in the middle of the road and he thought, 'oh, man, I've got to get around that guy.' And he looked like he was trying to wave him down. He thought, 'that's the last thing in the world I want to just be caught with this guy out in the middle of nowhere.' And so he kind of went off into the left lane and the guy staggered off into the left lane. He tried to go in the right lane - he went into the right lane.

He thought, 'I've got to get around him somehow. I know what I'll do is, just when I get up to him I'll change lanes and accelerate.' And the guy's waving his arms and he's stumbling around and, finally, the man went off into the left lane and he started to accelerate. The man threw himself in front of the car. He slammed on his brakes just inches - tires just inches from the individual. Now he's frightened and he's scared and he gets out in the pouring rain and he says, 'are you out of your mind? I could have run you over.

What are you doing? The man laid there sobbing and he said, 'the bridge is out! The bridge is out and I watched two cars, a truck and a bus go off into the river and I couldn't bear to watch another person die.' The reason Jesus died is because it was the only way to save us. Amen. He has thrown himself in our path as an obstacle to our destruction. You going to run over him? Or are you going to stop and say, 'you know, maybe I need to stop going my own way and running from God.' He's not your enemy, he's your friend and he wants to save you. If you have any question about how does the law fit in, then look at the cross.

Jesus is up there because of our lawlessness. He's up there because of our sins. So how can we go on our way and say, 'thank you, lord, for giving me permission to continue sinning.' He said, 'no, I died to take you out from being under the curses of the law, I didn't die to give you an indulgence to sin.' We need to repent of our sins and turn from our sin because sin will destroy us. God says, 'turn ye, turn ye, why will you die?' He's desperate to save us. But he won't force you.

You need to choose. So Jesus stands, his hands are spread out, and he says, 'I gave my life - I shed my blood to save you from breaking my perfect law. I want to redeem you but you need to respond.' As we conclude this program, I'd just like to ask you and, maybe you who are watching, if you'd like to say, 'yes, lord, I want to accept that sacrifice and, by your grace, help me to be a doer and not just a hearer of your word. Give me that new heart. Fill me with love for you so I am willing to do your will.

' Is that your prayer, friends? Amen. Let's ask him. Dear loving father, thank you so much for the clear truth in your word regarding your law. Lord, ultimately, we want the new covenant. We pray you will write your law in our hearts.

Help us to do all we can to know you better and to serve you better. We thank you in Jesus' Name, amen.

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